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Associated Students | San Diego State University

A Resolution Urging the University Senate to Support the Creation of an Online Database that is Comprehensive of All Course Syllabi

WHEREAS, the Associated Students of San Diego State University (SDSU) is the representative body, and the official voice for the approximate 30,000 students of SDSU; and

WHEREAS, the mission of SDSU is to provide a well-balanced, high quality education for undergraduate and graduate students, and to contribute to knowledge and to solve problems through excellence and distinction in teaching, research, and service; and

WHEREAS, subsection 2.2 of the FACULTY/Academic Responsibilities chapter of the Senate Policy File states that the syllabus for each course must be made available to all students through the departments and shall also be available online ; and

WHEREAS, an online syllabus database would be an archival system to document the evolution of courses over time and serve as an institutional memory tool for faculty to utilize when reinventing a past or current course; and

WHEREAS, students need to be able to view syllabi before registering for classes in order to gain a better understanding of their course load, to understand the strict prerequisites for courses and the preparation required for classes in their majors, to search for classes that meet specific needs and characteristics of students, to assess the academic quality of their curriculum, to simplify the registration process with the aim of limiting course “crashing”; and

WHEREAS, many departments have experienced difficulty meeting these needs; and

WHEREAS, , access provides a reference to students when applying to graduate schools, and internships, allows students to provide possible future employers with the learning outcomes that they have achieved, and access to an online syllabus database facilitates the intellectual discovery of careers and career paths; and

WHEREAS, students can browse the online syllabus database to search for equivalent courses at other academic institutions including, but not limited to, community colleges, other CSU’s and universities abroad; and

WHEREAS, online syllabus database allows the university to be in accordance with the Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI), which helps students with disabilities access information in a format that is compatible with their abilities; and

WHEREAS, there is a national trend of universities including Oregon State University, San Francisco State University, and the University of Maryland College of Education providing academic material including syllabi to all students through online databases; and

WHEREAS, the College of Literature, Sciences, and Arts Student Government at the University of Michigan passed a resolution on February 3, 2010 supporting the inclusion of course syllabi in the LSA Course Guide, an online registration tool; and

WHEREAS, Texas State Law requires all institutions of higher education to make academic materials including syllabi, curriculum vitae, and student evaluations available to students online within three clicks of the university’s home page ; and therefore be it,

RESOLVED, that Associated Students of SDSU endorses the idea of the University creating an online database that is comprehensive of all course syllabi; and further be it,

RESOLVED, that Associated Students of SDSU urges the University Senate to consider the numerous benefits of this database for the entire campus community and to fully support the stated vision by amending Subsection 2.2 to include language that requires departments to upload all syllabi to the proposed database, and to highly encourage SDSU’s academic dean, department chairs, and faculty members to utilize this system as a resource on a semester-by-semester basis; and finally be it,

RESOLVED, that this resolution be distributed widely including, but not limited, to San Diego State University President Stephen Weber, San Diego State University Senate Executive Committee, San Diego State University Senate, The Center for Teaching and Learning within the Division of Undergraduate Studies, The University Provost, SDSU’s college deans, and The California State University System Board of Trustees.


Passed by the Associated Students Council on April 6, 2011


i Subsection 2.2 of the FACULTY/Academic Responsibilities chapter of the Senate Policy File reads, “Instructors shall make available to their department the most recent version of each syllabus. Departments shall retain and make accessible the most recent versions of syllabi. Whenever possible, departments shall post syllabi on department websites.”

ii The Accessible Technology Initiative is spelled out in Coded Memorandum AA-2007-04 from the Executive Vice Chancellor / Chief Academic Officer of the California State University.

iii State of Texas Governor Rick Perry signed House Bill 2504 on June 19, 2009.