Wythes Committee Report
April, 2000

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Appendix A

Some Improvements to the Curriculum, 1988 to the Present

In the past 10-12 years, Princeton has taken a large number of actions to improve the undergraduate curriculum. The following is not meant to be comprehensive list but provides a summary of some of the more important steps that have been taken.


• Dean's Fund for Curricular Innovation (1989), The 250th Fund for Innovation in Undergraduate Education (1997)

• Center for Teaching and Learning (1998)

• Visiting Professorships for Distinguished Teaching (1997)

• Creation of Science and Technology Council (1989)

• President's Awards for Distinguished Teaching (1991)

• Writing Program review (1998-2000)

• Grading pattern review (1996)

• Summer Training for new graduate student Assistants in Instruction (AIs), plus training for non-English speakers (English as a Second Language) (1990)

• AI Mentoring program (1997)


• Study abroad initiative

• Improved academic advising for freshmen and sophomores

• Freshman Scholars Institute in Science and Engineering (1995), and in the Humanities and Social Sciences (1998)

• Community-based Learning Initiative (1997)

• Sophomore workshops (1997)

• President's Award for Academic Achievement -- for freshmen and sophomores (1998)

• Senior Thesis Writers' Workshop (1998)

• Undergraduate societies of fellows in University Center for Human Values (1999) and Council of Humanities (proposed 1999-2000)


• New general education requirements for AB and BSE students (1996)

• Growth of Freshman Seminar Program from 11 (1989) to 65 (1999)

• Committee on Diversity and Liberal Education (1994) -- annual publication of Race, Ethnicity, and Cross-Cultural Encounter booklet (1996)

• New certificate programs: Applications of Computing (first graduates, 1996), Applied and Computational Mathematics (1992), Biophysics (1999), Engineering Biology (1991), Environmental Studies (1993), Finance (2000), Hellenic Studies (1990), Jewish Studies (1996), Language and Culture (1993), Materials Science and Engineering (1994), Medieval Studies (1994), Musical Performance (1992) , Robotics and Intelligent Systems (1999), Visual Arts (1993)

• Departmental changes: the division of Civil Engineering into CE and ORFE (1999); dissolution of Department of Statistics (1992)

• Creation of Princeton Writing Program (1991)

• Creation of Center for Human Values (1990)


• Princeton Desktop Initiative (PDI) to standardize and encourage use of basic technology platform and set of programs (1996)

• Creation of the PLACE and outreach efforts to faculty by CIT (1994)

• Classroom and Scheduling Committee initiative to upgrade teaching spaces

• Almost one-third of undergraduate courses now have web presence (1998)

Academic Regulations

• New final examination policies (students not required to take more than one final exam in a day) (2000)

• Policy that AP credits cannot be used for distribution requirements (1992)

• Revision of academic calendar (1995)

• Elimination of graduation requirement in physical education (1990)


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