Senate Document Number 3804S
Date of Senate Approval 04/08/04
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Statement of Faculty Senate Action:
APC Document 27: Changes in Biochemistry Requirements and the Requirement of CHEM 328, 332, 336,
and 435 within all degree options
I. Removal of the laboratory from CHEM 436 and 437, Biochemistry I and II.
Replace on page 78, "Biochemistry I, II (4,4)" with "Biochemistry I, II (3,3)."
Delete on page 78, after "Lecture " the words "and laboratory."
II. Addition of CHEM 435, Bio-Analytical Instrumentation Laboratory.
Add on page 78, new course 435,
435 Bio-Analytical Instrumentation Laboratory (2)
The course is designed primarily to develop the laboratory skills of students in specific areas associated with and related to chemistry and biochemistry. Special emphasis will be placed upon experiment design and instrumental methods. Because the major methods covered are also used in other subdisciplines of chemistry, students with a primary interest other than biochemistry are also encouraged to enroll. Prerequisite: CHEM 145, 314. Spring.
III. Removal of the laboratory from CHEM 332, Instrumental Analysis.
Replace on page 76, "332 Instrumental Analysis (4)" with "332 Instrumental Analysis (2)."
Delete on page 76, with the course description for CHEM 332, the third sentence
"In addition to introductory experiments on major instruments, students will complete a semester long independent project as part of a group."
IV. Addition of CHEM 440, Physical Chemistry and Bioinformatics of Biological Macromolecules.
Add on page 78, new course 440,
440 Physical Chemistry and Bioinformatics of Macromolecules (3)
Structure and function relationships of biological macromolecules from a physical and informatics perspective involving the study of structural transitions and intermolecular interactions as well as properties of macromolecular assemblies elucidated by the study of database mining techniques, molecular visualization techniques and physical techniques. Physical techniques will include optical spectroscopy, magnetic resonance, hydrodynamics, scattering and diffraction. Numerous methodologies of bioinformatics will be explored, focusing on answering questions in biochemistry, elucidating how structure/function questions map to computational problems and yield resulting solutions. Prerequisite: CHEM 436. Spring.
V. Changes to degree requirements for all degree options,
Replace on page 73, after "Chemistry majors must fulfill the following requirements:"
I. Required courses in the major--20 hours, including: CHEM 144, 145, 234, 235, 314, 334, 380, 416, 417.
I. Required courses in the major--33 hours, including: CHEM 144, 145, 234, 235, 314, 328, 332, 334, 336, 380, 416, 417, 435, 436. Individuals who are seeking teaching licensure should complete EDUC 396/496 in place of CHEM 416 and 417.
VI. Changes to the Bachelor of Science Degree--Concentration in Chemistry.
Replace on page 73, after "Bachelor of Science Degree--Concentration in Chemistry"
"24-27 hours distributed as follows: CHEM 315, 328, 332, 335, 413, 428, 429, 436; one 300-400 level Chemistry course, excluding CHEM 390 and 411"
"12 hours distributed as follows: CHEM 315, 335, 413, 428, 429"
VII. Changes to the Bachelor of Science Degree--Concentration in Biochemistry.
Replace on page 73, after "Bachelor of Science Degree--Concentration in Biochemistry"
"20-22 hours distributed as follows: CHEM 315, 328, 335, 436, 437; one 2-4 hour 300-400 level Chemistry course, excluding CHEM 390 and 411"
"12 hours distributed as follows: CHEM 315, 335, 428, 437, 440"
VIII. Changes to the Bachelor of Science Degree--Concentration in Chemistry of the Environment
Replace on page 73, after "Bachelor of Science Degree--Concentration in Chemistry of the Environment"
"23 hours distributed as follows: CHEM 328, 332, 413, 430 (environmental chemistry topic); ENVR 130; and a minimum of 9 hours to include at least one ENVR course, chosen from CHEM 315, 335, 336, 428, 429, 430 (topic other than environmental chemistry), 436;"
"10 hours distributed as follows: CHEM 413; 430 (environmental chemistry topic); ENVR 130; and a minimum of 3 hours to include at least one ENVR course, chosen from CHEM 315, 335, 428, 429, 430 (topic other than environmental chemistry), 437;"
IX. Changes to the Bachelor of Arts Degree--Concentration in Chemistry
Replace on page 74, after "Bachelor of Arts Degree--Concentration in Chemistry"
"16 hours distributed as follows: CHEM 328, 332, 413, and 8 hours of 300-400 level Chemistry courses, excluding CHEM 390 and 411."
"3 hours distributed as follows: CHEM 413 and 428."
X. Changes to the Bachelor of Arts Degree--Concentration in Biochemistry.
Replace on page 74, after "Bachelor of Arts Degree--Concentration in Biochemistry"
"18 hours distributed as follows: CHEM 336, 436; BIOL 116, and 7 hours of 300-400 level Biology courses, approved by the chair of Chemistry."
"11 hours distributed as follows: BIOL 116 and 7 hours of 300-400 level Biology courses, approved by the chair of Chemistry."
XI. Change to the Bachelor of Arts Degree--Concentration in Chemistry with Teacher Licensure
Replace on page 74, after "Bachelor of Arts Degree--Concentration in Chemistry with Teacher Licensure"
"19 hours distributed as follows: CHEM 328, 332, 413, and 8 hours of 300-400 level courses in Chemistry, excluding CHEM 390 and 411; ENVR 130; and those requirements indicated under the Education section of the catalog."
"4 hours distributed as follows: CHEM 413; ENVR 130; and those requirements indicated under the Education section of the catalog."
XII. Requisite changes to the Bachelor of Science Degree, Concentration in Pollution Control within Environmental Studies
Replace on page 106, after "362;"within the requirements for the "Concentration in Pollution Control"
"two courses from CHEM 235, 332, or ENVR 321"
"8 hours from CHEM 235, 332 and 435, or ENVR 321"
This change does not negatively impact the day-to-day function of the Chemistry Department, most students, or departments delivering courses required by the Department of Chemistry. Students seeking the BA in Biochemistry, concentration in Biochemistry, will take more hours with this change. The proposed courses can be covered with existing resources. Positive impacts are outlined below in the rationale.
CHEM 332 is an option for students majoring in Environmental Studies--Concentration in Pollution Control. Requiring CHEM 435 to be taken along with CHEM 332 results in no net change in credit hours or in the students' exposure to instrumentation. None of the changes will impact University requirements or the Education Department's Licensure Programs.
The curricular improvements outlined above can be grouped into four categories: 1.) requiring biochemistry of all chemistry majors, 2.) making students in the biochemistry concentrations professionally more competitive, 3.) increasing exposure to modern instrumentation and techniques, and 4.) making sure that all chemistry majors are exposed to at least an intermediate level of inorganic chemistry. These changes will improve the education received by UNCA chemistry majors in all concentrations while simultaneously making the department more efficient as it meets its commitments to students both in and out of the major and to the university's ILS program.
Chemistry has historically been subdivided into four major specific disciplines: analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry with biochemistry being relegated to fringe or bridge status. UNCA's Chemistry Department recognized four years ago that the world of chemistry was quickly changing and that its curriculum had to keep pace. Therefore, two concentrations in biochemistry were added, one each in the two degrees, which were consistent with programs at other quality liberal arts institutions.
The lack of a full-time biochemist on the UNCA faculty at the time the biochemistry concentrations were created did not allow for the insight that could have predicted the state of biochemistry today. Although UNCA's biochemistry options are strong, they are not as strong as they should and could be. This is especially true in light of the quantity and quality of biochemical and pharmaceutical research and manufacturing within North Carolina. Two recent events involving the leadership in Raleigh illustrate the need for biochemistry curricula to keep pace with the science. Governor Easley has created a task force charged with championing biotechnology throughout North Carolina, and the biotech and pharmaceutical manufacturers have informed the UNC Office of the President that they are generally no longer hiring graduates from the UNC system because the learning curve for our students is too great. Although this has not been true for chemistry students from UNCA, it will be soon be true if our educational efforts do not keep pace with the rapidly expanding body of scientific knowledge. And even if students are not within the biochemistry concentrations, the prevalence of biochemistry related issues in all types of chemistry related jobs necessitates that all students have at least some educational exposure to the discipline. Therefore, all Chemistry majors will be required to take CHEM 336, Bio-Organic Chemistry, CHEM 436, Biochemistry I, and CHEM 435 Bio-Analytical Instrumentation Laboratory.
CHEM 435, Bio-Analytical Instrumentation Laboratory, is a result of recent improvements in biochemistry pedagogy. Advances in software and hardware allow for users of biochemistry instrumentation to use the instruments without understanding the chemistry behind the technique. Therefore, students can learn how to do the technique and take that knowledge into their lectures to help them better understand the fundamental chemistry behind the technique. It also allows them to have the necessary skills to begin doing research in biochemistry earlier in their education. As a result of this, CHEM 436 and 437, Biochemistry I and II, become three credit-hours courses. In an effort to minimize the impact upon student credit hours, and because the instrumentation used by biochemists is the same instrumentation used in other sectors of chemistry, the laboratory has been removed from CHEM 332 and the course reduced to two credit hours. CHEM 332 and
435 will be offered in the same semester so that students will have the option of taking the courses simultaneously or separately. Both courses will be required in all concentrations to increase student exposure to modern instruments and techniques, thus improving their competitiveness for biotech and pharmaceutical jobs with North Carolina employers.
One glaring weakness in the Chemistry curricula as they stand now is the fact that all chemistry majors do not study inorganic chemistry through the intermediate level. In addition to the disadvantages this creates for students interested in chemically and environmentally related jobs, the biochemical importance of metals means that our biochemistry students are especially disadvantaged with the current curriculum. The new requirement of CHEM 328, Elements of Inorganic Chemistry, for all concentrations corrects this weakness.
To minimize the impact on credit hours, many of the changes outlined above are being made at the expense of required electives within the concentrations. Although the department would prefer not to eliminate choice within the concentrations, the need for the new requirements and increased competitiveness that results trumps the positives associated with choice within the degree. The existence of choice in the current model is actually a fallacy. The variety of electives necessary to meet the demands of the different concentrations is impossible to achieve since it necessitates courses with enrollments lower than limits allowed by UNCA's administration. This results in students fulfilling their elective requirements with courses that are required in other concentrations. Eliminating the elective component from the concentrations and maximizing the number of identical courses required across all concentrations will allow the department to simultaneously balance its limited resources with needs of the students, the administration, and the faculty.