1.2 The Responsibilities of COCI and of Academic Units

Berkeley Division By-law 33 states that COCI is to give “full consideration to the views and conclusions of appropriate departments, departmental committees and representatives, and faculty members when matters related to their courses of instruction come before the Committee.” This recognizes COCI’s relation to academic departments and the importance of maintaining a clear and integral balance between the specific competence of departments and academic units in their own disciplines and areas of study, and the responsibility of the faculty as a whole (delegated, in these instances, to COCI) to guarantee consistency and fairness.

Berkeley is an academic community, and our students take courses across the disciplines. On the one hand, the faculty as a whole has the responsibility of ensuring that courses are conducted fairly and effectively, that University rubrics like credit units and breadth requirements are treated consistently, that requests for exceptions and variances are evaluated fairly, and so on. The Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate has charged COCI with this responsibility. On the other hand, academic units represent professional bodies in their disciplines, and as such are uniquely suited to decide on the appropriateness of specific topics and approaches. Questions of appropriate depth and breadth, necessary prerequisite training and knowledge, and appropriate standards of evaluation all belong to these units. COCI understands, and this document reaffirms, that its authority to take final action on all matters relating to instruction and assessment is to be understood in the context of academic units’ disciplinary competence.