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RESOLUTION ON THE DEGREE PROPOSAL FOR A BACHELOR OF SCIENCE DEGREE IN ASTROPHYSICS AND A BACHELOR OF ARTS DEGREE IN ASTRONOMY

Approved by the Mānoa Faculty Senate
3/19/2014
unanimous


ISSUE #15.14


[PDF] (Transmittal)
[PDF] [DOC] (Resolution)

RESOLUTION ON THE DEGREE PROPOSAL FOR A BACHELOR OF SCIENCE DEGREE IS ASTROPHYSICS AND A BACHELOR OF ARTS DEGREE IN ASTRONOMY

Whereas, The University of Hawaii at Mānoa (UHM) does not currently have an undergraduate degree in astronomy or astrophysics; and

Whereas, The proposed Bachelor of Science Degree in Astrophysics (BSAP) and the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Astronomy (BAA) will prepare UHM students for careers in astronomy or related fields, and enable students to participate in astronomical research at the Institute for Astronomy (IfA); and

Whereas, The B.S. Astrophysics major is a rigorous option for students preparing for graduate studies in astronomy, astrophysics or physics with the long-term goal of a research career, drawing heavily on existing physics undergraduate courses in the Physics program at UHM; and

Whereas, The B.A. Astronomy major is intended for students planning careers in planetarium work, teaching, science writing, or other STEM-related fields, and integrates a number of existing astronomy courses into a coherent program; and

Whereas, Approximately half of the courses required for the BSAP and BAA majors are already being taught by current faculty of the Physics and Astronomy (P&A) Department and the IfA who will also teach most of the new courses, the resources needed for the new majors only require one new tenure-track faculty, one new instructor (I-2), and one new program secretary; and

Whereas, The Bachelor of Science in Astronomy major at the University of Hawaii at Hilo (UH Hilo) has a unique focus and emphasis that differs significantly from both the proposed BSAP and BAA majors at UHM, and for which Dr. Randy Hirokawa, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, UH Hilo, has expressed his support in writing; and

Whereas, From its inception, the emphasis of the IfA, as an Organized Research Unit, has been on research and graduate programs to support developing observational facilities and creating branches on Maui and the Big Island, but in 2001 and 2012 IfA external visiting committees strongly endorsed the creation of undergraduate astronomy or astrophysics majors in conjunction with the P&A department; and

Whereas, The IfAʻs peer institutions uniformly offer undergraduate majors in astronomy and/or astrophysics; and

Whereas, Both the P&A and IfA faculty have voted on and strongly support this initiative; and

Whereas, Tthere is interest from students for both of these new undergraduate degree programs based on surveys of current undergraduate students at UHM already enrolled in ASTR and/or PHYS introductory courses and Hawaiʻi high school students interested in an astronomy undergraduate degree as well as the annual number of email and phone inquires to the IfA from out-of-state students; therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Mānoa Faculty Senate approves the proposal to establish a Bachelor of Science Degree in Astrophysics and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Astronomy.


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