A new addition to the University Archives documents work and discussions around a major revision of undergraduate course requirements at UNC in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The “Committee to Review the Undergraduate Curriculum” was formed in 1978 and was chaired by English professor Weldon Thornton. The “Thornton Committee,” as it was often called, proposed expanding general education requirements for all undergraduates. The committee’s recommendations were the subject of debate (and sometimes protest) on campus as students and faculty discussed the role of the university in determining the path of each student’s education.
After many meetings and a full revision of the report, the committee’s recommendations were approved by the faculty council in 1981. These records provide an in-depth look at the complicated and contentious process to reform the curriculum at UNC.