Using Strand Committees to Build Faculty Support for Departmental Change

Jennifer Vandenbussche, Kennesaw State University
Lake Ritter, Kennesaw State University
Kadian M. Callahan, Kennesaw State University
Erik E. Westlund, Kennesaw State University


In this article, the authors propose a department-level curricular committee structure, called Strand Committees, as a mechanism to facilitate oversight and enact significant change to policies and practices in specific courses. The primary goal of the Strand Committees is improving both student success and instruction while upholding a high degree of shared governance. The focus of this paper is based around three recommendations encapsulating the philosophy of Strand Committees: increasing faculty buy-in for change efforts; capitalizing on the enthusiasm of a few faculty members to serve as change agents; and structuring the committees so participation is open, voluntary, and there is continuity to the work. The authors present the history and context of Strand Committees at a large, recently consolidated public university, highlight examples of successful and beneficial changes resulting from this work, and discuss how Strand Committees may lead to supporting improvements in teaching and learning in undergraduate mathematics.