Outgoing Director Pleased with General Education Program’s Growth
Rodney Frey, who ends his three years as director General Education at the University of Idaho this year, said he has seen the vision of general education come to life in the curriculum. The faculty member in sociology and anthropology joined the General Education Steering Committee when he returned to campus in the summer of 2010 after a serious illness.
At that time, the committee was directed to revise general education at the university.
Rodney Frey“It is exciting, so satisfying to see it develop,” Frey said. “Its success is due in part to the team approach, a collective effort from so many faculty and administrators from throughout the university.
General Education makes a huge difference in students’ lives.
“General Education compliments one’s major at Idaho,” he said. “It is not a separate or competitive curriculum; it compliments it. It provides students with interdisciplinary creative thinking and communication skills. It nurtures empathy for others, a sense of oneself, sense of ethics — those moral principles so necessary in today’s world.”
Frey said he hopes the program will continue to grow and build on the excitement he witnessed.
“I am particularly pleased to see the Integrative Studies (ISEM 101, ISEM 301 and Senior Experience) and the American Diversity components added,” he said. “Our Gen Ed is the flagship Gen Ed in the state, reflective of national best-practices.”
General education is the largest academic unit with about 180 faculty members. It represents 36 of the 120 credits needed for graduation. ISEM 301 is found in six colleges and every unit has provided a senior experience course.
“Kenton, along with the deans and associate deans and the university faculty, will take the program to the next level,” Frey said. “There will be change in order to adapt to the future. In the school year 2015-16, the full vision of the Steering Committee’s 2010 work will be fulfilled.”
After stepping down, Frey will continue his faculty position in sociology and anthropology where he will be able to spend more time as the principal investigator fora major research grant with the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and assist his many graduate students.