Helping faculty design classes for the new equity and justice course designation and addressing the changing educational landscape catalyzed by ChatGPT are two areas that Ashley Boyd, incoming director of University Common Requirements (UCORE), looks forward to addressing.
Boyd, a Washington State University associate professor of English, began her new position as UCORE director on Sept. 1. She replaces history Professor Clif Stratton, who served as UCORE director for the past four years before becoming the inaugural Pullman campus vice chancellor for academic engagement.
“Clif and the UCORE committee have done an exceptional job creating a cohesive set of experiences that provide students with a breadth of educational opportunities and transferable skills that are crucial,” Boyd said. “I am excited to join this work.”
A former high school teacher, Boyd’s tenure at WSU includes nine years of researching issues related to social justice education and teaching English education courses. She also spent the last four years as director of undergraduate studies in the English department, which has equipped her with insights into curriculum design and assessment that will prove useful in her new position leading UCORE.
“Dr. Boyd’s proven track record in social justice education and expertise in curriculum development make her an excellent choice to lead the UCORE program going forward,” said Elizabeth Chilton, provost and executive vice president and chancellor of the WSU Pullman campus. “We are confident that she will continue to build on the great work of Dr. Stratton and other former UCORE directors.”
Launched in 2011, UCORE offers a diverse range of courses across seven designations that are designed to provide students with a broad knowledge base and transferable skills to complement their major programs of study.
The newest course designation, equity and justice, was approved by the WSU Faculty Senate last year. It is an area that Boyd said she is particularly passionate about.
“My background is in social justice education, which I think will prove useful as we work with faculty on getting more classes into the new equity and justice course designation and differentiating those from courses in our existing diversity designation,” Boyd said.
Information literacy, as one of the WSU Undergraduate Learning Goals, is another fundamental component of UCORE, and Boyd said she recognizes the importance of reevaluating this aspect in the era of advanced technologies such as ChatGPT.
“Information literacy is a thread through all of our classes so I think we will probably have to revisit what it looks like in the era of ChatGPT,” Boyd said. It is a pressing issue in the English department and across the university right now and an area I look forward to helping our faculty and the UCORE committee address.”