Harvard is in the process of reviewing its undergraduate curriculum and requirements. The latest report, available here, ends with a nice Eph reference.
The Committee recognizes that a program of general education that
offers such a high degree of student choice carries with it the enduring responsibility of the Faculty to create and
maintain those courses — departmental and extra-departmental
courses — that are best suited for general education. The responsibility to improve and deepen teaching in science and
international studies, for example, will — to repeat the words of the Report on the Harvard College Curricular Review of April 2004 — depend less on the number of student requirements
than on the number and quality of commitments made by the Faculty to
the teaching of these and other dimensions of general education at the highest level and with the greatest rigor. This
challenge is nothing less than a test of the Faculty’s commitment to
the principles of a liberal education. “Why should all of the creative and liberating ideas for liberal education be left to the
small residential liberal arts colleges?” Peter Gomes has asked,
adding: “With Harvard’s resources and opportunities we could be both Harvard University and Williams College.” We share this view and offer this document as the basis for constructive discussion, creative elaboration, and engaged debate among our colleagues.”
Great stuff. Kudos to whomever nominated Gomes as a Baccalaureate Speaker in 2004.
But good luck turning Harvard into Williams. Harvard faculty, as a group, have very little interest in providing written feedback on undergraduate work. Until that changes, a Harvard education will, on average, be inferior.