Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Committee on the HASS Requirement records
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Scope and Contents
The collection documents the work of the Committee on the HASS Requirement, 1973 to 1980, which reviewed courses offered to fulfill requirements in humanities subjects. The records include course descriptions submitted for consideration by the School of Humanities and Social Science departments, notes about course content, reading lists, assignments, correspondence between committee members and department heads, reports about subjects under review, and a record of the final decisions. The courses represented go beyond those fields and disciplines traditionally labeled as “humanities.”
Records of a later committee on the HAAS requirement can be found in collection AC 536.
- Creation: 1973 - 1980
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A new form of requirement in the humanities titled the Institute Requirement in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) was approved by the faculty after extensive debate in 1974. It contained “two main features: a distribution component requiring students . . . to take at least three subjects in three separate fields from a selected list of humanistically oriented ‘distribution subjects,’ and a concentration component requiring students to take at least three or four subjects in a given field in order to achieve some degree of depth.”(1) A faculty committee, the Committee on the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Requirement, was established to administer the new requirement. Its major responsibilities were “1) to oversee the selection of Distribution subjects; 2) to review proposals for creating new Fields of Concentration; and 3) to decide which undergraduate subjects shall be eligible for elective credit under the terms of the Requirement.”(2) The committee was to include members from all the schools at the Institute.
The first change to the HASS requirement was made in 1982-1983 and included a significant redefinition of the criteria for humanities distribution subjects. In addition, the Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Science (now the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences) was given the responsibility for monitoring the working of the requirement and the committee ceased to exist.(3)
__________________ (1) Report to the President, 1973-74.
(2) Committees of the Institute, 1982-83.
(3) Report to the President, 1982-83.
2 Cubic Feet (2 record cartons)
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Processing Information note
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- Preliminary Inventory to the Records of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Committee on the HASS Requirement
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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