University to remove minors from diplomas this spring

Starting next semester, graduating seniors may notice a ?minor? change on their diplomas.

Beginning with the graduating class of 2006, Carnegie Mellon diplomas will no longer include students? minors. However, diplomas will continue to list multiple majors received, and transcripts will list all information on academic achievements, including minors.

?The diploma is evidence of someone?s getting a degree ? BS, MS, etc. It is not a record of all accomplishments,? stated Vice Provost for Education Indira Nair. ?Our diploma was getting to be a cluttered piece of paper with all the majors, minors, etc. The diploma is not meant to carry information of that type. It is a certificate to the world that you did indeed get a degree ? that?s it.?

According to Nair, she and Director of Enrollment Services John Papinchak started looking seriously into the matter of removing minors about eight years ago, and focused on it particularly during 2000. At the time, the Undergraduate Course Catalog listed minors as an addition to the diploma.

Since the first catalog in which they could incorporate the change was the 2002?2004 version, Nair and Papinchak wanted to honor the diploma status of minors for all students under the previous catalog. As a result, they grandfathered the act for two years, until the first students coming under the new catalog graduate ? the class of 2006.

Two weeks ago, Papinchak informed Student Senate that the change in diplomas would take place in the spring.

According to Long Pham, chair of the Academic Affairs committee of Student Senate and senior in business and history, Academic Affairs met with Papinchak last Wednesday to discuss the possibility of grandfathering the change for an additional two years. This would accomodate current juniors and seniors who, according to Pham, entered CMU under the assumption that their minors would appear on their diplomas.

?It?s a pretty reasonable request,? said Pham, referring to the request for an additional two-year clause. Pham recognizes, however, that the University has the right to enact such a change in diplomas. ?It?s the University?s prerogative ? it?s their diploma granted to us.?

According to Pham, Papinchak is meeting with Nair this week to discuss the request.
???Grandfathering? has already been done for two years,? stated Nair in an e-mail. ?For all the above reasons, we are now implementing it in 2006 because the 2004 and 2005 students were grandfathered in. This grandfathering could go on for ever ? so I am not inclined to do any more grandfathering.?

Sean Weinstock, a sophomore in H&SS and a former student senator, disagrees with the decision. ?As a student body, we should have the right to a diploma in a shape that we?d like to see it,? he said.