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Charged with engineering major changes in Wharton's undergraduate curriculum, the school's undergraduate curriculum committee will update the faculty on progress today. Last semester, the group proposed changes to the curriculum which would reduce the number of required business courses and increase the curriculum's flexibility. Students would be required to take courses in "the environment of business," which combine business topics and current societal issues. While the new curriculum's structure was officially approved by Wharton faculty at the end of last semester, the committee is still deciding upon specific course requirements and the faculty must accept the curriculum as a whole before its implementation. The curriculum committee will meet next week for the first time this semester to continue the revision process which it began two years ago. The committee's primary responsibility this year will be "to have the new curriculum operational for the class of 1994," said Janice Bellace, vice dean for the Wharton Undergraduate Division and a committee member. The committee this year is also considering a possible language or culture requirement. Committee Chairperson Jerry Rosenbloom said the requirement "has received wide initial support in principle" from faculty members. Several faculty members said that such a requirement is an important part of the new curriculum. "I am in favor of our students being more sensitive to operating in different cultural contexts," Bellace said. "The challenge is to devise a specific requirement that will provide students sufficient knowledge in light of their backgrounds." Insurance Professor Rosenbloom said he hopes to see the requirement implemented with the rest of the curriculum for the Class of 1994, but emphasized that no final decisions have been made on it and the plan may not be implemented until the following year. Wharton senior Becky Ozoa, a member of the committee, said the requirement needs to be implemented "if Wharton claims to be a well-rounded business school . . . but not necessarily at the expense of electives." Committee members said the new curriculum will broaden students' experience at Wharton. "It is designed to diversify the students' academic experience, particularly by having them fulfill requirements in the environment of business and its international dimension," Bellace said. Rosenbloom said the changes will make the curriculum more flexible. "It will keep up with what's happening in the future and will allow our students to adapt to the new [global] environment," he said. Rosenbloom said that Wharton is taking the lead with an innovative approach to undergraduate business education and said he "imagines that it will be watched by other schools."

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