Arts and sciences faculty work together in faculty assembly
By: Cassie Glancy
Even though the College of Arts and Sciences is composed of nearly 100 degree programs, professors last Fri. came together united by a common goal; making sure the university becomes the best that it can be. They want their departments protected, so that the students’s educational needs are “happening here.”
There was a brief discussion on the new shortened format of student evaluations but the major discussion of the meeting was the 21st Century University Initiative.
Some faculty members are concerned that the new plan for the university is directed towards departments such as engineering and medical campus and not the liberal arts.
The 21st Century University Initiative was recently mentioned at the State of the University Address. President Ramsey urged the faculty and staff to push forward with the plan.
“We must invest; new dollars are required, and we cannot expect the state to be the source of these new funds.” Said Ramsey.
The 21st Century University Initiative does not explicitly say that arts and sciences will be short changed, but it does say that it will involve allocating resources strategically.
Some professors are worried that the “strategic” disbursement of funds means that the Department of Arts and Sciences will be left behind. As of right now, the department is among the least to receive grant money. It is a concern that the students’s best interest will not be met in the new plan.
“Students do not become a liberal arts major because they think they will make a lot of money, they become liberal arts majors because it makes them feel good,” said english Professor Matthew Biberman at the meeting.
Others are concerned about how quickly the plan will take place, and they are worried that if they do not act soon, that the Arts and Sciences could be treated unfairly. A big concern was several professors leaving the department and finding replacements that fit the integrity of the department.
Biberman says it is important for students to be aware of how the 21st Century University Initiative affects them. They need to be aware that faculty meetings happen and that their voices can be heard if they talk to their department chairs and professors who attend the meetings and tell them their concerns.