Elimination of Classical Studies: Timeline and issues of process

We were not allowed to speak before University Committee on Academic Policy (UCAP) meeting.  See entry for Dec. 10 below.


(Time line by most recent)

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Oct. 28:  The Dean informs Classical Studies faculty that our major will be eliminated and that we will be assigned full-time to teach general education (IAH)


Oct. 30:  The Provost announces the elimination of Classical Studies at the MUS Board of Trustees meeting.


Nov. 9:  Classics faculty circulates a statement outlining issues of concern: no money saved; contradiction of the Morrill Act; damage to MSU's reputation; comparisons with peer institutions:  link

Nov. 10 and 11: Open meetings for people to speak to the program elimination.  We were told that "commentary" from these meetings would be sent forward.  Notes from   the meetings were taken by college staff.

Nov. 12:  College Curriculum Committee meeting.  The committee was not asked to take a vote nor to give a recommendation regarding the elimination of Classics, even though there was a clear consensus against cutting the program.  Again we were told that commentary from the meeting would be sent forward, and again notes were taken by college staff.  Separate minutes from the meeting were not available as of Nov. 25.

Nov. 16:  The College sends paperwork to the University to begin the disbandment of Classical Studies.  This was done without the knowledge of our faculty or our chair, on the assumption that we would not approve.  This action is an apparent violation of normal university guidelines and  ignores the process of faculty review and academic governance.  An additional meeting for faculty input, scheduled for Dec. 3, had yet to take place.

Nov. 19:  Article on cutting the Classical Studies major appears in The State News, the MSU student newspaper:  link

Nov.  21:  The conclusion of an on-line petition drive to save the Classical Studies major has 1,647 signatures: link

Nov. 23:  Classics faculty and the department submit a plan for course offerings to the Dean in an effort to engage in discussions for the preservation of the major:  link to cover letter

Nov. 27:  Article in the Lansing State Journal:  link


Dec. 3: College Advisory Council (CAC) meeting.  Our department Chair, the Classics faculty, and supporters presented arguments against cutting the major.  Reading from a prepared statement, the Dean said the recently submitted Classics plan (which she had not discussed with the faculty) failed to address pertinent issues, and she cited cutting of instructor funds (we have none). The Classics faculty expressed its continued willingness to work with the College to find a solution that retains the major.


Dec. 10: Professor Norris and Professor Rauk were invited as unit representatives to make a short presentation about the elimination of Classical Studies at the December 10 meeting of the University Committee on Academic Policy:


UCAP invites representatives from the College of Arts and Letters and the Classical Studies Program to make a short presentation at the meeting to provide the rationale and implementation details for this request. Please let me know who will represent the College of Arts and Letters and the Classical Studies Program and of any time restrictions that must be considered in finalizing the agenda. Please note UCAP may invite others to provide their perspective on this request.

 

Associate Dean Swenson presented inaccurate and misleading information to the committee arguing that our program should be cut.  After a short discussion the Committee voted to approve the request "without concerns."  We were never allowed to speak.  Several individuals, however, were allowed to address the committee later in the meeting regarding another program.  After the meeting ended, Professor Rauk asked Marty Crimp, the Chair of UCAP, why we had not been allowed to speak.  He said that we had not followed UCAP procedures.  According to paragraph 3 of UCAP's Procedures for Public Comment, invited unit representatives, which we were, had priority; others who were not invited but who wished to speak were to contact the committee with a request at least one day before the meeting:


Beyond the unit representative(s) invited, a maximum of fifteen (15) minutes will be allotted to public comment on any one agenda item. Others who wish to speak to the agenda item should notify Ms. Sandra Walther (353-5380) no later than one day prior to the scheduled UCAP meeting. No more than five individuals will be granted a maximum of three (3) minutes to address the committee. Public comments will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

For reasons unknown to us, UCAP regarded us as "others" and as not invited representatives in contradiction of their communications with us and their own procedures.  Professor Crimp did not acknowledge departure from procedure and offered us no remedy.