Education professors plan response
Department unites to challenge a report's recommendation of its termination
Members of the education department met last week for the fourth time since April to prepare a collective response to an internal review committee's report which called for the department's termination.
Although individual faculty members refused to discuss specifics of either the report or their response, Education Professor Robert Binswanger, who will write the response, said it will include provisions for "structural and organizational changes" within the department.
In April, Dean of Faculty James Wright received the report and said he will not release it until the education department responds. The report cites mismanagement and internal strife as reasons for terminating the department, according to sources who have seen the report.
Binswanger said all seven of the department's professors are involved in the discussions and that the report will reflect all of their views. But Binswanger said it is difficult to reconcile the different opinions to produce a single document.
Binswanger said that while the professors disagreed about how the response should be written, they are united in their support for the department's continuation and its importance in a liberal arts institution.
"We are unanimous in feeling that an education department belongs on this campus. We feel we can make a strong argument for the continuation of a department," Binswanger said.
Binswanger said he expects to complete the response during the fall and hopes a final decision about the department's future will be made by the end of Fall term.
Termination of a department requires a majority vote from the entire faculty.
"This is not a done deal," Education Department Chair Faith Dunne said. "All that's happened is that there's been a report from a committee to a dean."
But Dunne said those currently pursuing a teaching certificate or a minor in education would not be affected by any decision terminating the department.
"Anyone currently on campus is going to be served as usual," Dunne said, adding that if the department were to be canceled it would not be "until all people who expect a program to be there have been served."