Office of Speech may be closed

by Alicia Jennings | 8/5/94 5:00am

This fall, a faculty committee will consider the future of the Office of Speech because the pro-gram's lone professor is retiring.

Of the two professors teaching the program's three courses this past year, Goodwin Berquist retired at the end of the Spring term and William Brown is set to step down at the end of this coming winter, according to Mary Jean Green, associate dean of the faculty for Humanities.

The committee, which will be formed by the Dean of the Faculty Office, will make its recommendations to Dean of Faculty James Wright by the end of the winter.

The office is consulting with various faculty members this summer, Green said, including retired Professor Merelyn Reeve and former Speech Department Chair Herbert James.

The Board of Trustees approved a faculty vote in June1979, which dissolved the Speech Department, but continued offering speech courses.

Since then, speech courses have operated under the Office of Speech.

Though Green said the Dean of the Faculty Office can not predict what the faculty committee will recommend, she said possible options include hiring new professors, dissolving the office or incorporating it into another department.

"I'm sure a variety of options will be considered," Green said. "We don't want to foreclose any options to the faculty committee," she said.

Green said if the committee decides to keep the office of speech or incorporate it into another department, the College will need to quickly hire new professors so students can take speech courses in the spring.

There are no other faculty members specialized to teach speech courses, Green said.

The two summer speech courses were canceled because no professor was available, Green said.

"Professor Brown's retirement came about very suddenly," she said.

Berquist and Brown could not be reached for comment.

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