Filed under Columns

Dying Languages

Three faculty members are leaving the Emporia State department of English, Modern Languages and Journalism soon, causing some stress on the department. Susan Kendrick, Roxane Riegler and Joshua Easterling have spent countless hours of hard work helping students attain greater knowledge and will be missed considerably.

Though the department is aware of these partings, the university has yet to hire any replacements. Mel Storm, chair of the department of English, Modern Languages and Journalism, said they will have 13 tenured or tenure-track professors and several adjuncts.

Though this may not seem to be a small number, the EMLJ department produces more general education hours than any other department at ESU.

The low amount of teachers in the department will cause some stress, not only among the faculty, but also among students who will be taking these courses. Teachers might have to take on so many classes that they won’t be able to truly focus on one class at a time. They might also be forced to cover a class with which they have no previous experience.

If a teacher isn’t able to focus or is too weighed down with stress, then their class will undoubtedly suffer. Not only will the small number of teachers cause the EMLJ department to thin, but it has already caused some classes to be canceled. Along with the three faculty members already leaving, Amy Sage Webb will be on sabbatical next semester, and Jim Hoy will be retiring after the fall.

So what should the university do to avoid future conflicts that will most likely arise out of this? The answer would be to hire on new faculty. Don’t just let them drop like flies. It may cost the university, but I’m sure we can survive without a new natatorium or a new honors college for a while so we can fund our existing, but thinning departments.

If we hire more professors and instructors, we wouldn’t have to worry about who would have to teach five or six different classes or canceling classes students either need or are deeply interested in. If we bring some new faces to campus, we can increase our productivity and the quality of our English program.

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