Our department is saved!

Rumours have been circling for the past two days about the status of the Dean’s plan, and although we don’t yet have an official announcement from the administration, we have had confirmation from Professor Keirstead, the chair of our department, that we should offically announce the good news:

The School of Languages and Literatures is dead!

Here’s a modified version of what Josiah Blackmore, Chair of Spanish and Portuguese, had to say earlier today:

The chairs of the “affected” units had a meeting with the dean and 3 vice-deans yesterday morning. More information will be coming later, but for the time the proposed School of Languages and Literatures is off the board, and departments for the foreseeable future will retain their autonomous status. The discussion with the dean was positive, so we have reason to be optimistic, although much work remains ahead. The dean outlined several tasks for our departments, including undergraduate enrollments (for some of the units), and other matters related to graduate applications and possible collaboration between programs. We are, however, being asked to address these concerns as autonomous departments, not as amalgamated units.

While this is certainly cause for celebration, we still remind everyone that we need to ensure that this kind of proposal is not brought to the table without fair and democratic consultation in the future. If we do not make significant changes to the way the administration at this university makes its decisions, our department is just as at risk as we were under the Dean’s Academic Plan. Unless we continue our fight to increase the transparency of the administration’s policies, we could very well be faced with a similar proposal in the near future.

For this reason, we highly encourage you to attend the UTEAU meeting on Monday, and help us to draft a document of our demands to present to the administration. More info can be found here.

Updates on the details of this news will follow as it unfolds!

– Julianne Kelso, Vice President