As of March 4th, the Professional Writing Major was in the process of facing a merger with the English Department. Students in the Professional Writing Majors have since learned that the merger will no longer be happening, as confirmed in a statement by the Chair of the Writing Department, Dr. Patrick Ryan. He had this to say:
“In September, 2014, Dean Alexander submitted a proposal to merge the Department of Writing with the Department of English. The proposal was carefully crafted as a way to economize during projected University budget shortfalls. Members of the Writing Department were opposed to the merger because we felt that we could better address the needs of our students as an independent department. Dean Alexander engaged members of both departments in discussion, and together we formulated a set of measures to economize without merging the Department of Writing with the Department of English. The dean has withdrawn her proposal to merge our departments in favor of those alternative measures drawn from her discussions with us. The Department of Writing will remain an independent academic department.”
Members of the Writing Department are grateful for Dean Alexander’s careful, constructive response to our concerns and recommendations. In our conversations about
her proposal to merge the departments, she listened not only to us faculty members but also to writing majors who wrote to express their concerns. In these discussions, Dean Alexander demonstrated effective leadership. As a strong academic dean, she acted as “prima inter pares,” first among equals, with her faculty, and the outcome will benefit our students.
I must recognize the work of three editors for our campus newspaper, The Echo. In the March 4 edition of the paper, Jordan Sprogis, Dakota Sarantos, and Leo Budnick co-authored an article on the proposed merger. Along with information from an interview with me, the article quoted students, thus giving them a voice on this important question. In the same issue of The Echo, Mr. Kyle Venditti submitted a carefully written opinion essay on the proposed merger, an essay that expressed ideas shared by many of the Writing majors with whom I spoke. In their writing, Jordan, Kyle, Leo, and Dakota represented our department and our university well.
– Dr. Patrick Ryan