Faculty in deactivated departments prepare for next three years

After officially being deactivated over a three-year horizon, the communicative disorders and sciences and studio art departments continue to develop curriculum and faculty plans that will allow them to graduate students enrolled in the programs.

Jon Gonder, dean of the School of the Arts, said that the studio art department is working on developing a "teach-out plan" that will meet the curriculum needs of students in the program who wish to complete their majors.

"That means putting together a plan for what courses are going to be offered at which points in the course rotation and it also means that we'll be canvassing the students to find out what some of their plans are," he said. "We don't know some of the specifics of what students are planning. We'll be sending a questionnaire to students to help us when putting together what courses we have to offer."

As for professors in the studio art department, Gonder said he had only heard mention of faculty members looking for jobs outside of Geneseo. Should there be a vacancy in the department that requires replacement, he said that he plans on hiring a part-time teaching replacement.

Linda House, chair of the communicative disorders and sciences department, said she plans to stay at Geneseo for the time being. Linda Spencer and Bob Owens have been offered positions elsewhere, and Dale Metz, who had plans to retire before the program deactivations were announced, will be leaving at the end of the semester. The remaining members of the department have no immediate plans to leave the college. The department is operating without a secretary.

House said that she feels that, although many have shown support, "In general, the tone of the campus is ‘how quick can we get rid of you?'"

House said that the students remain the department's highest priority as it confronts challenges.

"What's very, very important to me is that students get everything they can," House said. "That's really my goal day-to-day, to make sure that we're preparing them and giving them our best … That's what's keeping me here. They're great students."

House said she does not feel that there will be a major change in the undergraduate program even with the departure of several faculty members.

"I feel as though by the end of next year, we'll only be needing some upper-level courses in clinic and student teaching," House said. "As we cut down and have fewer and fewer classes, we don't need as many faculty … I really truly do feel that I can graduate everybody and they can have a good education."

The master's program in communicative disorders and sciences will be deactivated in May 2012 upon the graduation of the students who began the program in January.

House said that her department will have the opportunity to hire replacement professors as needed; Metz's vacancy has already been filled.

The computer science department declined to comment on plans for phasing out the program.