The Dartmouth Observer

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Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Save Classics and Stop Quibbling!

Over on Dartlog, Christian Hummel makes a good point in echoing Professor Edward Bradley's criticism of the announcement of the "Center for Teaching and Learning," which reportedly will cost the school $3 million. The Classics department has gotten horrendous treatment from the College in the last few years; the College is unwilling to hire qualified replacements for several of the professors approaching retirement. As it stands, more than a quarter (four) of the faculty (only 15 total) are visiting professors or lecturers, while a few others are nearing the end of their academic careers. Speaking from, among other things, the very real fear that the department is approaching either extinction or mediocrity, Bradley made this criticism:

"I just wish there were a little more discussion," Bradley said. "I speak from a small department who has been denied the replacement of a senior faculty member, where $3 million is not a small item."

The understatement in Bradley's words probably needs to be explained to Administrative types -- even a portion of the amount is enough to salvage a department with a history of significant contributions to its field. It would be nice to have this issue brought to the general attention of the Dartmouth community. It would be nicer to have people care.


As an aside, I find it amusing that in the immediate post above Hummel's, Emmett Hogan accuses the Left of propagating semantics. It would seem to me that Hummel's small jab against The D is nearly as quibbling as any on the part of the Left (a position that I am not writing from). Furthermore, it's a longstanding Review convention to point out any last exclusion of the Review's name in The D.

As for the idiotic slight itself: "The Daily Dartmouth's account of Wright's faculty address may not be accurate (that's the risk of using the D)"), Hummel is in no position to talk -- unless he happened to have attended Wright's speech (unlikely since he's an '01). Also, when the Review starts to attempt to practice something resembling journalism again, it can regain the right to criticize.

Matthew Kelly's article was solidly written and not the typical D screed that gets torn apart on smarterdartmouth. If Hummel wants a "more accurate" story, perhaps he should eschew newspapers in favor of the full printed text of the speech. Or perhaps he can check out a video of the speech at his local Blockbuster if the text doesn't give him the full picture. But I digress...