Commentary  Suggested changes

Re: “The cultural conglomerate” | Health and Education | November 17

I am writing you regarding Joseph Henry’s article on language and culture departments. I would like to suggest some corrections. For example, Henry stated, “The plans are currently being deliberated by a confidential working group led by Associate Dean Suzanne Morton;” I would like The Daily to note that these meetings of the working group are not confidential, and that all issues discussed in the working group are open to the public. Associate Dean Morton said she would be more than happy to send the Arts Undergraduate Society the final report of the working group, which is due at the end of this month.

In addition to this, I attended the Faculty of Arts committee meeting today, where both AUS president David Marshall and I raised concerns over this presently debated amalgamation to Dean of Arts Christopher Manfredi as well as Associate Dean Morton. What they both made clear is that this is not a reactive move to cuts in funding, as implied in your article, but rather an investment that will result in, I quote Dean Manfredi, “new hires and new teaching programs.” They also noted that the real challenge to this move would be to ensure that they do not undermine the graduate students who teach in these respective departments.

In the meeting today, Andrew Piper, who is an assistant professor in the department of German Studies, noted that he was concerned about the lack of student knowledge of this change. The Arts Undergraduate Society acknowledges that this is a real issue and we will be working with faculty members and students from the involved departments to engage and inform students during the process of these changes in unique consultative forums. We are looking forward to organizing an event in the new semester so that the views of Arts students are suitably consulted in this reorganization.

Jade Calver
U2 Political Science
AUS VP Academic