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Faculty meeting addresses supporting students, extended break

November 12, 2021

At the third faculty meeting of the year on Wednesday, the faculty addressed strategies for  supporting students, staff and each other. The meeting was facilitated by Associate Professor of English Emma Maggie Solberg, a member of the Governance and Faculty Affairs (GFA) Committee.

“GFA, in consultation with Dean [for Academic Affairs Jennifer] Scanlon, has decided to focus a major portion of the meeting to a discussion among faculty on ways to support each other and our students,” Solberg wrote in an email to the Orient.

This was the first faculty meeting since President Clayton Rose’s decision to expand Thanksgiving break to a full week.

The meeting began with a heartfelt tribute to Theo Danzig ’22 from his honors advisor, Professor of History Dallas Denery, followed by a moment of silence to honor his memory and his work.

“[Danzig] was a historian, after all. He thought stories mattered. And I think stories about Theo will always matter,” Denery said.

Typically, during each faculty meeting, Rose and Scanlon report on their work. The format of faculty meetings also allows for time for the faculty to ask Rose and Scanlon questions.

Rose thanked the faculty for their flexibility with the extension of the Thanksgiving break and announced that the memorial service for Danzig will be held Sunday, December 5 at 2:30 p.m.

“I would ask that on a Monday and Tuesday of break, we consider an official College break and by that, I mean no classes, no assignments and no office hours,” Rose said.

Scanlon reported that two professors, Todd Berzon, associate professor of religion, and Salar Mohandesi, associate professor of history, have been offered endowed positions. Berzon is now the Peter M. Small Associate Professor of Religion and Mohandesi is the Marvin H. Green Jr. Assistant Professor of History.

Furthermore, Scanlon announced that Denery is shifting to become a part-time associate dean of academic affairs, assuming the role full time in July of 2022. Stephen Perkinson, the current associate dean of academic affairs and professor of art history, will enter a brief sabbatical at the end of the academic year and will return to teaching in the fall of 2023.

Lastly, Scanlon announced that some offices are shifting locations in order to create a more equitable spread of departments and programs.

“Employing a DEI lens, we’re thinking about how we can address some of the issues of both curricula and geographic marginalization that members of our faculty and different departments feel as they’re doing our work on campus,” Scanlon said.

Scanlon announced that Asian Studies will be moving from College street to Kanbar Hall, Latin American, Caribbean and Latinx Studies will have a permanent home in Copeland House and the Baldwin Center is moving into Hawthorne-Longfellow (H-L) Library.

Following these announcements, the faculty discussed how they could support students, staff and themselves in confidential break-out rooms. Each group took notes and anonymously provided them to the GFA and the Department of Academic Affairs.

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