While the Board of Trustees spent much of its meeting last weekend discussing ways to cut costs at the College, some time was dedicated to take care of usual business. As is typical for its February meeting, the Board reviewed faculty members who had been recommended for tenure.
All six faculty members who were recommended for tenure were approved. According to Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd, a seventh tenure review is still in process.
The faculty members who were granted tenure include Chuck Dorn, David Gordon, Aaron Kitch, Elizabeth Pritchard, Laura Toma, and Vin Shende. All six are current employees of the College.
"Our tenure standards are based on excellence in teaching and professional distinction in research or artistic production," Judd wrote in an e-mail to the Orient. "I am delighted to say that the group of faculty whom the Trustees approved for tenure fully embody those standards."
Dorn, a professor in the education department, is an education historian whose research focuses mainly on the civic functions of early childhood education, public elementary and secondary schools, and colleges and universities in America.
Gordon is a member of the history department. He was born and educated in South Africa, and his work is concerned with Africa and the environment. He is on leave this academic year and is working on a book that examines how religion and politics intersected in Zambia in the 19th and 20th centuries.
As a professor of religion, Pritchard teaches courses on religious thought in the modern West. Two of her published works are titled "Feminist Theology and the Politics of Failure" and "The Way Out West: Development and the Rhetoric of Mobility in Postmodern Feminist Theory."
Computer science professor Toma is currently teaching courses on data structures and geographic information systems (GIS) algorithms and data structures. According to her faculty Web site, much of Toma's work addresses scalability issues in GIS.
Kitch, a member of the English department, teaches courses in Renaissance literature, among other subjects. His research interests include economics and literature, early modern drama, genre in relation to social and political history, and the history of printing.
Shende is a professor in the music department. According to his faculty Web site, he is interested in composition, electronic music, music theory, rock music, and the influence of non-Western music and culture on Western concert music.
While all of the professors approved for tenure have achieved some level of acclaim within their fields, Shende and Kitch are also regarded as campus celebrities. Both are members of "Racer X," an '80s cover band that is wildly popular among Bowdoin students. Shende sings lead vocals while Kitch plays the keyboard for the band.
The Board of Trustees' approval for tenure is based on recommendations from the president, the dean for academic affairs, the Committee on Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure, and each candidate's academic department. These entities review each candidate's scholarly or artistic work, course material, and student opinion forms and letters of recommendation.
According to Judd, the six faculty members recently granted tenure "are gifted teachers, deeply committed to their students and to Bowdoin."
"At the same time, they are scholars and artists whose work is recognized nationally and internationally," she added.