d.m. Classics Major at Howard

John McMahon just posted this to the Classics list … the salient excerpt:

Thornton described as “upbeat” and “very positive” the mood on the campus on Monday, as news of the changes spread. But that mood was far from universal, particularly in disciplines that saw their majors eliminated. “We’ve been relegated to second- or third-class citizenship,” said Rudolph Hock, associate professor and chair of the classics department, a post once held by Frank Snowden Jr., whose scholarship on the status and images of black people in antiquity earned him the National Humanities Medal in 2003, four years before his death. Howard has been the only historically black college to have a classics department since the institution’s inception, he said. “We’ve been marginalized considerably,” Hock continued. “We’re eunuchs.”

Hock was disappointed that four options that he and his colleagues suggested for re-engineering the discipline had failed. The proposed changes included reshaping classics into either an ancient Mediterranean studies program; classics and European studies; a pre-professional studies curriculum with Latin at its core; or classics and religion. Instead of any of these, classics will now be in a concentration that goes by the same name, but is part of an interdisciplinary humanities cluster and likely won’t grant degrees.

The only silver lining, in Hock’s view, is that current majors will be able to finish their degrees. The department’s eight faculty members help to graduate seven majors each year; recently, one was a Rhodes Scholar. Hock also worried about the impact of the decision on his colleagues. “There’s deep depression,” he said, adding that he is glad he is closer to retirement than to the beginning of his career. “The future of the classics here is beyond dismal.”

Earlier in the piece, folks were patting themselves on the back thusly:

“We no longer have to be everything to everyone,” Ribeau said in a statement, reflecting the view that Howard’s place in higher education has changed because it no longer needs to offer the broad range of programs it did when segregation prevented black students from enrolling at many universities. “We have identified specific areas of emphasis and we plan to be leaders in those areas.”

via News: A Leaner Howard U. – Inside Higher Ed.

… that’s it, lets take the universus out of university. A sad day for Howard … a sad day for Classics.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s