Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New angry studies department opposed

At some place called Kennesaw (GA) State University. The Marietta Daily Journal:
The creation of a new department at Kennesaw State University that would house various racial, gender and environmental programs has come under fire from one longtime KSU professor who sees it as a hive for radical indoctrination.

In the next month or so, KSU Interim Provost Dr. Ken Harmon will determine whether to greenlight a new department within KSU's College of Humanities and Social Sciences called The Department of Cultural and Regional Studies.

That department would have seven academic programs under its banner: African and African Diaspora Studies, Gender and Women's Studies, Environmental Studies, Asian Studies, Latin American Studies, Peace Studies and American Studies.
Funny how they stuck Environmental Studies in with the other junk.

So, who's going to stop this madness? What we need is a hero, preferably named Melvyn.
"This is being put together by a bunch of activists," said Dr. Melvyn Fein, a tenured professor of sociology at KSU.

"These folks do not have degrees in what they pretend to teach. To call it neo-Marxist is being very modest. These are activists who are going to use this to try and indoctrinate instead of teach."
Melvyn! (Sigh.)

But Arlethia Perry-Johnson [boo, hiss], KSU's vice president for external affairs, said the seven programs that would make up the new department already exist at KSU, and the proposal is to simply consolidate them into one department.

Bringing together professors who teach similar subject matter creates synergies and aides [sic] in communication, she said.
Synergies. I'm sold.
For example, at present, part of the Environmental Studies program is housed in KSU's College of Humanities and part of it is housed in KSU's College of Science and Mathematics, because students take courses offered by both colleges to shape their degree, based on whether their focus is more policy or science oriented, she said.

Perry-Johnson said the proposal for the new department has been created by the coordinators of each of the seven programs in question. They are: [blah, blah, blah]; and Thomas M. Pynn, assistant professor of philosophy, (peace studies).
,Peace studies, eh?
Pynn recently introduced KSU President Dan Papp at an event where he described "The Communist Manifesto" by Karl Marx as "a call to conscience." . . .
,Yep, peace studies.
Fein accused the professors in question of trying to push through subject matter in the proposed new department that they have failed to get approved in existing departments.

Once the new department is created, Fein said it would intrude on courses taught in other departments, by claiming to have a stake in them.

"It's going to be detrimental to the reputation of the university as a serious school," Fein said. There's a reason why programs such as women's studies are on the decline nationwide, he said.
Are they? The only school I could find even proposing to close its women's studies program is UNLV, which is trying to close 32 other degree programs as well.
"Departments are closing around the country because students have learned, among other things, that if they want to get a job they shouldn't major in them. If your major is in women's studies, any employer who hires you is crazy. You're hiring a lawsuit, for heaven's sake," Fein said.

Among the subjects offered under the Gender and Women's Studies program, according to KSU's website, are Gender in Popular Culture, Transnational Feminisms, Black Feminisms, and "Queer Theory and Sexuality."

The latter describes itself as "an interdisciplinary course that considers the global emergence and significance of theories and practices that 1) refute and destabilize the notion of an essential, normative sexuality and gender, and 2) suggest that sexuality is fluid and varied and is constructed by social, political, and economic factors."
Sexuality is fluid. Yuck. Sounds like it's a done deal, though:
Faculty from the departments impacted voted 33-4 in January to authorize the initiation of discussing such a proposal. A New York University consultant, Dr. Mary Louise Pratt, came to KSU in January to give advice for the program. She was paid $3,309 for her work.

Faculty then voted, 49-6 in favor of creating the program in a referendum from March 21 to 23. . . .

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