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The Quindecim has 103 articles published.

Charm City: Documentary Review

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Photo Credit: IMDb.com

The ‘C’ in Charm flickers. The documentary title, Charm City, switches between Charm and Harm City, and then it begins. Scenes of the streets of Baltimore cascade across the screen: men smoking on a front stoop, a young girl peeking out her window, a police cars lights flashing in a dark alley. This is Baltimore.

Baltimore is known, throughout the country, as a crime ridden city. Its streets filled with needles, drugs, and murders.

It’s not until you get to know the city that you realize how much more this city really has to offer. Baltimore is filled with beautiful, old buildings, museums, waterfronts, universities, and much more that I have yet to explore. The rumors, however, do still ring true. Much of the city is still filled with violence, and inequality.

The documentary follows the efforts, of many different Baltimore natives, to lower the crime rate, keep their communities and families safe, and prove to everyone that their city is much more than just a murder rate reaching the top of the charts. The audience gets insight on one community member, and his entourages efforts in their neighborhood. Mr. C runs the Rose Street Community Center. He is the communities guide, wisdom filled master, and man with all the answers. He is respected and has many young men and women that look up to him, and see him as their leader. Through him, and Rose Street, there are several programs being run: a street cleanup crew, conflict mediation crew, and a youth group to keep the children active, and off the streets.

We then follow a police captain and her team, through a normal 12 hour day tolling the city for crime. However, we get a glimpse of the good as well, when we are shown scenes of one officer joining in on a game of cards, or stopping by to listen to a marching band practice. Those were the moments of hope, of true connection the producer gets through to the audience so seamlessly.

The last person showcased, who has made huge efforts to lower the crime rate, is Baltimore’s youngest councilman Brandon Scott. He initiates the discussion of making the city’s efforts interdisciplinary, so that the sole responsibility does not lay on the police forces shoulders, but instead is spread across public safety, and public health and even the school system.

Everyone’s efforts have already made a difference in decreasing the violence rate. The natives were so open, and willing to share the occurrences of their daily lives over a span of three years with the filming crew, and the filming crew so respectful about not intruding or intervening into their daily lives. This documentary will definitely make you want to get out there and make a difference, so, let’s do it!

BY AMELIA MEIER

Epistle for the Man at Mary Fisher

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Photo credit: events.goucher.edu

you say “have a good lunch”
I say “thank you” with my plates full of food-

 

your hand, however

empty,

waving to me as you round the corner to wash a dirty dish or two and restack the supply.

 

you sprinkle “what’s going on with you”

I question “how many more hours you have today?”

 

You stroll

And I pace

 

you mean to say “that food looks good,”

 

I mean to say “i wish you could eat with me”


You wave and your eyes linger but we both know its an embrace

 

you mean “i missed you”

 

I mean to say “where can i meet you after your shift”

 

you hustle and I rest,

 

sipping my ginger ale by the fountain,

my Vision becomes hazy:

bodies running past and through, by me and away from me, with their plates of food, the

workers in their white and blue,

All become a blur of vertical lines,

daydreaming;

in Mary Fisher of the day a shift manager or a table of friends doesn’t need our return.

BY ANONYMOUS

The Fight Against Mining in Ecuador: Educate Yourself!

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One of the waterfalls of Las Gemelas has been visibly discolored orange and brown since the summer of 2016. Photo Credit: Kate Longabaugh.

In July 2018, I traveled to Junín in the region of Intag, Ecuador to assist environmental studies professor Emily Billo in her research on resistance to resource extraction. As we walked through Junín’s Community Eco-Reserve to test the water for contamination, I could see the negative effects of the exploratory mining activities on the landscape. There was visible deforestation and erosion from mule trains carrying drilling equipment in and out of the reserve. My companions told me how they used to be able to hear many different kinds of birds; now I could only hear the loud hum of generators and drilling in the distance. Then there was the water which was visibly discolored orange or brown in some places.

Junín is well known for its highly biodiverse cloud forests. However, these could soon be destroyed by the creation of an open pit copper mine. Negative effects are already emerging in the water from mining exploration in the area, including increased conductivity, acidity, and toxic elements. The environment is also affected by deforestation, landslides, and loss of biodiversity. In addition to these effects, Junín and other communities that subsist on the land, raising cattle, practicing fair-trade coffee production, and eco-tourism would be displaced.

The small campesino community of Junín has been fighting mining for over 20 years.

In the 1990s, Japanese company Bishi Metals began exploration for copper. Community organizers, supported by the national environmental organization Acción Ecológica and the local environmental organization Defensa y Conservación Ecológica de Intag (DECOIN), mounted a resistance and ejected Bishi Metals. However, in the mid-2000s, Canadian company Ascendent Copper arrived. Confronted with community resistance that even challenged Ascendant’s hired paramilitary squad, the company left the region by the end of 2008. The documentary Under Rich Earth (2008) covers this incident and is available on YouTube.

The situation in Intag worsened after the 2008 election of president Rafael Correa, who promoted ‘post-neoliberal’ policies. Correa criticized exploitation by multinational corporations and introduced a new model of extraction led by the Ecuadorian state. Yet state control over extraction has not been better for all Ecuadorians as the state has criminalized anyone who protests extraction. The government also closed some environmental organizations and made it hard for organizations to get international funding.

Under Correa, the state-owned mining company of ENAMI partnered with CODLECO of Chile to explore minerals in Intag. In 2014, they forced entry with national police into Junín and their Community Ecological Reserve. While the community has rights to the surface of the land, the state has rights to the subsurface minerals. ENAMI kept a police presence in the area and even jailed the former president of Junín, Javier Ramírez, for 10 months under dubious charges. This presence led to a breakdown of community and people kept more to themselves. Divisions among families and friends had already existed for a while but worsened during this period of surveillance.

During our time in Junín, Professor Billo and I found that there were some changes in the social environment. ENAMI and CODELCO have solidified their presence over the past four years, employing local residents directly and indirectly. Other locals held to their values and made their living through more sustainable options of eco-tourism and fair-trade coffee. Miners and anti-miners were interacting again after previously ignoring each other, but the controversial topic of mining was off limits. However, life had already been permanently impacted by the past police presence and anti-mining residents in Junín still keep to themselves and their houses as Junín has become a company town for ENAMI.

In talking to community organizers, we found that the fight continues and protest still exists, but it’s not as strong or organized as it used to be. As one organizer shared, rather than being a step ahead of the company like before, they are a step behind. They don’t have the same financial resources as before and instead pay out of pocket to go to meetings and protests. Many community organizers are women, presenting a double or triple burden for them as they balance employment, household chores, and caring for children together with resistance efforts.

Yet there is still hope. Two other major mining projects in southern Ecuador have been temporarily halted for concerns related to water contamination and other environmental and social impacts. Although the current president of Ecuador, Lenín Moreno, is from the same political party as Correa, Moreno has not taken a strong stance on state mining and these recent halts suggest a possibility to slow or stop extractivism. In December, ENAMI’s Environmental Impact Statement will expire, concluding a 4-year exploration phase, but the company has petitioned the government to extend this phase. If not granted, the company would enter a 4-year analysis phase which would mean the company would employ fewer local residents. Additionally, in February there will be local elections, and organizers hope to see the success of some anti-mining candidates giving the resistance a stronger voice in the government.

Community organizers asked us to spread the word of their situation and fight so that more people know what is happening in Intag. Please share what you have just learned with others! If you’re looking for more information or ways to help, DECOIN continues to engage in anti-mining resistance efforts with residents of the region.

There will be an ICA to Ecuador in Summer 2019, which will spend a few days in Junín and the cloud forest region of Intag to learn more about organized resistance to mining and the sustainable alternatives some community members pursue. If you’re interested in learning more, the Info Session for Ecuador ICA is on Friday, October 19th, 3-4 p.m. in JR 251.

BY KATE LONGABAUGH

The Baltimore Intercollegiate Alliance: What Is It, Who Is It, and Why Should I Care?

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Picture source: Ad posted by Maddie Wolf on the Baltimore Intercollegiate Alliance Facebook page

The Baltimore Intercollegiate Alliance (BIA) is an organizing group created and run by Baltimore-area students at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Maddie Wolf, a senior at MICA, said that “the BIA is a coalition network of students who are engaged in activism, advocacy, and organizing . . . What we are trying to do is to use our collective power and connection to leverage our institutional power to create positive change in Baltimore and on our campuses.” The organization was started by a group of students after the 2016 presidential election. After a formative period of self-organizing and establishing relationships around the city, the BIA has grown from a core base of members to actively creating events that give space for intercollegiate relationships to form.

An example of this relationship-building manifested itself in the collaborative process of creating and running the group’s first event, hosted on September 23rd at the 2640 Space. A number of Goucher students are already involved with the BIA. Three of these students (James Williams, ‘19, Zoe Brown, ‘19, and Noah Block, ‘21) all worked with students from other colleges in the Baltimore area when planning this first event. Block remarked that the collaborative process of planning this event “gets to the goals and values of BIA, which is to promote collaboration and [our] approach to the values of justice and equity that we’re fighting for and we can’t do that in silos. [BIA] provides a leadership path for people from different campuses to engage with each other collaboratively and meaningfully across campus boundaries and communities.”

The BIA defines its mission and values in an organizational manifesto. According to that document,  the members of the group believe in promoting “direct action,” “building and sustaining relationships with community organizations,” and “challenging political influence on social institutions.” At this first event, Steph Saxton, a graduate student from Johns Hopkins University, spoke directly to all of these tenets while talking about the organization Students Against Private Police. This organization was started in March 2018 in response to Johns Hopkins University’s administration creating a bill to begin making a police force that Saxton described as “separate from BPD, to patrol the campuses and the surrounding neighborhoods.” This action did not involve input from students, faculty, or members of the local community. The organization protested, testified in Annapolis, and the bill was pulled because of “student efforts.” “We do have student power,” Saxton said and stressed that the group had support from other organizations, including the BIA. “All of us are in this room right now because we believe, in some way, that student voices can speak to these institutions against their natural inclination towards capital accumulation,” Saxton said, “we believe that we can stop these institutions from their extractive practices on poor and Black Baltimore, and that’s what we want to do.”

The BIA’s manifesto also states that the organization “[strives] to mobilize the Baltimore college student body.” Sonia Borenstein, a student at UMBC, spoke directly to this point during her presentation on mobilization, which she defined as “people coming together, usually in grassroots causes, working towards a common goal with a drive for getting it done with specific goals and plans in mind.” Borenstein emphasized the importance of mobilization, stating that “it has always been the mass mobilization of people that has truly gotten change to society.” Mobilization, she said, involves “showing up, showing you’re there, sending your voice, your aid, your time, your labor, your dedication all to the goals you’ve collectively set up.”

The event concluded with students gathering together to begin brainstorming different goals for the academic year. These goals included holding those in power on campus accountable, focusing on mental health, opening up conversation about sexual assault, and “active LGBTQIA inclusion on campuses.”

One of the most critical elements of how the BIA functions is that it runs off of student power. As a student on a campus in the greater Baltimore area, each of us has the ability to add our own insights on current political issues. Those insights and connections to our own identities help generate momentum around current social movements. The only way to make that happen is to show up. To connect with the BIA,  join their contact list at bit.ly/JOINBIA.

BY SKYLER AIKERSON AND NEVE LEVINSON

2018 Baltimore NEDA Walk: Hope, Strength, Recovery

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Photo Credit: NEDA Walk shirt obtained by Anonymous

The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) is a “nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders.” NEDA’s vision is a world without eating disorders, and their mission is to support and serve as a “catalyst for prevention, cures, and access to quality care.”

Every year, all throughout the country, NEDA hosts walks to raise money and awareness about eating disorders. NEDA walks are a great way for people with connections to eating disorders to seek support from a community of people who understand what it’s like, support those who need it, hear empowering messages from speakers, and be a part of something bigger.  

On Sunday, September 30th, Goucher hosted the NEDA walk at the Dorsey Center. After getting a chance to check in, participants had time to meet other people at the event and talk to representatives of NEDA programs before a voice came through the speakers and announced Kara Richardson Whitely as the first speaker of the morning.

Kara is a motivational public speaker, an author, a mother, and she is in recovery from an eating disorder. In her speech, she shared how, as a part of her recovery, she’s climbed to extraordinary heights, both figuratively and literally, by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro three times.

The second speaker of the day was Andrew Walen. Andrew is an author, speaker, advocate, and certified eating disorder specialist with expertise in males with eating disorders. He joked about how he didn’t know what to say until five minutes before getting in front of everyone, but in his speech, he talked about his battle with an eating disorder, how he overcame it with the help of his wife and son, and he talked about all the amazing things he’s seen people do in recovery, which I saw as very impactful for men with eating disorders because, while eating disorders aren’t as common in men, around one-third of those with eating disorders are male.

After the speeches, the walk began. We gathered behind the NEDA banner and started to walk from the Dorsey Center, around the Loop Road, between Stimson and Heubeck, down Van Meter, and back to Dorsey. In the concluding announcements, three individuals and one team were identified and recognized for their fundraising contributions. After that, people started to dwindle away, and the walk ended.

One year ago, I sat in my P. Selz dorm on Goucher’s campus struggling with my own mental health. But this wasn’t something new to me. I have struggled with mental illness for my entire life. I won’t get into numbers, but I have been in a multi-year long battle with an eating disorder. A year ago, I wasn’t a person; I was the embodiment of my eating disorder pretending to be me.

Before I came to Goucher, I had an entire team of medical professionals telling me to not go to school and to go back into treatment instead, but I refused. I knew what I was getting myself into, but that’s the thing about being sick with an eating disorder: it can make you feel in control and like nothing can hurt you – until something does and you have to leave everything you love behind.

My eating disorder caused an avalanche of events that ruined my life, sending me to the ground in shambles. I didn’t know where to start picking up the pieces to attempt to tape them back into place, so I eventually got up and I went to treatment. And I pretended to be okay until I made it back to school. Then I crashed again, this time harder and faster and in a more devastating way than before. Only this time I didn’t get up. I didn’t even pretend. I was done fighting.

I was done until I, the real non-eating disorder me, asked myself to try one more time. I got myself into to treatment and instantly regretted it. I hated every minute of being there at first, but slowly my mind started to shift. Was this recovery? I wasn’t going to question it because it was forward momentum, real progress! I am standing here proud to say that while yes, my recovery is very little after time and time again of trying and failing, it’s enormous to me and my supporters.

The 2018 Baltimore NEDA Walk was my first walk where I was fully in recovery. It was both inspiring and empowering for me and my recovery. And I hope it is the same for others who are recovered, in recovery, finding recovery, and those who are supporters.

I know it’s hard to find hope and healing, but it is possible. If you’re struggling, reach out for support. Recovery IS possible. You are worth it and you are enough.

BY ANONYMOUS

Public Safety Blotter

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The Quindecim is granted access to information about violations of the Goucher College Code of Conduct and Academic Honor code. The information below was obtained from The Office of Public Safety and is publicly available. This weeks blotter consists of incidents that occurred between September 5th, 2018 and September 19th, 2018.

PUBLIC SAFETY INCIDENT REPORTS

9/05/18 – 9/19/18

Alcohol/Drug

  • Student drug violation in Stimson
  • Student drug violation in Mary Fisher
  • Student drug violation in Froelicher
  • Student drug violation in Mary Fisher
  • Student drug violation in Trustee’s Hall

Fire Safety

  • Accidental fire alarm in Heubeck
  • Fire alarm malfunction in Mary Fisher
  • Fire alarm malfunction in the SRC

Injury /Medical Emergency

  • Ill/injured person in Van Meter (Ex-cleared)
  • Medical emergency on campus grounds
  • Medical emergency in P-Selz
  • Medical emergency in P-Selz
  • Medical emergency in Trustees
  • Medical emergency in Heubeck
  • Medical emergency in Athenaeum
  • Medical emergency in Heubeck

Vehicle Incident

  • Motor vehicle accident, Mary Fisher
  • Motor vehicle accident in the SRC parking lot

Damage/Vandalism

  • Vandalism in Trustees Hall
  • Vandalism in the Athenaeum

Goucher Phases Out Majors, Student Reaction Leads to Town Hall Meeting

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Credit: Flyer emailed out by OSE

This summer, Goucher announced that it would be phasing out programs that were not popular among the students, reducing the amount of academic majors from 33 to 25. The process came from a decision by Goucher College’s Board of Trustees, which warned that without a cut to costs, Goucher would face financial trouble. Goucher stresses, however, that the college has maintained its “A-“ credit rating after a “very thorough review” by the Standard and Poors this past summer.

The review process involved a team of 13 faculty members, called the Internal Review Team (IRT), who reviewed student data to come to a conclusion. Some of the data was sourced from “course evaluations” submitted in the past three years, which was then analyzed by the IRT and approved by external reviewers. The result was the discontinuation of eight courses as majors. Classes within these disciplines will still be offered.

Responses to the initiative, called “academic revitalization,” range from unsurprised to outraged. In response, a town hall meeting was assembled between President Bowen, the Board of Trustees, a few faculty members, and students. During the student input section of the meeting, senior Langston Cotman voiced his frustration.

“I think looking at data is different from student input…I have heard ‘majors you want,’ I have heard ‘voting with your feet,’ and now I’m hearing in this next process you want to actually hear our voices. I would have loved if you’d started with that.”

Acting President of Goucher Senate Samuel Anderson agrees that Goucher’s primary mistake was one of communication.

“I think that the academic revitalization process was certainly flawed in many stages of communication. This represents an underlying problem that exists here at Goucher and that students are organizing and advocating change.”

Goucher’s decision to phase out certain programs is not unique. According to the Baltimore Sun, seven Texas universities eliminated their physics programs, while the University of the District of Columbia cut 17 of their own programs, including physics, in recent years.

At the town hall meeting, theater professor Michael Curry spoke about his role in the Internal Review Team.

“Nobody on the faculty chose to do this work, we all knew what it meant, but we also knew that it was extremely important for this to happen for the college to survive.”

The immediate threat to Goucher’s survival was left unclear. All that was said in the meeting was that the Board of Trustees felt it necessary to prioritize programs to avoid raising the cost of tuition beyond inflation adjustments. The students, however, still demand that the process be more transparent.

“We need more in-the-moment relational transparency from the administration about decisions being made, as well as their vision for Goucher,” said a pamphlet handed out by student activist Zoe Gilmore. “We need a mechanism for continued transparency.”

JOSHUA GREENBERG

The Quindecim Fall 2018- Spring 2019 Ad Rate Card

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The Quindecim

The Independent Student Newspaper of Goucher College

______________________________________________

Advertising Rate Card

2018-2019 Academic Year

The Quindecim
Goucher College
1021 Dulaney Valley Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21204
Email: quin@mail.goucher.edu

Hello:

It is with great pleasure that we, The Quindecim, Goucher College’s student-run newspaper, submit our rate card for the 2018-2019 academic year. Our newspaper serves over 2000 students, alumni, faculty, staff, and parents at Goucher College and in the greater Baltimore community. Located in the heart of Towson, Maryland and only minutes from businesses in downtown Baltimore and around the beltway, Goucher College is a diverse community whose members are important and loyal patrons to your business.

Below is our list of advertising prices, our policies, our publication schedule, and our contact information. Please let us know how we can assist you.

Advertising Rates:

Half Page (10.0” W x 6.5” D)              $ 170.00

Quarter Page (6.0” W x 6.5” D)          $ 100.00

Eighth Page (4.0” W x 6.5 D)             $ 50.00

Online Advertisement         $ 25.00

    (on website and social media)

Goucher College, its employees, organizations, and students receive a 10% discount.
All ads (except classifieds) must be press-ready. Ads that require typesetting, reduction, enlargement, alteration, or additional artwork will be charged an additional 5-10%.

Please contact us for a Fall 2018 publication schedule.

Placement information:

Space must be reserved and copy received by 5:00 pm on the day of deadline unless other arrangements are made with the Editors-in-Chief. Please do not attempt to deliver artwork directly to our office without calling ahead to make arrangements.

Sending artwork and advertising information electronically is preferred. Please send artwork as a JPG, TIF, GIF, BMP, or PDF file. JPG is our most preferred format.

Space and placement is on a first-come, first-serve basis, unless The Quindecim is otherwise contractually obligated.

Placement and inclusion of advertisements is at the discretion of The Quindecim Editorial Board, who reserve the right to change page placement, alter ad sizes to meet our column in requirements, and to cancel reserved ads. You will be contacted in the extremely rare event that a change needs to be made. If a refund is warranted, we will promptly provide one.

Proof of publication and/or billing information will be sent within 8 days of publication, if requested. If payments are not made within 30 days, an additional $35 late fee will be charged for every 60 days overdue, up to $140.

If you have any questions about advertising in The Quindecim or would like to reserve space, we will be glad to assist you.

Sincerely,

Olivia Baud, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Katie Monthie, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The Quindecim, The Independent Student Newspaper of Goucher College
quin@mail.goucher.edu

Please send all ad copies to:
quin@mail.goucher.edu

It’s More than the Title – Crazy Rich Asians

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For the first time in a quarter of a century, Hollywood has made a rom-com movie with an all Asian cast entitled Crazy Rich Asians. Starring Constance Wu, Harry Shum Jr, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, Remmy Tan, Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding and so many more, the lineup is breaking grounds. This book turned movie is hitting the big screen on August 17, 2018 and is one of the few blockbuster films starring Asians in lead roles (but the only one with a full Asian cast) this summer. Backed by Warner Brothers and directed by Jon M. Chu, known for Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Step Up and Now You See Me 2, the trailer for the highly anticipated movie dropped on April 23 on The Ellen Show.

Now, for some, the plot may seem a bit too generic. Rich man falls in love with a poor woman, decides to introduce her to his family, his mother doesn’t think the woman is good enough, and hilarity/drama ensues. But for the Asian American community, this is a huge deal. For, in Hollywood, Asian American representation is not very common since the practice of whitewashing of roles in major films is very frequent. With the most publicized of these being Emma Stone in Aloha, Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange, Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in a Shell, basically the whole cast of The Last Airbender, and Matt Smith in The Great Wall. Even Crazy Rich Asians and the soon to be made, live-action Mulan, almost became the victim of whitewashing too. And so, while YouTube creators like Wong Fu Productions, Anna Akana, and Domics produce lots of stories about the Asian American/mundane experiences of life, and television shows like Fresh Off the Boat, My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Dr. Kim and Master of None fill in some of the gaps with regards to representation for Asian Americans, the impact is not the same.

However, with all the fanfare around this film, it should be noted that the movie does not represent every Asian American experience. I mean, how could it? It’s an hour to two-hour long film! But if anyone wants to hear more about this topic, the YouTube channel FUNG BROS did a video called CRAZY RICH ASIANS – WHY YOU SHOULD NOT WATCH IT AND WHY YOU SHOULD.

This conversation about what the movie means is only a small part of a much larger discussion. No matter how one spins it, Crazy Rich Asians is a step forward towards representation in the media for Asians and Asian Americans.

Photo Credit: Google Images

Goucher Assesses Academic Programs

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Goucher is currently undergoing a Program Prioritization Process. This process takes stock of programs that are currently in place and determines which programs are “healthy,” and “along the way we should discover what is working and not working within the programs,” according to Dr. Micah Webster, the faculty chair and Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science.

The goal of program prioritization is to develop an understanding of the institution and its programs in order to direct Goucher’s resources towards programs that support the institution’s goals. To clarify, “program” refers to a course of study requiring the completion of a specified number of semester credit hours from among a prescribed group of courses that leads to a formal award, ie. majors and minors (Source: MHEC).

The data collection process for the prioritization process began last semester and should be completed by mid-June, according to Dr. Webster. This process is being conducted by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, the Office of Admissions, the Office of the Provost, and the programs themselves.

A committee of faculty that includes the Curriculum and Budget & Planning Committees, as well as tenured and non-tenured faculty, and representatives from all major faculty committees, work with the Provost to make recommendations to the Board of Trustees. According to Professor Ann Duncan, the Chair of the Academic Policies Committee, though the process is intended to be faculty led, because the Board of Trustees set the process in motion, it will be they who decide if the faculty plan sufficiently addresses the college’s needs.

The “Why”
Program prioritization programs tend to begin for financial reasons. According to Robert C. Dickeson, who wrote an influential book entitled Prioritizing Academic Programs and Services: Reallocating Resources to Achieve Strategic Balance, the most commonly cited reason for program prioritization is financial stress. Other reasons may include prioritization being a recurring process or part of strategic planning overall, the unacceptability of making equivalent cuts in all programs, and the governing board wanting the college to prioritize. According to Professor Duncan, while the process is intended to be conducted independently of dollar amounts, “the Board of Trustees hopes this process will save money by right sizing the faculty to fit our student body.”

When interviewed, President Jose Bowen emphasized that the process is “routine.” Goucher’s last program prioritization ended in 2014, before the start of President Bowen’s tenure at Goucher, during which the process recommended the elimination of Chinese and additions to the Psychology Department.

President Bowen cited a couple reasons for Goucher’s current program prioritization: the college is scheduled for re-accreditation, and hopes to expand in the future. In order to expand and to create new programs, the college must withdraw resources from existing programs. “You can’t keep adding. At some point, you either add, or you move things around,” said President Bowen.

By keeping tuition costs the same for one year and choosing to increase tuition by only 1.9% in 2018-19, President Bowen has committed to making Goucher more affordable. However, this means a decrease in net tuition revenue for the college, while inflation continues to increase. It also means that existing programs cannot be added to if costs are to remain the same. If student class sizes shrink, faculty must be reduced.

One possible solution to rising costs is increasing costs is changing the faculty-to-student ratio. “Costs are getting so prohibitive that there has been more openness to different size classes and different pedagogy,” said education consulting firm leader Kent John Chabotar, as cited in an article entitled “Tuition Conundrum,” published on InsideHigherEd.com. Of course, this also means reducing the numbers of faculty.

According to President Bowen, Goucher’s student-faculty ratio hasn’t changed, and the future size of the faculty will depend in part on the size of incoming classes. “If we grow [the student body] a little bit, we’ll add faculty,” said President Bowen. “If we shrink a little bit, then we’ll reduce faculty.” According to the President, the goal for Goucher in future years is to “grow slowly.”
It seems unlikely, however, that class sizes will grow. Colleges are facing financial trouble across the country, particularly small liberal arts colleges. President Bowen discussed the fact that there are fewer college students across the country than there were ten years ago, so colleges are competing for a smaller pool of students. “Right now, there are a million fewer people in college than there were in 2010,” said Bowen. “So there are fewer people going to college [and in that smaller pool] there are more people going to state institutions.”

Despite this, Goucher plans to remain a liberal arts institution. When asked what his vision was for Goucher five years down the road, Bowen said, “The truth is, that if I am really successful, if Goucher is really successful, we will remain a liberal arts college. That may sound less ambitious, but we may be the last liberal arts college. Because if you read the paper, they’re closing, they’re merging, they’re adding other kinds of things, they’re adding [vocational] programs…We want to be a liberal arts college. So what matters is how we do that. What kind of instruction do we offer? How do we keep classes nice and small?”

The “How”
The “how” is where program prioritization comes in. However, while the process is intended to ultimately benefit the college, this does not come without difficulties. The process may result in recommendations to eliminate positions or cut back current programs. Because of the instability and insecurity that this creates, faculty and staff may be concerned about the future of their programs and positions throughout this process. “Those things are painful, but they are part of the normal process,” said President Bowen.

Because the program prioritization process is faculty-run, it also involves additional work for professors. Faculty must come to an agreement about how to best measure the effectiveness of programs and then collect all the relevant data. According to Professor Ann Duncan, one challenge has been that, when this process was announced, the faculty were already hard at work on implementing the new curriculum. Much of the work on the new curriculum has been stalled until staffing numbers and program status are clear.

According to Duncan, “faculty are incredibly excited about the new curriculum and the creativity and interdisciplinarity it allows.” However, it will be a while before it is put in place across the board. For the next two years, faculty must run two different curriculums at the same time, as some students remain with the Liberal Education Requirements, while others are fullfing the new general education requirements, called Goucher Commons Requirements.
Once the program prioritization process is complete, faculty may also need to determine how to implement the new curriculum with fewer faculty. “We passed this curriculum with a certain sized faculty and with even the promise that we might be able to grow a little,” said Professor Duncan. “The reality now is that there are a lot of positions that have not been filled and we may be losing some positions.”

On a national level, one of the largest issues facing program prioritization programs is a lack of faculty buy-in. Despite this, members of Goucher’s faculty do understand the need for a response to the current challenges in higher education, and express concern for Goucher’s future. “The faculty recognize that times are tight financially, not just for Goucher but for colleges across the country,” said Professor Duncan. “At the same time, we want to ensure that any process we participate in maintains the integrity of the Goucher education.” At this stage, the effects of the process remain to be seen.

The Curriculum and Budget & Planning Committees have formed the criteria for the evaluation of programs, which are: relevance, efficiency, opportunity analysis, evidence of impact. These categories include factors like relevance, alignment with college mission, internal and external demand for program, teaching effectiveness in programs, contributions to and in support of the programs, numbers of students in the program, evidence of engagement with students, operational efficiency of the program, etc.

Goucher faculty have also asked administration to consider a voluntary separation program, which would provide financial benefits for faculty who decide to voluntarily leave the college. This program would benefit the college by generating compensation savings that can be spent in other ways, while the faculty member would benefit from both the financial benefits and the voluntary nature of the program.

Correction: Edits for clarity have been made to the fourth paragraph.

MADELINE ST. JOHN and GREER TURNER

Featured Image Credit: Projects · Ziger/Snead Architects

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