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Two New Programs Approved By Faculty

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The faculty met on December 10th in order to finish its business for the semester. The only item on the agenda was to answer the question: will we create new programs at Goucher College?

As per Parliamentary procedure, this business item began with a Debate. The first program discussed was the Integrative Data Analytics major. Faculty members shared their opinions both in favor and in opposition to approving the program. A few main points were addressed:

  • What is the purpose of creating new programs for the College considering the motivation for undergoing program prioritization in the first place?
    • Multiple suggestions for how to answer this question arose. One argument is that the faculty must look at the curriculum holistically and fill in holes as needed. The professors arguing in favor of the program contend that data analytics, an emerging field of study, has the potential to fill some of these holes while still placing Goucher at the cutting edge of this program.
  • If this program is approved now, does that mean that new programs may not be implemented in the future?
    • Professor Scott Sibley, the Interim Provost, answered this question with a solid “no.” More programs, should they progress past their current initial stages, may be considered in the future.
  • Are there existing PhD and Masters programs for students who complete this major?
    • According to members of the Center for Data, Mathematical, and Computational Sciences, while all mathematics are related, because Data Analytics is an applied field that is just beginning to emerge, it is not currently well-defined. A few Master’s programs exist; there is an expectation that more Master’s and PhD programs will emerge within the next several years.

A paper ballot was conducted and the item passed 63-5.

The second program debated was that of the Professional and Creative Writing majors. Most of this discussion centered around the following subjects:

  • Tenured and non-tenure track positions, particularly in relation to advising
    • As answered by the professors proposing the program, they are already advising both first years and students in the Writing program.
  • Staying relevant as a liberal arts college
    • Members of faculty in favor of the major suggested that having a strong writing program is critical to the liberal arts
  • Promoting interdisciplinarity
    • If the college emphasizes writing as its own majors, then more students will be confident at writing, which will strengthen other programs with academic crossover
  • How to integrate the Race, Power, and Perspective aspect of the Goucher Commons into the courses offered

A paper ballot was conducted and the item passed 55-15.

“The next step is to submit new program proposals to the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). If approved by the state, then they will become official Goucher programs. As for timeline, I hope as soon as possible…The MHEC process though can take months,” said Professor Micah Webster in an email exchange with The Quindecim.

Announcements:

  1. The faculty listening session conducted by the Presidential Search Committee will take place Friday, December 14th, at 2pm in the faculty lounge.
  2. The Applestein-Sweren Book Collecting Contest is still going on! An an email blast sent out Monday afternoon by the Library listed Jenny Sataloff, Research Librarian/Learning Commons Assistant as the contact person for the contest.
  3. Charm City Ballet is presenting “A Christmas Carol” for this upcoming weekend only! Fun fact: both directors and three members of the CCB faculty are Goucher graduates.

Student Representatives of Presidential Search Committee Conduct Listening Session

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Notes taken by GSG co-President Samuel Anderson during student listening session.

Student Representatives of the Presidential Search Committee Marissa de La Viez and Josiah Meekins, both class of 2019, conducted a listening session during the evening of Sunday, December 9th. The session was open to any student who wanted to share their opinion about criteria the hiring firm should use when considering candidates for the position. GSG Co-Presidents Samuel Anderson and Noah Block, both class of 2019, facilitated the conversation.

One key theme that manifested from the opinions shared was a need for a president with a relationship to Baltimore. Students emphasized expecting their future president to establish a solid relationship with the city during their tenure. A suggestion was also made to encourage members of the community specifically to apply for the position.

In respect to the background of a future president, students expressed a desire to look at candidates with backgrounds outside of business. Students also indicated interest in welcoming candidates with expertise outside of Higher Education.

An encompassing theme to many of the opinions raised was a named desire for the future President of Goucher College to be an individual who will bring a sense of stability to campus. Students suggested that this will take the form of clear, authentic communication from the President both to the student body as a whole and through interpersonal relationships developed with students on campus. Students also indicated a need for a president devoted to the liberal arts with an interest in actively working to narrow the divide between student-athletes and non-athletes, a trend that students indicated had grown noticeably over their time on campus.

One student suggested that the president should be “visibly and emotionally present.”

To encourage students to envision more of what they hope from a new president, Block asked the group to imagine Goucher’s community in ten years. Students emphasized a desire to see the expansion of CREI and the hiring of faculty members of color, with an ongoing commitment being a quirky liberal arts school invested in integrative learning. Students also articulated a desire for the campus community to actively engage in difficult conversations with a focus on creating sustainable, student-driven change.

In addition to sharing the issues raised during the listening session to the rest of the Committee, de La Viez and Meekins indicated their intention to create and regularly update an online timeline checklist for the public to track the hiring process.

Arrest Made for Campus Hate Crimes

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Official statement released by Men’s Lacrosse Team about the recent arrest for hate crimes perpetrated on campus.

On the morning of November 29th, the second hate crime of the semester was found in the second floor bathroom of Jeffrey. President Bowen, Deans Coker and Johnson, and Director of Public Safety David Heffer infomed the student body of the crime by email.

The most recent graffiti included direct threats against Black members of the Goucher community. Additionally, it contained anti-Latinx threats.

In another email sent to the student body during the afternoon of December 6th, the same members of administration noted, “the individual who was arrested for these incidents is no longer enrolled with the College, and will have no future relationship with the College. Further, the campus removal and ban referenced in last week’s update remain in effect indefinitely.” The email also noted that the College’s conduct procedure is “completely independent” from that of the criminal justice system.

One way in which the procedures differ is in their decision to disclose or withhold the name of the individual arrested. While Goucher’s conduct process does not allow the release of the names of students involved in such proceedings, the Baltimore County State’s Attorney does not follow this regulation. Fynn Ajani Arthur was named as the student “arrested and charged […]with two counts of Malicious Destruction of Property,” according to the Baltimore County Government website. In an update from December 4th, the website noted that “[a]fter consulting with the State’s Attorney’s Office for Baltimore County, four additional charges have been sought against Fynn Arthur in the form of a court issued summons,” including “[t]wo counts of bias instigated destruction of property” and “[t]wo counts of animosity instigated harassment/destruction of property.”

The report also mentions that the Office of Public Safety “partnered with agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Baltimore Field Office” to conduct the investigation, a partnership which Heffer had noted in a December 6th interview with The Quindecim.

Heffer also stated during the interview that the Office of Public Safety is “continuing to work with [their] colleagues in Student Affairs to offer support to the students who were specifically targeted.”

When asked about next steps from an enforcement perspective, Heffer said, “We are conducting an extensive survey of campus facilities to determine locations to install cameras in the residence halls.”

As mentioned in much of the outside coverage of this story, Arthur was a member of the Men’s Lacrosse Team. This is not the first time in recent years that members of this team have received attention for racially motivated behavior. The Quindecim reached out via email to Brian Kelly, head coach of the men’s lacrosse team to comment about the team’s reaction and next steps in relation to Arthur’s arrest and beyond. Kelly’s reply included the team’s official statement condemning Arthur’s actions (pictured).

When asked about how he is cultivating a team culture that actively combats hate, Kelly noted that “we are very clear with our student-athletes, coaches, and recruits about our values and the potential we have to positively affect the pursuit of the college community’s values. As a team, we engage in conversations and trainings pertaining to issues of race and identity.”

As a part of these conversations and trainings, Kelly mentioned that, “…as a team we viewed a documentary titled ‘The Medicine Game’ which provides context for the origin of the sport of lacrosse and how it was conceived as an instrumental part of Native American culture to keep sickness from the tribe.  Also, it follows the struggles of a couple of brothers from the Onondaga Nation who dream to play collegiate lacrosse. We tried to view this video from the following perspective – The white man took Native American lands and now they have taken their ‘Medicine Game’ and made it their own.” Kelly mentioned several related discussion questions asking team members to empathize with the brothers in the documentary, while also asking student-athletes to consider if they themselves “honor the game in the same way these brothers honor the game? This is a discussion that is ongoing and will continue throughout the spring.”

Kelly also pointed to “recent, deliberate recruiting efforts” that are “actively committed to encouraging prospective student-athletes of color to join our program. We now have a significantly more diverse roster than was the case three to four years ago. We’re very proud or [sic] our successes to that end and believe that our team now has greater opportunities to learn from each other’s differences.” He concluded by saying, “[a]s a program, we ask that a player RISE UP each day to meet their daily challenges to make themselves better individuals in the classroom, in the community, and as teammates. Like all of us, we have much to learn, but we are proud of the progress we have made as a program and as individuals.”

As Heffer pointed out toward the end of his December 6th interview with The Quindecim, “…this is not the end, this is just a reminder that we need to continue to address racism and racist acts and now we know that we can do this together, as a community.”

The Quindecim will continue reporting both on the ongoing judicial processes related to Fynn Arthur’s arrest as well as the ways in which the Goucher community continues to address racism in the long term.

Presidential Search Committee Formed

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On Tuesday, November 27th, Board of Trustees Chair Ruth Shapiro Lenrow (‘74) announced to students, faculty, and staff through an Office of Communications email blast that a Presidential Search Committee had been formed. The committee will ultimately be responsible for selecting Goucher’s next president.

Led by trustees Miriam Katowitz (’73) and Lisa Stromberg (’83), the committee is comprised of two students, Marissa de La Viez (‘19) and Josiah Meekins (19), two staff members, three faculty members, and 11 trustees, three of whom are members of the Alumnae & Alumni of Goucher College (AAGC).

“As I’ve been sharing with many recently, the process for selecting a new President is exclusively the Board’s responsibility, with assistance and input from the campus community,” Dean Brian Coker commented over email.

De La Viez and Meekins will be representing the student body as the committee selects a search firm and eventually reviews applicants. “The presidential search committee co-chairs (both Board of Trustees members) and the current Board chair considered graduating seniors who have been involved on campus to serve as student representatives on the committee,” Coker explained. “They then chose a few students to be interviewed, and my office assisted in coordinating the interviews. Once the interviews were complete, the committee co-chairs and the Board chair then selected two of the students who had interviewed to serve as the student representatives.”

“It was totally out of the blue and I felt so honored!” De La Viez said over an email. “I hope that we find somebody who is able to connect with the students, someone personable, someone who is capable of empathy and understanding different perspectives. I also think it would be important to have someone who works on enhancing Goucher with the assets we already have rather than just bringing in a bunch of shiny new things to grab attention.”

Meekins was equally as shocked to be selected to the committee, though he wishes that there were more opportunities for student input in the presidential search process. “Even though I’m honored and happy to be in this position […] two students can’t speak for the whole student body,” he explained in an interview. “Being an African American male on this search committee is exciting because I experience Goucher in different ways than other people experience the Goucher community. Goucher needs diversity in choosing the next President.” When asked what qualities he would be looking for in candidates, Meekins said transparency, leadership, and compassion were his top priorities. “We don’t want any miscommunication between the President and the student community. We want a president who listens to students and faculty […] I’d like to see a candidate put in place that’s going to, not just be a president, but embody what the Goucher community is about […] but also see it grow.”

“I am grateful to these incredibly dedicated community members for sharing their time and insight. We feel confident that the committee will embody a wide array of viewpoints and perspectives as we search to find the next leader of Goucher College,” Shapiro Lenrow stated in her email announcement.

As reported previously in The Quindecim, Shapiro Lenrow had announced on October 19th that President José Bowen would be stepping down as President on June 30, 2019. Her announcement was followed by an open meeting held by Coker (livestream video for which is available on The Quindecim’s Facebook page) in which he described the typical hiring process for colleges and universities: 1) the selection of a search firm as an applicant “recruiter” 2) the chosen firm’s creation of a position profile based on a listening campaign (potentially including a survey for students) and collected data 3) a preliminary round of interviews 4) the final interviews and 5) the final selection.

The committee plans on creating a more comprehensive timeline in the upcoming weeks and has planned to provide an update to the Goucher community prior to winter break.

BY OLIVIA BAUD AND NEVE LEVINSON

President Bowen Announces Departure

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On October 19, the Goucher student body received an email from the chair of the Board of Trustees, Ruth Shapiro Lenrow, class of 1974. In the email, Lenrow informed the student body of President Bowen’s decision “that he will be leaving his post on June 30, 2019.” Lenrow also included a hyperlink to Bowen’s own announcement as part of her statement, which was posted to the Goucher website the same day. Bowen cites his main reason for leaving as an opportunity to “focus on [research, scholarship, and music] and particularly to spend more time finishing my next book, which is largely about the work we have done together at Goucher.” Also included in Lenrow’s message was the assurance that “[t]he Board of Trustees will be establishing a Presidential search committee in short order and we will share additional information about that process soon.”

In response to the news, Bryan Coker, Vice President and Dean of Students, held an open meeting in Pinkard to explain the general process for hiring a new president at a college or university. During the meeting, which The Quindecim livestreamed and shared to all the class Facebook pages, Dean Coker asserted that “[t]he responsibility, universally, about a Board of Trustees, is that they hire and fire presidents.”

Dean Coker also explained the process of forming a search committee and the role of the members of that committee during the meeting. He also made note that presidential search committees tend to hire a search firm, “which is essentially a recruiter,” according to Coker. The search firm would visit campus to conduct a listening campaign and most likely release a survey to the student body asking for feedback regarding what qualities students look for in the college’s next president. From there, the search committee would typically produce a position profile, shared with individuals potentially interested in filling the position, with all the data gathered from their conversations with faculty, staff, and students.

After that, candidates would submit cover letters, resumes, and a list of confidential references. The search committee, consisting of faculty, staff, and students, as appointed (usually) by the Board of Trustees, would have confidential access to the applications submitted, and would then conduct brief interviews with their top 8-10 candidates, often at or near an airport. At this point, the search firm would check in with references listed and not listed by the candidate  in order to gauge the candidate’s potential for working at Goucher. After another round of interviews, the search committee often brings their top one or two candidates to campus so that they get a feel for the college in-person. Coker emphasized repeatedly throughout the meeting that the hiring process for a president is almost universally not public.

Sam Anderson, acting President of Goucher Student Government, emphasized during the meeting with Coker that “if [the Board of Trustees] decide[s] to do the search now, in what would be a kind of rushed amount of time for a presidential search, they would put together a search committee which would hopefully feature more than one student, so that that one student doesn’t feel siloed within the bigger committee, and so that more students have the opportunity for input, and then it would also include members of the faculty, alumni, staff, and then trustees. It will be mostly trustees.”

The Baltimore Sun reported on January 19, 2017 that President Bowen had signed an extension to his contract through June 2022. In an article published online the same day, the Baltimore Business Journal also noted that representatives of the college “said Bowen has declined to accept any salary increases since he arrived at the Towson college and has continued that request in the new deal.” On March 22, 2017, a Goucher press release announced Bowen’s contract renewal.

December 5th Faculty Meeting

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The faculty meeting on December 5th was conducted during Common Hour in Merrick.

Update on hate crime proceedings:

The Baltimore County State’s Attorney has filed five charges against former student Fynn Arthur in relation to the two hate crimes perpetrated on campus in November. This information was also addressed in an email to the student body from Dean Coker on Thursday, December 6th.

Additionally, a group of faculty has formed to create a protocol for how the Goucher community addresses campus-wide crises. During the meeting, professors Seble Dawit and Ann Duncan emphasized a large need to debrief and strategize next steps in this process. One suggestion mentioned includes a monthly all-campus gathering or assembly. More information on this matter will be provided in January.

Presidential Search Update:

Professors Phong Le, Jamie Mullaney, and Gillian Starkey are the three faculty members serving on the committee. While they made it clear that they would like to share information about the presidential search process, committee members have signed a confidentiality agreement which prevents them from disclosing much information. Professor Le, however, did note that they will be conducting a listening session from 2-3pm on Friday, December 7th in the faculty lounge. The committee will meet next on the morning of Tuesday, December 11th.

Provisional Approval of December Graduates:

Andy Westfall announced that there are 39 candidates to receive their Bachelor’s of Arts at the end of the semester. The motion to approve the candidates for receiving their diploma was approved. Candidates must still pass all required coursework before graduating.

Unfinished business: “Will we continue the work of the 2017-2018 Ad Hoc Governance Committee?”

The committee in question proposed a vision for redesigning the way that the faculty organizes itself. It released its findings at the end of last semester. During this meeting, the issues of representation, communication, and faculty members having a voice in their legislative processes were raised as key reasons for the ad hoc committee to exist in the first place.

The next step of this process is to draft legislation that changes the current processes as they exist right now. The committee’s timeline is to begin writing in Spring 2019, continue into Fall 2019, and conduct listening sessions during Spring 2020, with a final proposal of the legislation prepared by the faculty meeting in April 2020. Of the three members of this committee, at least one of them will be a tenured faculty member.

One of the biggest issues raised in the meeting was whether the vision proposed by the previous ad hoc committee must dictate the legislation written by the future committee in question. To address this, Dr. Friedman-Wheeler proposed an amendment that grants flexibility to the committee’s task. The proposed vision does not have to dictate future drafted legislation. A paper vote was conducted and the motion passed.

Two Majors Proposed:

One program was proposed by members of the Center for Data, Mathematical, and Computational Sciences. Called “Integrative Data Analytics,” this proposed major combines statistics, computer science, and data analysis to create an interdisciplinary major that can work with a number of other programs, including Peace Studies, Economics, and Public Health.

The second proposed program creates majors housed within the Center for Contemporary and Creative Writing. The two majors are Professional Writing and Creative Writing. Both use an interdisciplinary model to build on existing courses offered by current faculty.

Both proposed programs are budget neutral and are based on internally collected data that suggests that retention rates within these areas are high due to lack of competition from other liberal arts schools and interest from current students on campus.

Approval of the programs will be determined during the faculty meeting on Monday, December 10th.

Interview with David Heffer About Recent Hate Crime

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The following is the transcript of an email interview between Neve Levinson and David Heffer, the Director of Public Safety. The responses were received after the publication deadline for the previous article about the most recent hate crime on campus.

NHL: What is the procedure for reporting hate crimes, both to Public Safety and to relevant state enforcement agencies?

We ask that all crimes be reported to the Office of Public Safety at  410-337-6111 or the Baltimore County Police Department at 911. An officer will be sent to the location of the crime and perform various types of follow up including threat mitigation, ifapplicable, and investgatory procedures.  

NHL: When was the graffiti removed?

DH: The graffiti was removed immediately after the Baltimore County Police Department processed the scene for evidence.

NHL: What measures are Public Safety and BCPD taking (as per protocol and otherwise) to investigate the incident as well as supporting affected students and communities?

DH: The Office of Public Safety is working with the dean of Students office as well as Residential life to assist in supporting the students directly impacted by the crime. The Offie of Public Safety is working closely with County Police and other outside partners in order to conduct as thorough an investigation as possible.  

NHL: What is the procedure for notifying the entire campus of incidents related to hate?

DH: We typically notify the campus via email and/or through the e2campus notification system. We also report those crimes to the Department of Education and the crimes are recorded in our Annual Security Report.

NHL: Is there any known connection between this event and previous hate crimes on campus?

DH: We believe at this time that the graffiti hate crimes in previous years are likely related to this crime.

Hate Crime on Campus

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Protest sign posted on doors to Mary Fisher during student demonstration on Friday, November 16th. Photo by Rob Ferrell.

On November 14 at 8:56 a.m., Javaunte Neumann, ‘20, posted a screenshot of a Snapchat he received from a friend to the Class of 2020 Facebook page. The Snapchat was captioned, “Cops knocked on my door. Someone wrote on the first stall of the bathroom, ‘I’m gonna kill all n********’ and listed my room number and two other numbers on my floor, damn this school is great.”

At 10:17 a.m. the same day, the Goucher student body received an email entitled “Report of Hate Crime on Campus.” The message, signed by Bryan F. Coker, Ph.D., Vice President and Dean of Students; Nicole J. Johnson, Interim Associate Dean of Students/CREI; and David Heffer, Director of Public Safety, gave the basic story of what happened: early in the morning, a student found “threatening anti-Black graffiti” that targeted students on the first floor of Jeffrey, where the graffiti was found. The Baltimore County Police were called right away, and began an active investigation into the hate crime.

In an interview with the Quindecim, Neumann and Brandon Julot, ‘20 asserted that Goucher’s administration had not done enough to handle the situation. It was “not just a racial slur, it was a threat on our lives,” said Neumann, adding that the black community is “fed up.” Julot added also that the graffiti was a “clear threat [that] should be taken seriously,” in a way that simply stating as “threatening anti-Black graffitti” did not denote. Neumann also mentioned that during his first year on campus, a noose had been drawn on his door, and that he had several friends who had been similarly targeted, and not received more information on the case after an initial follow-up with the Office of Public Safety.

When asked about how Goucher could hold its community accountable to responding to hate crimes and changing its cultural narrative, Julot and Neumann both identified that the Center for Race, Equity, and Identity (CREI) needs a space that is more accessible and no longer what Neumann argues is a “marginalized area” on the fourth floor of the Athenaeum. Both Julot and Neumann also indicated interest in forming coalitions between the black community on campus and other marginalized communities, particularly trans and Muslim communities, who have been targeted by hate crimes in previous semesters.

Later during the afternoon of November 14, Residents of Jeffrey House received an email from Lindy Bobbitt, Director of Residential Life. Beyond naming the hate crime and offering support, Bobbitt made it clear that is is her job to ensure that students feel safe in their housing.

A few hours later, in a brief email to the student government, Goucher Student Government made the following statement: “Goucher Student Government was very disturbed and concerned by the anti-black hate crime that was discovered this morning in the first floor of [Heubeck] Jeffrey. Goucher’s campus should feel safe for black students. Acts of hate such as this one will not be tolerated here, and should not be tolerated anywhere. Goucher Student Government is prepared to offer resources in any way we can as time moves forward. Please expect future updates from Goucher Student Government in the coming days.”

The Office of Communications sent a message to the college community, signed by President Bowen, on November 15 at 10:50 a.m. Bowen noted that the Baltimore County Police Department (BCPD) was alerted of the graffiti “immediately,” and that the first priority was the safety of the students affected. “An incident such as this has repercussions across our campus. Once we were confident that the targeted students were secure, and that we could share information which would not impede the investigation, we issued a statement to the campus at 10:15 am, and to parents shortly after that. We will continue to provide support services for targeted students and others who desire support. Our other top priority will be supporting the police investigation and ensuring that we do not compromise those efforts.”

In an update sent out on Friday, November 16 at 1:41p.m., Dean Coker modified the language used to refer to the hate crime. In this message, he described the nature of the crime as having an “undeniably pervasive message in the graffiti was anti-Black and clearly targeted at specific Black students, by even sharing room numbers where they reside.”

Coker also noted in the email that “there was also a backwards swastika” included in the graffiti, corroborating a piece published at 7:05 p.m. on November 14 by the Baltimore Sun. Goucher Hillel, along with faculty from the Center for Psychology and the Center for Geographies of Justice sent out specific condemnations of the hate crime via email as well.

For information relating to the demonstration organized by Umoja on Friday, November 16th, read publications written by the Goucher Eye.

The Baltimore Sun, a news organization working to record and track hate crimes as a part of ProPublica’s “Documenting Hate” database, has aggregated its information received through “a public information request” from police reports. Of the 692 incidents aggregated by the Sun, eight of them list the victim as “Goucher College.” Of these eight reports of hate crimes on campus, four were anti-transgender, three were anti-Black, and one was anti-Muslim.

As defined in the college’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, “A Hate Crime is a criminal offense that manifests evidence that the victim was intentionally selected because of the perpetrator’s bias against the victim. Bias is a preformed negative attitude toward a group of persons based on their race, gender, gender identity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity or national origin.” The Report presents the following information for hate crimes on campus during the years 2015-2017: one in 2015, two in 2016, and ten in 2017. It is unclear why one anti-transgender and one anti-black hate crime were not included on the Baltimore Sun’s website.

*Online edit: David Heffer’s reply for comment is posted in a separate column, as his responses came after the print publication deadline.*

Goucher Transitions Students to Outlook

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Office365 online. Screenshot provided by Bill Leimbach.

Since 2017, Goucher has been transitioning the campus community to Microsoft’s increasingly popular software system: Office365.

New undergraduates and graduates in the spring of 2018 were the first students to take advantage of this software. Since then, new incoming students in the fall of 2018 have also been provided with Office365, which includes the email service Outlook among other traditional programs such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.

As a result of this transition, some students (those using Office365’s Outlook) have a different email address format than that of their peers (those using Gmail): Firstname.Lastname@goucher.edu for Outlook users as opposed to filas00#@mail.goucher.edu (first two letters of first name, first three letters of last name, and a 3-digit number starting with 00) for Gmail users.

Bill Leimbach, Vice President for Technology and Planning at Goucher, explained in an email, “colleges and universities have been implementing Office365 for their entire campus communities because of Office365’s improved functionality, improved security protection, and because of the use of Office365 in corporations and businesses.” Goucher decided to jump on the bandwagon.

In the summer of 2017, Goucher’s Information Technology began that transition with administration, faculty, and staff, whom had always used a different mailing system than students. At the time, they emailed with Microsoft Exchange, a program which ran on a dedicated server – a physical, on-campus computer used to store the program’s data. Office365, on the other hand, ran on a cloud server, meaning that it did not require the same hardware and offered more opportunities for increased, secure data storage.

Office365 also promised more opportunities for collaboration between campus bodies. The more Goucher members are transitioned to the same software, the easier it will be to share information, feedback, and comments. “As long as I’ve been here, Goucher has provided Microsoft Office for free to students,” Leimbach said in an interview. Yet sending Word, Excel, or Powerpoint files with or to Gmail accounts instead of sharing documents directly through the same system complicates that kind of exchange. Adopting the same mailing system across campus could eliminate the tedium of sending separate files and avoid potential problems accessing them.

The gradual transition to Office365 means that now, instead of software use differing between students and administration, faculty, and staff, the student body itself has been split into those who have been introduced to the new system and those who remain on Gmail. Many students do not know that some of their peers’ email addresses are formatted differently, leading to some confusion and uncertainty about unreceived emails. Additionally, documents, spreadsheets, and other files on Google can no longer be shared reliably and indiscriminately between all students – those using Office365 must have a separate Gmail account to be able to access, edit, and comment on Google files.

“The pro [about transitioning Goucher to Office365] is you get everybody using the same thing,” Leimbach said. “The con is change.” Goucher students may need to rough it out a few years before communication is completely patched up. When asked whether administration is considering offering Office365 beyond first year students, he responded, “We’re looking into that. We’re asking ourselves, ‘Should we or shouldn’t we? And how could that be done?’” While ideally all students would have been transitioned simultaneously, Leimbach and his team had to consider how old emails from students using Gmail would be moved to Outlook. “We had programs to do that for us,” he said of transitioning administration, faculty, and staff email history to Outlook. Since they had been using Microsoft software to begin with, the task had been easier to accomplish.

In the meantime, those with Outlook may want to consider using or creating a separate Gmail account to collaborate with Gmail-using students. Another option may be for those without Office365 to collaborate on Microsoft files instead of relying on Google’s services. Most importantly, students should keep these mailing system differences in mind when communicating with their professors and peers in order to avoid missed emails or problems working jointly on documents.

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