In his first year as an assistant professor in the University of Iowa’s archaeology department, Matthew E. Hill made a move that many other junior faculty would’ve considered risky: he said he wanted to teach an undergraduate seminar on animals and culture.
“When I first proposed the course, I thought I would get a more negative response – ‘Oh, it’s fluffy’ -- and I still worry about some of my colleagues having that attitude,” he says. “But my chair and other people have been supportive, interested.”
ORLANDO -- Say you are an employer evaluating college students for a job. Perusing one candidate’s Facebook profile, you notice the student belongs to a group called “I Pee My Pants When I’m Drunk.” What is your first thought?
It should not be that this student is unemployable for being an intemperate drinker, said Susan Zvacek, director of instructional development at the University of Kansas -- though that it might mean that, too. Mainly, though, it should suggest something else -- something that might be more relevant to the student’s qualifications.
Timothy A. Bennett strives toward a new vision for the foreign language department. “You can think of a university as a little continent full of different kingdoms,” said Bennett, chair of the foreign languages and literatures department at Wittenberg University, a Lutheran liberal arts college in Ohio. “I’d prefer that language departments suffused the curriculum rather than just be another kingdom among many kingdoms.”