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Faculty conference announces proposal

September 6, 2013

President Ditzler met with faculty for the second closed session Tuesday to decide how to use $5 million dollars allotted from the trustees for a “bold initiative”. According to Ditzler, part of the discussion focus on the definition of the term: “One thing might be, would it be bold to spend a lot of money to try to move all those forward a little bit, or is it in fact a bold initiative where you say you know we’ve had a long standing problem, we’ve been working on it for 30 years, we can’t seem to make any progress, so let’s put all our investment into that one problem, and let’s take that weakness and make it a strength.” Ditzler solicited ideas from the faculty that he will choose to recommend to the trustees.

Ditzler highlighted three options in an interview Wednesday: making quantitative analysis an area of excellence for the college, looking to excel at the cross section of business and science and taking advantage of Monmouth’s location to play a role in feeding a hungry world population. Although the decision isn’t final, Ditzler’s current proposal is hiring 12 new faculty members to work on the three areas.

The board of trustees is looking to build on momentum from opening the $40 million dollar Center for Science and Business last May, but some faculty are upset that the school is investing so heavily in new projects while neglecting current programs. An email from the faculty senate by Dr. Ian Moschenross said “Our general, collective and consistently voiced concern throughout the entire process has been that, although we recognize the potential for exciting new endeavors and are not fundamentally opposed to them, we want the good work in current programs done by current faculty to benefit from similar, robust and enthusiastic financial support so that we can improve on the academic program we are currently delivering.”

At a follow up town hall meeting on Thursday, Professor Ken McMillan voiced similar concern that the initiative is inappropriate. “Many of us feel that we’ve been talking about how great we are, but we all know in our own departments and other departments what we all know is a good major. Does the board know we’re taking off for the future, and we don’t have a very sound academic foundation?”

Ditzler denies any fundamental disagreement with faculty and said he agrees with the senate’s statement. “You know, much of the important work we do at Monmouth College is the behind the scenes attention between faculty and students. It’s not high-tech, and it doesn’t need more bandwidth to do. It just needs the faculty member to have time to work with the student.” Next week Ditzler and the faculty are expected to meet again after he makes revisions to the proposal.

Alyssa Riley and Cameron Line
Copy Editor
Co-Sports Editor

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