Six professors leave MC over summer
September 6, 2013
Kelsi Ford / The Courier
Students are presented with new opportunities and challenges every school year and this year is no different. When six professors leave the school during summer break, it produces a feeling of surprise and causes problems for students. Sophomore Steven Oaks experienced this first hand when his political geography class was cancelled. “With two weeks to go to the start of the semester, I received an email from the registrar informing me I had to find a new class. I was lucky enough to get it switched quickly,” Oaks said.
Six professors left Monmouth during summer break. In fact, according to a faculty source, in the last two-three years, there have been a total of 16 professors who have left Monmouth voluntarily. This number does not include the professors who are denied tenure.
“Monmouth’s close knit community results in it being harder to break with professors for both students and other faculty,” said Dean David Timmerman on the hardship which often follows faculty departures.
It is typical for any job to have turnover. Employers do not want someone who isn’t doing their job well to stay. This is why there is a tenure process. It allows the faculty to keep those who benefit the college and to remove those who don’t fit. Professor Ian Moschenross, chair of the faculty senate, said, “The ideal is to get the best faculty and keep them.”
The majority of the professors are leaving by choice.
“We should be creating an environment that is so excellent that no one wants to leave,” Moschenross said. “Voluntary departure should be infrequent.”
According to Timmerman, the majority of those leaving this year left to take other positions but faculty leave for a variety of complex reasons. Some professors see things differently.
“It is true that faculty leave for any number of reasons, with personal and professional ones being the most prevalent,” said English Professor Mark Willhardt via email. “However, people get to thinking about changing environments more frequently when their current environment presents them with repeated, on-going challenges which make it more difficult to do their jobs.”
This tension presents future problems for students. Multiple faculty sources discussed with The Courier the growing feeling of job insecurity and desire to leave. This presents problems for the “close knit community” that students should expect from a liberal arts college. If a professor is thinking of leaving, can that professor be expected to want to develop the same kind of relationships with their students?