Saturday, January 31, 2009

Morehouse strikes again!

Heh, Friday afternoon I went to my religion class and heard rumblings from fellow classmates that a new instructor was assigned to the course. Mind you the semester is still in its earliest weeks and we've already had several sessions with our earlier instructor.

This reminded me of a time before I transferred to Morehouse. I was in my first year at the City Colleges when it seemed the instructor for our Social Science course just wouldn't show up. We signed in for one class session but didn't attend and then we had a class session with a substitute.

We finally got our assigned instructor probably the second week of class. He handed out syllabi and everything. He outlined everything he expected from us in the course, but the next class period we got a new instructor and he would take over for the rest of the course.

Unlike yesterday in religion, there was no explanation for that change at that time. Although perhaps thinking about what happened when we attempted to go to class and find that our instructor wasn't in to conduct his class, perhaps administration was tired of him and sent him on him way. If I recall correctly that was the last time that happened until yesterday.

To put some things into perspective, I found this article via The Maroon Tiger. Morehouse is chafing somewhat under this sputtering econony.  Enough so that the college's President wants to hold an emergency townhall meeting to hopefully explain how Morehouse is doing under this economy.

This not a big deal to me. The new professor seems OK and I look forward to his lectures. The previous instructor well no offense I'm sure he's a good man, but I had concerned about him. Many of my fellow classmates seemed to talk about him like he's a bit funny. They say he will hold a grudge and take it out on your grades. I was a little concerned about that.

That's not to say I'm not happy about this change. It was very sudden with little or no notice. And indeed wouldn't it be more prudent to make any assigned teaching changes before the semester instead of after it begins?

In any case our new instructor came to class and gave us more of a breakdown. He says he's not happy about it himself. Our new professor is a full-time faculty member while our old instructor was a part-time adjunct. Because Morehouse is having their financial issues the college decided that they wanted to have full-time faculty carry more courses and cut back those courses taught by adjuncts. He also said 500 fewer students have returned this semester.

You know that number seems small but the college at best has at least four thousand students attending school at this illustrious institution. At least 500 fewer students returning for the spring term is certainly significant. It won't hurt a school that has over ten thousand students!

In any case that was the reason for the change it was a financial measure. And the new professor knows his stuff and no knocks against the old one. I think he did a good job so far I might miss him because with this new one, I would have to do a 5 to 8 page essay. With the other professor the least I can do is work on chapter outlines and interview religious leaders in addition to taking exams.

They also mentioned that full-tike faculty had raises, perhaps cost of living raises, that weren't supposed to go into effect until this month. The new professor joked that this raise isn't going to help the employees much right now.

Anyway after discussing briefly what happened, why it happend, and how he felt about the problem we eased right into a discussion about religion. We have no syllabus from the new professor, but he outlined some of his expectations. He said no questions related to religion are off limits and the questions flowed and the discussed flowed from there.

Still it would be nice if a teaching change wasn't necessary almost two or so weeks into a term. I very much hope that Morehouse can right it's financial house soon.

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