Friday, September 28, 2007

State of the department address.... sort of

We (2 third year studio classes) just had a talk with the department head. As one of my peers said afterward, "She should be a politician." I'm chuckling on the outside but I am crying on the inside. There were three questions/issues brought up by students and it was like pulling teeth. I was scolded for the way we(me) spoke to the department head. We were harsh and in the realm of rude. We ar very frustrated and none of the major questions brought up were being answered, so we were semi justified.

I brought up the issue that the transfer students who entered in my year aren't getting the advising we need. Specifically we are not getting answers to three essential questions 1)What class do we still need to take 2)When are they offered 3)When is our expected graduation date? As an answer to this question she went on and on about how we are still getting to graduate sooner that previous transfer classes because of the new curriculum and things are hairy for our year because we are the first group to go through since the change.
I redirected the DH to my issue, stating that regardless of when we get to graduate, we still need to know when that will happen and I restated the three important questions that advisors aren't answering. Then she said something about its hard because of the new curriculum and none of the issues we are having were anticipated. I got in the last word by restating my three most important questions that department advisors should be able to answer for each student, regardless of when they entered.

After a long discussion about the professional accreditation process that will occur later in the school year, Ms. X asked what would occur if the worst case scenario - the department fails its reaccreditation - occurs. DH said something like, oh, that probably won't happen. I've been through a lot of these at the other institutions I was at and I'm not nervous about that. Then she went into an example of what might occur if we got a few "barely adequate" marks.... Then I had to open my big mouth and ask "But what is the answer to her question?" and she started giving another unsatisfactory answer. It was so because she wasn't addressing the simple question of what will happen in the department if we don't meet the standards of re-accreditation. Then Mr. X broke into the conservation explaining what he understood to be the course of events in the department if, and I quote, "God forbid the department doesn't get re-accredited. He finished with flair too, by stating, "Thank you Mr. X for answering the question."

Third, a question about increased printing and scanning option was brought up and DH started taking the conversation on a tangent about free prints, when the original question was about having a more diverse offering of printing opportunities "in house."

Needless to say, we are all a bit tired of all this. We just want to get out of here ASAP!!

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