Inter-Departmental Correspondence
KENT STATE UNIVERSITY
Kent, Ohio
 

To            Dr. George S. Garrison, Chair                                       Date September 16, 1996
                     Department of Pan-African Studies

From        Dr. Edward W. Crosby, Chair and Professor Emeritus

Subject    Instructor for PAS 21071 The Black Community in America

I received your FAX (9-13-96) a few days ago; however, I have just now found time to respond to it. It is indeed unfortunate that we have to communicate via FAXes when a telephone call would do, mais c'est la vie.

First, the Department should remain acutely watchful that courses considered integral to the DPAS major/minor sequences are taught with the same overall quality standards that DPAS students generally and majors/minors particularly deserve and have come to expect. We cannot afford to be cavalier about having faculty members teach courses regardless of their lack of familiarity with the course's content. Only qualified instructors, as certified by the Curriculum Committee and the FAC, should be allowed to teach any and all major/minor courses. I am certain you will remember that this was the argument the DPAS Curriculum Committee used to structure its recommendations to you RE Dr. Ronald Brown.

To ask Dr. Badejo to teach this class even temporarily seems to me to be curricularly unsound also. Not because she can't but rather because she has been on the campus for a month and has just begun to get her bearings in the Department and on this campus. As you know, she has to direct IAAA, publish three IAAA pieces the Electronic Journal of African Studies (EJAS), KITABU, and The African American Affairs Monograph Series, teach courses, and pursue her own research interests; obviously she cannot be expected to teach, no matter how temporary, a course that has been assigned to another to teach, too. Since I had developed PAS 21071 twenty (20) years ago and was its only instructor for the duration, I told you I would volunteer my teaching services, for I anticipated this problem well before Dr. Badejo (and later Gladys) brought the matter to your attention.

Second, I believe you misinterpreted what Gladys communicated to you. I am not vying for Dr. Garrett's proffered teaching position, even though the letter of offer has not yet been signed. I have discussed this course's particulars with Dr. Badejo and with Dr. Garrett. If anything, Gladys was attempting to alert you to the probability that Dr. Garrett may not be able to meet the class as expected on Tuesday, September 17. Of course, I told her I would be available to take the course for another week or for the duration of the semester, if necessary (the drafted paperwork was premature). Furthermore, she was trying to inform you that I believed it is inherently unfair for the students, after the passing of two weeks and maybe more with one instructor, to suddenly be introduced to another individual, another course direction, and another teaching style. For the past twelve (12) years this class has been taught (1980-1992), thirteen (13) students on average enrolled; currently only five (5) students are enrolled. At least one student was advised by another student not to enroll and a second student had already experienced taking a course last Spring that had three different instructors. If DPAS is not more curricularly vigilant, this pattern could negatively influence the enrollment of other students and, therefore, the academic viability of the Department.

cc: DPAS Curriculum Committee Members: 

      Alene Barnes-Harden
      Mwatabu Okantah
      Fran Dorsey
      Deidre Badejo
      Meli Temu
      Jacqueline Rowser
      E. Timothy Moore
      Kwame Nantambu