New courses, program suspensions discussed at faculty meeting


Faculty discussed the motions of adding new courses to the course catalog and the indefinite suspension of two interdisciplinary minor programs, Jewish Studies and European Studies, at the faculty meeting on March 6. However, the motions were not voted on because there were not enough faculty present for a quorum.

The courses proposed included Archaeology of the Body, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Historical Astronomy and Theatre, Culture and Society.

The Committee on Curricular Policy and Planning decided to indefinitely suspend Jewish Studies and European Studies because of a lack of student and faculty interest. “Jewish Studies doesn’t have a coordinator or steering committee and hasn’t for some time. European Studies does have a steering committee and students occasionally complete the minor but the program isn’t operating as originally envisioned,” said John Caraher, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy. If students are compelled to revive the programs, then they are still able too; however, it was ultimately decided to remove these two programs from the catalog.

Further along in the meeting, President Mark McCoy spoke to faculty. First he recapped his meeting with the Board of Visitors the week prior and the six main points they discussed. While DePauw is up in deposits this year, the University still faces short term challenges economically. “We’re facing short term challenges but I am very optimistic about our long prognosis. We’re facing budget deficits that could range between four million dollars annually to 12 million dollars annually,” said President McCoy.

Despite these challenges, President McCoy said that DePauw has no chance of closing its doors anytime soon. “With the size of our endowment and the strength of our balance sheet, we’re in great shape, but we do have this short term challenge that we need to take on,” McCoy said.

President McCoy and other administrators will also begin to meet with senior, junior, sophomore, and freshman students associated with IFC and Panhellenic Greek life. The meetings will focus on high risk behaviors and other issues.

David Worthington, Associate Professor of Communication and Theatre, questioned President McCoy about the costs of four new potential centers and a new vice president of communications position due to short term challenges. McCoy answered that these centers would be donor funded but the vice president position would replace a previous unfilled communications role. He could not provide a dollar amount for the vice president position. Furthermore, President McCoy said that an announcement should be coming soon regarding building development after Biology Professor Dana Dudle asked a question about library renovations.  

Vice President of Academic Affairs Anne Harris provided information on the gender disparity for average and median faculty salaries. Male faculty members made about 1,000 to 2,000 more dollars in terms of average salary except in the case of associate professor where women made 78,000 dollars compared to men’s 77,000 dollars. In terms of median salary data, men made more than women except for assistant professors where women made more. How did the faculty respond to this announcement? Harris said that if any faculty were confused or had questions about the data, then they could meet with her.

The next faculty meeting will be Thurs., March 23.