Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Merging departments at U of W postponed

  • Print
THE University of Winnipeg has postponed a controversial plan to amalgamate its philosophy, classics and religious studies departments.

Dean of arts David Fitzpatrick said he takes responsibility for misunderstandings and misconceptions that quickly developed on campus when he announced a plan in mid-November to merge the three into a new humanities department. Fitzpatrick said all three departments would remain as separate units, each chaired by a member of its department, at least for the current school year.

But faculty and students still fear the philosophy department could disappear altogether, said Prof. Jane Forsey, a tenured professor.

"We were sent a memo Nov. 12 saying the amalgamation was happening, a done deal," Forsey said. "There was a hue and cry."

Students set up a Facebook page to oppose the merger, which had 476 members by Tuesday afternoon, and there is a petition being circulated by the Canadian Philosophical Association.

Forsey said the department of philosophy will drop to four professors next fall from seven two years ago, courses offered are down substantially and there is uncertainty whether two sessional lecturers will be retained. "We lost two to retirement and one resigned to take a job in Alberta.

"We are afraid that recent moves by the department are signalling what will be the end of the program," Forsey said. "Our concern is there are not enough courses available for students to fulfil the requirements (to get a degree in their major). A number of students now are talking about going to the University of Manitoba."

Fitzpatrick said at least half a dozen western Canadian universities have already merged their departments as a cost-saving measure.

"This was an administrative efficiency" that would have reduced from three department chairs to one, freeing up two faculty members for more teaching time, while maintaining 'academic integrity' by leaving the three departments as separate units within humanities, Fitzpatrick said.

But rumours were rife of faculty layoffs, dropping of programs, even the loss of philosophy altogether.

"Faculty members teaching philosophy (now) will be teaching philosophy in the fall term, Fitzpatrick said."

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 24, 2009 A6

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

City Beautiful trailer: How architecture shaped Winnipeg's DNA

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Standup- Morning Fog. Horse prances in field by McPhillips Road, north of Winnipeg. 060605.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Will you get out and vote for a new mayor and council?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google