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“To sum up what happened in the past month and half, one could say:
· The administration has had their way once again, despite disrespecting the rules and ignoring the faculty voice and willingness to be involved in this decision, and the Senate believes that the administration should not be held accountable, but rather trusted to do better in the future.
· The students lost the opportunity to become formally educated in information technology, to pursue that as an interest or career–as many had requested. Instead, they are being advised to take IT courses at other institutions that have a vision of the future that includes technology, unlike the Emmanuel vision. Many students are being advised to change their academic plans despite their wishes not to do so.
· The faculty understands and has the proof that the decision has not been properly made and that it was at least disingenuously introduced, but will accept that fully believing that this will strengthen the collegiality and trust between faculty and administration.
· I personally lost my job of 14 years, done with passion and dedication beyond any contractual obligations, and was discarded in the most insensitive manner. I have to come to terms with the lack of loyalty and respect of any kind that I thought an institution owes its employees. I will work hard to deal with the above, but the hardest thing of all is that I have to face my students, who still come to me with their anguish, their concern and dismay for what is happening to them, and still advise them with kindness and professionalism, trying to reconcile the reality with their interest and passion for technology.
There is no doubt in my mind that, sooner or later, if you have not done so already, every one of you will feel what I feel right now: helplessness in the face of unjust decisions and regret for ever letting anything like this go on.”
In an open letter to Emmanuel’s full-time faculty, Rodica Neamtu, Lecturer of Information Technology, expressed her shock and dismay at the sudden and unannounced removal of Emmanuel’s IT Department.
Despite the number of students who are majoring or minoring in Information Technology, the school will no longer be offering related courses, and encourages Emmanuel students to cross-register to finish their course of study. The program will not be offered to incoming students.
This past Friday, I held an open discussion with IT students Ruben Medeiros ’14, Maria Karantzoulidis ’14, and Alex Pho ’15. Medeiros and Karantzoulidis have declared IT as their minor; Pho’s individualized major was rejected last month before the announcement (or, well, lack thereof) of the department’s removal was announced. One thing was made clear – the administration did not take the students into account while making this decision, and aren’t budging to help.
“The school is growing,” Karantzoulidis said, “and getting rid of a department is not a good idea.”
This isn’t the first time the administration has made decisions without first considering or consulting the student body. Last year’s construction impeded many performing arts groups, and student dancers are still suffering from lack of space.
“There’s a difference between helping the administration and the school, and helping out the students and professors,” Pho said. “We should be focusing on fostering our education rather than having a death match over securing a job.”
Sean Philpott, the Chief Information Officer at Emmanuel College, will be speaking at the SGA meeting on Tuesday, April 16, at 12:15pm to share information about current information technology initiatives and to collect student feedback regarding information technology services. All are welcome! The meeting will take place in WSC 102.
What are your thoughts on Emmanuel’s sudden and unannounced removal of the IT department? Share with us below.