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As an English major, I’ve learned to accept—and expect—criticism from my parents.
“Okay, but what do you plan to do with that degree?”
“Why not explore the sciences? You loved ER as a kid!”
“You couldn’t major in ‘waste of money’ instead?”
As an English major, what I haven’t learned to accept or expect is the criticism that comes from my own college. But twice in as many semesters, I have been confronted with the fact that Emmanuel College obviously doesn’t care about me or any student who is trying to truly learn anything during his or her four years here.
When I heard last week that Professor Chris Craig had been denied tenure, I figured it was a joke. It would take a special kind of idiot to deny tenure to a professor who inspires and challenges and encourages and nurtures his students the way that Professor Craig does. I soon realized that I pay tens of thousands of dollars a year to line the pockets of some special kinds of idiots.
Professor Craig always managed to accomplish what so very few professors successfully do: he taught his classes something. Through his lectures and assigned readings, I learned about the oppressed, the repressed, the downtrodden, the misunderstood and the forgotten. I learned about America. I learned about humanity. I learned about myself. He was the first professor I’ve ever had who taught me about homosexuality during a class lesson that didn’t involve the words “AIDs” or “Stonewall Riot” or “Liza Minnelli.” They were lectures I cherished and won’t soon forget.
This administrative decision comes just months after Mark Baard, the only professor of journalism at Emmanuel College, was ambiguously let go. To say I learned more from Craig and Baard than from any other professors I’ve had at Emmanuel would be a gross understatement. But considering how little Emmanuel College seems to care about the English department, I’m presuming the irony of this situation is completely lost on them.
This isn’t the first time that Emmanuel has denied tenure to worthy applicants and it won’t be the last either. Every year, more and more (incredibly qualified and well-liked) professors from the humanities departments are terminated. And it makes me realize that—unless you’re on the all-powerful pre-med track with an expendable income waiting for you in a decade’s time—Emmanuel College is not at all concerned with the quality of your education.
Money talks, professors walk.
Brian Burns ’16 is a Staff Writer for The Hub. He can be reached at email@example.com . Follow him on Twitter @burnsing_up732