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A selection of the Emmanuel College Student Handbook (featured on page 43 if you’d like a good read) details the prohibition of sects and cults operating on campus. The authors of our handbook write that the college is concerned with groups “that pose a threat to students’ personal freedom and their objectives as college students to concentrate on their academics.”
What an apt way to describe the behavior and practices of Emmanuel’s most elusive and shadowy organization: its own administration.
Imagine what the initiation must have been like? A singular black balloon tied to the back of a chair in the empty and dimly lit Fenway Room; Halo and the Sisters of Notre Dame gathered in a circle, rapidly beating the ceremonial drums together. Bon Appetite probably catered.
I digress, but in response to a series of controversies surrounding employment and the tenure process at Emmanuel College, this portrayal doesn’t seem entirely out of character. The student body is collectively frustrated by the Administration’s general and questionable preference of discretion in all aspects of business here. Even that terrible freshman leadership academy was committed to the theme of expression and assertion as noble skills in a competitive work place. What did any of that mean if the real world according to EC is just a bunch of red tape and baseless employee turnover? I’ll take the fast track out of a place like that any day, thanks (a lot of the first years already do.)
Professor Craig’s failed bid for tenure and the termination of Professor Kulich’s contract with the school feels about as indisposed as a philanthropist who also fervently renounces social welfare programs. (On Facebook, everything she does is “for the kids” except for that one time when she said she hated the poor). Is there an ulterior motive? Why are invaluable members of the faculty being ostracized and let go when their qualifications fulfill every standard of excellence, when their students’ gratitude for their contributions to their education finally outweigh every appeal to retain them? You won’t find that answer here (I strongly suggest that you write to your administration and ask.)
The privilege of receiving an education when so few have the opportunity to feels meaningless without the talent, enthusiasm and collaborative support of the very best educators. But hey, “money talks, professors walk” right? What? No. Not at all. I disagree.
You would have noticed if your favorite professors came to class every day only to collect their paycheck. Every student who attends this school is most certainly an investment, but not exclusively of the kind that you fear.
A school is only worth what its students are. The men and women who educate us launched their careers with the understanding that they’re in the business of learning. That’s a very different business than most. They challenge and they inspire; they write your recommendations and help you achieve. They give you their time. Our professors care about us as much as we care about them.
So I was a little dissuaded by a recent Op-Ed which was quickly published by The Hub and shared by dozens of resentful students with the frankly brazen title “Emmanuel College Doesn’t Care About You.”
Emmanuel College is an entity, an institution. The administration is the manifestation of the school’s primary objective, to fulfill the needs of students and staff so they succeed here. They calculate, and consider, and determine what is in the best interest of the school in accordance with its mission. Sometimes they’re wrong.
The Promotion and Tenure Committee failed to appropriately engage student and community input regarding their decision to deny Christopher Craig candidacy for tenure. Courtesy is only a formality (and unrelated but so is Planning Day, which sucks so much).
Phew, got all that out of my system.
There are many great professors (and adjunct professors, too) and some of them teach at Emmanuel College. I write to join the dozens of other voices as part of this student-coordinated effort and belief that none of them deserve neglect on the part of our administration. We can be a part of the change that stops that from happening again.
Also, don’t ride any academic track for too long or you’ll miss the whole point. Premed? Good for those people. There’s no preference for their discipline that matters except yours, or maybe you’re interested in other things. An education in the liberal arts is all-encompassing and the best professors will help you become thoroughly acquainted with everything.
And by the way, if any group on this campus could pass for a cult, I’d say it’s those 1804 Society kids. They give me the willies.