Scholars Program under review

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By Ryan Semerad

Union’s Scholars Program will be changing.

There had been serious discussion this term about the possibility of the prestigious program being removed for one reason or another.

The program received some criticism from an unofficial evaluation looking to find ways to trim Union’s budget. The evaluation suggested cutting the program would be a way to reduce spending.

However, when this proposal was brought to a vote with both the Academic Affairs Council (AAC) and the Student Forum, it was defeated.

In place of complete removal, the Scholars Program will be reviewed by a sub-council of the AAC consisting of the Dean of Studies Kristin Bidoshi, faculty, Director of the Scholars Program Maggie Tongue and two students appointed by the Student Forum.

Vice President of Academics Shivani Suhag ‘12 described the new sub-council’s mission as being revisionary, not deconstructive.

“[The new sub-council] is trying to find out what are the strengths [of the Scholars Program] and how can we make the program stronger,” said Suhag ‘12.

While the unofficial evaluation did prescribe some revisions, in addition to its recommendation to remove the program, Suhag felt it would be better to find out what revisions to make with an official committee.

“Nothing changes until the Sub-Council completes its evaluation,” said Suhag ‘12. She projects that the sub-council will be up and running by the end of the term, and that its final report will be completed by the end of the year.

Vice President of Administration Bessena Cabe ‘13 echoed Suhag’s comments.

“The mission of the committee is to tackle the issue, not remove the program,” he said.

In a statement made via e-mail, Dean of Studies Kristin Bidoshi said “All of the members of the Academic Affairs Council (AAC), the academic administration and Admissions are very supportive of the Scholars program.”

With regard to the new subcommittee, Bidoshi said, “It is my hope that the sub-council will engage in thoughtful considerations of ways to make the most of the program with the resources we have available.”

Scholars Program Director Maggie Tongue declined to comment on the situation or the new sub-council at this time.

 

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