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Recognition program instituted

By Sally Harris

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 03 - September 7, 1995

At the newly initiated fall convocation of the College of Arts and Sciences on Friday, Aug. 18, Dean Robert C. Bates announced a new program of periodically recognizing units for outstanding accomplishments.

Bates announced an award of $5,000 additional operating funds to the mathematics department and a $5,000 award to be split between the departments of geography and political science.

The Department of Mathematics, he said, "believed so strongly that it could hold together while fighting through restructuring, while revamping the way the support staff handles its work, and while changing its basic course delivery, that it accepted all three challenges." As a result, the department reduced its graduate concentrations to four, reformed the teaching of basic engineering calculus by incorporating computers, reconceived pre-calculus classes through the V-QUEST program, and introduced a pilot program to make Math 1015 a computer-based course.

"Together," Bates said, "these changes will affect over three-fourths of the first-year students yearly." Also, he said, "the support staff worked through the retraining and rethinking needed to replace paper and file cabinets with electronic equivalents."

"My other recognition today," Bates said, "goes jointly to two units, both of whom have lost heavily since 1990, who are finding ways to create opportunities by working together and who, in spite of the naysayers, are excited. The faculty and staff members in geography and political science have put aside differences and overcome personal and departmental ambitions to begin what should become the School for Public and International Affairs."

Together with Urban Affairs and the Center for Public Administration and Policy, the Department of Geography and the Department of Political Science are planning new curricula for students while offering fewer courses, and are planning joint conferences. They have planned and taught a special program of courses and internships in Washington.

"They are breaking the model that says alliances require new administrators and new resources, of which they have neither," Bates said.

Bates indicated he would give the non-competitive awards "on a periodic, but unannounced basis" to draw attention to accomplishments "beyond the many outstanding accomplishments of individuals and groups."