Two chairs of departments in the Faculty of Arts issued statements today on their departmental websites. The statement by Ryan Dunch, Chair, East Asian Studies speaks to the suspension of the certificate in translation studies in Chinese, announced by Dean Lesley Cormack in her radio interview with CBC this morning. Theatre Chair Kathleen Weiss’s statement addresses the proposed suspension of the major in Technical Theatre, as announced in the Dean’s August 16th memorandum. The text of both messages is below. As Professor Dunch notes, the Department of East Asian Studies believes that the suspended certificate “is a valuable credential that has potential to grow and to attract more Alberta students to major in Chinese.” The suspension of such a certificate in the face of China’s ever-growing global stature and the Faculty’s commitment to educating “global citizens” is sad testament to what several years of cuts to our funding have produced. A dedicated theatre town, Edmonton has been rallying around the Theatre department, and Professor Weiss thanks the community for its support.
Departments whose programs or certificates have been proposed for suspension have until September 3rd to furnish their arguments in writing to the Dean.
The Student Union’s VP Academic Dustin Chelen is inviting students to cc him on any messages they write to the Dean.
Those who wish to offer another form of support may want to sign a petition that has been started by alumnus Alexander Beecroft on change.org. Support from alumni of the Faculty’s programs may be especially helpful. Who better to testify to the success and importance of our programs than our alumni?
Messages of support are greatly welcomed here too.
As stated by Dean Lesley Cormack on CBC radio this morning (cbc.ca/player/Radio/Local+Shows/Alberta/Edmonton+AM/ID/2401633708/ …), the Department of East Asian Studies has moved to suspend the Certificate in Translation Studies in Chinese due to a critical shortage of continuing faculty in Chinese.
The Certificate was approved by the Ministry of Advanced Education in 2005 and revised and reaffirmed by the Faculty of Arts in 2009. Offered in collaboration with the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, it is a prime example of a student-focused, innovative and collaborative program that is not duplicated by other post-secondary institutions in Alberta. Enrolment in the certificate has been growing steadily, and the Department believes that it is a valuable credential that has potential to grow and to attract more Alberta students to major in Chinese.
However, offering the Certificate in Translation Studies in Chinese requires the department to schedule two senior classes each and every year. This year, with retirements and leaves, we are left with one professor of Chinese on campus for Winter 2014, and thus are unable to offer the required class. Students already registered in the Certificate will be offered alternative means to complete the requirements.
In view of our diminishing number of faculty positions (2.5 professors in Chinese), the Department has made the difficult decision to suspend new registrations in the Certificate in Translation Studies in Chinese, effective immediately. This means that students already in the Certificate will be able to complete it, but no new students will be admitted. The required paperwork for the suspension will be filed in the coming weeks.
Please note that the corresponding Certificate in Japanese is not affected by this announcement and remains open for new students. We do not anticipate a problem continuing to offer the certificate in Japanese, which has both more faculty and more students.
As stated, the Department believes strongly in the viability and importance of the Certificate in Translation Studies in Chinese. We sincerely hope that a restoration of funding to the University and the Faculty of Arts will permit us to revive and reinvigorate this important program in future years.
Chair, Department of East Asian Studies
August 19, 2013
Chair’s Message About Potential Technical Theatre Cut
I want to thank everyone who has expressed their concern about the cuts spoken of by Lesley Cormack, Dean of the Faculty of Arts. I appreciate the overwhelming support of this remarkable theatre community. We are currently examining this situation with the Faculty of Arts. The Stage Management and Technical Production programs were established with quotas recognizing their special nature and neither program is meeting those quotas so are under enrolled. However, both programs together constitute the major in Technical Theatre and this has not been taken into account yet. Once that is done, our numbers will be above the ten which is informing the decision of last week. I expect that the Faculty of Arts will take this new information into consideration. Until things are sorted out, I do not know what kind of support we need from our community. In the coming days, I will update you on how you can help us. Thank you again for your support. The Department of Drama remains fully committed to excellence and the teaching of theatre’s future leaders.