Avi Kak came to Purdue to work in a university, and not in a trade school. In a letter to the editor of the Purdue Exponent he says that the Purdue English Department deserves more respect. Here is a taste:
As a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, I am obviously delighted that my department was able to grow by leaps and bounds even during the last two years of the pandemic while hiring in most of the rest of the departments was put in the deep freeze. I suppose that this unprecedented hiring spree was driven by our surging enrollments at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
While it is wonderful to see my department get larger, one cannot help but wonder if such breakneck growth was causing harm to the rest of the university. You see, I believe strongly that a university that is only good at STEM education is nothing more than a trade school. I came to Purdue to work in a university, and not in a trade school.
The horror stories coming out of our English department — how else would you describe the stories when the department head feels compelled to use phrases like “in order to keep our graduate program alive” — seem to indicate that our upper administration has lost respect for the non-STEM educators, and that’s a huge tragedy for all of us who work at Purdue. It’s a huge tragedy because you need professors (and graduate student instructors) to teach students what it means to read well, to write well, to think well, to appreciate the human condition and its complexities through exposure to art, literature, poetry and so on….
Let’s not let Purdue regress into a glorified approximation to a trade school.
Read the entire piece here.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.