Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Rhetoric, Here to Stay?

The College announced today that it would once again be offering classes in speech—after closing down the department in 2005. Curiously, today's notice claims that "President James Wright and Provost Barry Scherr have strongly supported the development of excellence in writing and rhetoric." Also noting:

The ability to communicate ideas clearly and persuasively is an essential feature of a liberal arts education, and the Institute enriches the long-term commitment of Dartmouth's faculty to teaching these skills.

The Dartmouth Review couldn't agree more
, and we're happy the administration has come to this conclusion. Other changes in coming years include:

  • eliminate all exemptions from the Writing Requirement so that all students will now take two writing courses;
  • add two positions to teach courses in public speaking;
  • introduce upper-level writing instruction in non-writing intensive disciplines;
  • offer a wider array of writing courses for students who desire to develop greater sophistication in their ability in written communication;
  • expand student support services, including writing assistance for students taking foreign language courses;
  • develop and implement assessment tools to determine the effectiveness of the teaching of writing and speech.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why an "Institute"?

How is this different from a "Department"?

A. S. Erickson said...

I don't know for sure, but one possibility is that by not calling it a department they can staff it with just adjunct professors.

Truth Be Told said...

If it's an "institute", then there will be a budget for offices, secretaries, and administrative assitants. Another little fief for someone who should be teaching...

Anonymous said...

And if it's an Institute, it won't be confused with a department in which students can major or professors can research; and it can provide a service to all departments.

An "institute" is service-oriented: you go to them for help. The fact that they teach some courses is not essential to their function. It's exactly the kind of group that should be staffed with adjunct professors, or less. Maybe experienced high school teachers. People who should not be teaching college courses.