The Western program comprises about 1 percent of Miami’s student body but contributes about 10 percent of the honors students…
Two reviews found the program not without flaws but still worth preserving; Barron’s Best Buys in College Education, Eighth Edition, calls it one of Miami’s two strongest programs (the other being the School of Business), and yet an ad hoc committee recommended its closure.
Western is charged with being too expensive, but it is by no means the most expensive program at Miami. It is charged with not drawing enough admissions, but last year the Miami admissions office prohibited Western from recruiting directly from high schools, while still claiming that Western is primarily responsible for its own recruitment. When the transparency of the evaluation process was called into question, a lawyer gained access, via the Ohio Public Records Act, to 1,500 pages of relevant documentation and concluded that indeed, the process had not been open at all.
The University Senate passed, 40-6 with no abstentions, a resolution calling for a further year of study without any other action being taken; it was overruled by the administration — an unusual move, as the Senate exists to deal with academic matters. At every turn, the facts seem to support at least a more detailed evaluation not only of the Western program but also of the decisionmaking process.
Michael Conaway from Union, N.J.: kudos to you.
Hays Cummins and Chris Wolfe have been working on a “Plan B” to try to salvage whatever can be salvaged from the old program for the new, and kudos to them, too. They’re good guys with a lot invested in Western.
But oh, more I think about it all, the angrier I get.
Meg was particularly angry when she heard the news. She was an architecture student, but it was the community life at Western that kept her at Miami. Otherwise, she would’ve split. So you’ve got a couple whose lives would’ve been totally different without Western.
It’s no wonder I’ve been harping about this so much.
The great point that’s been made over and over: it’s not only past, present, and future Western students who suffer from this decision, it’s really everyone at Miami.
But maybe Miami doesn’t deserve what it had. Who knows.
“The process of writing will always be trying to repair something that doesn’t exist with tools you have to invent on the spot.” I read that quote by George Saunders (from an interview with Fugue) right after I read the Dispatch piece.
I’m not sure what exactly it has to do with Western, but it sure as hell seems to fit.