Coming out of darkness over here to post an editorial that ran in the Cincinnati Enquirer today. Ms. Reutter expresses my own suspicions: that the move to squash Western was one of political payback. Check it out.
Miami loses by eliminating school
By Claire Reutter
I am a Miami University graduate from the 1980s grieving the loss of a dear friend who made an indelible impression on my life. My alma mater, the School of Interdisciplinary Studies (or the Western College Program), is slated to close (“Last pitch fails; trustees dissolve Western College,” June 24).
The news came suddenly to the Western community of alumni and students, who were shocked when they got the first word in the spring that this might happen. The outgoing Miami president and his administration overturned a 40-6 University Senate vote that called for a study next year to explore issues such as low enrollment. Instead, the school will be eliminated no later than June 30, 2008.
What’s in it for an outgoing university president to squelch dialogue and rush through closure of this dynamic liberal arts college that Barron’s Buys considers to be one of Miami University’s two stongest programs (the other one being its School of Business)?
Well, Miami’s dining hall and maintenance employees had a strike. Not surprisingly, several faculty members and students in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies – which has always concerned itself with social justice – supported it.
So now it’s payback time, and the outgoing president can make sure that the incoming president has one less thorn in his side, one less dissenting voice that suggests that even the menial laborers deserve a fair share.
I shudder to think where I would be now if it weren’t for my alma mater. Many of my colleagues attended Miami solely because of the Western Program.
One thing is certain: Without an entity that speaks up for what is right, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, will become more of a monoculture than ever before.
Claire Reutter has moved back to the Cincinnati area after four years in Maui, Hawaii, where she worked as a teacher, a writer, and a public librarian. She now lives in Clifton with two sisters, her husband and their 4-year-old son.