Show Support for the Comparative and International Education Program at Lehigh University
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It's with a heavy heart that we inform you of the closure of the Comparative and International Education Program at Lehigh University as of Thursday the 20th of April 2017. Understandably, many students, faculty, alumni, and friends of the program have been devastated by the abrupt end, and we truly question the lack of transparency throughout this decision-making process. We also question to what extent the well-being and integrity of students have been at the center of this decision and its timing.
In the spirit of transparency, knowing how many of you value the program as much as we do, the current graduate students felt it only right to bring the community up to speed on the status of the program and the events that have since occurred while we explore all avenues available to voice our disapproval of this decision.
At 12pm on Thursday April 20, 2017, an emergency CIE unit meeting was called, leaving students with less than 3 hours to prepare, where we were told that the program would be phased out over a period of 3 years. With little warning, and in a tone and manner many of us have since voiced was belittling, accusatory, and unprofessional, we were addressed by the Dean and the acting chair of the department Dr. Inman. This just two weeks before finals, with one of our colleagues due to defend her PhD proposal the following day. A subsequent meeting was then held earlier this week for online students who were understandably unable to attend the first one.
Students both full time and online/distance received an email with the decision to close the program after the meeting, which a group of students responded to questioning the decision and the manner in which it has been communicated. We have received a further update from the Dean himself, and there will be another meeting with the Dean to address our concerns and we urge those available to attend. Next Thursday May 4th at 8.30am EST zoom link: https://lehigh.zoom.us/j/775758583
In the meantime, we request that students, staff, faculty, alumni, and allies please sign this petition and comment on what role the CIE program has had in your life. We will be able to use this petition to show the level of support this program has on our campus and in our community.
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