The Future of the Theatre Department

This petition made change with 179 supporters!

UPDATE FROM PROVOST: "I am not given the authority to offer any tenure track appointments until the early fall, so no department, regardless of the pressure that is exerted, can be hearing definitively that they will receive one of those positions.

I will, however, assure you once again that you have made a good case for what you believe the department needs. The Theatre program is very valuable, both to our students and to the College. Please let me know if there is any additional information I can provide to you.​"

Ira Domser, the main technical professor for the McDaniel Theatre Department is retiring. We need a replacement because we do not have a professor to teach technical theatre classes, including ones required to complete the Theatre Arts major.

The Academic Planning Committee's current plan to replace Ira is to have two part-time positions fulfill the needs next year. However, the Academic Planning Committee wants to replace Ira's position with two part-time positions PERMANENTLY. This is not a sustainable solution and we are working to share our concerns with the Provost about this.

Concerns include (but are not limited to):

  • Part time instructors would be only required to work 13 hours a week outside of the classroom; not enough time to produce a department performance. Tech week takes 12 hours per day, so they would not be able to attend tech week for more than one day.
  • There is a high turnover rate among part time professors, so hiring two part time instructors in permanent positions does not guarantee consistency, and there may end up being new instructors coming in every year, needing to be retrained about the specifics of our department.
  • McDaniel College prides itself in teacher student relationships. Without consistency it is difficult for students to form meaningful relationships. This is essentially depriving students from one of the fundamental principles of this institution.
  • Tech focused students would have not have academic advisers with familiarity in their focus, and no one to serve as a mentor.
  • Elizabeth van den Burg will be the only full time professor in the theatre department. What will happen when she retires? 
  • Elizabeth and Gene' Fouche would be the only two advisers for a department with over 30 majors, and would have a lot of strain from this


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