Tension in English Department has been around for years - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tension in English Department has been around for years

April 15, 2004

Albany- For the first time, ASU President Portia Shields said the English Department has struggled with tension among faculty members for years.

The acknowledgement was in response to recent problems in the department that involved a recent meeting where a professor was offended by another professor's statement. An internal investigation found there were no racial intentions in the remark.

More controversy was stirred up this week when Shields announced she was removing the department's interim chairman, Dr. Sandy Cohen.

Thursday, Shields reiterated her statement that Cohen's position was never permanent. His regular job is as a faculty member. And she wants him to participate in the department changes in the position he would permanently hold. She's asking the faculty to put the problems behind them and focus on the students.

"Unfortunately, the English Department is having trouble and has been having trouble for many years peacefully co-existing as a unit, working together just for the good of the students," Shields said.

The university has hired a firm to do mediation and negotiation with the department's faculty beginning April 19. Cohen is staying until the end of the summer and then plans to retire. He's been teaching at ASU for 32 years.

posted at 6:34 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com

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