To the Editor:
I have just read your September 21 report on the Town Hall sponsored by Spec and the College Student Council and I must thank you for both the event and the reportage. This is the best thing that has happened since the regrettable resignation of Dean Moody-Adams. No doubt there are valid reasons for respecting confidentiality in the Dean’s personal case, but since there has been so little transparency in the central administration’s handling of developments relating to the College, it is reassuring that your Town Hall Meeting brought out, perhaps not the largest possible audience, but speakers representing the College and University Senate and the Governing Board itself, as well as other students, and of course Dean Valentini. I don’t know Dean Valentini personally, but I was impressed by his openness, forthrightness, and enthusiasm for dealing vigorously with the needs of the College, especially the Core.
Much more needs to be done to enlist senior faculty in the teaching of the Core, and in helping to train graduate students and junior faculty to overcome their inhibitions as specialists when facing the broad demands the Core makes in preparing students for world citizenship.
I hope Spec and the College Student Council will extend this excellent Town Hall into a regular series, perhaps twice a semester, with a growing number of issues and participants. From what I know of President Bollinger and Vice-President Dirks I believe they would gladly join in this open forum. The same could be said, I think, of the more than 30 members of The Society of Senior Scholars, professors emeriti who continue volunteer teaching in the Core and who could help balance the increasing number of younger teachers, who could benefit from the mature experience of the Seniors.
Wm. Theodore de Bary, CC ’41, MA ’48, PhD ’53
Chair of Student Governing Board 1940-41
John Mitchell Mason Professor of the University and Provost Emeritus
Sept. 26, 2011