The Golden Shoe "Foot in Mouth" Award
Let me award the President of Buffalo State College (SUNY) with the Golden Shoe “Foot in Mouth” Award.
On February 22nd, BSC’s Prez Dr. Muriel Howard is quoted in the Buffalo News as saying: “Achieving excellence from within not only requires additional faculty; it requires the right faculty members.” The article went on to say, “Buffalo State College intends to hire more full-time faculty members who can engage students inside and outside the classroom, its president said.” The school currently employs 339 part-time faculty, and they make up 45 percent of the 755 member faculty. Howard wants to boost the percentage of full-time faculty teaching at the institution to 65 percent of the total.
Here’s my question, when she hires those extra full-time faculty who will, without a doubt, be the “right” faculty members and engage students inside and outside the classroom, Prez Howard will still be left with hundreds of the “wrong” kind of faculty. Shall we meet one of them?
Linda A. Drajem is one of those Buffalo State College who, evidently, don’t engage students inside, as well as outside of the classroom. Here’s her bio. from the English Department website: http://www.buffalostate.edu/english/drajemla.xml?username=drajemla:
Linda Drajem is a veteran of 25 years teaching high school in the Buffalo Public Schools. In September of 2001 she received her Ph.D. from SUNY Buffalo in American Studies. Her research interests include issues affecting urban education, especially the cultural dissonance between largely White teachers and Black and Latino students. Her dissertation topic was Life Stories: Successful White Women Teachers of Ethnically and Racially Diverse Students. Commitment to diversity is especially important to her life pursuits. She is a Fellow of the Center for Excellence in Urban and Rural Education. In addition she serves on the board of PFLAG, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. She has just been selected to serve as head of the local AAUW’s education foundation. Committed to teaching writing, she has been a long time member of the Just Buffalo Literary Center and the WNY Writing Project. This summer she has been asked to co-present a writing workshop for returning Writing Project Fellows. Her interests include membership in women’s writing group, reading (of course), travel, and theater.
This is from Muriel Howard’s online bio.:
Dr. Muriel A. Howard has served as the president of Buffalo State College since 1996. Dr. Howard’s professional and scholarly interests include educational leadership and the representation of women and minorities in the academy.
Too bad part of her educational leadership doesn’t include treating all of her faculty as valued members of the community. If she employs part-time faculty whom she feels are not engaging (or not able to engage) the students enrolled at Buffalo State College both inside and outside the classroom, Howard should fire every last one of them, and hire some who do. That would be leadership. Otherwise, she should get on with hiring the full-time faculty to boost the institutions overall numbers, and treat the contributions of her part-time faculty with the respect they deserve.