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"Western isn't perfect, as you know, and we should not idealize it in a sentimental way. The hard fact is that it is better than much you will experience elsewhere. [...] The essence of Western College is hard to catch. It cannot be bought. It cannot be sold. It cannot be captured. It cannot be mimicked. It is too spirited, too lively, too full of zest for that. Think of it carried comfortably by each of you wherever you may be around the world, next September or fifty years from now."
In her dedication of Hoyt Library, in March, 1974--in the shadow of Miami's buyout--Dean Hoyt of the original Western College

Important Subpages

Facts and Documents page | Alumni | Timeline | Criticisms | The Reconstruction

WCP Review Notes Summer Community Dinner photos

We are Western...We are Miami

We believe in a liberal arts education.

We support all departments, we are all working for a better future.

Interdisciplinary programs exist across the nation. However, Miami University stood out because was is a public institution in Ohio that devoted an entire undergraduate division to the pursuit of interdisciplinarity. No longer.

Timeline and Updates

  • Jan 23, 2007 Herbst and Hodge faculty meeting (wma). There is also a transcript available (pdf).
  • Jan 22, 2007 Herbst announces Hodge's affirmation of the Momeyer Committee findings (audio) at the University Senate meeting. Hodge is in Columbus to meet with governor so cannot attend. Senate discussion Transcript (pdf).
  • Nov 20 Senate accepts the Momeyer Ad Hoc Committee proposal with roughly 33 votes for and 12 votes against. Recordings are available in Recorded Media.
  • Oct. 24 Senate Ad Hoc Committee releases final report to Senate.
  • Friday, Oct. 6, 3-5 P.M in 111 Harrison (limited to testimony from students only) - Ad hoc committee open hearing #3 (student testimony only)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 4, 7-9 P.M in Leonard Theater of Peabody Hall - Ad hoc committee open hearing #2 (open testimony)
  • Monday, Oct. 2, 3-5 P.M in Shideler 115 - Ad hoc committee open hearing #1 (open testimony)
  • Sept 28 Online forum opens. Synopsis of Report for Posting.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2006 4:30pm - Community Meeting in Leonard on the report.
  • Monday, September 25,2006 - Interim Report from Rick Momeyer & committee (pdf) is released after several months of deliberation.
  • Senate Committee Schedule (pdf) -- Meetings are closed unless otherwise noted as far as we know.
  • August 20 2006 The school year resumes again. Ironically, Western's largest ever senior class is preparing research on their Senior Projects. A fair number of intrepid freshmen sat at La Manada August 19th despite the Board of Trustee's decision concerning their new major. Assistant Dean Charles Nies and secretary Leta have resigned to other schools or other departments. Students are somber about the situation, a few sophomores have transferred away in frustration. We all hope that the new President Hodge will realize what value and draw that Western held and still holds.
  • June 23 The Board of Trustees passes a resolution which dissolves the Western College Program. Its legacy of thirty-some years has now been terminated. The incoming class will be its last. There are only seven more days before President Garland retires from his position.
  • May 8 University Senate passes a recommendation to the Board of Trustees at an emergency meeting which requests that they postpone their affirmation of the outgoing president's recommendation until after a subcommittee has had a chance to evaluate the underlying process and rationale this summer.
  • President Garland releases his recommendation to dissolve Western. He claims that he is able to remove a division even if the power to determine the fate of programs within divisions is the responsibility of the University Senate.
  • Tuesday, April 25 Garland has moved his decision to this date after the last U. Senate Meeting, after the trustees have left town and while students and faculty are busy preparing for finals the following week.
  • April 17-19th (times and locations TBD) MU Presidential Candidate David Hodge will meet with students and faculty.
  • April 13th, Documents returned from Western Alumnus Tim Matune's Ohio Freedom of Information request are made public. The documents reveal that a significant portion of the Winkler committee report of March 6 was excerpted from the Honors Director Carolyn Haynes' notes. The documents contain quotes from Provost Herbst (and others) stating that Haynes would be dean (page 1) of the new college, implying that a proper dean search (that must take place) would be completely irrelevant. The first item is noted along with the lack of any credit being properly attributed in the text of the report or otherwise. It states in the report that Haynes provided the committee only "basic background information" over only 45 minutes. Students' vocal correspondences with Haynes at the Honors meeting on April 4 (mentioned below in the timeline) had strengthened this public account.
  • April 10th, University Senate voted and passed the the resolution drafted by Rick Momeyer which sets that a year-long task force should be allotted to determine the future of Western. A journalist's description of the proceedings is in our Press section. There were 40 votes for, 0 abstentions and six votes against. University senate's figurative power was also discussed critically--should senate be a body which makes recommendations or legislation as it says in the MU accreditation report?
    • Agenda (pdf) and minutes will be made available by the following Friday.
Residential Westerners eating at Alex Dining Hall
Residential Westerners eating at Alex Dining Hall
  • April 7th President Garland met with a few interested students and faculty generally at Miami.
  • Tuesday, March 21st - Associated Student Government passed a resolution supporting our voices.
  • Thursday, March 16th - Provost Herbst issued his recommendation in a report.
  • Wednesday, March 6th - The Wednesday before spring break - The "Winkler Report" was released.

Comprehensive Timeline

What is Western?

First of all, Thank you for visiting and caring.

Western College Program has been around since 1974. The Western College was originally a Women's College with a rich history. Many successful Western alums have come out of both the Women's college and the Western college and feel strongly about its future.

Every year The Western College Program takes about 25% of the total University Awards. The Western College Program comprise 10% of the existing University Honors Program. Considering that the program is only 1% of the total student body, this is significant and worth preserving intact (at the least taking care not to alienate such successful students who come to Miami for this program students).

Interdisciplinary Majors formally craft a focus in their sophomore year, submitting it to the university for verification. This focus includes at least 36 hours of non-Western courses which are 200-level or higher. We are out in Miami for a large percentage of our coursework--almost everything after Sophomore year. Ultimately this focus of courses to study influences the disciplinary lines which are woven together in our rigorous senior project.

80% of Western Students continue on to graduate school, the highest proportion of any department in the University. This structure and the prevailing seminar format of classes, a core ideal at Western, is similar in grad school so Western graduates can be particularly avid in such environments right from the start.

Western contributes to Miami as a Whole

  • The high level courses that constitute our foci are the same courses that hundreds of other Miami majors take--Psychology, Marketing, Engineering, Zoology, and so forth. We, like many other star students all around campus, try to bring as much as we can to these courses and our collective educational experience.
  • Western adds to the prestige of Miami. College Review publications like Barron's have cited it along with the Farmer School as one of Miami's strongest programs.
  • The Miami Living Learning community concept, the freshmen summer reading program, and divisional graduation ceremonies were all customs founded at Western and branched to the larger University.
  • Out of a sample of only 35 students in the Western program, we were involved in no fewer than 100 different organizations at Miami. We are active throughout the campus.
  • A 1995 award of $1.7 million by the National Science Foundation, in cooperation with the National Science Teachers Association, has supported creation of Dragonfly, an online and print journal of science discovery that publishes writings by both practicing scientists and elementary school children. This project links faculty committed to writing, computer-assisted learning, and discovery science in a publishing venture that grew out of undergraduate team-teaching in the Western College Program. The organization facilitates interdisciplinary teaching online to about 600 teachers online and takes about a hundred teachers and Miami students abroad to countries like Namibia and Thailand for experiential instruction each year.

Student Publications & Compilations

Town Hall meeting clips | Vital Documents Concerning WCP Review | Facts and Documents page

Core Values

We concede that the WCP is not perfect. As students, we all believe changes needed to come (although we would have gladly accepted a longer period to design these changes). We are especially concerned with the undemocratic pacing of these changes. There are certain processes of closing an Academic Division (i.e. School of Interdisciplinary Studies) that, by University Senate, must be followed: an intent must be announced and then a certain timeframe must pass. The administration is arguing that this timeframe began in January 2005 with the release of the second periodic external review. We say that this is not an announcement of intent by the administration (they hadn't published anything advisory until the week before spring break) and we are not being provided due time.

Interdisciplinary students have defined exactly what ideas are important to us that we want to fight to keep around (without these points reflected, any piecemeal "Western" college would remain in name only):

  1. Living/Learning Community paired with a core curriculum of seminar style classes, ending in a senior project, and a core faculty
    • (The Honors college is currently a paper division, which means it does not have its own dedicated faculty. Western's core faculty, who know us and our classes and work with us throughout our college careers, are completely required for a vital community. The possibility of having only guest faculty visiting from other departments is a change which needs to be addressed.)
  2. Interdisciplinary & self-designed focus leading to a major
  3. Admissions process that prioritizes intellectual risk-taking and self-determination over grade point averages and test scores
    • (We suggest that professor recommendations and personal display of intellectual vitality in an interview would better collect the organically distributed students that have made WCP valuable. Not all of us did well enough on paper in High School to join Honors but in the light of this program, have been allowed to flourish as we would not have otherwise. A few of us, despite academic qualifications, would not have accepted the label of Honors simply because it has certain connotations. This is a more minor point. In general, we reject the supposition that Honors students are the only students deserving of modest increases in per student costs in the name of alternative education techniques. Western has proven itself historically.)
  4. Attached to the Western College grounds.

Student Publications

We present four documents: A proposal consisting of our priority changes, a proposal consisting of changes working within the Winkler document and a document voicing our concerns with the President and Provost's proceedings. Lastly, a students reflection.

  • High Quality Suggestions (pdf) - Some suggestions from students throughout the university for changes to Western, working outside the Honors proposal framework proposed by the Winkler report.
  • Western within Honors (pdf)- Jessica Ruff and other students have worked very hard to outline how Western and its values could be preserved within the confines of the Honors College proposal.
  • Concerns submitted to University Senate (pdf) - Submission to University Senate on March 27 by Anne Towne which questions the Intent, Timing and Transparency of the WCP program changes thus far.
  • Western Reflections- Nathan Smith reflects on his experience thus far in the Western College Program

If you are looking for another part of the Western Wiki please go to the Alternative Main Page. Thanks. [Cool link: Street Addresses of MU Buildings] Western Wiki:Easy Wiki Primer | Wiki Sandbox | Students for Peace and Justice on the wiki.