It was a complete and utter disaster. The speaker was supposed to be Dr. Patricia Sloan-White, from the UD Department of Anthropology, speaking about her newly completed book on "Corporate Islam." Instead, that lecture had been cancelled, apparently some weeks before, and replaced by a lecture from a graduate student from the History Department on a completely unrelated topic. I had encouraged my students to attend and a huge number of them showed up, along with myself and another faculty member from my department. When we were told by Dr. Brophy that the lecture we had come to hear had been cancelled, I stuck my head in the door of the classroom and told my students the news and most (or all) of them got up and left. Subsequently, I was the recipient of several pissy emails from Dr. Brophy, even though he is the one responsible -- from my perspective -- for the confusion. If UD plans to advertise campus events as happening, and being open to the public, they need to make sure there is a fail-safe method of making sure that changes to the calendar are reflected on the website in a timely manner. And if a room has only a few extra seats available for members of the public, perhaps the event shouldn't be listed on the Calendar of Events at all. I now have a number of students and two community members, who I had specifically invited, annoyed at me for their bother. Along with Dr. Brophy, who seems to think it is my fault, somehow.
The Department of Physics and Astronomy took the unusual step of bringing in Dr. Chad Starks, a criminologist, to talk about STEM recruitment and broader issues related to structural inequalities in our society. Dr. Starks is an Associated Director of Delaware Space Grant and has interesting and effective ideas for increasing participation of underrepresented groups in STEM subjects. This colloquium covered a lot of ground and clearly engaged the audience,. It was a full house with as many as twenty people standing to listen. It was still full at the end, and the question and discussion period might have gone on still longer. This was a real interchange of ideas in a highly cross disciplinary mode. Attended by people from numerous departments and many graduate and undergraduate students, I would say it was a real success.
Very thought provoking!
Gore Hall, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USAEnlarge Map