Friday, April 11, 2008

Closing departments, and not

Word has floated this way that the University of Southern California is closing its small German Department, a story reported here. It sounds like they were not terminally isolated, but they had tried to get hires together with Comp Lit, which doesn't sound promising in general. I assume a department that was really pursuing the broad interdisciplinary agenda urged by the MLA recently (discussed here and then here) would be relatively safe from closure, but it's hard to tell these days — university administrators are doing lots of crazy things in response to budget pressures. 

Of course, you never know how those things will play — after a lot of very public noise here about closing Comp Lit, the dean has apparently back down and I've heard that they are admitting grad students again. See here for their own partial update, now almost a year old — elsewhere on the page they indicate that a new ranking has them 10th in the U.S. I don't have any real indication that they've addressed any of their fundamental problems.

1 comment:

Mr. Verb said...

You can see the Chronicle of Higher Education's piece here.