College Council Discusses New Creative Writing Chair and Middle States


Robert Grimes (center) led the discussion with news of what was going on at Fordham (CONNOR MANNION/THE OBSERVER)


While the bi-annual Club Day went on in the Indoor Plaza, College Council had their first meeting of the new year to discuss business for the spring semester. The meeting was held in McMahon 109.

Robert Grimes, S.J., dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC), announced that the university had named an inaugural visiting chair established by Fordham alumna and author Mary Higgins Clark, FCLC ’79, with a donation of two million dollars in 2012 to establish a visiting chair in creative writing. “The visiting chair, who will teach for a few weeks in the fall semester is Lee Child, who is a contemporary of Clark.” Lee Child is perhaps most well known for his series of books featuring the protagonist Jack Reacher which were adapted into the eponymous film starring Tom Cruise.

“It’s good that we were able to find a friend and contemporary of Clark’s, but we’re hoping to find more writers as the years go on and in different fields of writing as well,” Grimes said.

Yielding the meeting to current business, the main topics included a discussion of online summer classes and if they should they be allowed to be taken by liberal arts undergraduates. Currently, students in Gabelli and Professional and Continuing Studies (PCS) are allowed to take these courses. Students present at the meeting, Rory Hanrahan and Becky Song, both FCLC ’18 and representatives of United Student Government (USG), said that they saw the appeal of online courses being offered to liberal arts students. Katherine Ott, FCLC ’17 and the vice president of the Resident Hall Association (RHA), asked if online courses were different in pricing to in-person summer courses. According to Robert Moniot, assistant dean of FCLC, “the pricing per credit would be the same.” Professors also expressed concern that once an online class curriculum was created, they could be replaced by a graduate student or an adjunct professor.

According to Grimes, faculty also needed to prepare for upcoming Middle States accreditation. Educational accreditation is a quality assurance process to ensure colleges like Fordham are upholding educational standards. There will be a visiting team of professors and administrators from various Mid-Atlantic universities to perform this commission. This process will begin in April.

Grimes deferred to the usual business of the spring semester by telling faculty to be ready for the major fair happening on Feb. 11. “The fair is primarily for sophomores who have to declare at the end of this semester, but freshmen will be encouraged to stop by as well,” he said.

He also asked faculty to prepare for Spring Preview, where many admitted students come to get a better sense of Fordham as a whole. “If you are going to represent the major, we’d also recommend that you bring along a student in the major to explain that experience as well,” Grimes continued.

Before adjourning the College Council meeting, he also mentioned that Continuous University Strategic Planning (CUSP), a university-wide planning initiative, would be an upcoming agenda item for future College Council meetings, “but I just found out before this that we don’t have to discuss it at this meeting.”