As every other student in the School of International Studies, I received a very strange and rather unnerving e-mail on Tuesday afternoon from my academic advisor. The message simply said we had a mandatory meeting for the following day, with, among others, the dean of the school, to discuss a “restructuring within the school.” By now, everyone knows what the change is all about: That in the near future, fall of 2002, we’ll probably no longer be part of the SIS, but of the Department of International Studies – or International Affairs, or any other name they might concoct, within the College of Arts and Sciences.
As expected, there’s been some shouting, much complaining.
Interim Dean Andy Gomez and Steven Ullmann, Dean of the Graduate School, tried to sell us a new product, an advantage they said.
Under the umbrella of the College of Arts and Sciences, they said, we will have a whole college open to us – something that wasn’t available before.
I, for one, bought it. I’d probably have asked for the extended warranty in this case, but I’m not sure one is available.
Many of the questions that were asked revolved around one issue: That we won’t be known anymore as a School, but as a department.
I, honestly, don’t give a damn.
But I understand why the undergraduate students are complaining. After all, their degree does (or would) say “School of International Studies,” and now it’ll read “College of Arts and Sciences.” Undergraduates who worked to have the former on their diploma when they graduate in 2003, however, won’t.
But, as a graduate student, I don’t see the difference, other than the fact that my ego – if I actually cared about it – will be hurt. I’ve had a masters diploma from UM since May 2000, and neither my diploma nor my r