Wayne Saved; Brandeis’ loss is MIT’s gain

We at Innermost Parts would like to tender a huge congratulations to Professor Wayne Marshall.

The good Professor has been a valuable contribution to the Brandeis community, inspiring “countless students to branch out of their normal academic interests and into other areas of study. … his style of teaching has engaged students in ways most professors have never quite thought to have [sic] attempted.”

Regretfully, Brandeis University refused to “Save Wayne” and continue his employment at this august institution into the coming academic year. But all was not lost!

Innermost Parts is proud to commend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for having the good fortune to recognize Wayne’s talent, brilliance, and superlative teaching style. He will be missed.

Still, I know several Brandeis Students are planning on going to his weekly gigs DJing in Cambridge next year. If nothing else, Wayne has made his presence felt on campus for the short time he’s been here.

CARS Commitee Proposes Eliminating African-American Studies Department


Black students at the occupation of Ford Hall in 1969 lobbying for, among other things, the creation of an African-American Studies Department

As if black students didn’t have enough to be pissed off about at the moment (what with an all-white Union Judiciary deciding the fate of the racial minority senator position), the Cirruculum and Academic Restructuring Steering (CARS) Commitee recommended today that the African and Afro-American Studies department be eliminated and transformed into an “interdisciplinary program” instead. Current AAAS professors would be reassigned to other departments, although they could still focus in AAAS.

CARS cites the small number of AAAS majors (“just 7 in AY 2007-2008”), and the small size of the faculty (five) as justification for its recommendation. They point out that “This year… when three AAAS faculty members had the opportunity to go on research leave, there were only two department faculty members remaining at Brandeis.” Of course, neither of these reasons actually make a case for shutting down the department. CARS concedes that “although AAAS graduates relatively few majors… average enrollment in its courses is strong.” So the lack of faculty speaks more to a lack of commitment by the university to the department than to any weakness of the department itself. I’ve mentioned this problem before, the most obvious example being the University’s letting go of Prof. Wayne Marshall (you can still sign the petition at savewayne.org!).

Continue reading “CARS Commitee Proposes Eliminating African-American Studies Department”

Save Wayne Campaign in the Boston Phoenix

The Boston Phoenix has a short piece on the Save Wayne campaign. Perhaps administrators will start to listen now!

Check it out: http://thephoenix.com/Boston/News/79369-Will-Brandeis-lose-its-swagger/

“Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz unleashed a torrent of negative publicity for his university when, with zero transparency, he announced that the school would shut down its vaunted campus-based Rose Art Museum… Condemnation from all corners of the art world was swift. Now, ethnomusicologically invigorated Brandeis students and alumni are hoping for a similar outburst of criticism for the probable downsizing of Wayne Marshall, who, since 2007, has taught urban music and African-American studies as the school’s Florence Levy Kay fellow.”

I’d like to quickly mention one important point about Wayne Marshall’s leaving which I do not believe has been stressed enough: how much of a loss his departure will be to the African and Afro-American Studies department. With Professor Mapps away in the fall, and Professors Smith, Joseph, and Sundiata away currently, an already small department will have to continue offering limited class selections. Although the faculty and classes we do have are excellent, AAAS majors like myself have few choices in which classes to take to satisfy our major requirements. Wayne Marshall’s loss is therefore extremely frustrating, because he added a greater diversity of subjects for AAAS students to pursue.

So, yes, Marshall’s departure is terrible in so many ways. Remember to sign the petition at savewayne.com, and to join the Facebook group!

The Save Wayne campaign has an awesome website

Check this out: www.savewayne.com

Leor just sent me the link to the AMAZING website for the Save Wayne campaign. We’re really going to step up the efforts to save Wayne Marshall, the best reggae professor at Brandeis.

Remember, if Wayne Marshall departs, we lose 20% of our already-small African-American Studies faculty.

Sign the petition now! And send it to your friends! Student support is the only way we’ll save Prof. Marshall. Remember, alumni, faculty, staff, and parents are welcome to sign the petition as well! Let’s get as many people as possible!

Today is your last day to nominate Wayne Marshall for a teaching award!

Per the campus-wide Student Union email:

“Today is your last chance to nominate a member of the Brandeis faculty for a Teaching Award! If you have a professor who you think deserves recognition for outstanding teaching, please send an e-mail with a paragraph describing why a professor deserves an award to ewong@brandeis.edu.

Nominations are due by the end of the day, Monday, March 2, 2009.”

Of course, you can nominate whoever you like, but may I suggest a particular Music and AAAS professor whose job might hang in the balance? I speak of course, of Wayne Marshall, who absolutely deserves a teaching award. A flood of nominations for him could also serve as an important reminder to Brandeis that he matters to our school. Please, take five minutes of your time and send an email to ewong@brandeis.edu.

Also, don’t forget to email savewayne@gmail.com to sign the Save Wayne petition.