SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Lost Priorities at UAS Ketchikan Campus
By Robert Warner


September 08, 2009

Dear SitNews Editor:

The SITNEWS article of August 31, 2009 describing the hiring of a new college humanities faculty member sadly reflects the lost priorities of UAS Ketchikan Campus. With high unemployment and few opportunities for young people in our community, one would think that UAS Ketchikan would focus most funding and programs on training that helps students learn essential skills related to work and employment. Instead, the school seems to drift aimlessly into an arty dreamland called "the humanities."

Why would such a small campus need three full-time faculty and three ranked adjuncts in the humanities? What are the employment potentials for trained poets, creative writers, communicators, and other so called humanists? I am not being critical of basic Freshman English/Composition classes. They are essential to college success in most fields of study. A class or two in literature also benefits a well rounded education. Three full time faculty, however, are clearly NOT NEEDED to teach Freshman English and literature skills at UAS Ketchikan.

More important, what happened to many vocationally focused programs developed during the days when the campus was a full service community college? For years, the community worked hard to create a small business development and investment program closely related to Ketchikan's economy. There was a full time business instructor on campus to teach and lead. What happened to this program and the locally assigned instructor? Wouldn't small business development and investment skills be more essential to Ketchikan citizens than poetry readings and story hours? What happened to the diesel engine and heavy equipment repair program? This program was also clearly related to Ketchikan's employment needs.

It's a travesty to think that UAS Ketchikan cannot afford at least one full time faculty position to restart the small business program. What happened to setting priorities that make good and practical sense. Have they become lost in this artsy dreamland of UAS Ketchikan Campus?

Perhaps someone in this oversized humanities program will find time to write a poem on this laughable, but sad situation. As long as the campus remains under the autocratic control of Juneau based UAS bureaucrats, it will certainly continue in its role as Ketchikan's "white elephant."

Robert D. Warner
Ketchikan, AK

Received September 07, 2009 - Published September 08, 2009

Related News:

UAS Ketchikan Announces New Humanities Faculty Member

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