Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Secret Language of Department Chairs

This week I was an outside evaluator for an English department that is undertaking a program review. It turns out, this was a lot of work (and even more for them than it was for me). I learned an awful lot, and I plan to steal lots of good ideas.

One moment really got me:

Former Department Chair: So students can fulfill that requirement with 208, 209 or 211. 210 is on the books but is really a place-holder for the course that have run as 298. We make sure to offer 253, 255 and 256 each year, and 254 rotates in based on sabbaticals and releases. At the 300-level, we have 302, 303 and 305 that run every year, and then we rotate 304 and 306 and sometimes 309, which used to be 310.

And I realized that I understood exactly what he was talking about.

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