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The Columbia Chronicle

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Letter to the Editor: Department chair wants to engage with more students

Letter+to+the+Editor%3A+Department+chair+wants+to+engage+with+more+students

First, I’d like to congratulate and thank the entire Chronicle team on their work for our community, which through their solid articles demonstrate how to keep and/or restore faith in journalism. This is in response to the Editorial Board’s most recent call for other campus leaders, including department chairs, to meet with students. Since I took the role of chair of the Music Department, I have maintained weekly office hours (known as Tea with the Chair) where students are invited for help on any topic related to their coursework, finances, suggestions, concerns etc. Since students’ and my schedules rarely agree, students can reserve time with me during walk-in hours that work best for them. The “town halls” my office was required to organize were ineffective and sad affairs for the exact reason the Chronicle observed at the CTVA Feb. 21. meeting. Very few students showed up. I will continue my current approach, which includes maintaining my three weekly office hours, allow for meetings as needed, addressing regularly scheduled forums/convocations when appropriate and visiting as many student performances as I can, as I have been successful in reaching students that way and vice versa. As far as I know, all of my esteemed colleagues pursue similar approaches and are dedicated to promoting dialogue with the students in their department.

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