Mass Exodus from VMI's English Department

Jul 2, 2013

Most of the faculty members in Virginia Military Institute’s English Department have resigned over a change in curriculum.  

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, 7 people have quit and another is set to resign.  VMI spokesman Stewart MacInnis says the departures have been over the last several months but most became effective at the end of the fiscal year.  The resignations followed a change announced by the dean a year ago.

“Instead of focusing on literature, it focuses more on composition and rhetoric; making arguments and presenting arguments, which we think is an important skill for young people to have as they enter the workforce.”

He says there were changes to other departments, but the faculty members didn’t object to the changes as strongly as the English Department.

“We have already hired some faculty members to fill the vacant positions and we feel confident we’ll be able to offer the courses that we need to offer in the fall.  That’s not going to be a problem.  And we will continue to fill the faculty positions ‘till they’re all filled.”

MacInnis says VMI’s current summer session isn’t being affected by the lack of faculty. I contacted several of the professors for their side of the story and heard back from only one who said she’d rather not comment.