You are here

Classics Advisory Service - 1995-96

Report to the Board of Directors, American Philological Association from Michael Gagarin, Director
October 21, 1996

My first year as Director of the CAS has been productive on several fronts. While continuing to supervise regular departmental reviews and handling crisis situations, I have devoted most of my efforts to developing resources to help Classics programs avoid crises. I have been able to do this in part because crises and potential crisis situations have been so ably handled by Bill Ziobro and his staff. His effectiveness has left me free to concentrate on two major initiatives, the workshop planned for the 1996 annual meeting, and the CAS Web Site.

1. The CAS made recommendations for outside reviewers for two departmental reviews, Mary Washington College and the University of South Dakota.

2. Two situations involving immediate threats to Classics required formal letters to administrators, Southwest Missouri State University (SWMSU) and Rollins College. In the first case the results were quite positive, in the second case apparently not. Additional letters, phone calls and e-mail correspondence were involved in these cases and in several other potential crises. Much of the work in these cases was done by the APA office. The data-base that Bill Ziobro and his staff have developed was extremely useful in these efforts.

One lesson to draw from these rescue operations is the importance of a broad-based approach involving regional, state and local organizations of professors and secondary school teachers. SWMSU, for example, had previously had no contact with the state Latin teachers' organization, but after a threat to eliminate their Latin major they discovered a state-wide need for Latin teachers. The teachers' support played an important role in SWMSU's successful effort to retain their major. CAS needs to develop better means of cooperating with these other organizations, and with the AIA, which is also developing procedures to support the teaching of archaeology and help programs in trouble. The joint workshop planned for December should lead to greater cooperation with the AIA in the future.

3. My original plan to sponsor a workshop on small departments was broadened into a joint APA-AIA workshop as a result of discussions with Jack Davis (Cincinnati), representing the AIA. The joint workshop was approved by both program committees and is scheduled for Dec. 29 at 9 AM. An abstract of the workshop is attached.

4. The creation of a CAS site on the World Wide Web may be the most important development for the long-term future of the CAS. The site is still in rather rudimentary form, as this was my first experience with creating a Web site, but with the help of Jim O'Donnell and Linda Wright the site became active in August. I hope to improve and expand it regularly in the future (suggestions are welcome). The site is most easily reached by going to the APA home page, where there is a direct link to the CAS. The full CAS address is http://scholar.cc.emory.edu/scripts/APA/frontpage/gagarin.html.

The existence of a CAS Web site has raised the question whether a change or expansion of the name "Campus Advisory Service" (to e.g. "Classics Advisory Service") might be desirable so that those searching the Internet for information about teaching Classics at the college level are more likely to find the site. I have not thought through the many different aspects of this issue, and I would welcome any ideas or suggestions.

5. Finally, partially in my capacity as Director of CAS I visited Rhodes College in June 1996, to assess a program to train classicists at small private colleges in the South in using the Internet to communicate with one another and share resources for teaching and research. Almost all participants were either the only classicist or one of only two classicists at their institution. It is clear that technology will be crucial to the ability of these individuals to communicate with others in our discipline, and this consortium approach may be a model for other small programs. I expect Kenneth Morrell will have more to say about this at the December Workshop.

Michael Gagarin
Director, Classics Advisory Service
gagarin@mail.utexas.edu

Share This Page

© 2018, Society for Classical Studies Privacy Policy