Monday, October 19, 2009

From Today's Hatchet: English Department Faculty Member Steven Knapp


Check out this shout-out to literature at GW, from an OpEd piece published in today's GW Hatchet. President Knapp composed the piece about a task force to which he has appointed (among many others) the chair of the English Department and Director of the GW Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute -- a person who is pleased that his kvetching here at the GW English blog about foregrounding humanities research at GW must cease for a moment. To quote President Knapp:
"In the coming years, we will continue increasing our selectivity and enhancing the opportunities our students enjoy. What it means to be a great university has changed, however, in the two centuries since Washington spelled out his vision in his last will and testament. We are still in the business of forging citizens, although now we forge citizens not just of the nation but of the world. We must now build our stature as a university that contributes intellectually to the solution of national and global problems. By matching the excellence of our instruction with the strength of our research, we will join the ranks of truly world-class universities and fully ensure the value of a GW degree. In so doing, we will also strengthen our instruction itself. There is no more exciting way to learn than to work with a professor who is pushing a frontier of knowledge, whether the field is neuroscience, early modern literature, environmental engineering, or international law.

Our priorities, then, are clear. We must continue investing in student learning and experience, on campus and off; and we must increase our investment in the kind of discovery that will firmly establish our international stature. In short, we must increase what we invest in our students, our faculty, and the infrastructure that supports them both. It is reasonable to ask where the funds for these investments will come from."

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