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Latinx cluster hire proposed for “a return in terms of recruitment” along I-35 corridor

Dr.+Ron+Matson%2C+dean+of+Fairmount+College+of+Liberal+Arts+and+Sciences%2C+takes+notes+during+a+faculty+senate+held+in+Clinton+Hall.
Dr. Ron Matson, dean of Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, takes notes during a faculty senate held in Clinton Hall.

Dr. Ron Matson, dean of Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, takes notes during a faculty senate held in Clinton Hall.

Brian Hayes

Brian Hayes

Dr. Ron Matson, dean of Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, takes notes during a faculty senate held in Clinton Hall.

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A proposed cluster hire of Latinx faculty was brought before the Faculty Senate Monday, with supporters citing a lack of representation for the Latinx community in the Wichita State student body, faculty, and staff.

Jean Griffith, interim chair of the English department, said the Latinx community is the “largest-growing population in the region.”

The cluster hire — faculty hired as a group — would affect several departments on campus, including psychology, English, and social work. The proposal also lays out plans to increase online education and Spanish-language instruction.

Wilson Baldridge, professor of French, said the cluster hire would not necessarily bring in revenue for the university.

The payoff, he said, would be recruitment.

“What we are hoping for is a return in terms of recruitment,” Baldridge said. “Through outreach, through what’s in Kansas and along the I-35 corridor.”

Baldridge nodded to Wichita State’s I-35 recruitment strategy, a move that has allowed residents of certain parts of Oklahoma, Texas, and Missouri to attend Wichita State and pay discounted in-state tuition.

Griffith said the cluster hire would double the number of Latinx faculty at Wichita State.

“Our numbers are really low,” Griffith said.

Baldridge said the proposal was a “bottom-up initiative, not a top-down initiative.”

He said the proposal was still a work in progress.

Griffith said the proposal does not have funding.

“The funding hasn’t been worked out yet,” Griffith said.

11 Comments
  • ?

    I’m Hispanic and I hate when SJW’s use latinx, it’s very degrading. Pretty soon, antifa like minded people are going to protests shadows because they are always represented as black.

    [Reply]

    Eyeroller Reply:

    There is nothing intentionally degrading about the term. It is designed to be gender-inclusive, like an abbreviated way to write “Latino/Latina.” If you have an issue with this I would suggest researching it further.

    [Reply]

    ? Reply:

    Abbreviated means you shorten the word, you are switching out an o and an a for an x. This is nothing more than hypersensitivity for those who can’t deal with biological differences.

    [Reply]

    Eyeroller Reply:

    No. This term is specifically meant to be inclusive of differences, not to erase them. It does not replace the word “Latino.” It shortens the two-word phrase “Latino/Latina” while also including those for whom neither of those terms apply. If someone considers themselves Latino, the term “Latino” is appropriate for that individual–the term is not deprecated or erased. “Latinx” is meant to refer to groups and those for whom either “Latino” or “Latina” are imperfect. The term is like an abbreviation because it uses one word in place of two, while including nonbinary individuals. This is not about biological differences. Educate yourself first before speaking publicly.

  • Fake Pres. Bardo

    I have never herd of the word “latinx” until today. I am around hispanics all the time. There is a fair amount of discomfort when reading “latinx”, please try not to use the word again.

    I do get that you were trying to avoid saying mexians or hispanics because there are other countries than just mexico, but latinx doesn’t seem proper.

    As always,
    Fake Pres. Bardo

    [Reply]

    Eyeroller Reply:

    Hispanic and Lantino/Latina/Latinx are different concepts and should not be conflated. Of course there can be a number of different takes on the term and its efficacy, but you need to understand that it was in fact Latinx individuals who proposed and popularized the word in the first place. It is clear to anyone with any experience with the history of this concept that it has no denigrating intentions.

    [Reply]

  • MunchkinsRick

    This seems like the wrong place to spend money again.

    How about fixing deficiencies in labs? Why not spend the money on modernizing the chemistry, physics and biology labs?

    How about spending the money in areas where you are already seeing an increase of enrollment? Why not spend the money on making more of the health professions degrees accredited?

    The math department already teaches 20% of the campus student body every semester, that seems like a good place to spend more money. Why not spend the money on hiring more math, physics and statistics professors or simply just offer more statistics courses?

    Why not make online classes cheaper? We already pay an $80 premium for each online credit hour we take.
    Why do some of the online classes have no lecture components while their campus versions do have lectures?

    Spend the money on any of these things. Give more value to students rather than an oddly specific cluster hire.

    Why not spend the money for actually specializing in an area to make our university a center of excellence of something rather than chasing the Modern Ancient Roman Latin derivative speaking peoples?

    I guess it’s ok to push them into the entirely collapsed discipline of English where completely failed philosophers go to be mocked for their careers of gender politics and dimness of thought.

    If you really think the “latinx” community is where the big enrollment bucks are and the lack of representation, why not try to help them get into STEM Science, Technology Engineering and Math or into healthcare where there are real job opportunities for when they graduate.

    Oh wait, that would mean you would probably have to push all students and communities equally into things that will give real future opportunities rather than try to mint new coins from a regional supposedly “burgeoning” community.

    [Reply]

    FYI Reply:

    Dear MunchkinsRick,

    Engineering hired Hispanic professors recently and that helped them recruit more Hispanic students. In a way, this cluster hire replicates that idea. One the proposed hires would teach Medical Spanish and other classes for other departments and schools on campus.

    “Modern Ancient Roman Latin derivative speaking peoples”, as you call them, are part of this great nation, of the state of Kansas, of Wichita, and WSU. In fact, 11% of WSU student population are Hispanics, yet only 1% (6) of professors at WSU are Hispanics.

    [Reply]

    MunchkinsRick Reply:

    According to the article, “The cluster hire — faculty hired as a group — would affect several departments on campus, including psychology, English, and social work. The proposal also lays out plans to increase online education and Spanish-language instruction”

    How would anyone specifically know that, “One the proposed hires would teach Medical Spanish and other classes for other departments and schools on campus.” Where is that information from? Why not share the name of the proposed hire and the proposed course number of the medical Spanish class you reference? Apparently you have more information than the reporter chose to report. Give us, the readers, the complete set of information about this proposed cluster hire… if you dare.

    What do you think about your “1% of WSU professors are Hispanic” statistic suggests about the other 99% non-Hispanic professors at WSU? What about the quality and equity of education that all students receive at this KBOR institution also from that 99% of non-Hispanic professors at WSU? How am I supposed to take that last statistic you put in your argument?

    Are you suggesting that in order for that 11% of the campus population who are Hispanic, and not the gender fluid identity “Latinx” community, to receive a good education that there needs to be a parity of equivalent ethnically based teachers on campus? Are you suggesting that ethnic parity leads to more value for all students rather than simply the quality of the professor’s character and teaching ability?

    Both are regressive and racist points of view you hold about the quality of education and the fairness students receive at WSU and the faculty who teach them. I doubt that at any university, faculty who spent years, if not decades, earning their credentials and the rights to be an expert in a field wants to be ignored for their accomplishments, quality of their work, and academic ability in honor of their ethnic identity.

    The majority of the professors at WSU are great. So why not focus on improving quality of education for all students to help attract and retain student enrollment rather than have the fake and fluffed up “badge” numbers the university reports?

    Judging by what you chose to address from my original comment, you really have no issue that there are deficiencies with chemistry, physics and biology labs; that there is a lack of accreditation for several health professions degrees; there is inequality with online instruction compared to on campus instruction and that it comes at an $80/credit hour premium for the poorer online instruction, and lastly that the single department on campus which teaches 1/5 of all students every semester does not need any kind of additional funding or instruction and there are no inefficiencies there.

    The simple fact is that this university is losing enrolled students faster than it enrolls new students. The heart of that issue is why are students who enroll not graduating and instead are transferring or dropping out all together. I’m going to tell you, it has nothing to do with ethnicity; it’s all about raising costs and the high degree of debt students now have to endure. More ethnically identifiable professors will no fix fundamental issues with student debt or perceived lack of value as the university moving to have more online classes that have an $80/ credit hour premium and lower standards. If WSU wishes to become a degree mill they are starting down that path by focusing on ethnic parity for the Hispanic or “latinx” communities, while not working on fundamental issues and giving real value to all students. Every student pays the same costs, and most simply cant afford it.

    [Reply]

    MunchkinsRick Reply:

    If you want to attract more students become a true center of excellence of something in the great state of Kansas.

  • FYI

    Dear MunchkinsRick,

    I have no doubt that there are many issues on campus, as the rising tuition costs and great deficiencies across campus (not only STEM).

    I attended the Faculty Senate meeting, and I am transcribing part of the information that was provided there. The article should be considered a summary.

    WSU has a diverse student body, but not a diverse faculty. Minorities seem to be well represented in some staff positions, such as janitors. Not many Caucasians there. This is unfortunate and says a lot about WSU.

    I am not proposing that WSU hires in the future unqualified Hispanic faculty. I want WSU to hire the best candidates. I want, as you say, faculty to be hired “for their accomplishments, quality of their work, and academic ability”, regardless of their ethnic identity. I think this may not have been the case. Maybe that is why there are only 6 Hispanic professors on campus. I do not want 11% of the faculty to be Hispanics, but 1% is an abnormality.

    Regarding your comments about the English Department, I would recommend you to read C.P. Snow’s The Two Cultures. He was both a novelist and a scientist. Let’s build bridges between the humanities and sciences.

    [Reply]

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