LINGUIST List 3.518

Mon 22 Jun 1992

Disc: Linguistics at Minnesota

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  1. "Larry G. Hutchinson", Linguistics at Minnesota

Message 1: Linguistics at Minnesota

Date: Fri, 19 Jun 92 12:32:27 -0Linguistics at Minnesota
From: "Larry G. Hutchinson" <hutchincs.umn.edu>
Subject: Linguistics at Minnesota


This is to report that linguistics is alive and
kicking at the University of Minnesota.

Administrators of the College of Liberal Arts have
created a new unit, called The Institute of
Languages and Literatures, which comprises formerly
independent departments now called East Asian
Languages and Literatures, Slavic and Central Asian
Languages and Literatures, South Asian Languages
and Literatures, and Middle Eastern Languages and
Literatures. Linguistics is now an additional
subunit of the Institute, and as such has its own
chair (Bruce Downing, recently elected) and its own
curricula and retains considerable autonomy over
its own affairs. Essentially, an additional layer
of administrative structure has been created,
although to administrators higher up it will appear
that five departments have dissolved into one large
one. The Department of Scandinavian Studies may
also join the Institute in the near future.

At the same time, it may be noted, the Department
of Humanities, officially closed at the
recommendation of the College administration, has
now joined with Comparative Literature to form a
single administrative unit of Cultural Studies and
Comparative Literature.

Six of the twelve linguistics faculty are now
tenured/ budgeted in the Institute. Of the other
six, one has been moved to Philosophy and one to
Communication Disorders, but both will continue to
teach mostly in linguistics; two have accepted
early retirement. Two (one of whom is on leave)
have not yet been relocated, but resolution is
expected soon.

The graduate faculty of linguistics, which is a
body of faculty independent of budget/tenure
departmental homes, remains intact and is in fact
now in the process of expanding to include
linguists from other areas of the university.

The undergraduate major in linguistics, closed
temporarily, has been reopened, and we are once
again accepting new majors.

At the graduate level, the MA degree in ESL has
remained open, but new admissions to the MA and PhD
degree programs in linguistics have been suspended
for one year while the effects of reorganization
are assessed. We are striving to get both degree
programs reopened for 1993 admissions; the graduate
programs will be listed in the 1992-94 bulletin now
in press. Present graduate students, in the
meantime, will find all the courses they need. In
fact, most of our curriculum will remain in place,
with or without a graduate major, because the
administration has discovered that our courses are
required or recommended by many other departments.

If we are successful in reopening graduate degree
programs, very little will have changed in the
business we do here, although administrators will
have succeeded in making that business more
difficult to conduct. For example, we will be
spending the entire next year, no doubt, working
out a constitution for the Institute. New
procedures for promotion and salary increases,
etc., will have to be worked out, so that
operations will be uniform and fair across all
units in the Institute.

So while the present independent department of
linguistics will close June 30, linguistics is
still very much alive at the University of
Minnesota. And you can write to us, electronically
or by surface mail, at the same old addresses.
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