WESTMINSTER — The Western Maryland College English department is one of 15 departments at U.S. liberal arts colleges to be chosen for a three-year curriculum review and reform project sponsored by the Modern Language Association and the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education.
"The whole idea is to create a model program that other schools can use throughout the '90s," Keith Richwine said of the English Programs Curriculum Review Project.
Richwine, who has chaired the department since 1968, wrote the 30-page proposal that the sponsors reviewed during the selection process.
"We'll be redesigning our major and examining other problems that departments are having during the '90s," Richwine said of the department, which has the fourth-largest number of majors.
Among the problems common to many departments, Richwine said, is "significant faculty turnover," because the faculty hired in the 1960s are soon to retire.
"Should we replicate the people we have, or use this as an opportunity to go in a new direction?" he asked.
Richwine said other concerns are "the competition with more vocational programs, and the fact that our writing courses are filled with long lines waiting to get in, which means we should reorganize."
"Nationally, in higher education, the big subject is taking a look at the major program, no matter what the discipline. There's a feeling that a lot of major programs have lost their coherence," he added.
The first year of the project will involve input from the entire department staff of eight full-time and seven part-time members. In mid-December, a consultant, University of Virginia professor Ralph Cohen, will visit WMC to discuss plans and priorities.
During the second year, two or three WMC English professors will attend a conference with the 14 other schools working on the project.
Cohen will return the third year to see how the plans evolved. Another part of the project will be a seriesof confidential questionnaires that the sponsors will ask each professor to return.
Being one of the participants will benefit WesternMaryland, because "it is good to have the viewpoint of people from other good colleges," said Richwine. "One tends to become ingrown."
RECYCLING TO CONTINUE
DATELINE: NEW WINDSOR
Collection of recyclables will continue on one Saturday each month here.
"We have been really pleased with the response," said Mayor James C. Carlisle at Wednesday's council meeting. "The town collected last month, and we filledour truck."
The project, begun by Boy Scout Troop 391, hit a snagwhen the troop dissolved. Cub Scouts in Pack 582 can handle the job four times a year, said Rachel Graham, pack leader.
The Jaycees have volunteered for another four. Graham said she hopes another organization will take care of the remaining Saturdays. Graham will post the schedule on the door of Town Hall.
Councilman D. Kenneth Grimes also said the town would be collecting bagged leaves on Saturdays through November.
Grimes reported on a cleanup of an abandoned cemetery on Springdale Avenue. The town has been unable to trace the ownership of the 1-acre site, with graves dating to the 19th century, said the mayor. Neighbors had complained about the overgrowth.
"Lehigh Cement Co. donated topsoil, and community service workers did the work," said the mayor. "Some of our ancestors might be buried there. Neighbors will maintain it now."
In other news, the mayor said Gary Miller will again donate his tree and lights for the town's Christmas decorations. Other members said they would like a more centrally located tree.
"Gary's tree is off-center, I realize," said Councilwoman Rebecca H. Harman. "He's been generous enough, though, so let's ride by and enjoy it."
The council approved Harman's plan for a community holiday service at 6:45 p.m. Dec. 4 in front of the town tree. She will invite town churches and organizations, and the Cub Scouts will sing a carol. She asks participants to bring a candle.
"This isa community project I have been wanting to do for years," she said.
The county commissioners have written letters of thanks to about 20 Carroll individuals and businesses that donated equipment and supplies for the opening of a new homeless shelter for women and children.
The shelter, on the third floor of the old Barrel House building, was dedicated Oct. 30. It is owned by the county and houses the Carroll Department of Social Services. County employees spent several weeks converting the empty space for occupancy.
The shelter, which can accommodate about 30, will relieve a growing waiting list for space at other shelters run by a non-profit human services agency.