New faculty reading group forms

by Rachel Duguay

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Students are not the only ones formulating new interest groups on campus these days.

Dean of the College Clayton Koppes has been promoting a new faculty program this semester in which faculty members from different disciplines organize themselves and discuss books. The College is providing the books and refreshments. City of Night

"We know faculty members like to read, talk, eat, and have the Dean's office pay for it," Koppes said. However, so far only one group has formed.

"There are probably a lot [of faculty] who would be happy to join but didn't take it upon themselves," Koppes said, referring to the initial lack of faculty response to the announcement of the new program. The idea was mentioned again at Tuesday's College Faculty meeting to try to generate more support. Koppes joked during the meeting that Conservatory faculty interested in the program outnumber college faculty.

To date, a group of about 10 professors has joined, including Instructor of Aural Skills Bill Marvin, Professor of Art Bill Hood and Assistant Professor of Russian Timothy Scholl. They have gathered once and will meet again before Winter Term.

Their last selection, chosen by consensus, was City of Night by John Rechy. According to Scholl, faculty discussed the book for an hour, had dinner and ended up talking for quite a while. "The nice thing about the group [is that] I met several faculty I hadn't run across before," Scholl said.

Koppes said a main requirement in the establishment of the program was that the professors be from different disciplines. "I think it's a really great opportunity to bring people together from different disciplines and have a chance to really talk things over," he said.

The idea for faculty reading groups seems to be part of a trend toward organizing more informal gatherings among faculty. "Seriously, we'd love to spend money on this," Koppes said.

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Copyright © 1997, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 126, Number 11, December 5, 1997

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