Parting Ways

With approximately 1,113 students in the Foreign Languages Department, the administration of Sam Houston State University has decided the time has come to make separate the Foreign Languages and English Departments.

According to Today at Sam, continual growth in both departments and the need for individual attention is necessary for both departments.

“We might have to go through one more approval of the coordinating board,” said Dr. Terry Thibodeaux, Associate Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences. “If everything is approved, our departments will be divided beginning in the fall.”

When it comes to making large decisions such as this one, much attention to details is needed. The faculties of the English and Foreign Languages Departments were allowed to voice their opinions in order to help out with the process.

“Dean Castro met with all faculty members concerning this and he explained everything,” said Rafael Saumell, Coordinator of Foreign Languages. “The faculty then voted and they decided that the split was necessary.”

As the Foreign Languages Department continues to grow, many felt that they had different needs from the English department, making a split necessary to better serve the students.

“In all areas we have grown tremendously in the past few years,” Saumell said. “So therefore we need more attention to the needs of our department.”

With the foreign languages department is currently teaching five languages such as: French, German, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese, Saumell says the department is in the process of hiring new faculty members.

“We just hired two tenure track professors to teach French and Spanish,” Saumell said. “We also are looking for two new professors to teach German.”

While Saumell said the change will be good for both departments, he also says that students will be under the same academic guidance as before.

“The students are going to have the same degree plan and we hope that are departments will continue to grow,” Saumell said. “We are in the beginning phases of starting a Spanish Masters Degree Program. I would say that it will probably be completed within the next couple of years.”

Not only will the Foreign Language students be in their own department, but they also may be getting new scenery.

“We have heard that we will be moving to a newer building in the near future,” Saumell said. “But it is really beyond my control to know exactly when that will be.”

More Changes

Design documents for a new $30 million home for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences were approved Friday by Sam Houston State University’s governing body.

The Texas State University System Board of Regents took the action during a meeting held in Austin. Construction is expected to begin this spring with an estimated completion date of fall 2008.

Look for more information on decisions made at the last Board of the Regents meeting in the next issue of The Houstonian.

Leave a Reply