Hamilton Faculty Letter On Chaplaincy
The following letter was shared and drafted by Professor Scott MacDonald. MacDonald sent the sign-on letter to those named below on Sunday, July 16th via email. For the purposes of this post, it has been edited only for formatting and given a title.
To President Wippman, Dean of Faculty Munemo, Associate Vice President Goodale, Associate Deans Hall, and Yee; Dean of Students and Vice President Card, Associate Vice President Landry and Associate Deans Hill, Genao-Homs, Solomon, and Van Wynsberghe:
The sudden dismissal of our colleague, Jeff McArn, came as more than a surprise to those of us on the Hamilton faculty who know and have worked with him. It was a shock.
Though he has usually been identified as the College Chaplain, and has served in that role for decades with consummate success, we also treasure him as a collaborator and a major asset to the college’s academic mission. He has taught students, assisted us in teaching ours, and has become among the most admired and beloved contributors to the academic lives and work of both students and faculty.
As I begin this letter, the Faculty Discussion Listserv is awash with faculty across the college stunned by Jeff’s dismissal, singing his praises and providing detailed information about the many ways in which he has contributed to our work. We are happy to make our experiences with Jeff available.
We can only assume that the Dean of Students Office simply was not clear on how important Jeff McArn is to both the spiritual and academic life of the college (and apparently didn’t check to see if he was working with faculty members over the summer—he was).
We are united in our hope that this sudden dismissal, apparently unprovoked by anything Jeff has done, can be reversed, and that he can immediately be invited back to campus, to continue to devote his efforts to supporting our students in the many ways that they/we have come to expect and to continue to be the crucial academic resource he has always been for the Hamilton faculty and the College as a whole.
[I did not think to ask those who signed this letter to identify their positions at Hamilton, but I assume it will be clear that the list includes many department and program chairs as well as professors from all ranks.]
Co-signed by Hamilton Faculty:
Professor Vivyan Adair
Debra Boutin, Samuel F. Pratt Professor of Mathematics Chair, Mathematics and Statistics
Clark M. R. Bowman
Peter F. Cannavò
Associate Professor Mark Cryer-Chair Theatre
Celeste Day Moore
Erica De Bruin
Shelley P Haley (Edward North Chair of Classics Emerita)
David A. Gapp
Barbara Gold, Edward North Professor of Classics EmeritaChristian Goodwillie
Emily K. Harrison
Viva Rose Horowitz
Man Kaplan, Women’s and Gender Studies
Robin Kinnel, emeritus
Robert Knight, Associate Professor of Art
Jaime L Kucinskas
John C McEnroe (emeritus)
Margo Okazawa-Rey, Senior Lecturer
Alexandra Plakias, Philosophy
Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz, Professor of Comparative Literature Emerita
Peter J. Rabinowitz (emeritus)
Heidi M Ravven
Sharon Werning Rivera
Edna Rodriguez Plate
S Brent Rodriguez-Plate
Katherine H Terrell
Bruce Walczyk, Professor Dance & Movement Studies
Doc Mike Woods
Steven Yao, LeFevre Professor of English