KSU’s New Race, Gender Department Under Scrutiny

John Gillooly, Marietta Daily Journal, March 29, 2011

The creation of a new department at Kennesaw State University that would house various racial, gender and environmental programs has come under fire from one longtime KSU professor who sees it as a hive for radical indoctrination.

In the next month or so, KSU Interim Provost Dr. Ken Harmon will determine whether to greenlight a new department within KSU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences called The Department of Cultural and Regional Studies. That department would have seven academic programs under its banner: African and African Diaspora Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, Environmental Studies, Asian Studies, Latin American Studies, Peace Studies and American Studies.

“This is being put together by a bunch of activists,” said Dr. Melvyn Fein, a tenured professor of sociology at KSU. “These folks do not have degrees in what they pretend to teach. To call it neo-Marxist is being very modest. These are activists who are going to use this to try and indoctrinate instead of teach.”

But Arlethia Perry-Johnson, KSU’s vice president for external affairs, said the seven programs that would make up the new department already exist at KSU, and the proposal is to simply consolidate them into one department. Bringing together professors who teach similar subject matter creates synergies and aides in communication, she said.

{snip}[Assistant Professor of Pholosophy and Peace Studies coordinator Thomas M.] Pynn recently introduced KSU President Dan Papp at an event where he described “The Communist Manifesto” by Karl Marx as “a call to conscience.”

{snip}

Fein accused the professors in question of trying to push through subject matter in the proposed new department that they have failed to get approved in existing departments. Once the new department is created, Fein said it would intrude on courses taught in other departments, by claiming to have a stake in them.

“It’s going to be detrimental to the reputation of the university as a serious school,” Fein said.

There’s a reason why programs such as women’s studies are on the decline nationwide, he said.

“Departments are closing around the country because students have learned, among other things, that if they want to get a job they shouldn’t major in them. If your major is in women’s studies, any employer who hires you is crazy. You’re hiring a lawsuit, for heaven’s sake,” Fein said.

Among the subjects offered under the Gender and Women’s Studies program, according to KSU’s website, are Gender in Popular Culture, Transnational Feminisms, Black Feminisms, and “Queer Theory & Sexuality.” The latter describes itself as “an interdisciplinary course that considers the global emergence and significance of theories and practices that 1) refute and destabilize the notion of an essential, normative sexuality and gender, and 2) suggest that sexuality is fluid and varied and is constructed by social, political, and economic factors.”

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  • Question Diversity

    “Departments are closing around the country because students have learned, among other things, that if they want to get a job they shouldn’t major in them. If your major is in women’s studies, any employer who hires you is crazy. You’re hiring a lawsuit, for heaven’s sake,” Fein said.

    In a sane society with a sane economy, that would be true. But here in wackoville, there’s always the good ole Federal government looking to hire people with those kinds of majors, not to mention a lot of big corporations with a quota to fill.

  • ice

    “Prof: New department set up by “activists” who will “try and indoctrinate instead of teach.”

    So????

    That’s what academia is all about anyway. Do elementary and high schools do any different?

    The new department will just be more of the same.

  • Seneca The Younger

    “This is being put together by a bunch of activists,” said Dr. Melvyn Fein, a tenured professor of sociology at KSU. “These folks do not have degrees in what they pretend to teach. To call it neo-Marxist is being very modest. These are activists who are going to use this to try and indoctrinate instead of teach.”

    This is the dream of the far left. It has been for decades. It was also a dream in Russia after the turn of the 20th Century, see the coincidence?

    I will share with you what I have learned on this planet in the short time I have been on it. And please correct me if I am wrong (not sarcastic).

    There has been a shift in politics over the last few decades. Moderates nowadays would have been Liberals 30 years ago. The right nowadays would have been Moderates 30 years ago. Far left Liberals nowadays are pretty much on the Socialism or Communism spectrum. And the far right from 30 years ago are currently considered Fascists or Nazis. Basically everything shifted to the left.

  • Whiteman

    “one longtime KSU professor who sees it as a hive for radical indoctrination”.

    Is he saying this new department will be a hive for indoctrination or is he talking about KSU itself, that KSU is a hive for indoctrination? I was confused there; but not really.

  • Anonymous

    All these subjects are rightly placed in other majors. Prof. Fein is correct in seeing this as a power grab by the disaffected. I am happy to hear these programs are in decline.

    P.S. Peace studies is what violent Marxists take up when revolution is not in the offing.

  • Anonymous

    Arlethia Perry-Johnson, KSU’s vice president for external affairs.

    I think the name says more than enough.

    If a new Department is created, new department chair is created. New titles and higher pay. And a university is destined to become “black”.

    Name a white whore who who goes with pro-sport blacks who went to a “black” college. There are none ….. It’s all about money.

  • sbuffalonative

    Kind of like the schools Mao and Pol Pot created with much the same function.

  • Robert Binion

    Though “Harvard in the pines” among ironic locals, KSU has little chance of becoming a Leftist hotbed, her students more interested in the acquisition of technical knowledge than the deconstruction of America for the amusement of some dipwad academic who couldn’t pump gas for a living beyond the ivied walls. The town itself is infamous for a statute requiring all homes to “maintain a firearm” and, as you might imagine, the felons there are all on Prozac. I’ve been to the battlefield. You’ve got to admire the bravery, if not the sense, of those Yankees who thought they could rush that hill. Oldtimers say gunfire was so dense that the thick understory was completely denuded. Funny, you could say that their descendants now retreat from African batteries in the urban North–except for the Catholic Church. Neighborhoods have to get really “bad” before it will pack up and scram.

  • Cousin Charlie from TN

    I never had heard of “Pholosophy and Peace Studies” so I wikipedia’d it:

    Peace Studies can be classified as:

    Multidisciplinary, encompassing elements of Politics and International Relations (particularly critical international relations theory), Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology and Economics. Critical theory is also widely used in peace and conflict studies.

    Multilevel. Peace Studies examines intrapersonal peace, peace between individuals, neighbours, ethnic groups, marriages, states and civilisations.

    Multicultural. Gandhi is often cited as a paradigm of Peace Studies. However, true multiculturalism remains an aspiration as most Peace Studies centres are located in the West.

    Both analytic and normative. As a normative discipline, Peace Studies involves value judgements, such as “better” and “bad”.

    Both theoretical and applied.

    There has been a long standing and vibrant debate on disarmament issues, as well as attempts to investigate, catalogue, and analyses issues relating to arms production, trade, and their political impacts. There have also been attempts to map the economic costs of war, or of relapses into violence, as opposed to those of peace.

    Peace and conflict studies is now well established within the social sciences: it comprises many scholarly journals, college and university departments, peace research institutes, conferences, as well as outside recognition of the utility of peace and conflict studies as a method.

    My opinion: utter nonsense. For real? This is what those student loans are paying for?

    Cut all funding for “education”, NOW. Let’s just start over please.