The Educational Plans and Policies Committee voted six to one yesterday to
recommend to the General Faculty that a formal major be included in the creative
writing program. History Professor Barry McGill was the lone dissenter.
McGill, who chaired the sub-committee which studied the possibilities of a
formal writing major, told the committee that they ought to refrain from
creating additional academic majors.
“Prudent measures of birth control would be more wise than
proliferation of majors,” he warned.
McGill also noted that there were only four writing majors who applied
through the Individual Majors Committee. Writing majors must currently structure
their own major and make a formal proposal to the committee.
Stuart Friebert, director of the writing program, disagreed with McGill and
asserted that there are currently eight to ten majors each year, many of whom
double major or specialize in writing with an English department major.
Phyllis Gorfain argued for the creation of a writing major on the basis of
two years experience on the Individual Majors Committee. She explained that much
committee time is taken up by would-be writing majors who apply for an
individual major. Gorfain also advocated the formulation of a set of future
criteria for the establishment and dismantling of majors.
Friebert assured committee members that creative writing was a legitimate and
stringent program. “We feel we have a solid program that serves liberal
arts students at large, as well as majors.”
Friebert stressed that the creation of a major would require no additional
staff and result in no added costs to the College, “I would be very happy
to run on the power now; people from other departments come forward regularly to
help out.” The Creative Writing Department currently employs two and a
half regular full time employers.