Foreign Language and Literature Courses Consolidated



With the appointment of a new chair to a revised program, UB hopes to consolidate its foreign language and literature studies into a more centralized program.

Rosemary G. Feal, professor of Spanish at UB, was named chair of the department of modern languages and literatures (MLL) for the academic year. The new position, to which Feal was recommended by College of Arts and Sciences Interim Dean Charles Stinger, allows for many changes in the CAS, which administrators hope will better serve language faculty members and concentrate course offerings.

Among the changes in the department is a reorganization of offices, transferring some professors from the MLL to the expanded department of linguistics. Professors formerly within MLL, including Hye-Won Choi, assistant Korean professor, Mitsuaki Shimojo, assistant professor of Japanese, and associate German professors Robert G. Hoeing and David Fertig will have their classes incorporated into the linguistics department.

"This means that the Japanese, Korean and German programs are now run from the department of linguistics," said Feal. "The students have the same professors, the same curriculum. It's an administrative shift."

Though the moves may be administrative, Fertig believes the reorganization will have a positive effect on language studies.

Fertig said many professors teaching the same language at UB often find themselves across the campus from their colleagues, a shortcoming which the department change should correct.

"It'll definitely be better when we move out of our offices [and into the new offices]," said Fertig. "It's more convenient when you see people in your own department every day."

The moves are progressing as planned, but are as yet incomplete as mid-term approaches. "We're still in the offices we've always been in. The plan is to move into the new offices in the summer of 2002," said Fertig. The linguistics department and other faculty members are aiming to be settled in by the fall 2002 semester.

Though a number of faculty members are being relocated, students have been affected very little, if at all.

"My professors, [Atsuko] Sajiki, [Miduri] Mashiyama and Sekiguichi, haven't changed their lessons at all," said Mike Jazmin, a freshman computer science major who is currently taking classes within the MLL. "I still have the same professors, and it appears that nothing has changed."

Feal, who took over the position of department chair from Margarita Vargas, is signed on for a single term, or three years.

Feal holds a master's and doctorate from UB, and has studied abroad in countries including France, Spain and Guatemala. She has published many editorials, book reviews and articles, and has taught such courses as Spanish American Short Story, an undergraduate- and graduate-level Spanish course which now falls under the MLL.