Writing classes limited by faculty shortage

By CHELSEA ANDERSON/Montana State News

This fall semester’s registration has left a number of English students, with the writing option in particular, frustrated with the lack of classes offered. With a dip in funding, the English department doesn’t have nearly enough faculty available to teach the number of upper division classes that are necessary for seniors to graduate.

According to Kirk Branch, the English department chair, next year is a particularly difficult year for scheduling, “We’re stretched very thin.” Two tenured faculty will be operating next year with decreased teaching schedules, “We have one teacher who will have a reduced schedule for research purposes and another with a reduced schedule for the tenure application process,” says Branch.

According to Branch, the writing department has the funding for five tenured faculty, although four of them have reduced teaching schedules because of required administrative duties, “It really worked out quite poorly for next year because most of these administrative positions rotate through writing, literature and teaching faculty and currently most of the positions are held by writing faculty.” Continue reading “Writing classes limited by faculty shortage”

MSU students work to fight HIV with in Zambia


She was seven months pregnant and infected with AIDS when she was found living in a bus terminal in Lusaka, Zambia. Nearing birth, the woman was taken to Dr. Tim Meade, who helped deliver the baby with the help of a few volunteers. As a sign of gratitude, the woman named her baby Tim, which laid the foundation for Tiny Tim & Friends.

Meade, who has since adopted “tiny” Tim, now runs the organization with the help of a team of student volunteers from Montana State University. The nonprofit organization is committed to providing medicine to children and families who are in need of HIV/AIDS medication in Zambia, according to the Tiny Tim & Friends website. Continue reading “MSU students work to fight HIV with in Zambia”

Writing Center on cutting edge of teaching theory


The Montana State University (MSU) Writing Center provides an environment where undergraduate and graduate students can meet with their peers to collaborate on writing. The center operates on theories and guidelines that have changed in recent years.

The MSU Writing Center has moved away from hiring instructors, and towards hiring students who tutor their own peers. The center currently has 22 peer tutors on staff, according to the MSU Writing Center website.

The center hires peer tutors because “students are comfortable working with them, and because the tutors are not disciplinary experts, student writers gain authority and confidence as they articulate what they know about their discipline,” according to the MSU Writing Center website.

Writing centers across the U.S. operate on the premise that peer tutors are coaches, instead of teachers, that provide reader feedback and encourage writers to develop their own ideas and revisions, according to the International Writing Center Association (IWCA) website. Continue reading “Writing Center on cutting edge of teaching theory”

Program connects Japanese, U.S. faculty

By ZACHARY COE/Montana State News

The Long-term Educational Administrator Program (LEAP) was founded in 1997 to give select Japanese higher education staff members the opportunity to travel to the United States.

The program is sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and is meant to help improve English skills, create career opportunities and provide an impressive internship opportunity for those involved.

Japanese students that choose to follow through with this program are doing so in order to enter a familiar education system. According to World Education News & Review (WENR), the Japanese school system is “…modeled on and heavily influenced by its American counterpart.”

During the 1947 occupation of Japan, the American influenced Fundamental Law of Education was passed to give the education system a 6-3-3-4 (years in each level of education) structure that is nearly identical to its American counterpart.

This familiar structure is an obvious pull factor that lures students to America, but the growing competition within well-respected university enrollment is another factor that makes the U.S. appealing. According to WENR, in 2005, over 3 million students applied for enrollment in roughly 1,200 universities and colleges in Japan. Continue reading “Program connects Japanese, U.S. faculty”

New B.A. in computer science proposed

By JACKSON NOLDE/Montana State News

The Montana State University Faculty Senate heard a proposal for a new bachelor of arts program in computer science Wednesday.

This program was met with concerns over what would require the capstone to be. Dean John Paxton suggested having students develop a prototype software and do a write-up on how the concentration contributed with the student inviting a B.A. supervisor to attend.

The B.A. in computer science would involve a year of modern language courses followed with more humanity core classes. This could allow a sociologist with a computer science degree to research with Facebook. expanding the job prospects greatly with this proposed major.  Continue reading “New B.A. in computer science proposed”

Faculty Senate looks at B.A. in computer science

By SARAH SNEBOLD/Montana State News

A proposal for a new bachelor of arts program in computer science was presented to the Montana State University Faculty Senate Wednesday.

This program would consist of 40 computer science credits, a minor concentration in any bachelor of arts area and an additional year of modern languages and additional humanities classes.

This differs from the current computer science option of a major in a bachelor of arts and a minor in computer science, because the minor would only require 27 credits and would not include a capstone. With this program, it was argued that the students would be more marketable.

This new program has a variety of benefits, advocates for the programs said, especially for students interested in graphic design, music, sociology and political science. A senator from the music department said computer science is the first or second most popular double major or minor option for the students in this college, therefor this program would provide, “a great overlap.” Continue reading “Faculty Senate looks at B.A. in computer science”

UM enrollment dropped on heels of rape scandal


The University of Montana student population has been on the decline since the 2011-2012 academic year.

The student population was 15,669 including both undergraduate and graduate as of 2012. However, graduate student population hasn’t suffered in the same way that undergraduate population has.

The graduate student population has fluctuated about 5 percent whereas the undergraduate student population has lost almost 20 percent to date. This 20 percent loss comes from losing roughly 3,000 students from the 2011-2012 academic year to the most recently reported 2015-2016 years.

During the same time period , MSU has grown a total of 12 percent, in undergraduate population. The graduate population at MSU has stayed around a 1 percent margin within the same time period.

Why has the undergraduate program at of U of M declined so much when compared to their counterparts at MSU? Continue reading “UM enrollment dropped on heels of rape scandal”

MSU’s male-gender bias explored


The male-to-female ratio is skewed at Montana State University – and statistically, a woman’s application is marginally more likely to be rejected than a man’s.

Historically, acceptance rates for men and women at Montana State University have paralleled each other. However, since 2009, a marked difference between the two began, largely in favor of male students.

In the 2000s, an average of 75.8 percent of men were accepted into MSU, roughly equal to the 73.6 percent of women. However, a stark contrast in acceptance rates came in 2009, with 67.3 percent of men being accepted, compared to a mere 59.3 percent of women.

The numbers in 2009 set a precedent. Every year since then, with the exception of 2014, the acceptance rates at MSU have favored males by a large margin – anywhere from 5 to 12 percent.

This could be due to a variety of factors. Kaitlin Mulhere, a writer for Time Magazine, says, “Most colleges aim to maintain as much gender parity on campus as possible, as the ratio of men to women can dramatically affect campus culture. But that also means some colleges have significantly higher acceptance rates for men than for women, or vice versa.

“At schools with a strong engineering or hard science bent, men generally apply in much larger numbers than women, for example.” Continue reading “MSU’s male-gender bias explored”

Iranian student’s options limited by status


Christmas and Fourth of July are his favorite holidays. In the winter, he loves to hunt; in the summer, he loves to shoot. For Spring Break, he plans to fly to Massachusetts for a Metallica concert. Some say he holds all the qualities of a typical Montanan, but there is only one catch: He’s Iranian.

Wearing a green down jacket and a gray beanie, Arash Akbari introduced himself, “I’m 27 years old. I study mechanical engineering with a minor in physics.” In 2015, Arash moved to Bozeman, where, almost instantly after he arrived, he felt at home.

Walking inside the MSU library with Akbari  is never a short affair, as he stops to chat with people he knows. “I haven’t seen you in so long, man,” he said to his friend. “Let’s play soccer sometime.”

About 20 minutes later, after having visited with three friends, he went back to introducing himself: “I plan to study astrophysics in the future; I love astronomy,” he said with a smile. Akbari is bound to teach you about a star or two if you spend some time with him after sundown. Continue reading “Iranian student’s options limited by status”

Visiting prof seeks to boost diversity at MSU

By BAY STEPHENS/Montana State News

“Growing up, I thought only Mexicans were poor,” Eric Lopez told an  University Montana State Latino Texts and Cinema class, “because I only saw poor Mexicans.” With kind eyes and a smile that melts a bad attitude, Lopez, 48, is a huggable guy, even in a suit. Though he can talk about himself and tell his own story with humor and verve, it’s easy to see that Lopez doesn’t derive his joy from self-focus. He is an encourager and a team player, of which his life and work bear the evidence.

Growing up the son of Mexican-American migrant workers, privileges such as college were not exactly expected. Lopez’ parents worked hard to put him and his brother through Catholic school, instead of the less sterling public schools. Though it was strange at some points— he jokes that he was “raised by a wild pack of Irish nuns” who taught him and his brother to say Spanish names wrong—their educators were far more tolerant of difference than in his parents’ day.

Lopez was the first in his family to go to college, not to mention get a master’s and Ph.D. in school psychology. Today he is the dean of the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M, San Antonio, his home city. Continue reading “Visiting prof seeks to boost diversity at MSU”

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