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Chicano studies department up for vote at Mission College

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“It’s also about respect and a matter of pride in your roots – the desire of students to learn about how the Mexican-American community has contributed to the greatness of our United States.” The petition to break away from the Department of Social Sciences was submitted in April by Professors Jose A. Maldonado and John J. Morales, who have declined in the past to comment. But Felipe Lopez, who formerly chaired the Chicano studies department at East Los Angeles College, said a separate department at Mission would give its professors more autonomy. “You get academic voting rights, the ability to hire for your discipline and have control over that and manage your own funds, resources and computers,” Lopez said. “There’s quite a big difference between a program and a department.” But some faculty at Mission grumble that the move is simply a power-grab by the two Chicano studies professors. Harlan Goldberg, who replaced Morales as chairman of Mission’s social sciences department last summer, circulated a letter to the Faculty Senate last month opposing the creation of a separate department. “Presently, Chicano studies is bloated,” Goldberg wrote. “There are too many classes being offered and many that students cannot use. Our job is not to indoctrinate, our job is to help students think independently, providing them the opportunity to evaluate different ideas.” The proposal was set for a debate at the Faculty Senate’s May meeting, but the discussion was postponed because neither Maldonado nor Morales was present. Maldonado is on stress-related leave, and Morales left shortly after the meeting began to teach a class. Mission will offer 21 sections of six Chicano studies classes this fall; it also offers an associate’s degree in the discipline. According to the petition, Chicano studies ranks fifth among all disciplines at Mission campus and third among the academic disciplines, following English and math, which are required courses. Morales and Maldonado estimate about 740 students took the classes this spring. By comparison, East Los Angeles College, with about 21,000 students, has about 1,500 students enrolled in its Chicano studies department. This fall, Lopez said, it will offer 48 sections of 18 Chicano studies courses. [email protected] (818) 713-3663160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! MISSION HILLS – The Mission Faculty Senate is slated to vote today on a controversial plan to expand the Chicano studies discipline into its own department. Proponents say creating a separate Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies would improve recruitment and retention at the 7,300-student campus, which is nearly 70 percent Latino. “The Senate uses phrases like `The college is in economic trouble if we don’t make our numbers,’ and funding has to do with the number of students who eventually enroll,” said Jose Luis Ramirez, a Mission counselor who supports making Chicano studies its own department. “It would be ironic if a program with over 700 students, which could be used to outreach to local high schools, does not gain its independence as a department. last_img