Time slot selected for Truman Symposium

Photo by Brently Snead

Truman State University will hold the Truman Symposium Mondays from 4:30-5:30 p.m. when implemented in the fall 2019 semester as announced at last week’s Undergraduate Council meeting.

Janet Gooch, vice president for academic affairs and provost, chose the time slot in which no other “new student” can be offered. Gooch chose a time after Undergraduate Council voted on the idea of a time slot for the upcoming symposium at the Oct. 30 meeting.

UGC Chair Justin Jarvis said the original goal was to create a time slot where the symposium could be held multiple times a week. During that time, no classes would be offered except the symposium. Jarvis said that was nearly impossible. Then the council wanted to create a slot where no freshman single-section classes could be offered, but that was too difficult to coordinate.

“This idea that the symposium is important, and we want to give it that valuable slot in the day, but once you hear what time slot it is, you think more about, ‘How does this affect my department? How does this affect me?’ and we knew it was going to mess up something,” Faculty Senate President Scott Alberts said. “Any time you picked was going to mess up something.”  

Anton Daughters, a symposium committee member, agreed and said any time slot chosen would have been disruptive. One of the major factors the committee took into account was how many courses each time slot would disrupt. Daughters said there was some concern about how it would affect athletics and art courses that go later into the afternoons.

Gooch said she made her decision based on what other classes would be offered and what else was occurring in Baldwin Hall at the time of the symposium. She also considered student athletics, music groups and clubs. She also said there has been little discussion about how it has impacted the departments thus far.

“We were really trying to look at balancing several different things,” Gooch said. “There is going to be some readjustment to be made in certain departments or certain clubs.”

Gooch said the departments will have to consider what classes they offer to adjust to the symposium.

The symposium committee members and Gooch had seen the impact the time slot could have on future classes, and all expect flexibility from departments.

“We know there is not a time where nothing happens on campus, so when you choose, there will have to be adjustments made,” Gooch said.