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Last year, psychologist John Gartner, a former assistant professor at the Hopkins School of Medicine, made national news after declaring that U.S. President Donald Trump was mentally unfit for office due to malignant narcissism and paranoid delusions.
Interim Dean of Student Life Tiffany Sanchez, who joined Hopkins in 2013, will be leaving Feb. 14 to become Vice President for Student Affairs at Stevenson University.
The Humanities Center at Hopkins, which faced threat of closure last school year, has changed its name to the Department of Comparative Thought and Literature. For some graduate students, the name change fails to reflect the department’s academic focus and erases the history of the Center. The decision to change the name was announced online on Nov. 20 and was put in place on Jan. 1. According to the online announcement, the new name recognizes the department’s focus on the intersection of literature, philosophy and aesthetics. The Center was established in 1966 as an interdisciplinary humanities consortium under the leadership of Charles Singleton. Throughout the years, the department has run a graduate program and maintained an active program of visiting scholars, professors and lecturers. In 2016, the University considered closing the Center but ultimately decided not to in 2017. Graduate students created a campaign called “Hands off the Humanities” and held several protests to rally against the threat of closure. The University commissioned a review committee in January 2017 to determine the future of the department. The Tabb Committee, headed by Sheridan Dean of University Libraries and Museums Winston Tabb, submitted a report recommending that the Center narrow its academic scope and then gave options to either retain its current name or rename it to reflect its change in focus. To choose a new name, the faculty in the department were asked to contribute ideas for new names, and collectively came to their final choice. In March, Betsy Bryan, a professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies and vice dean of humanities and social sciences, was appointed as the interim chair, replacing Professor and former Chair Hent de Vries. The decision surprised students and faculty in the Center, since they were not informed ahead of time, and Bryan had no prior affiliation with the Center. In an email to The News-Letter, Bryan explained that faculty were directly involved in choosing a name for the Center. “I asked the current faculty for department names that would best represent what the department does. The name ‘Comparative Thought and Literature’ was the result of a number of discussions, all trending in the same direction,” Bryan wrote. “The younger faculty… have really guided the trajectory the last year and most particularly during this fall’s search.” Leonardo Lisi, associate professor and the Center’s director of undergraduate studies, said that as the Humanities Center, the department had offered comparative literature to graduate students as one of the tracks. One of the options the Tabb Committee suggested in its 2017 report was for the Center to become the Comparative Literature department, which Lisi and other faculty opposed. "The question was how to find a name that resonates with the focus...Comparative Thought and Literature was identified as the more appropriate name,” Lisi said. “Comparative Literature just as a name doesn’t really reflect what our faculty do.” While the faculty of the department were directly involved in renaming the Center and some graduate students were able to offer ideas, graduate students were not consulted about the final options for the name. Benjamin Stein, a graduate student in the department, was disappointed by the chosen name and the decision to change the name in the first place.
After soliciting feedback from concerned student groups, the University released a revised version of its suggested guidelines for free expression on Jan. 29.
Hopkins alum William H. Miller donated $75 million to the University’s philosophy department in January. The donation, the largest ever to a university philosophy program, made national headlines, and the department will now bear the name: William H. Miller Department of Philosophy.
The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research released a study in January evaluating the tactics of the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) to counter gun violence in the City. According to the study, sending plainclothes officers into areas with high levels of crime is the most effective way to reduce gun violence.
At a packed Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) board meeting on Tuesday, hundreds of parents, teachers and students gathered to voice their outrage over heating problems that have affected classrooms since schools returned for the new year.
The Hopkins community was saddened to learn of the death of Zachary Steinberg, a sophomore in the Whiting School of Engineering, who died in a plane crash in Costa Rica on Sunday. Steinberg’s parents and two brothers were also killed in the crash.
The University’s Board of Trustees voted to divest its endowment from thermal coal on Friday. The vote, which was announced in a statement on Tuesday, comes almost three months after the Public Interest Investment Advisory Committee (PIIAC) recommended that the University divest from fossil fuels.
The Student Government Association (SGA) held their final meeting of the semester on Tuesday at Charles Commons. They discussed potential changes to the role of the Finance Committee in reviewing funding and debated whether to create an ad hoc committee to lead SGA’s push for a student center at Hopkins.
Community Conversations, an organization that holds discussions with Hopkins and Baltimore community members, hosted a panel of alumni involved in outreach. They discussed the relationship between Hopkins and Baltimore on Monday.
The Hopkins chapter of the John Quincy Adams Society (JQAS), a nonpartisan international politics student group, hosted the Society’s Executive Director John Allen Gay at its “Messed Media” event on Dec. 1. JQAS also announced that they will be launching a new publication, Realist Review.
The Career Center and community service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega co-sponsored a panel titled “Women in Leadership” on Thursday, Nov. 30. The event featured three women from different professional backgrounds who shared challenges they faced in their careers and ways they worked to overcome gender-based obstacles.
The Baltimore Beat, the city’s new alternative weekly newspaper, debuted its first issue on Nov. 15. Covering politics, the arts, city life and more, the independent alt-weekly looks to be a reflection of the city, aiming to incorporate multiple community voices.
Last month, Republicans in the House of Representatives passed a tax reform bill intended to provide tax cuts for both corporations and individuals. On Saturday, Dec. 2, the Senate passed their version of the bill with 51 votes.
The 13th annual Lighting of the Quads, a celebration typically held during the last week of classes as a study break to kick-off the holiday season, has been postponed to Monday, Dec. 11.
Comedian, actor and writer Hasan Minhaj gave a talk on Wednesday, Dec. 6, in the Turner Auditorium at the East Baltimore campus. The talk was the final event of the Milton S. Eisenhower (MSE) Symposium’s 2017 speaker series.
With the semester coming to a close, freshmen reflect on how the rollback of the University’s covered grade policy has affected their first few months at Hopkins, and upperclassmen look back on how covered grades shaped their college experience.
The second Commission on Undergraduate Education (CUE2), a group of faculty, staff, alumni and current undergraduates, has been working since April to evaluate the state of undergraduate education at Hopkins.
In an interview with The News-Letter on Tuesday, University President Ronald J. Daniels shared his thoughts on mental health, campus security, the University’s endowment and the second Commission on Undergraduate Education (CUE2).