Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

October 26, 2016   |   Ithaca, NY


Letter to the Editor: Diversity in the history department

Dear Editor:

In your Sept. 30 article, “Ithaca College releases new minority faculty hiring policies,” Professor Gustavo Licon is quoted as saying, “In an ideal world … departments would be diverse, so these subjects would come up in history and sociology and communications and all of these different departments, but the reality is that for the most part it doesn’t.” I applaud the college’s effort to recruit and retain more minority faculty. The cultural background of the instructor can make a difference in how learning happens in a class. That having been said, it is manifestly untrue that subjects related to diversity and the struggle to create a pluralistic society don’t come up in the history department at IC. Indeed, these issues are at the center of many of the courses I and my colleagues teach. I suspect the same can be said of sociology.

Michael Smith
Associate Professor and the Department of History