research,” said Associate Provost and University Librarian Sarah Michalak. But without access to the materials they need, both
teaching and research are impaired, she said.
Paul Jones, clinical associate professor in
the journalism and information and library
science schools, said the loss of even lower-tier, less-recognizable journal titles means a
constant chipping away at the University’s
ability to be an agent of innovation.
“Cross-disciplinary work will suffer,”
Jones said. “To create new knowledge,
you need to be able to search across not
just the top journals, but the emerging
ones, too, the journals that are taking risks.
Schools that have access to areas of study
that are still gaining traction will produce
the better scholars.”
The libraries also have lost key staff posi-
tions that have caused some delays to the
availability of new materials and research
services. The latter is where budget cuts will
hurt faculty the most, said Ned Brooks ’ 85
(DRPH), clinical professor in health policy
and management at the Gillings School of
Global Public Health. Brooks said faculty
and postdoctoral scholars depend heavily on
librarians to help weed mountains of infor-
mation. They also assist with formal system-
atic literature reviews at the start of individ-
ual research endeavors — each one
consuming as many as 30 to 50 hours.
“HSL librarians have already noticed
that they can’t meet the demand from stu-
dents for one-on-one and small-group
work,” Brooks said. “It reflects on the
quality of the school, and it’s just crushing
for the librarians, whose lives revolve
around serving students and faculty. I don’t
think an awful lot of us on the faculty
really appreciate how good they are.”
Said Michalak, “Our staff members are
doubling up on their duties, and they’re try-
ing to avoid slowdowns. But when you cut
that large an amount from your workforce,
The Future on Hold
Many English majors will recognize it: a two-semester introduction to British literature, classes capped at 30 students, taught by tenure-track professors or advanced
graduate students who specialize in this area. These were among
the courses that introduced students to the major — a major with
which the department’s faculty wasn’t entirely satisfied.
“They were taking classes but not coming to us with a story
about what it meant to be an English major,” Dan Anderson said.
“We’d get [back] a list of courses they took rather than what they
learned. We started looking at outcomes — what they wanted to
have when they got out of here.”
“We wanted a lot more writing, a heavier research compo-
nent,” said department Chair Beverly Taylor. “Research methods
are so different than they were just 15 years ago.”
About five years ago, the department held a retreat to revamp
the curriculum based in part on what seniors had told them they
wanted — specifically, to move beyond read-and-regurgitate.
What emerged was what Anderson, the associate chair, called
an on-ramp and an off-ramp — new seminars at the beginning
and end of the major. The sophomore seminar, capped at 22 students, would replace one of the British lit courses, focusing on
skills and analysis in addition to the traditional reading. Topics
would vary, driven by a teacher’s area of expertise.
“We wanted a beginning experience in the major that chal-
lenged them to think analytically and independently,” Taylor said.
The senior seminars, capped at 20, would concentrate on research
culminating in a paper similar to an honors thesis — a detailed literary
analysis that would go through multiple revisions, one-on-one with a
faculty member, focusing more on methodology than content.
— David E. Brown ’ 75
CAROLINA ALUMNI REVIEW