What is the downside to adding a Department of Cultural and Regional Studies at Kennesaw State University? KSU's enrollment places it third in the state, yet it ranks 22nd overall. Is KSU's only path to train teachers, accountants and nurse administrators?
Although these are important majors, KSU can either enter the stage as a major university or remain a community college, albeit a very large one. KSU recently added a doctorate program in International Conflict and yet, after researching its undergraduate program in Sociology and comparing it to that of Georgia State University's, it is woefully lacking in undergraduate and graduate academic support.
After looking over the courses offered by the Sociology Department it appears that the new department will simply add to and expand what is currently offered. One professor has sounded the alarm about this department, which causes one to ask, "Why?" All colleges suffer budget woes and there is always a period of transition. This is not insurmountable and no reason to block expansion of academics at Georgia's third-largest university. When has this type of growth ever been a bad thing?
Cultural and regional studies have been a part of the curriculum at major universities for over 30 years. Its content supports degree programs in sociology, anthropology, criminal justice, business, medicine, international studies and global health initiatives. KSU's own sociology program promotes diversity and social change from local to global scale according to their own write-up. In the current business climate, I can think of no better addition to one's academic resume than a thorough study of global cultural and environmental issues.
KSU students and parents should be very concerned when a small and narrow community (Cobb County) is given the ability to dictate curriculum at a major university that hopes to draw students from a wider community and internationally. KSU students realize that the best job offers go to those with degrees from colleges and universities that have rigorous and complete academic studies. Placement in graduate and doctorate programs depend on the quality of undergraduate course work.
Most KSU students and their families pay a lot for a degree from KSU. Shouldn't the school expand and improve the value of that degree?
Does the wider community really want to restrict KSU to mediocrity and community college status? It seems that fear is driving the local population to protest academic growth at KSU.
What is the local community afraid of really? As a community, let's define it, provide factual support and defend it with something other than generalizations about its influence over politics.
And before you go too far, take a good look at Emory and UGA programs. KSU is barely on the edge of academic achievement. "Feelings" about academics at the university level and actually experiencing it are often very different. Thankfully, KSU students choose their majors and their course study.
Let KSU students wear their big-girl and big-boy panties when they go off to university. Protecting them from new or different ideas and blocking expanding academic programs is counterproductive at best.