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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


“Physiology students rally for answers, due process”


Physiology students rallied outside of the Administration building Wednesday to address Nick Delamere’s tenure nonrenewal as physiology department head.

His job was terminated for reasons unbeknownst to the students and faculty in the department.

Stephanie Zankman, a physiology senior, was a student organizer of the rally. She explained that the situation concerned her because, while the university is intended to be a transparent institution where ideas are openly exchanged, the decisions regarding the physiology department have been made and kept behind closed doors.

Department heads are appointed year-to-year by the college’s dean, and Delamere has been reappointed every year since 2006. Every five years, department heads are given a mandated five-year review, and notice of Delamere’s nonrenewal as department head occurred immediately prior to this review.

“”The fact that Dr. Delamere’s expected five year review process was bypassed, without an explanation, does not seem so transparent,”” Zankman said.

The issue was originally brought to the Faculty Senate by Timothy Secomb, a physiology professor and member of the Senate, stating that it “”disrespected, disenfranchised and destabilized”” the department of physiology. Secomb explained that he, and other physiology faculty members, felt this violated the Memorandum of Understanding on Shared Governance because the decision was made without consulting the physiology faculty at large.

In addition, Zankman said she and her fellow students felt the issues facing the physiology department could extend to the entire campus. If such a circumstance could befall the physiology department, she said, it is not unreasonable to imagine that other departments on campus could be faced with a similar situation.

Chelsea Cook, a pre-physiology freshman and one of the protestors at the rally, said that Delamere deserves a just reason as to why he will no longer be the department head of physiology.

“”It’s unethical that faculty members are disposable after five years of excellent service,”” she said.

Cook explained that a possible reason for Delamere’s nonrenewal as department head could be because of rumors that physiology may leave the College of Medicine and join the College of Science. The problem with that, she said, is that physiology classes are designed around medicine and diseases, and those are key elements for individuals who choose the major.

Allie Finch, a pre-physiology sophomore and another protestor at the rally, called the situation “”shady”” and said that she felt that Delamere was treated unfairly.

“”This could have been done to anyone,”” she said. “”They (those who made the decision to end Delamere’s term prior to his review) think they are above the law.””

About 30 to 40 students held signs supporting Delamere throughout the hour-long rally, according to Zankman. The rally was 100 percent student run, planned and organized, and the event was publicized on Facebook for the public to attend. Those who attended in support were asked to sign a petition asking for due process and rationale from the university administration.

Zankman added that she and her peers had such a “”phenomenal experience”” and as physiology students they cannot “”just sit idly by”” in this situation.

“”You enjoy your major so much that you don’t think twice if it will be there the next day,”” she said. “”It’s disheartening.””

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