by Emily Sakamoto
Jonathan Tazewell, Thomas S. Turgeon professor of drama, walked into the History of Clothing and Fashion class on Feb. 16 and announced there would be changes: its instructor, Associate Professor of Drama Andrew Reinert, would not return.
In an unusual mid-semester move, Reinert is currently on leave from the College, according to Tazewell. Tazewell did not respond to an email and phone message from the Collegian seeking comment.
Kris Conant, administrative assistant for the drama department, notified students in the course via email that their Friday, Feb. 13 class was canceled. Conant declined to comment.
“He didn’t contact us and tell us,” Gabby Mitchell ’15 said of Reinert. Mitchell is one of 13 students in the History of Clothing and Fashion class.
“The last time we saw him … we were taking an exam. I [said] I’ll see you on Friday. And then we never saw or heard from him again,” Mitchell said.
In reaching out to Reinert for comment via email, the Collegian received an automatic response that read, “Professor Reinert is currently on leave. Please direct any inquires to the Department of Dance, Drama and Film at email@example.com.”
The Collegian could not reach Reinert through other means of communication, including his office phone and his home phone. As of press time, his Facebook profile had been deleted.
Reinert, who joined the Kenyon faculty in 1990, specializes in costume and set design. He is an integral part of designing the costumes for the dance department’s productions.
The History of Clothing and Fashion course is attempting to proceed in Reinert’s absence.
Currently, Rebecca Wolfe, assistant professor of drama, has taken over teaching the course. In addition to switching professors, the course has also changed locations. It is not apparent whether or not Wolfe will continue teaching the class after spring break.
Mitchell gave her syllabus to a dance professor to be passed on to Wolfe.
“Our professor, Professor Wolfe, is doing pretty great for someone who didn’t know they were going to have to do this,” Mitchell said.
Several drama faculty members said they were unable to suggest reasons for Reinert’s departure from the classroom. Additionally, college administrators declined to disclose the exact details surrounding Reinert’s leave.
Provost Joe Klesner did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
“One thing about college is that you use those first few weeks of a class to really get to know your professor’s style and what they expect of you,” Mitchell said. “I was just starting to get a handle on Professor Reinert.”