Do the interests of semi-autonomous institutions like the Gund Gallery, The Kenyon Review and the Philander Chase Corporation conflict with the educational missions and financial needs of the college?
After I had finished reading your article (“For literary college, about half get into writing courses,” Oct 22, 2015), I was struck by a statement by Professor of English Jennifer Clarvoe: “We are a big department with a lot of competing needs” (italics my emphasis). Her statement is not only provocative but partisan: evidently, the creative writing faculty and other English faculty have different educational goals and agendas.
This year, College faculty have been vocal about Kenyon’s nonprofits. In last week’s letter to the editor, the tenured members of Kenyon’s art and art history departments went as far as saying that “something is deeply wrong with the operations of the Gund Gallery.”
My feelings, however, are more ambivalent. I believe Kenyon’s nonprofits provide a valuable function to the campus, but I also believe they should be autonomous rather than semi-autonomous. College resources would be better spent on fostering scholarship than on nonprofit programming.
Wyatt Sarafin ’16