Students Rally to Retain Political Science Professor

Shouldn’t we have more of a say in who educates us? Well, we the students of visiting professor Guy Ziv certainly think so. Last week we started a petition to renew this professor’s contract for the 2009-2010 academic year, after finding out that he is not being invited back by the Political Science Department.

On Thursday April 23, we were able to garner over 535 student signatures in a petition to allow Professor Ziv to stay on as a Professor of Foreign Policy. Such support might strike you as remarkable on our part, especially given that we were able to get those signatures in a matter of hours. However our success was simply because Guy Ziv is a remarkable educator.

Guy Ziv has shown an unmatched dedication to teaching, and espoused the highest academic excellence standards that this school is renowned for.

A typical day in Ziv’s class involves a brief rapport about how his students are doing. And yes, he genuinely cares! Closely following the greetings is a current events segment where he tries to gauge how much his students follow world news and offers them insight to the theoretical and practical explanations for such events, while keeping in mind their broader implications. Then there’s a lecture and following that a discussion. Professor Ziv’s mastery of the subject content coupled with his love for teaching is immediately evident in his presentation. Ziv’s class is so intellectually engaging that it will never leave you day-dreaming or bewildered, a rare phenomenon in college campuses today.

Despite Professor Ziv’s dedication to excellence in teaching, he has not been invited back next year. We have started a strong initiative in an attempt to reverse the decision of the Political Science Department. But the matter goes much deeper than that of this educator’s employment.

At St. Mary’s we pride ourselves in the strong representation given to students in matters of how the school is run. Through Faculty Search Committees students are given a say in the selection process of new professors. However, thereafter students should retain some authority in deciding which professors stay here at St. Mary’s to continue our tradition of academic excellence.

Undoubtedly, Professor Ziv has proven more than capable of carrying on that tradition and, according to shows of overwhelming support, should be given the opportunity to do so. You can help his students’ current efforts to ensure that the faculty here at St. Mary’s remains top-notch by taking action!

There are numbers of ways to do this: Help by calling the Political Science Department at 240-895-4899. Urge them to reconsider their decision not to invite back Professor Ziv. You can also join the Facebook group “Petition the POSC Dept. to Keep Guy Ziv as Professor” and share your opinion(s). Most importantly, assert your power as a student in having a say as to who educates you!
-Patrick Koroma ‘11

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