Numbers that suggested Butler University’s global and historical studies program was having trouble finding professors to teach classes were misleading, according to the program director.
“GHS classes that full-time lecturers teach were not reflected in those numbers,” Paul Hanson, director of the GHS program, said. “So, in fact, we are quite close to having enough classes with faculty assigned to meet next fall’s student demand.”
Butler students are required to complete two semesters or six credit hours in the program before graduation. The course topics range from the resistance and rights of global women to the history of revolutionary Europe.
Hanson said the program has faced a faculty shortage in the past.
“The GHS program actually faced greater challenges this past year than we do for next year because of the very large freshman class admitted in the fall of 2010,” Hanson said.
In order to take care of the shortage, Hanson said he reaches out to surrounding universities for temporary staffing.
“Luckily we are located in a major metropolitan area with several other colleges and universities, which makes it easier to find qualified people,” Hanson said.
David Jamison, an adjunct professor, is originally from Queens, N.Y., and relocated to Indiana for graduate school. He said he was interested in the GHS program after being forwarded an advertisement from one of his colleagues at Indiana University.
“It’s what I’m interested in, what I love and my field of study,” Jamison said. “Studying identity and rebellion is so very culturally rich and interesting.”
There are three designated lecturers in the GHS program, but they don’t teach only GHS courses at Butler.
Jason Lantzer is a full-time professor in the history department but has been teaching various courses including history, GHS, first year seminar, and honors courses at Butler since 2007.
Lantzer teaches “Contemporary Europe” and reaches his students in a unique way, said junior science, technology and society major Ciera Oshodi.
“He still lectures to us, but he does it by telling stories of the past, so that makes it very interesting,” Oshodi said.
Lantzer said he enjoys teaching GHS for two reasons.
“First is exposing students to the length and breadth of the history of a given area,” Lantzer said. “The second is because my own research interests tend to be more about American history, using that as a bridge to discuss events in a transnational and comparative framework, which allows students, I hope, a means of connecting with the material.”
“Throughout the years we have had excellent faculty teaching in the program, whether tenured, tenure-track, lecturers or adjuncts,” Hanson said.