Clarity for clarity’s sake by Professor Mahoney

Dear Editor,

In your March 26 article, “SGA asks for clearer course descriptions,” both the text and the caption to the accompanying photo identified me as “vice president” of the faculty union. 

This was quite flattering, but not quite accurate – although I am a member of the Executive Council of United Academics, the vice-president is John Forbes (Department of Theatre; for more details, please consult the United Academics website at:

A more serious mistake was the reported statement that it had been three years since any representatives from United Academics had attended a SGA meeting. 

As I had pointed out in public at this March 18th SGA meeting, I had already attended the Nov. 12 SGA meeting at the invitation of Connor Daley and the speaker of the senate, Kevin Conlon, and had addressed a number of the questions and concerns raised at the March meeting as well.

You and your readers may be interested in knowing that Denise Youngblood, president of United Academics, had as the first item on the agenda of the March 26 United Academics Executive Council an extensive report and discussion regarding the SGA request to improve student academic experience. 

We will be urging our members to post extended course descriptions for the courses that they will be teaching next semester, and in time for this week’s registration period.

As I recall having said at the March 18 SGA meeting, none of us are perfect – professors included – and all of us can benefit from working together. 

We may not always agree, but if we listen to one another attentively, we may find that our goals are similar, even if the paths to reaching them may differ.


Dennis Mahoney

Wolfgang and Barbara Mieder Green and Gold Professor of German and Member-at-Large, United Academics Executive Council