Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor-

As recent graduates of the Simpson College Communication Studies Department, we feel we can’t let the recent, one-sided drama in the department go ignored.

Susanne Gubanc is intelligent, but maybe she isn’t what Simpson needs.

We are not the only ones who feel this way. There are other graduates and current students who feel the same way, but have chosen to stay out of the debate. Yes, Susanne pushed for excellence and, yes, she would not accept mediocrity. But some of us still feel we didn’t learn what we needed to learn from her classes.

We know Brian Steffen carefully weighs every decision he makes and know he would not make this decision based on Susanne’s personal beliefs. He does hold the education and best interests of his students as a top priority, as do other Simpson faculty members. It’s unfair to point fingers and make accusations when you don’t know all the details. Those who have to make the decision very likely know more than the rest of us.

Those who have graduated from the communication department know the issue of Susanne’s teaching abilities is not a new topic. In the past couple of years, students have talked to Brian Steffen and Dean Haddox about Susanne’s performance as a professor. The topic of her removal has been coming for some time. It is only now that action is being taken.

With that in mind, we fully support Brian’s decision, as he is the chair of the department. We trust he did not take his part in the decision lightly. It is his very unpleasant job to make the difficult decisions that, while to some might seem unfounded, will in truth benefit the school and the students.

Communications students, as well as the entire Simpson community, will lose a wonderful woman – a woman who listens to students, cares deeply for them, pushes for excellence and stands firmly beside her beliefs. The community will miss those wonderful attributes and we will all miss the woman who embodied them.

Should the decision stand to terminate her contract, we wish her luck with her next endeavor. May she find a place that welcomes not only her uniqueness and her personality, but also her style of teaching.

And, should it come to this, we wish Brian Steffen luck in finding a professor who will be able to fill the shoes left behind not only by Susanne, but also by those who came before her.

Kelly (Sander) Bossard – Corporate Communication, class of 2005

Shawna McChurch – Journalism & Mass Communication, class of 2005