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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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Meeting demands for Knox’s largest department

Professor+Jeffery+Gomer%2C+Photo+courtesy+of+Knox+College+
Professor Jeffery Gomer, Photo courtesy of Knox College

JefferBusiness went from being only a minor to a major at Knox in 2018, with currently 95 business majors at the college. However, despite being the largest major on campus, there are currently only two active business faculty members.

Emeritus Professor in Business John Spittel, former chair of the department, retired two years ago. Since then, the department is left with only two professors. Professor of Practice Jeffrey Gomer and Lecturer Nancy DeWitt are the current program faculty, and neither of them are tenure track.

Because of this, it is difficult for students to declare business as their major because of the lack of faculty in the department. Students are given priority in doing so based on seniority level.

Two new professors have been hired in the department and will be beginning fall 2024; Bryce Palar and Gertrude Hewapathirana.

Due to the large class sizes combined with the few faculty, there are a number of cross-listed business classes, and classes taught by cooperating faculty.

These cooperating faculty of the department include Assistant Professor Moheeb Zidan (Econ 110 and 120), Professor Frank McAndrews (Industrial and Organizational Psych), Associate Professor Fernando Gomez (Business Spanish), Dr. John Haslem (Business Messaging),  Professor Dan Whack (Business Ethics; History of Self Government), Professor Elizabeth Carlin Metz (Arts Administration), and Professor Ole Forsberg (Statistics).

Katie Stewart for political science, Tim Stedman for art and art history (and BUS 360B Startup Term), Jamie Spacco for computer science (and BUS 360B Startup Term), and Director of Athletics, Corey Goff, also teach courses in the department.

Carlin Metz is currently the interim chair of the business department. She believes that one of the new hires will become the chair either next year or the following year.

Gomer and DiWett currently make up the entire faculty for the department. The average class size for professor Gomer’s classes is in the mid 30’s, which is amongst the largest class sizes at Knox.

The demand for a business major is growing as there is an increase in students declaring business as their major. Students majoring in business and economics have also been pushing for accounting to be introduced as a major too.

“Originally, I wanted to go into accounting. I talked to professor Gomer and found a way to make it happen,” senior and Business and Economics double major Arthur Anthony said.

According to his students, Professor Gomer is very accessible and is very responsive to emails and calls. He never turns any student or any questions away, and lets students approach him at the gym.

“I am an active Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and the other certification that makes up the accounting big three is the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and we are on track to add the CPA. I am not professionally going for the CPA but I can teach students the material they need to know to take the exam,” Gomer said.

The professors and students that make up the department are satisfied with the quality and standard of its academic programs. With the anticipated changes, the business department is likely to return to stability.

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Pareesae Imtiaz
Pareesae Imtiaz, Staff Writer

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