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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Professor resigns without notice

Correction appended

A popular speech and hearing science professor resigned abruptly last week and later sent an e-mail to a student indicating discrimination influenced her decision.

Linda Bland Stewart, known to her students as “Dr. LBS,” indicated she could not divulge specifics about her departure but that she “can no longer tolerate discrimination.”

“I regret that there are circumstances that have caused me to resign immediately from the university,” Bland Stewart wrote in an e-mail to a student in her speech and hearing 72 course last Friday. “I will not finish the term but the department will make sure that you are provided with a suitable substitute so that you may finish the semester.”

Stewart sent the e-mail to a student, who was granted anonymity for fear of retribution, as a response to a question the student had about a take-home midterm that was due Wednesday. The student said she made phone calls to the department last Friday, and administrators failed to tell her if her professor had resigned.

Andrea Cossetini, a speech and hearing professor, substituted for Stewart’s speech and hearing 72 course Monday. Tuesday night, Diane Brewer, interim chair of the speech and hearing department, sent an e-mail to students in this class and informed them that that Cossetini would teach the class for the remainder of the semester.

“I have been informed of Dr. Bland-Stewart’s intention to resign . We will work to make this a smooth transition and provide you the best semester possible,” she wrote.

Students in Bland-Stewart’s classes said they feel like administrators are withholding information from them about the resignation and that administrators should be more open about why Bland-Stewart resigned and how GW will grade the students on their midterms and the course.

“I think how the administration handled it is frankly pretty disturbing,” sophomore Ethan Elser said.

Brewer would not comment to The Hatchet on the resignation, calling it a “confidential personnel matter.” Bland-Stewart has also not responded to e-mails from The Hatchet. Brewer told students in Bland-Stewart’s class to direct their questions about their midterm to Cossetini.

“I think it sucks because she is a great teacher and it hurts to see her leave,” said Eric Lebowitz, a sophomore who took two classes with Bland-Stewart.

Bland-Stewart taught two undergraduate courses in the speech and hearing department, multicultural issues in human communication and language acquisition and development. She also taught graduate courses.

Students said they were excelling in Bland-Stewart’s courses and that they liked her teaching style. Some said they took the class just because she was teaching it.

“I’m just concerned because I’m used to how Dr. LBS grades,” freshman Tiffany Lim said. “It’s like starting a new class in the middle of the semester.”

“I’m a little annoyed that she didn’t tell us,” freshman Chad Latawiec said. “I’m worried because I was doing really well . I don’t know how the transfer is going to work.”

This article has been changed to reflect the following correction:

Correction: March 13, 2008

The Hatchet misspelled the name of sophomore Ethan Elser.

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