October 17, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 27  

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New film department celebrated, but still far from being official

By Laura Katsirdakis
Gazette Staff

Students appear to be getting mixed signals as to the progress of the creation of a new film department.

“On Tuesday, one of the associate professors of film announced that the film department will be officially independent as of next year in an American cinema class,” said Matt Maguire, a fourth-year film and English student.

Maguire explained the film professor had apparently received this information at a meeting held early this week. He added there was talk of a celebration of this new development, possibly at The Grad Club.
When asked to confirm or deny this, the dean of arts, Kathleen Okruhlik, said the rumour was not true. “The consultation process is still on the way,” she stated.

“This is a difficult process and The Gazette articles have not been helpful; they have been over-sensational,” Okruhlik said. This comment was in response to the articles published on Sep. 25, Oct. 1 and Oct. 7 which reported the departure of three of the four full-time film professors this past summer as well as the English department’s announcement of the beginning of talks to create an independent film department.

The chair of English and Western’s VP-academic were unavailable for comment.

“It’s not a done deal,” said Alan Gedalof, a professor in the department of English. The negotiation process still has to go through the faculty of arts council, the faculty association, the Senate and the Board of Governors, he explained.

“It can’t be official yet but people are excited about it,” Gedalof said.
Gedalof, as with Okruhlik, expressed annoyance with The Gazette’s coverage of events in the film program. Both felt the coverage so far has been too negative.

“It will be nice to see a story with a happy spin,” Gedalof said.



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