Cornell Rebuffs Lecturer’s Offer to Teach Modern Greek for Free

A handful of students gathered more than 140 signatures Monday in an online petition protesting the College of Arts and Science’s decision to terminate its Modern Greek language program next year, as the instructor of the classes said she was willing to forgo compensation in order to save the classes.
Matoula Halkiopoulos, the University’s sole Modern Greek language lecturer, said that she was willing to teach Greek without being paid her current salary of $7,000 per semester “for the benefit of the students.”
“I don’t want any money,” Halkiopoulos said. “I don’t do this for the money. I do this because I feel that if there is interest — any interest — in my language in the young population of Cornell, I want to help [them] learn my language.”
Halkiopoulos, whose main source of income comes from the property she owns in Collegetown, said she would be willing to teach Greek at Cornell without compensation for the foreseeable future.
“As long as [Cornell] can give us a classroom, a blackboard and some chalk, then the rest will take care of itself,” she said. “We don’t need anything more.”
University officials, however, said Monday that such a scenario would not be allowed.
“College policy doesn’t allow volunteers to teach courses that carry credit,” Susan Robertson, director of communications for the College of Arts and Sciences, stated in an e-mail. “We rely on our teaching contracts to provide an assurance of accountability and integration with the goals and standards of the college and its departments.”
Robertson reaffirmed the College’s decision to cut the Modern Greek program, citing its low enrollment of 17 students in 2010 and its “very limited impact on graduate students and research.”
(source: The Cornell Daily Sun)



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