A farewell to educators
Robin Crittenden is a former University of Alaska student and current UAA English professor who is retiring this year. She has spent the last 17 years teaching English courses at UAA. When she attended UA (which is now the University of Alaska Fairbanks) in the late 1960s, she said there were only two UA campuses. At that time, UAA was just being founded and UAS had not yet been established.
Crittenden said before she began her career at UAA, she was a journalist for Anchorage Daily News about 30 years ago. After attending UA, she received her bachelor’s in English at Washington State University and transferred to Alaska Pacific University to receive her master’s in adult education.
Crittenden said she is very happy with her time spent instructing at UAA. When asked why she is retiring, she said, “Because I can,” then
laughed. Crittenden has five grandchildren and said she is ready to enter the next phase of her life: grandmotherhood.
Robert Crosman is a retiring tenured English professor who has been with UAA since 1985. His collegiate career began at Harvard and was continued in Germany. He returned to the United States and attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a bachelor of arts in English in 1962. Then he earned a Ph.D. in English at Columbia University in 1971.
He cites his book, “Reading Paradise Lost,” as the reason he was able to earn a job as a UAA professor. His publication received the Explicator Award in 1980. Crosman teaches several courses. Most of them focus on Renaissance era writing because he teaches Shakespeare and modern to post-modern English courses every semester. Crosman said he also teaches African-American literature and literature by women as often as he can.
Prior to becoming a professor at UAA, he was a short-term professor at Trinity College, Hartford, and Williams College. Crosman says his proudest accomplishment at UAA is hiring the first African-American woman, Jervette Ward, on a tenure track. Crosman said she will begin teaching in the English department this fall.
When asked how UAA has changed since 1985, Crosman replied, “It’s a much more hip and aware place than it was then.” He continued to say he feels UAA is now a more welcoming place for Alaska Natives than when he started instructing. When asked why he is retiring,
he said he is 73 years old and teaching has gotten stale. Instead of instructing, Crosman plans to spend the next few years as a student.
He plans to take Spanish courses, among others. He was originally planning on taking courses at UAA, but he has been considering moving back to Berkeley, Calif., to attend courses there.
red bradley is an assistant term professor at UAA. He began his 11-year career as a Seawolf instructing art and journalism courses, with journalism as his primary focus in recent years. Over the last decade, he has taught digital photography, intermediate and advanced graphics, typography, visual literacy, media in society, beginning and advanced web design, TV studio production, independent film production, digital video production, digital editing and digital imaging courses.
His semester-to-semester schedule varies greatly as a term professor, which means his contract is renewed each year. This year, however, his contract will not be renewed. When asked why his contract will not be renewed, bradley had a lot to share.
He said he has never had one formal disciplinary action in his teaching career at UAA, yet the Dean’s Office cut his position. He said the Dean’s Office told him they could not afford to keep him as a professor. “Would I rather be in the classroom tormenting students? Yes,” bradley said, but he remains very optimistic about the future. When asked how he will fare after being cut this semester, bradley said, “It’s not about me, it’s about you (UAA students).”
When further questioned about his beliefs about his position being cut, he summarized personal research that he conducted. He said that UAF and UAA have too many administrators and not enough professors, which wastes money and hinders student progress. When asked if he would like to make a public statement to the Dean’s Office, he said, “They know how I feel.”
bradley aired commercials during the Governor’s Cup discussing what he perceives as the irresponsible spending of university funds. He also sent the videos to the UAA Finance Committee, Chancellor Tom Case and Alaska senators and legislators. While he does not think this is why his contract will not be renewed, he said it surely didn’t help the situation.
bradley said the governor approved a 7 percent spending increase for the 2014 fiscal year, yet his position was cut. Despite being cut from the UAA budget, bradley said he will land on his feet as he has other business endeavors he plans to pursue. He sold his previous company, Nine Star Productions, many years ago and returned to school, aspiring to mentor students.