Department Chair. Accomplishments for department. Department of Germanic Languages and Literature. 2001 - 2005

Event/Organization Administration

Other ; I would like to highlight several accomplishments in 2005 for the German department: During the spring semester of 2005, we made considerable progress on our joint Duke-UNC PhD program in German Studies. We held several joint meetings with UNC German Studies faculty, and agreed upon an overall structure for the program, working out many details such as required courses, exam structure, timelines, and strategic hiring plans. Much of the credit for this goes to Ann Marie Rasmussen, who chaired the subcommittee that drafted the original proposals. I am happy to say that our continued efforts to aggressively advertise our graduate program have been successful again this year. Thus far, we have 18 applicants for the fall 2006 class, nearly as many as we had last year, breaking a trend that had been hovering around 10 – 12 for a number of years before that. Our curricular innovations of the last year continue to bear fruit. In particular, we have been able to implement our plan to offer at least one large lecture class taught in English each semester, enabling us to fulfill a part of the educational mission of the University not duplicated in other departments while at the same time providing students with no knowledge of German a gateway into German Studies. Our language program remains strong, and we have been able to attract a larger number of students to our Duke-in-Berlin program than in previous years. Overall enrollments and numbers of majors and minors have increased slightly over previous years. Perhaps our major accomplishment for 2005 has been the successful hire of Bill Donahue, a distinguished scholar of 20th century German literature and culture, who has already had an enormously positive influence on our department. I was especially pleased that the search process went so smoothly, with all department faculty working together in a most collegial and constructive manner. Among the tougher decisions we had to make this year has been the cancellation of our long and well-established Duke-in-Erlangen summer program, due to low student enrollments over the past five years. We worked hard, however, during this past fall semester, to establish a new summer program in Berlin by forming a consortium with Rutgers University in a highly successful program that Bill Donahue established while he was chair of the German department at Rutgers. By being able to offer a wider range of courses, including courses taught in English, we hope to attract larger numbers of students from a variety of disciplines to our new summer program.

Service Performed By


  • Department Chair


  • 2001 - 2005

Service or Event Name

  • Accomplishments for department

Host Organization

  • Department of Germanic Languages and Literature

Location or Venue

  • Duke University