Elizabeth Coleman is, at the time of this writing, the President
of Bennington College
She has single-handedly ushered Bennington into a "new era
", or so she says. The year before I showed up at Bennington
as a freshman
(so we're talking about 1993-4), Ms. Coleman decided to do away with tenure
. She fired - oh, I'm sorry, she neglected to renew the contracts
of some 30-odd professors. This may not sound like much, but at a school of 450-ish students, with a faculty hovering around the 60 mark, 30 is A LOT. And then she didn't tell my incoming class what she'd done until we showed up for orientation
. "Hmmm...." I said to myself.
Liz Coleman is very mannish in her speech, attire, and attitude. There is much speculation
that she was once a man
(or is slowly becomming one).
Ms. Coleman has also taught classes at Bennington
in the past, usually in the Political
and Current Events
areas, both of which most Bennington students
(while at school , at least) could care less about.
She has the tendency to make sweeping statements
about her students, faculty, and staff, that don't reflect the majority opinion
or even the truth
The Board of Trustees
seems to love her, as she's brought the enrollment
up from 250 (in 1994
) to over 600 (2001
), brought in the single largest endowment
the school's ever seen, and kept the school out of "The Most Expensive School in the USA"
slot for the past few years.
For a general summation on my personal feelings about this person, let us take a look at a poem that I've always associated with Richard Scarey
, but it was written by someone entirely different, apparently.
"I Do Not Like Thee Doctor Fell"
"I do not like thee, Doctor Fell,
The reason why, I cannot tell;
But this I know, and know full well,
I do not like thee, Doctor Fell."