Adjunct sociology professor no longer teaching at Linfield

Elizabeth Stoeger, News editor

An adjunct sociology professor will no longer be teaching at Linfield, according to professor and sociology and anthropology department chair Amy Orr, who will take over the professor’s Gender and Society class.

Adjunct professor Jennifer Kim did not teach her classes the week before Spring Break due to illness. On March 24, students received an email stating that Kim would not return.

The email sent by Orr detailed the new changes and said they “might seem overwhelming at first, but I am optimistic that you can all adapt and make this a smooth transition.”

The reason for Kim’s leaving has not yet been disclosed due to a legal quality to the case, according to anthropology professor Tom Love. Love called it a “mutually agreeable parting of the ways . . . we all feel it was handled appropriately.”

Kim’s two sections of Race and Ethnicity are now being taught online by sociology professor Scott Vandehey, and Gender and Society is currently being taught in-person by Orr.

With the edition of this new class, Orr teaches almost consistently from 10:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Orr and Vandehey “worked diligently during the break to prepare for the rest of the semester. The students have already transitioned to their new syllabi, and, although some of the assigned textbooks changed, the students did not incur any additional costs,” Orr said in an email.

Vandehey assigned three new books for the Race and Ethnicity class which were paid for by Linfield. The books would have cost students about $150 if they had bought them new.

Feelings about these changes among students are varied but generally positive.

Morgan McCaslin, ‘18, said, “I really like Amy (Orr) and I really like her teaching style . . . It’s just a more strict classroom environment.”

“I think as students we’re in good hands” with Orr as the new professor, said Julia Silver, ’17. Silver said Kim “did the best of her ability” and expressed sadness at her leaving.

But there were also mixed feelings about Kim as a professor. “I don’t think she was a very good fit for Linfield … It wasn’t a comfortable classroom situation,” Katelyn Saxe, ’18, said.

Nicole Shockley, ’17, said she was “disappointed about the switch from in class to online, not so much because I don’t want an online class as to having a different professor. I loved Dr. Kim . . . and I was sad to hear that she wouldn’t be teaching our class any longer.” Shockley also said, “I’ve heard great things about professor Vandehey so I hope it ends well.”

Others felt more ambivalent, “I don’t really know how to think or feel about it. I can’t say that I’m super excited about the huge changes halfway through the semester, but at the same time I’m not upset about it,” said Zoya Miller, ’18.

Tiara Huffaker, ’19, said, “We were able to keep our class and our four credits . . . It’s a positive step.”

“We have worked to make the transition for the students as smooth as possible. Professor Vandehey and I are excited about teaching the classes, and we are optimistic that the students in the courses will continue to enjoy meaningful learning opportunities,” said Orr.

Love said, “We’re very upbeat about continuing” and is confident that students will “wind up benefitting.”

Students, as well as the other sociology and anthropology professors, seem to be taking it all in stride.

Miller said, “In situations like this there’s not much we can do but go with the flow and see where it leads.”