Forgetting Dr. Rosenzweig

Dr. Harry Rosenzweig died of pancreatic cancer on Feb. 3.  The faculty and staff were notified on Feb. 6 and held a short memorial during a staff meeting shortly thereafter.  It was not until over a week later (Feb. 13), however, that the students received any sort of notification.

When a McDaniel student passes away, the entire community receives an email notification.  When a member of the McDaniel faculty recently passed away, the students were not notified until several days after the faculty and staff received word.

“There was no formal announcement from the administration, and that’s unacceptable,” said Dr. Mary Bendel-Simso, English professor and friend of Dr. Rosenzweig.

Dr. Rosenzweig was a an influential math professor who taught here for 37 years, and many people find it shocking that the administration failed to inform the most direct recipients of his influence- the students.

“I’m still mad that they forgot the students,” said Dr. Bendel-Simso. “How can you forget the students?”

Many (including myself) wonder what possible reason there could be for such negligence.  Evidently, there is no protocol for such a situation.  So, when Dr. Rosenzweig passed the responsibility was handed off through several levels of the administration before it finally became the duty of the Communications and Marketing department.

As a result, most students only became aware of their professor’s death in passing.  Math students found out of the professor’s death sooner than most; the math department reached out and emailed as many people as they could as quickly as possible, but this was mostly limited to majors and minors in that department.

The remainder of the student body was left to its own devices.  Some people heard the news only when they saw a sign posted on the door of the Mathematics office that said the faculty was at the funeral, which was held on Feb. 8.

I heard it in passing, and was appalled that the administration hadn’t yet taken it upon itself to notify the student body.  I can only hope that this experience will not be repeated in the future, and that the memory of every professor will be given the respect it deserves.

A memorial will be held on Monday, March 5 in McDaniel Lounge from 4-6.  It will be hosted by Kappa Mu Epsilon, the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, and the Office of Academic Affairs.