After a geography professor unexpectedly stepped down from his University duties, three other faculty have taken up the workload.
Associate professor and Chair of the Faculty Welfare Committee for the Faculty Senate Kevin Romig removed himself from his duties at the University last month. Assistant professor Peter Adam is taking over Romig’s duties with the Faculty Senate and professor Mark Corson and associate professor Brett Chloupek have taken over Romig’s classes while he is away or for the rest of the semester.
Chloupek said in an email to the Missourian that he was asked by the University to take over Romig’s classes Feb. 20 and started teaching Romig’s classes at 9 a.m. Feb. 21. Despite the quick turnaround, Chloupek said he felt that the transition went as well as it could have gone.
In an email to the Missourian, Romig said his wife got a job in California and that they were moving there.
“What we told the students … is that he (Romig) taken ill and Dr. Chloupek and Corson would be covering his classes until he returned or through the rest of the semester,” Corson said in an email to the Missourian.
As of March 28, it is unknown if Romig will be returning to the University.
Romig has been working at the University since 2013.
Corson said he took over some of Romig’s classes about one month into the spring semester.
Corson, who took over two of Romig’s classes, is also teaching two other classes, an online joint graduate class and co-teaches an emergency medical responder course.
Corson said what has helped him handle the large workload is his background in teaching. Corson said he has been teaching since 1994 and has taught at Northwest since 1998. He said his past experiences teaching combined with the PowerPoints Romig left him made the transition smooth for him and the students.
Corson said the students in classes he adopted from Romig have been understanding and flexible throughout the transition from one professor to another, which has helped with the increased workload.
“They’re just great students,” Corson said. “They were awesome to work with — so interested and engaged.’
“As instructors, we kind of draw our energy from the crowd. Sort of like comics draw their energy from the crowd, and if you have a dead crowd it is really hard, and if you have a class that is fired up, it’s much better for everybody,” Corson said.
Some of the steps Corson took to prepare for taking on Romig’s classes was to access the Canvas website for the class, getting materials to teach the class and going over course content. Corson took it upon himself to read the material and make sure there was no content that he didn’t know. He said if he was unfamiliar with the content, he would research it to make sure he could teach the content properly.
Chloupek said in an email to the Missourian that he usually teaches four classes a semester, but he took over two of Romig’s classes in addition to his four classes, and he is also teaching an independent study course this semester.
Chloupek said he handles his normal workload with the addition of 110 students from Romig’s classes by sticking to a schedule.
“I need to feel prepared before I walk into Garrett-Strong on a Monday morning and then things work themselves out,” Chloupek said in an email.
Similar to Corson’s experience, Chloupek also said the students from courses he took over seemed to transition well. He called them resilient, and said he went into the first few days of teaching Romig’s classes with more energy to uplift the students after switching professors mid-semester.
“My main priority is to take care of students, and my other priorities are to be there for my colleagues and the University,” Chloupek said.
Peter Adams was contacted but did not reply in time for publication.
Students from Romig’s classes that were adopted by Corson were also contacted, but none replied before publication.