Letters to the Editor

Prof’s teaching style didn’t justify firing

Dear Editor:

I am a former student of professor Wei Wang, who was fired by the Chinese department in January 2005. My understanding is that professor Wang was fired because of his approach to teaching the Chinese language, an approach that was different than what was dictated by the head of the Chinese department at the time, professor Ping Chang Hu. If that is the case, I feel that an abuse of power has occured in the Chinese department at UCSD.

I have the experience of having had both Wang and Hu as Chinese language teachers. Both exhibited a great deal of knowledge of the Chinese language, but had their differences in how they approached teaching it. Hu focused more on grammar whereas Wang focused more on conversation. I feel that the two different methods actually complement each other in bringing a broader understanding of Chinese. Wang’s class was much more enjoyable, though, since he interacted more with his students and brought a much more amiable atmosphere to the class versus the competitive nature that is felt in most college courses.

Different teaching methods should be applauded, not repressed. If every professor of a certain field of study approached the material the same way, the professors would become like robots mechanically disseminating information. Wang was a great teacher and helped me learn a great deal about the Chinese language. I feel that that the Chinese department’s dismissal of Wang is an egregious abuse of power and that the professor should be reinstated.

— James Shih

Revelle College junior