Chiron Studies is pretty great. It took me till my last year at Portland State to take a course, but in “Active Anthropology” we’re volunteering and gardening through local nonprofit Wisdom of the Elders. The gardening in particular has been great—there is something so satisfying about the peaceful property near Powell Butte
Chiron Studies appears under “independent studies” in the course catalog. It doesn’t count toward any degree, but the credits count as electives. Chiron lets anyone teach their own college class, providing they have a faculty sponsor and can pass other miscellaneous rigamarole.
One of the challenges the program has faced lately, according to Rozell Medina, Chiron Studies coordinator, is that PSU pulled all its funding last year. Even though Chiron courses generate tuition money, all of the instructors have been working this academic year pro bono.
Scott Gallagher, a PSU spokesman, explained the university’s position on the issue. While he’s not an expert on Chiron studies, he said, the program is still worthwhile for those students because they have the chance to teach their own course. And the university is still paying a cost for it, since the faculty advisers are giving their time, he added.
Medina wasn’t sure if the instructors were going to be paid again, since there are issues still being resolved in the faculty senate.
“While it’s been difficult, we are optimistic and hoping to keep things civil,” Medina said.
Personally, I hope we can get the instructors paid again. I’ve found it worthwhile.