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New chair of English department is appointed

Staff Writer

Published: Friday, January 31, 2014

Updated: Friday, January 31, 2014 16:01

JOHN BIGUENET/English chair

JOHN BIGUENET/English chair

The English department has a new chairman this semester with the appointment of John Biguenet.

Biguenet accepted the position after the previous chair, Christopher Chambers, became director of the Walker Percy Center for Publishing and Writing.

“The term of office is three years,” Biguenet said. “When the term expires or a chair steps down early, an election is held by the English faculty to choose a new chair or re-elect the current chair.”

Biguenet said the chair “facilitates the work of the English faculty as teachers and scholars, executes the faculty’s decisions and addresses problems faced by English majors and minors.”

Chambers said that Biguenet’s appointment will likely be good for the department during the difficult times the university is facing.

“I expect that I will be able to spend more time with my students and less time in meetings as a result of this change, and I’m looking forward to that. I commend Professor Biguenet for assuming the position of chair at this difficult juncture, and am confident that the department is in good hands,” Chambers said.

Biguenet was employed by the university in 1977, and has since received Loyola’s Dux Academicus Award in 1998 and other numerous awards for his writings.

Stewart Sinclair, president of Sigma Tau Delta and English writing senior, said he thinks that Biguenet’s appointment will be positive for the department.

“Professor Biguenet is going to make an excellent chair for the English department,” Sinclair said. “And I really feel like the faculty in our department all have the same goal, which is to do what benefits the students.”

Biguenet said that the department offers some of the most engaging fields of study, and that he will work with the faculty to enhance that experience even more.

“With tracks in literature, writing, and film and digital media, the English department is one of the most exciting places at Loyola to work and study,” Biguenet said. “Our faculty and students don’t simply analyze what others have already done; we also create new work that others will someday analyze.”

Biguenet said that his main priority as chair is to highlight the opportunities available to students.

“My goal as chair is to let people know — both on campus and off campus — about the extraordinary opportunities that a department like ours can offer a student with intelligence and imagination,” Biguenet said.

Mack Guillory may be reached at 

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