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The Blue & Gray Press | August 21, 2019

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Statistics Professor Leaves Unexpectedly

Statistics Professor Leaves Unexpectedly

Correction: A previous version of this article quoted Provost Newbould saying Fennemore’s departure was a personal matter. Newbould actually said “personnel matter.”


Students in a statistics course were puzzled this week after receiving an email from the chairman of the math department alerting them that their instructor apparently would not finish the course with them.

On Monday, Dec. 3, students of Professor Gerald Fennemore’s Section SEVEN Math 200 class opened their email to find that their professor would not be meeting the class this week, the final week of classes. Keith Mellinger, chair of the department, wrote the email.

The email stated, “Dr. Fennemore will not be seeing [students] this week.” It added that students needed to attend the next scheduled class to talk about exam preparations and to discuss how the semester would end.

Mellinger and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Richard Finkelstein declined to comment on the status of Fennemore’s position or elaborate further. Interim Provost Ian Newbould also declined to comment, stating it was a personnel matter.

Mellinger sent a second email to students on Wednesday, Dec. 5 informing students that the exam would be optional and they could choose to keep their current grade. The optional exam will be distributed via email today and due next week.

Students in the class were not given a reason for Fennemore’s eleventh hour absence, according to sophomore math and Spanish major Hitomi Sato, who is in the class.

“I just don’t know why it was late in the semester,” said Sato. “I don’t understand why it was so last minute without any warning.”

Fennemore could not be reached for comment.