By Ian Zotter-Barlow
Over the summer, Reed’s Computer Science Department experienced a change in faculty when visiting professor Chanathip “Meaw” Namprempre unexpectedly chose not to return for the fall semester. According to the chair of the department, Adam Groce, Namprempre had a two-year contract with the college starting in the 2022–23 academic year, but she chose not to fulfill the second year.
This announcement was made only three to four weeks before the beginning of the school year. Groce said that the reasons for her leaving were personal, and he did not wish to disclose them.
Namprempre was scheduled to teach CSCI 122 and an upper-level elective this year, alongside some CSCI 221 labs in the spring. She was originally going to have a reduction in courses so she had time to advise six theses, although Groce stated that the former visiting professor Eitan Frachtenberg was hired in a part-time position to help cover the theses and some CSCI 221 labs, and that the department has brought in some outside thesis advising in addition. Groce stated that the department is planning to offer CSCI 122 again next year, although Namprempre’s elective — which was only planned to be offered for this year — will not be held again.
The Computer Science Department currently has an ongoing tenure-track search to find a sixth professor for the department. The department is aiming to be what Groce called, “staffed against sabbatical,” meaning that it is trying to have enough people so that if, at any given time, one professor goes on sabbatical or another form leave, the department will still have five people working. Most departments will often hire visiting professors in these situations, but Groce stated that it’s, “hard to hire visitors in computer science.”
Ultimately, it’s not plausible for the department to be fully staffed this year, although they do have plans to get there in the near future. Groce said that the college has made the right choices regarding staffing in the department, but no one expected Namprempre to leave so suddenly. In his words, “It’s unfortunate, it’s bad, but it’s not the end of the world.”