It was at this point that I became Department Chair.
Since that crash my department has been hunting for ways to fill classes and recruit History majors. We partnered with other departments such as Environmental Studies, Sciences, and Business. We touted associated Minors – History/Paralegal. History/Geography, and History/Geology. We publicized our successful alumni. We set up a defacto First Year Program for Undeclared students. We put all of our incoming Majors into Honors Introductory Survey Courses. We maintained our focus on teaching historical skills by keeping our classes small.
For non-History-Majors we offered: Conspiracies in American History, The Sixties, and a course entitled Rise of Hilter (sic). We have plans to offer “Introduction to World War II,” “Pop Culture, Music, and TV,” “Sports as Business,” and “History of Sports” to incoming non-Majors.
Some individual experiments have worked. Some haven’t. The chief outcome of these efforts? We have begun to build a culture of experimentation within our department among both faculty and students. It’s starting to pay off.