May 18-19, 2000
ITEM 107-1010-R0500 Resolution Concerning the Retirement of Mary Birch, Professor of Social Work, College of Arts and Sciences; The University of Montana-Missoula
THAT: Mary Birch, Professor of Social Work, in her 32 years of dedicated service to The University of Montana, has merited the appreciation and commendation of the Board of Regents of the Montana University System, and the title of Professor Emeritus of Social Work.
EXPLANATION: Mary Birch came to The University of Montana in 1969. During her 32 years of service, Professor Birch has dedicated herself to the education and the welfare of students, not only in the Department of Social Work but in the larger University as well. In both core social work classes as well as a variety of innovative supplementary offerings, Professor Birch has been a supportive, challenging, and fair instructor. Her students have been expected not only to master the content of the course but also to examine it carefully from ethical, historical and contemporary perspectives and to apply their mastery in human service contexts.
As an advisor, Professor Birch has been outstanding. Her door is always open to students, many of whom were encouraged to persist and to accomplish much because of her steady assistance. She was not only a source of support, but also a source of solid challenge, stretching students to accomplish at levels they had not yet experienced.
Professor Birch’s scholarship has always reflected a community emphasis and the interests of women, the poor, the oppressed and those without the resources enjoyed by the majority. She courageously began the first interdisciplinary course on AIDS at a time when the larger population had not confronted this disease. Her interest in ethics has contributed to and strengthened the ethics component of the curriculum. Her contributions to women’s studies have been exemplary and because of her efforts in tandem with others on campus, the University is now enriched by a thriving Women’s Studies Program.
Professor Birch has represented The University of Montana well by offering her expertise to the people of Montana through community service. Many human service organizations have been enriched as a result of countless hours of service, provided without any thought of compensation or recognition. The same is also true of her outstanding service to the University. Professor Birch has been a steady influence in the evolution of The University of Montana.
The dedicated service of Professor Birch has made a profound difference in the lives of students, in the quality of The University of Montana as a learning institution and to the citizens of Montana
For these accomplishments and in recognition of Professor Birch’s meritorious service, the Department of Social Work recommends Professor Mary Birch for Emeritus status.