UM losing out on excellent teachers

I received my bachelor's and juris doctorate degree from the University of Montana. I’m now an attorney in Great Falls doing criminal law. Can you guess which class at UM changed my life? It was Arabic.

From day one, Samir Bitar was so passionate about teaching. It was impossible not to have a better day after spending an hour with him. He opened my eyes to an entire part of the world that I knew nothing about. He enriched my life with his lessons not only about Arabic but about humanity.

His loving kindness and compassion for teaching has had a ripple effect in my life and those I interact with. I am a better person because I was a student of Samir Bitar.

The fact that UM has decided to terminate his employment is appalling. I can’t help but think of the thousands of other students who will be missing out on the opportunity to learn from him.

I used to attend a university which employed teachers who, through their passion and love, changed their students’ lives and truly made the world a better place. Now my once beloved university is a shell of what it once was.

-- Mercedes Oxford Kemp, Great Falls

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