Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Beware Invitations from Dept Chairs

Just in from the union:
Striking GSOC members have begun to receive invitations from their Chairs to attend departmental meetings. Many members have expressed concern that the purpose of these meetings is to coax strikers to come back to work without any agreement from the administration to bargain. If you are invited to such a meeting, we can put you in touch with other GSOC members who have attended these types of meetings. Email

It's one thing to receive vague, fluffy threats from faceless administrators via mass e-mail. But it's an entirely different ball game when you're staring the head of your department in the eye while seated in his or her office for a "meeting." Subtle manipulation is often the strongest. Remember: no contract, no work, no peace.


Anonymous Gen Paul said...

Subject: Message from Deans Foley, Santirocco and Stimpson
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2005 20:25:20 -0500
From: Lauren Holmes

November 16, 2005


To: FAS Chairs

From: Richard Foley, Matthew Santirocco, Catharine R. Stimpson

Re: A New Arts and Science Policy About Teaching Assistants and Stand-Alone Courses

cc: George Downs, Peter Lennie, Edward Sullivan

We’ve heard concerns from our students, chairs, and faculty that the amount and kinds of teaching that
graduate students do in language, writing, and literature courses interferes with their academic progress and
the goal of their teaching being an occasion for their development as teachers.

As a result, we are proposing a new policy that will be Arts and Science-wide, but will primarily affect our
languages and literature programs. The new policy is intended to align more precisely the teaching done by
graduate students with their professional development. The University has committed the resources necessary
to make this policy work. It consists of three main points:

1. As of Spring 2006, GSAS-wide, the teaching load for teaching assistants doing stand-alone courses will be
one course per semester. Departments will design plans to staff courses that will no longer be covered by
teaching assistants.
2. Departments that mount language, writing, and literature courses will work to enhance their mentoring
programs for teaching assistants. Such programs should be compatible with the work of the GSAS Educational
Development Program, should be implemented in consultation with faculty and more experienced graduate
student teachers, and should provide varied teaching experiences for assistants.
3. This new policy will not reduce the size of a program’s entering doctoral class.

We have also heard concerns about the responsibilities of teaching assistants in some departments other than
languages and literature (for example, recitations in departmental and MAP courses). Once again, the nature of
some of these teaching responsibilities may not be closely enough aligned with the professional development
of students. Accordingly, we are asking the FAS Policy and Planning Committee to form a special task force of
faculty and graduate students to work with departments and deans to make recommendations about the roles
of teaching assistants in recitations.

All of us in the Faculty of Arts and Science----faculty, students, staff----care about creating the best possible
graduate education. Doctoral education combines research, advanced course work, and learning how to teach.
Ideally, MacCracken packages should find the right balance among all three.

11/17/2005 6:23 PM  

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