Wednesday, November 23, 2005

NYU in Crisis-Management Mode

Latest e-mail blast from the provost to quell undergrad/parent concerns regarding the strike:
To: Deans, Directors, and Departmental Chairs
Cc: Faculty, GAs, TAs, and RAs
From: David McLaughlin, Provost
Re: Continued Learning of Undergraduates for the Remainder of the Semester
Date: November 23, 2005

Undergraduates in classes affected by striking graduate assistants are understandably concerned both about completing their courses and receiving appropriate evaluations of their performance. Faculty, departments, and schools are required by University regulations to meet these expectations. And although it is critical that students receive grades, it is also important to provide additional options for students whose classes have been disrupted.

The University is, therefore, making available various options and resources, including relaxing certain University rules:

1. For students whose academic work has been disrupted, schools will temporarily suspend restrictions on using pass/fail grades to fulfill general education requirements and/or major requirements.

2. Students whose fall semester academic work has been disrupted may elect to take a course on a pass/fail basis prior to receiving a grade, with the notation on the transcript that the pass/fail option was exercised in the special circumstances of a graduate assistant job action.

3. Students whose fall semester academic work has been disrupted also may elect to take a course on a pass/fail basis after receiving a proposed grade, with the notation on the transcript that the pass/fail option was exercised in the special circumstances of a graduate assistant job action. This choice may be exercised until the end of the spring semester.

4. In certain courses that are part of a year-long sequence, students may elect to replace pass/fail grades in affected courses with the letter grade earned in the following spring semester. A list of eligible courses will be developed and distributed in the coming weeks.

5. Students in courses that have been disrupted may elect to drop the class before December 14th (the last scheduled day of classes) without any notation of that course on his or her transcript. If students elect this option, NYU will waive summer school tuition for a comparable number of credits or waive charges that would ordinarily apply to an overload course for one fall or spring semester. Alternatively, if students choose to take a similar course of equivalent credits at any other university within one year, NYU will pay the tuition and accept the credit.

6. Next semester, the University will provide additional resources to departments and schools for enhanced tutoring or other additional academic assistance to any student who believes that he or she may benefit from it, with a particular eye towards assisting students who were in courses affected by the strike.

Simultaneously with this letter, we are communicating with all undergraduates about assistance this term for students with academic concerns. The letter to students can be viewed at:

http://www.nyu.edu/provost/ga/communications-112305a.html

These seem to be fairly elaborate contingency plans for a strike that the university claims is "having little effect;" plans that would be entirely unnecessary if the administration would only agree to sit down with GSOC and negotiate a second contract. Contrary to what the administration would like us all to believe, it really is that simple.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out the load of inflamitory bunk posted by people in response to insidehighered.com's most recent coverage of us:

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/11/22/nyu

11/23/2005 4:37 PM  
Blogger derelict daughter said...

This message--specifically the emphasis on the pass/fail option--asks us to make quite the leap in logic.
Let me see if I get this:
The strike is not disrupting classes. But if it looks like you won't get a final grade from your TA, no worry, you can drop the course or get a pass/fail. But wait, why don't the faculty just assign grades?
The bottom line: either MANY of the classes as NYU are being taught by TAs as stand-alone courses, or enough faculty think the administration is full of it (but I'm sure the strike is having no effect).
I can't even fathom how much money it's costing NYU to come up with these rock-solid policies...

11/23/2005 7:04 PM  
Blogger specter of marx said...

In response to derelict daughter's comment, probably not *nearly* as much money as they're spending on anti-labor lawyers!

11/24/2005 5:57 PM  

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