Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Shattered Hopes


Hello All,
I just wanted to let everyone know that I just heard some very good news:
In the Department meeting today, the faculty voted unanimously to change the teaching load back to 1/1 for graduate students.
They wanted the change to take place in the fall, but they did acknowledge that it might not take effect until the spring.
Nevertheless, the teaching load will go back to 1/1.
Happy day to all!


I just want to thank all of you who have supported this cause. Individually, none of us has what it takes to get much done. It is only through the intersection of voices - from the GSO, GEO, Comp Lit and PIC, to Pipedream, EMO, outside evaluations, and faculty support - that things have changed for what I hope will be for the better. I personally can't predict all of the possible outcomes of this move: maybe the administration will simply ignore the faculty as well as the grad students, maybe funding will be cut in half, maybe there will be fewer funding lines, maybe there will be nothing but a lighter teaching load. These are future fights to be fought when our speculations gain some substance.

I particularly want to thank the faculty for openly standing up for us, for admitting that an error of judgment had occurred, and for being willing to work with us to fix the problems of the past. I hope that doors will remain open between students and faculty. I hope that more faculty will come to meetings next semester. I hope that more students will come to meetings as well. Open discussion lets everyone's opinions be heard (and yes, this includes those who love to hate this blog). If we all continue to speak and listen (faculty to grads, grads to other grads, and faculty to each other!), then the department should run at least a bit more smoothly.

I hope to move this blog in a new direction now that circumstances have changed. How can we work more closely with the current faculty? How can we help retain new faculty? What kinds of new courses/variations can we request that would highlight the strengths of our faculty? How will the new writing program alter how we think about funding for English grads? Anyway, these are just ideas. Feel free to send us some full length posts addressing these topics (or anything else you think is more relevant) next semester.

Thank you.



I just want to thank everyone who jumped to conclusions with us about upcoming semesters and how many classes we'll have to teach. It was a long and difficult jump, one that really worked the quadriceps, but I'm glad we were all able to make it together. Granted, while the department faculty vote to reduce the class load doesn't actually enact this change, I'm just extremely and overwhelmingly happy about this facade of progress. Whew! And I want to thank everyone who accused the faculty of impeding our campaign. If we hadn't pointed fingers at the DGS and department head with our brilliant posters, well, gosh, we might have looked silly when they both voted for our cause to reduce the class load. Have a great end of the semester, everybody!