A Day in the Lab at Hampshire College:
A Hampshire response to the underrepresentation of women and minorities in science. By Merle Bruno, April 1989.
In the spring of 1986, the Women and Science Program at Hampshire College sponsored a one day event of hands-on activities for junior high school girls. The workshops were run in faculty laboratories by science faculty and students from the college.
The six women science faculty and 22 women college students who planned that one day visit for the last day of the public schools' spring break, hoped to attract thirty to thirty-five girls. Two days before the event, the preregistration forms revealed that almost one hundred girls were planning to attend, and the faculty decided that each would repeat her one-hour workshop three times to keep the groups small.
On April 25, 1986 one hundred seventeen girls and seven parents and teachers spent six hours in small group activities such as graphing the magnitude of muscle potentials with different amounts of work, recording oxygen levels in fish tanks under a variety of conditions, looking for evidence of nutritional deficiencies and disease in bone, measuring the pH of foods, playing math games, and proposing ways to control breeding cycles of a flock of sheep. Cole Science Center was decorated with balloons, and the walls in the hallway were covered with posters some of the girls had brought depicting famous women scientists. The girls hugged and petted bunnies, lambs, and ducklings in the reception room, talked with women college students, and received certificates and other memorabilia of the day.
The Science/Administration building was literally taken over by the spirit of the day. No one was unaffected; everyone knew that something exciting and important was occurring. The faculty and students who had spent four late nights in the lab preparing handouts, programs, posters, and equipment were exhausted and exhilarated. It had taken months to plan and was over in six hours. It had cost $700 for materials, duplication, food, postage, and travel, but the number of hours volunteered by faculty, staff, and students and the sense of community felt by all who participated could not be tabulated.
Since that day, the Women and Science Program has run three more "Day in the Labs for Junior High School Girls" and has also run three similar days of hands-on laboratory activities for children from a nearby junior high school that has a high enrollment of minority students. We have received some outside funding...and are seeking more so we may follow-up children in both groups. This paper is an attempt to put what has become a yearly event into a larger context. [p.x]
Science and engineering professions are and always have been populated almost exclusively by men. The small and steady increases in the absolute number of women and minorities in these fields in the late 1970's and early 1980's were hoped by many to be only the beginning of a richer and more heterogeneous scientific community that would reflect the maturing social consciousness awakened in the United States during the 60's.
This was a premature hope. Since 1983, the number of male and female students enrolling in science and math courses and the number of U.S. graduate students in engineering have steadily declined. The small improvements in the participation of women, Blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians seen in the early 80's have been almost lost as the percentages of those groups in careers in science continue to decline....
Hampshire College has a history of attracting students into science who never before considered science as a career. The vision that guided the formation of the School of Natural Science in the early 70's was that the pursuit of questions about the natural world must take place in a context that attempts to do more than answer sets of narrow questions. In a planning document for the new college, Everett Hafner, the first Dean of Natural Science, asserted that the college must be concerned with characterizing the values that guide scientific exploration and that shape the questions that get asked. A scientist's education must thus bridge many disciplines to place scientific endeavors into historical and social frameworks (Hafner, 1969). It was this underlying ethic, along with Hampshire's commitment to examine assumptions about the structure of college teaching, that led to an early awareness of equity issues for women in science at Hampshire and to concerns about access to careers in science for ethnic minorities.
Over the years this concern for educational and professional equity in science has found expression in many ways at Hampshire: creation of a strong Women and Science Program; development of courses such as the Biology of Women; and most recently the program funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to encourage the participation of women and minority students in biomedical research.
This paper is intended to focus on one of the recent outcomes of Hampshire's concerns about underrepresented groups in science: an intervention program for junior high girls and minority students called "A Day in the Lab at Hampshire College." It is hoped that a description of the program and its key features and of how this program grows naturally from Hampshire's philosophy and goals can help other colleges to build on their strengths and devise their own intervention programs....
ROLE OF "A DAY IN THE LAB" AT HAMPSHIRE
When one looks at the careers of college scientists, one rarely sees serious, long term involvement with pre-college students. Such involvement does not readily lead to scientific research grants, reappointment, or promotion, and it sometimes even interferes with one's professional progress as it is not categorized as scholarly or even college service activity. What then are the motivations for a growing number of Hampshire science faculty who contribute time to these demanding "Days in the Lab" at a time when they are swamped with other teaching responsibilities and attempting to maintain research programs on a shoestring?
The most immediately obvious rewards are personal. At the end of one of the "Days" everyone has a sense that they did something worthwhile, that they made a difference to students (even if it is a small difference), and that they worked hard and did a very good job. Rarely in academia do we experience such intense and immediate satisfaction from our teaching. However, if the motivation were only personal, the faculty and college students would probably see this eventually as an extravagant and taxing form of entertainment. The actual motivations are more substantive and vary somewhat for each individual:
* Commitment of faculty in the Women and Science Program to encourage women to consider careers as scientists.
* Role of faculty in the School of Natural Science in attracting talented college students who never before particularly liked science into activities which open to them the possibilities of careers as scientists.
* Importance of instilling a sense of community concern into Hampshire students. They are responsible for the next generation, not only for their own success.
* Frustration, when doing faculty searches, about the declining number of minority and women graduate students in the sciences.
* Response to reports about the declining number of junior high school girls choosing math and science courses.
* Desire to involve Hampshire students in science so that faculty will have good advanced students to work with.
In addition, Hampshire College students who participate in the "Day" are able to satisfy or contribute to some of the academic expectations we have for them at Hampshire. As part of their concentrations, students must participate in some community service and must also demonstrate substantive involvement with issues, knowledge, and questions of and about the Third World or American minority populations. Students working on their senior theses are also encouraged to share their expertise by engaging in some teaching activity. Depending on their degree of involvement, students may satisfy these requirements by working on these "Days."
The programs also benefit the college:
* A sense of community is established among the faculty, students, and staff who work closely over two to three months to plan the day. This is all the more valuable (and amazing) because the "Days" have been scheduled during the busiest and most stress-filled time of year (end of spring semester).
* Women and minority science students get to meet a surprisingly large cohort of other women and minority students interested in science. This contributes to changing everyone's stereotypes of who scientists are and of what options are available to college students.
* Students who give presentations and assist faculty in their workshops gain experience presenting themselves effectively and communicating about science issues to a young public.
* It is a valuable learning experience for students concentrating in education or in science.
* Hampshire College and the Women and Science Program receive publicity and recognition both in the college and outside....[p.1-3]
PC at Hampshire College, 1991
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL FRIDAY, JANUARY 4, 1991
REVIEW & OUTLOOK [Editorial]
PC at Hampshire College
If we had to make year-end awards for Political Correctness, Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., would surely rank among the finalists. This is no small distinction given the number of eminent colleges and universities now devoted to the political re-education of their students. Hampshire College merits particular notice because of the extraordinary efforts being made there by the administration and some faculty to block the reappointment of two professors whose teachings deviate from the new politicized agenda.
Assistant professor of Hispanic literature Norman Holland, a Panamanian-American, is accused of being "Eurocentric" for having dared include European literature in his courses. "They want Third World people to be frozen in time," Professor Holland says of the colleagues who blame him for not being Hispanic enough. "They want me to be either Cesar Chavez or Juan Valdez."
Jeffrey Wallen, assistant professor of comparative literature, was charged with failure to mount a "Third World challenge" to "the canon"--the Politically Correct, derogatory term now used to describe the classic works of Western culture. Professor Wallen was originally attracted to Hampshire College as an experimental institution where, so he had heard, progressive educational values prevailed and academic and intellectual freedom were considered sacred. The faculty handbook said so, after all. Today he sees Hampshire College as a place where resistance to the political winds--in his case a refusal to teach European literature as a catalog of colonialism and oppression--comes at a high price.
The written comments of those colleagues objecting to his appointment sum matters up nicely. (At Hampshire the decision to reappoint is made largely via ballots from a committee representing the candidate's particular school.) One colleague who charged Professor Wallen with having voiced "disrespectful" attitudes and opinions somehow managed to see in this a sign that the professor lacked "independence of mind." Another ballot similarly rich in doublespeak said that the candidate was given to "polarizing issues in our school meeting" which, this voter concluded, suggested "no independent thinking about the issues." Moreover, the objection continued, Professor Wallen had "a conventional attitude of privelege." Neither correct spelling nor logic, apparently, is among the skills required of faculty members in our new Politically Correct age.
The most startling aspect of this reappointment flap, however, is the way in which Hampshire College's president, Gregory S. Prince, inserted himself into the dispute. Despite the handful of ballots objecting to them, both professors were recommended for reappointment by large majorities of the voting committees--Professor Holland by a vote of 23 to 4 and Professor Wallen by a vote of 20 to 7. Under such circumstances the normal procedure at Hampshire has been for the president to approve reappointment as a matter of course, but Mr. Prince took the remarkable position that the critical comments of the nay voters were of such significance that he felt impelled to seek higher advice.
The president referred the cases to a college committee on faculty appointments, which, Professor Wallen notes, included some of his most vocal political antagonists, advocates of the Third World Studies agenda. When this small committee voted against both reappointments, Professor Wallen took his appeal to the college panel on academic freedom. He was not alone by now in holding that his academic freedom and that of Norman Holland had been infringed on. The college's academic-freedom panel unanimously agreed and offered Professor Wallen a new contract.
Even this did not end matters. A month later the president of Hampshire College decided to appeal the academic-freedom panel's decision and referred the case to yet another academic body. The administration of the college is now apparently willing to leave no stone unturned in the effort to assert its political values and purge those who don't conform. Professor Norman Holland's case is an instructive example of how dissident minority scholars are treated on the academic liberal plantation.
To their credit, large numbers of Hampshire College students have protested the treatment of these two faculty members, as has the student newspaper. They seem to believe that what happened to Professors Holland and Wallen tarnishes Hampshire's claim to be an institution where the principles of academic freedom are revered. In this they are correct--not Politically Correct, perhaps, but correct nonetheless.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 1991
Letters to the Editor
Academic Freedom or Ideology?
In response to your Jan. 4 editorial "PC at Hampshire College" concerning two faculty reappointment decisions: First, you declare that Hampshire's administration is "apparently willing to leave no stone unturned...to assert its political values and purge those who don't conform." The suggestion that the administration applies a political litmus test to faculty reappointments is simply untrue. Our policy explicitly limits reappointment consideration to three criteria: quality of teaching, quality of research, and quality of community service. Conformity to any particular political values has no relevance to the reappointment process, either as a matter of policy or fact. In that respect we are in total agreement with the Journal. This is not the first time, however, nor will it be the last, at this institution or others, that the failure of a faculty member to pass peer review spawns claims that inappropriate criteria were used.
The principles of academic freedom and our open reappointment process mean that no one can prevent any given individual from introducing any material, comments or suggested criteria. The question is whether the review process remains guided by the principles of academic freedom and focused on the three review criteria, which it was in these two reappointment decisions.
You suggest that the comments included on several of the school ballots and quoted in your editorial unfairly influenced the reappointment determinations. On the contrary, as the procedures require, the dean of the school did not further disclose those brief comments. The confidential ballots, which are advisory only to the dean of the school, were not seen by me or by the all-college committee that recommended against the reappointments until after our respective decisions, and, therefore, the comments quoted had no influence on the outcome.
Your statement that the administration made "extraordinary efforts" to "block" the reappointments is also incorrect. As the college's written procedures make clear, the president alone is responsible for making recommendations to the trustees about reappointments. The on-campus steps in the process exist to provide recommendations to the president. The evaluation process specifically charges the president with the responsiblity to seek the advice of an all-campus elected committee in any reappointment cases he believes require further faculty review.
In these two cases, where disagreement clearly existed and the school dean had raised questions, my decision to involve the all-college committee was appropriate, and had ample precedent. Indeed, it was a necessary step to ensure that the principles of academic freedom for all faculty were upheld. In the reappointment process, academic freedom flows in many directions and protects both those who must exercise the responsibility of peer review as well as those who must be judged.
You were wrong when you asserted that Jeffrey Wallen's appeal, based on infringement of his academic freedom was "unanimously agreed to by the academic freedom panel." This is not true. Mr. Wallen raised 19 questions about procedural errors and violations of his academic freedom. The academic freedom panel supported him on only four procedural errors occurring in the initial steps of the process, and on that basis alone it recommended re-starting the process. It did not sustain Mr. Wallen's claim that his academic freedom had been violated.
What happened in these two reappointments, then, clearly was not based on ideology, or on questions of academic freedom. A group of faculty colleagues and students on the all-college committee, as well as the president, determined that these individuals would not raise the level of quality of Hampshire's faculty to an extent sufficient to justify reappointment, and in so doing overruled a school vote, which itself is only advisory and not determining.
At Hampshire, "school" is analogous to "department". The overruling of department votes by institution-wide committees is quite common at Hampshire as well as at other academic institutions. The checks and balances of a campus-wide committee are necessary to ensure the level of quality we seek, especially where there is disagreement among the candidate's departmental peers.
There is no denying that Hampshire College has a progressive outlook in a number of areas--its commitment to social responsibility, the responsibility it places on students, its requirement for community service, and its willingness to engage in intellectual experimentation. But that can exist only if Hampshire College embraces a wide variety of views and pedagogies.
Gregory S. Prince
THE MAKING OF A SCHOOL OF CULTURAL STUDIES:
Blueprint for a School of Cultural Studies at Hampshire College, 1992
In the Fall of 1991, President Prince issued a challenge to the faculty. He circulated his vision of the future of the college, as embodied in his working draft of the Long Range Planning Document. He outlined several important new initiatives for the college, and discussed how they would increase our applicant pool, attract new funding, and strengthen the curriculum. In his discussions with the faculty, he insisted that these initiatives formed a core, a beginning of such a new vision, and urged the faculty to conceive of additional curricular initiatives that would mesh well with and support long range planning for the college. This document is a response to that challenge.
In the spirit that animated the founding of Hampshire College, a coalition of faculty wishes to inaugurate a pedagogical and intellectual experiment in the form of a new School at the College. According to this plan, the current Program in Cultural Studies would formally become a School. This new constellation of faculty from the Schools of Communications and Cognitive Science, Humanities and Arts, and Social Science will design an academic program that builds on existing strengths while developing new ones, in a move to showcase the highly distinctive and innovative fashion in which we teach about and study the connections between culture, knowledge, technology and politics. We propose beginning work on this new school immediately, with academic year 1992-1993 serving as a transition year. Cultural Studies would officially become a School in academic year 1993-1994. In the following proposal, we will discuss the intellectual and pedagogical rationale for this proposal, and will offer suggestions for the transition to a new school at Hampshire. We will also discuss the budgetary implications of this change, the new opportunities it provides for fundraising and increased visibility for the college, and how this School intersects with and supports the various goals laid out in President Prince's Long Range Planning Document.
We want to emphasize at the outset how excited we are over the prospect of creating this School. Change has been a constant theme at Hampshire: the impulse to innovate, the desire to keep the College on the cutting edge of higher education, the recognition of the absolute importance of flexibility, all of these are what define us as unique and inspiring to other colleges and universities. We have remained in the forefront of higher education precisely because we are willing to experiment. Fred Weaver (Words That Ring Like Trumpets) wrote recently that "... Hampshire needs to continue to be truly experimenting, and now we need to find the next new major experiments that can be attempted precisely because the earlier ones worked." We believe that the establishment of the School of Cultural Studies will reinvigorate our image as a leader in interdisciplinary education.
This document will discuss and emphasize the following advantages of establishing a School of Cultural Studies at Hampshire:
* Increased curricular coherence
* Increased visibility for the College
* Enhanced fundraising possibilities
* Increased attractiveness to current and potential students
The School of Cultural Studies: Intellectual and Pedagogical Rationale: The Intellectual Project of Cultural Studies
The major project of Cultural Studies is the study, definition and understanding of culture. Rather than considering culture as a context within which a variety of developments occur, Cultural Studies takes cultural processes and artifacts to be the object of study. Given the variability of its meanings within academic and intellectual discourse, culture itself is a concept that must be problematized and questioned systematically. As Chandra Mukerji and Michael Schudson (Rethinking Popular Culture) have noted, the critical study of culture takes as its objects "...folk beliefs, practices and objects rooted in local traditions, and mass beliefs, practices and objects generated in political and commercial centers. It includes elite cultural forms that have been popularized as well as popular forms that have been elevated to museum tradition."
Cultural Studies focuses on both the generation and reception of knowledge, and the relationship between knowledge and social structures. It asks not only "how do we know what we know?" but also whether access to knowledge, and the nature of knowledge itself, are determined by prevailing social structures. Old and increasingly discredited distinctions between so-called "high art" and "popular culture" or between technology and culture are examined as part of this approach, which focuses on the ongoing dialectical relationships among all forms of cultural representation, considering the historical, aesthetic, political and economic implications of the interaction and circulation of meanings.
Within the modes of inquiry comprised by Cultural Studies, there is considerable emphasis on the study of the formation of social identities, of the shaping of subjectivity, of audiences and spectatorship, and of the pleasures, as well as the costs, of cultural consumption. In addition, Cultural Studies takes as its domain the artifacts of culture: its representations and discourses, and its modes of cultural production and consumption. While scholars come to the study of these artifacts from their own disciplines, Cultural Studies is a highly interdisciplinary movement, cutting across disciplines with seemingly incommensurable questions and projects. What has made this movement so vital and has led to its theoretical versatility has been its access to a broad range of questions and approaches. The intellectual cast of Cultural Studies is rooted in the heterogeneity of its three major critiques - of the literary canon, of science and technology, and of aesthetic justifications for the divisions between "high" and "popular" art that have instigated and sustained the fundamental questions guiding Cultural Studies....[p.1-3]
Cultural Studies as Pedagogy
Cultural Studies faculty propose that a liberal education in the age of mechanical and electronic reproduction should involve undergraduates in critiques of the previously unquestioned images, messages, and intellectual presuppositions that surround them. Furthermore, the entire scope of human activity is undergoing rapid transformation in association with computer-based means of visualization and textualization. Accordingly, it is a matter of some urgency to introduce students to new developments which are putting pressures on received notions of literacy. Students have to graduate from college being literate not just about written texts, but about visual and aural texts as well. To achieve such a broad conception of literacy, students must be able to decode these texts, to manipulate their images, words and sounds, and to place them within broader historical and cultural contexts in order to understand their origins and consequences. To promote a broader conception of literacy, Cultural Studies emphasizes modes of inquiry that draw from a range of intellectual movements, including critical theory, ideology studies, poststructuralism, the new social history, psychoanalytic theory, cybernetics, the philosophy of representation, theories of sexuality, and discourse theory. Students are urged not only to analyze and critique cultural texts, but also to make their own, by writing, producing videotapes and films, composing music, and staging installations in public spaces. Another primary goal is to encourage students not to take any form of cultural production at face value, but to develop critiques of the production of knowledge that link ideas and imagery to the broader social, political, and historical context in which they are produced.
As we envision it, Cultural Studies at Hampshire would encompass a wide range of individual and group initiatives involving many different artistic, historical, and analytical practices. Although we may all agree that cultural processes are connected with social relations, we recognize that the practice of studying and producing forms of culture requires both attention to the specificities of fields and discourses, and a respect for the autonomy of individual initiatives. The traditional areas pursued within Cultural Studies include literature, history, politics, philosophy, music, sociology, anthropology, art history, American studies, film studies and video production. What connects them is their concern with the ways that various conceptions of the humanities, arts and sciences shape culture and influence social relations, economic developments, the history of ideas, and political action. While these disciplines are continuously recast as they themselves become the objects of cultural critique, they nevertheless serve as the essential foundation for movement within the field. We see their intersections at Hampshire producing several strategies and models for doing Cultural Studies....[p.4-5]
The integrity, breadth and originality of the work being done in Cultural Studies by Hampshire students is made evident by examination work at all three levels. During the past several years, students have done projects and have devised concentrations that cover a range of the intellectual and artistic dimensions of Cultural Studies. The formation of a School of Cultural Studies will provide a far more coherent and fertile base for future student projects.
Cultural Studies and the Third World Expectation
The Cultural Studies faculty are deeply committed to strengthening the Third World Expectation at Hampshire College. The field itself, both nationally and internationally, has been committed to examining race and ethnicity, nationhood and national identity, colonialism and postcolonialism, and global culture. We want to have the opportunity to develop courses that address these areas more thoroughly, that study the circumstances and art of what are now being called the "new minorities," and that explore multi-cultural worlds and their interactions, not just in Europe and the Americas, but in various sites throughout the world.
Future Curricular Projects for Cultural Studies at Hampshire
We intend to extend what Cultural Studies does at Hampshire by cultivating, over the next five years, critical areas that have not yet been properly incorporated into Cultural Studies, but should be. We are committed to developing a program that examines the global circulation of cultural texts and of cultural criticism. A principal area will be the further study of the development and deployment of new communications technologies, both domestically and internationally. We would like our students to have a firmer grasp of the relationships between how communications technologies function and their impacts on individuals and societies. We want them to understand the history of these technologies, as well as their potential and planned future applications. In addition, there is a new movement to internationalize Cultural Studies--to study, for example, the proliferation of transnational communications conglomerates from a cultural and anthropological perspective. This School would also provide an ideal base for the emerging redefinition of American Studies as Americas Studies. By developing these areas as part of our curriculum, we will be enhancing the cross-cultural character of the program. We will also be positioning Hampshire to join what we feel will be important new directions in Cultural Studies. One such initiative is the study of ethics and corporate culture in the business sector, which at Hampshire can draw on our established tradition of promoting responsible entrepreneurship. We anticipate important connections between Technology Studies and Cultural Studies, and would like to be pioneers in this area. We will spend part of the planning period discussing how to address and incorporate these areas into our program....[p.10]
The Cultural Studies Steering Committee
Joan Braderman, Susan Douglas, Jay Garfield, David Kerr, Joan Landes, Meredith Michaels, Sherry Millner, Mary Russo, Daniel Warner
FACULTY WORKLOAD TASKFORCE REPORT
The workload taskforce, composed of Aaron Berman, Larry Beede, Rhonda Blair, David Kerr, Nancy Lowry and Don Poe, met during the week of July 12. We were charged by the Dean of Faculty and the school deans to discuss issues pertaining to faculty workload, focusing especially on its equitable distribution, and to make recommendations to the faculty as a body and the college as a whole. We feel that our deliberations and proposals will help faculty and students....[p.1]
We quickly realized that workload cannot be judged by just one parameter. Work at Hampshire has many facets and takes many forms including divisional exam work, course teaching, advising, working with first and second year students, governance and other service to the college. While many of these are at some level quantifiable and hence easy to compare across schools and individuals, others clearly are not. For example, some courses involve significant lab work, theater time and numerous homework assignments while others do not. We were struck by the fact that faculty across the college work hard, a fact that reflects their commitment to the institution's mission. When one does look at the numbers (number of advisees, average number of course evaluations per course per faculty member, and divisional examination load), however, one notes that work is not distributed equally across the college. While in terms of advising most faculty have roughly equivalent numbers of advisees, the workload disparity is most evident in the number of examination committees served on and course evaluations written. Sometimes low exam loads are offset by large course enrollments; however, sometimes they are not....
We do want to note that the numbers hold some surprises, given the "traditional lore of the college." We noted that areas often thought to be over-subscribed, while having high numbers, have workloads that are actually equaled by areas not traditionally recognized as being overly burdened by student demands....[p.2-3]
PROPOSALS were unanimously endorsed by the taskforce. We recommend that they formally be considered for adoption at faculty meetings and eventually voted upon. We do not believe that other governance bodies should be charged with considering these proposals; workload is of primary concern to faculty and they should take responsibility for controlling it.
RECOMMENDATIONS, as opposed to proposals, were not all unanimously agreed upon. Some are simply suggestions, while others point out areas for further discussion and deliberation.
A. Scenario: Sometime in the spring semester a faculty member receives material from a "long lost student" wanting an evaluation for a fall term course.
Proposal: In order to receive a course evaluation students must hand in all required assignments by the last day of the Hampshire examination period.
Proposal: A student can receive an incomplete only with the written approval of the faculty member and the school dean.
B. Scenario: A faculty member's paycheck is withheld due to failure to submit a course evaluation for someone who the faculty member did not even know was in the class.
Proposal: At the end of the examination period faculty will hand in a list to their school office noting which students will and will not be receiving evaluations. [Obviously this is linked to our first proposal listed in Scenario A.]
C. Scenario: See Scenarios A & B.
Proposal: A definite deadline should be established for dropping Hampshire courses. If a student drops a Hampshire course after the deadline or does not complete the Hampshire course the student will have the failure to complete the course noted on their transcript.
Proposal: Official Hampshire transcripts will include a list of all Hampshire and Five College courses completed and not completed.
D. Scenario: A student enrolls in a course but does not know for weeks all of the requirements for receiving a course evaluation.
Proposal: At the first two classes of the semester faculty will tell students what assignments will be required for receiving an evaluation. Copies of syllabi, course expectations, and assignments will routinely be filed in school offices.
Recommendation: Before the drop deadline faculty should distribute and evaluate a diagnostic assignment to their students so that students can get early feedback on their progress....
E. Proposal: We support on-going efforts to modernize course evaluations.
F. Scenario: Several preregistered students fail to appear at the first class meeting. Assuming that these students will not be taking the course, the faculty member allows students to enter the course from the waiting list, and then pre-registered students appear in the faculty member's office saying that they were "shopping" at another course and demand admittance to the class because they were preregistered. As a result, the course becomes over-subscribed.
Proposal: Preregistering for a course assures admission to the course only if the student attends the first class session or has made prior arrangements with faculty.
G. Scenario: A student proposes an independent study that is essentially a private tutorial replicating a faculty member's course. The faculty member spends inordinate amounts of time with this student.
Proposal: No independent studies of this kind will be taught.
II. Division I
A. Scenario: Several days before the Division II and Division III filing deadline, a student appears wanting to complete a Division I examination begun with a faculty member over a year before. The faculty member has had no contact with the student for several semesters, but the student demands attention claiming that the faculty member had agreed to chair the Division I committee.
Proposal: Students should be required to file a Division I contract at the start of their Division I project. The contract should specify the time period in which the project will be completed. If the project is not completed on schedule the faculty member is not obligated to continue working on the Division I unless a new time is mutually agreed on and the contract revised accordingly.
III. Division II & Division III
A. Scenario: A month into the semester a faculty member has agreed to chair a substantial number of Division II concentrations. A student appears asking the faculty member to chair a Division II in the faculty member's specific area of specialty.
Proposal: Two dates during the academic year should be established when students can file their Division II contract applications. This would allow for school and program meetings in which Division II committee assignments could be made and in which workload issues could be discussed.
B. Scenario: A student comes into a faculty member's office just prior to the current Division II filing deadline at the end of October. The student plans to finish at the end of the following spring semester, spending only one and a half semesters in Division II. The faculty member is placed in a very awkward and uncomfortable position.
Proposal: Division II filing deadlines should be moved back--contracts should be filed two-and-a-half semesters before their projected completion. Thus, students will normally be filing their Division II contracts in the middle of their fourth semester.
C. Scenario: It is time to write the Division II evaluation. The chair carefully reads the entire portfolio and spends a full day or more carefully crafting a lengthy evaluation.
Recommendation: The evaluative role of the Division II chair is simply to monitor intellectual and academic growth. Division II chairs should: (a) make use of the visually striking course list option in the evaluation template; and (b) write an evaluation that is no more than two pages long.
D. Proposal: Division II and III chairs should solicit oral comments and reactions from committee members at the time of the final examination meeting. Committee members should not be expected to submit evaluations in writing.
A. Proposal: In addition to other expectations of academic progress, in order to be in good academic standing at the end of the first year, a student must have completed and be evaluated in at least one course in each of the four schools.
B. Proposal: Threshold grants should be awarded on the basis of a student's application and a copy of the Division II and Division III evaluations. Faculty should not be asked to write an additional letter of recommendation.
C. Proposal: Routine three day work weeks by full FTE professors are discouraged.
D. Proposal: As per the faculty handbook, full FTE professors simply cannot refuse to participate in governance and advising.
E. Recommendation: Schools and faculty might ease workload if they develop routine information sheets on matters such as constructing concentrations and filing divisional contracts.
ADDITIONAL TOPICS FOR FACULTY DISCUSSION
The task force discussed two controversial topics which we believe are very important to the issue of workload. We would like to share our views with you and strongly recommend that the faculty give these proposals serious consideration.
A. An examination of statistics on course evaluations reveals that some faculty co-teach almost all their courses and write relatively few course evaluations on the average, resulting in an unequal distribution of work. We very strongly recommend that all faculty agree that no one will co-teach more than two courses per year.
B. The task force discussed that there seemed to be very few rewards for faculty who regularly carried an unusually heavy workload. This included not only those faculty with high Division II and Division III examination committee assignments, but also those who work especially hard and well with first and second year students (a most important factor in increasing the college's retention rate). We also discussed that there seemed to be a sense among some faculty that the publication of traditional scholarship was the primary factor determining promotion to the rank of full professor. While acknowledging the absolutely vital importance of a faculty member remaining intellectually and artistically active and current, we support the notion that a variety of routes should exist for promotion to full professor. We all recognize the importance of "excellent teaching" but urge that "teaching" be defined broadly to include excellent advising and student counseling, as well as regular and sustained work with first and second year students. We do not want to penalize those faculty who make substantial contributions to the college.