Re: Open discussion topic - accrimonious debate invited

John Glasscock (jglassco@UCS.INDIANA.EDU)
Wed, 2 Mar 1994 16:04:56 -0400

John, you're opening up a whole new line of negotiation here with the
talk about teaching loads, a.i.ships, and administrators. You have
dealt with the other topics, and though I don't agree with your basic
thrust, I don't feel compelled to add yet another $0.02 to those lines.

I believe it is extremely important for grad students to get teaching
experience. Whowever, there is very poor supervision of grad students
by faculty, and often they are advised to spend only the most minimal
amount of time on teaching while devoting most of their effort to their
studies and research. That is not good and is in part why so many
education consumers are up in arms. What is necessary is good
supervision, small classes with intensive discussion and writing
requirements _in each class_, and a teaching load (for profs) of 2
classes per semester (plus 2 committee assignments and 2 or 3 grad
students to closely supervise) [note: these are general guidelines that
may be adjusted around the margins to account for individual

Administrators must come from the ranks of academe and must return to
teaching and research after a 3 to 5 year stint. The university/college
must be self administering and not given over to "professional"
administrators. There should be a modest stipend to reward the service,
but there should be no difference in basic salaries between
administrators and faculty. [This, in my view, is a non-negotiable
demand! :-) ]

Finally, let me address the issue of collegiality. At least here at
Indiana University, it has been my experience (beginning in 1974) that
scant attention is given to undergraduates to bring them into and
socialize them within their departments. There are some, albeit few,
exceptions amongst individual faculty members. The educational process
has become passive viz. school and student, rather than engaging. We
mustn't allow this to continue. I trace this lack of collegiality to
the rise of the "professional" administrators, who then pitted faculty
members against each other in the struggle for tenure and decreasing
funding activites. This I might term "the Sovietization of the
University". Since students did not have any leverage vis 'a vis
faculty or administration, they dropped out of the equation except as a
revenue stream.

So let us all remember that we are engaged not just in a job gives us a
living (those of you lucky enough to have one, that is), but we also
have a mission to succeeding generations. If we cannot develop a means
to accommodate the needs of students, to evoke from them the best of
their potential, then we shall all fail regardless of the quality of our
research or our success in landing grants.

John Glasscock Ether_Dog^:>
Indiana University
100 N. Jefferson
Bloomington, IN 47408 tel: 812-336-0246

[the following has been edited for brevity and to include the reference
point for the above discussion]

On Wed, 2 Mar 1994, John O'Brien wrote:
The final issue is the downsizing of the social sciences in the
US, Canada and Britain . . . when student demand for courses in those
areas has never been higher in some cases. Much of this comes from a
pervasive budget cutting mania among administrators . . . who save a
fortune by putting together classes of 400 people, and not paying one
full-time academic salary to teach them. Let's see . . . 400 divided by
20 = 20, at ass. prof. level 20 to a class . . . three classes per prof
. . . comes out to approximately seven full time faculty at salaries of
25-45k plus benefits - conservative estimate - 210,000 dollars a year .
. . versus under 10k for part-time or grad students. NOT BAD HUH . .
.it pays a lot of 100,000 administrative salaries. Want something
constructive done about that . . . we could by collectively refusing to
put up with it anymore. \