Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Faculty members in my department traditionally have had the opportunity to teach one graduate seminar each year as part of their 2/2 teaching load. However, a consistent decline in the numbers of students admitted…

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Bearing Bad News

I’m writing with an issue that wouldn’t garner me sympathy from many of my faculty but nonetheless is a dilemma for me and, I suspect, many chairs. Like most universities,…

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Nickeled and Dimed

I need advice about a particularly “asky” colleague. From funding field trips and end-of-semester receptions for students, to course scheduling, to early (or extra) course releases, she’s quick to email…

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Inequity and the “Very Important Professor”

A couple of Very Important Faculty Members in my Department hold Endowed Chairs and Named Professorships, publish a lot, and have been doing things their own way for years because they are Very Important and Very Busy. No one likes petty paperwork or attending meetings but we all have to do it. What are some best practices for handling their small, but relentless, refusals to capitulate to bureaucratic norms?

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Building a Better Major

Like a lot of departments we tend to aim our programming at a type of student that I will call the Classic Major. If we are aiming to develop both depth and breadth of knowledge in our students, this is the kind of student that we are looking for. However, these majors are now in the minority, at least at my institution. But we have many more of what I will call the New Major. If there is a unifying principle to the category of the New Major, it is that many of these students identify their main interest as creative writing.

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