On Teaching Fellows

To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

It is depressing to see that the long-awaited Dunlop Report carries not even token mention of Harvard's more than 900 teaching fellows, currently bearing much of the burden of lower level course instruction at Harvard. This again underscores the administration's total refusal to recognize that graduate students who are given the responsibility for teaching are in fact teachers, and that their remuneration and general treatment should be in keeping with this. One wonders who will be teaching the lower level courses now handled by instructors if instructorships are eliminated, or if faculty is cut back, as was suggested, to permit salary raises for junior faculty. One of the fundamental aspects of Harvard education, the close relationship between tutor or section man, and student, demands a large teaching staff. Is Harvard going to fill the gap by hiring more teaching fellows at salaries which compare unfavorably with those of T.F.'s at many other colleges? The Dunlop report gives extraordinarily little consideration to the broader effects of its recommendations on the instructional process.

The Harvard Teaching Fellows Federation, formed last year with much enthusiasm, had faded, partly due to our failure of leadership, but also to a lack of commitment by the majority of teaching fellows. The Dunlop Report, and the failure of the administration to respond to letters by sympathetic faculty members in our behalf, indicates how important it is for teaching fellows to act to improve their own situation. It is really too late to do anything this year about one of the most exploited groups in the Harvard community. But if anyone is interested for next year in reviving what is not a lost, but a forgotten cause, I wish they would contact me. Much research has been done on the position of teaching fellows at Harvard. It would be tragic to see it go to waste. Mrs. Susan Jhirad   Department of Romance Languages   Former executive member of the   Teaching Fellows Federation

(The Dunlop report explicitly excludes any consideration of Teaching Fellows. Another Faculty committee, chaired by Robert L. Wolff, professor of History, is studying teaching fellows and will report next Fall.--Ed.)