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Teamwork to Assure Nuts & Bolts

Faculty Politics:

By Jeremy S. Bluhm

A pair of professors introduced a Faculty motion this week that would continue the Staff Tuition Scholarship program for teaching fellows for another year, to permit further discussion of any proposed changes in graduate aid policies before they are made.

Dean Dunlop has scheduled debate on the motion for the Faculty's next regular meeting on May 16.

Behind the motion are Stanley L. Cavell, Cabot Professor of Aesthetics, and Everett I. Mendelsohn, professor of the History of Science. The final motion may bear Cavell's name only, but it will likely be the product of both minds. Standing with Mendelsohn after Tuesday's Faculty meeting, Cavell explained "We work as a team."

Cavell and Mendelsohn met this Monday with the Faculty Committee on Fellowships and Other Aids, which has been developing the guidelines for a new tuition abatement program for teaching fellows. Last week, representatives of the Graduate Student and Teaching Fellows' Union walked out of a meeting with the Committee after receiving the Committee's first tentative proposals on the criteria of need to be employed in the program.

The criteria proposed last week would oblige teaching fellows to exhaust their bank accounts by the time they received their degree, would required a two-fifths teaching fellow to pay some tuition out of the extra income he or she received for teaching that second fifth, and would put a low limit on income a spouse could earn before a married teaching fellow became ineligible for a full abatement.

Since the graduate students walked out, the Committee has considered ways of modifying the criteria to avoid these drawbacks.

But, as Mendelsohn commented Wednesday, "it makes quite a bit of difference what specific exceptions" are worked out to the general criteria. "Speaking in an airy, general manner, these specifies might seem trivial, but they're the nuts and bolts of the matter," he said.

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