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Although many members left before the end of the meeting, the Faculty met yesterday to hear reports on this year's budget, the upcoming $250 million fund drive and the improvement of the quality of teaching in the College.
As Wilga M. Rivers, professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and chairman of the Task Force on Pedagogical Improvement, stood up to present her report, about halfway through the meeting, about 20 Faculty members left the room.
One Faculty member, who wished to remain anonymous, estimated after the meeting that one-third of the Faculty members left the meeting before the end of the discussion of teaching quality.
Saying he has not seen such a "mass exodus" in previous Faculty meetings, he added, "It is just typical of the Faculty's attitude toward teaching." Dean Rosovsky presented his annual budget letter to the Faculty warning that while the Faculty has had two consecutive years of a slight budget surplus, inflation threatens to bring a period of "renewed and considerable financial difficulty," he said.
Citing numerous rising costs, Rosovsky said he will probably have to impose budget cuts on most departments this year.
President Bok then explained that the University's upcoming $250 million capital fund drive, which will primarily benefit the Faculty, is designed to "close the gap between the rate of inflation and the sources of income" to the University.
The goals of the fund drive, which will probably begin officially in the fall, include bolstering financial aid resources, improving Faculty salaries and financing current art, athletic and curricular programs.
Bok said he thought the $250 million goal was realistic although economic conditions make this "an inauspicious time to try to raise huge sums."
When Bok called for questions about the fund drive, several professors stood up to leave. "I hope this does not signify disapproval," Bok said.
"I don't have any money on me," Stanley Cavell, Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value, joked as he headed for the door.
Rivers outlined the pedagogical improvement report, which includes suggestions that the Faculty give more recognition to teaching ability in appointment, promotion and tenure decisions and that it establish a permanent Center for Excellence in Teaching.
The only comment from the Faculty on the report came from Karl W. Deutsch, Stanfield Professor of International Peace. Deutsch asked that the proposed center on teaching also be called a center for learning. "Not only do we need people who know how to offer a good menu, we also need guests who know how to order," he said.
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