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Students may well get to see a bit more of senior Faculty members in tutorials if the Faculty passes the tutorial reform proposals approved by the Committee on Undergraduate Education (CUE) last week. Under the proposals, if senior Faculty don't actually teach tutorials, they are at least supposed to drop by for a visit every once in a while.
CUE, which passed the proposals unanimously with one abstention, wants senior Faculty to supervise sophomore tutorials, give their blessing to reading lists and discussion topics, and "occasionally visit" tutorial meetings.
Juniors would have the option of taking a "junior seminar" taught by a senior faculty member--like the ones the Government Department created last year--instead of a regular tutorial.
Although Glen W. Bowersock '57, associate dean of the Faculty, is optimistic that the legislation will clear the Faculty in the spring, other Faculty CUE members are not so sure.
Since the proposals state that every Faculty member will "normally participate in the tutorial program" and that students will join Faculty members on departmental committees to monitor tutorials, the Faculty may react coolly to the changes.
One Faculty member said last week the extra teaching load required by the proposals could, in fact, cause some Faculty members to drop undergraduate lecture courses.
A few other ideas fell by the wayside during the CUE discussions. An early version of the legislation would have required all seniors to get a crack at a senior Faculty member for a thesis adviser. Bowersock said that innovation simply would not be possible in some departments.
Bowersock also suggested that the Faculty create a teaching rank of instructor for post-doctoral scholars who would have more time than graduate student teaching assistants and junior Faculty to teach tutorials. In the face of junior Faculty opposition, CUE revised the proposals to suggest departments instead hire additional full-time lecturers or part-time teaching assistants on an annual basis, if the departments don't have enough senior Faculty to handle the tutorial program.
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