Six new faculty members have been elected to serve on the Faculty Council, the body that makes recommendations on issues like pre-registration, transcript changes and the status of ethnic studies.
Peter K. Bol, professor of Chinese history, was re-elected to the council. William H. Bossert, Arnold professor of science and master of Lowell House; Nicola Di Cosmo, assistant professor or professor of Chinese and inner Asian history; George B. Field, Willson professor of applied astronomy; Theda Skocpol, professor of sociology; and Judith D. Vichniac, lecturer in social studies, have been elected to three-year terms.
Next year's council is likely to discuss grade inflation, which the Committee on Undergraduate Education has discussed extensively this year.
"I wonder how much of a problem [grade inflation] is," Skocpol said yesterday." Every year people from the admissions office tell us a more outstanding and selective group has been admitted. I want to see how much of the effects that we're seeing are due to an increase in qualification."
"I don't want to take outstanding students and punish them because they're here with other outstanding people." she added.
On another issue the council will discuss next fall, pre-registration of classes, Skocpol said, "I understand the desire of faculty to have information in advance, but I'm not sure how easy it is to get information. People change their minds."
Skocpol and Bossert have both served previous terms on the 18-member council.
The council is two-thirds tenured faculty and one-third junior faculty. The council is also evenly divided between faculty in the humanities, those in social sciences and those in the natural sciences, John B. Fox Jr., secretary to the faculty, said yesterday.
Cynthia Damon, associate professor of the classics; Cynthia M. Friend, professor of chemistry; and Barbara J. Grosz, McKay professor of computer science, finish their three-year terms this month.
Daniel J. Goldhagen, assitant professor of government and social studies; Christopher D. Killip, professor of visual and environmental studies; Derek A. Pearsall, Gurney professor of English literature; John K. Shearman, Adams University professor; Kay K. Shelemay, professor of music; Kenneth A. Shepsle, professor of government; and Sarolta Takacs, assistant professor of the classics, have finished their appointments as well.
The Faculty Council will not meet again until september.