Faculty Reinstates Death Notices

'Black bordered cards' scrapped three years ago

The Faculty Council, an elected subset of the Faculty, was sharply divided over the issue when members voted this month.

Members have said the issue of "black bordered cards" took more time and energy to discuss than any issue this year.


"We thought it would be a no-brainer when we began discussing it. But the more we talked the more it became clear that it was a difficult issue," said Zemurray Stone Professor of History of Science Katharine Park '72, who voted against the motion in the Faculty Council and at the Faculty meeting.

Park said that there are many people vital to the University who would not be commemorated by the cards under the current proposal, ranging from administrators to non-tenure track professors that include senior tutors and heads of various centers within the Faculty.

Mallinckrodt Professor of Applied Physics William Paul proposed an amendment to extend the privilege of the cards to all voting members of the Faculty, but Park said that would not solve the problem.

"Until we can find a way to define a group of people [to receive the card] that is co-extensive with the way we think of the University, we should not send the card," she said.

Other Faculty members said this provides the opportunity to take a moment and think about the deceased colleague. Eck said because the Faculty was making this decision it was appropriate for the Faculty to commemorate its own members.

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