Tag Archives: Dean Lisa Tedesco

No support, no confidence

When Emory announced the cuts in September, tenured and tenure-track faculty in the departments being obliterated were told the university would make sure they were re-settled in other departments smoothly and efficiently. That has not been the case.

Faculty members in the ILA, Russian and East Asian Languages and Cultures (REALC), and Visual Arts have received minimal if any attention from the administration. One professor reports that the only personal contact he had with Dean Forman was on September 14, the day of the announcement. Another, a department head, reports that Forman came to his office only once, and then only to apologize. Other departments (Comparative Literature, English, and WGSS, among others) don’t have official guidelines as to how many new faculty they can absorb or whether they will have the resources to support new members.

It boils down to this: Professors who are already struggling to “wind down” their departments and make sure current students are treated fairly, on top of the ongoing duties of teaching, service and trying to advance their own careers (many are junior faculty), are also responsible for re-placing themselves. There is no structure in place that would ensure negotiations will be fair and open. For these professors, the spectre of forced (nudged?) early retirement looms large. Dean Tedesco did suggest it as an option in her first letter, and another faculty member notes that’s been her M.O. in the past.

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Running EDS’ legacy into the ground

Amber of the Division of Educational Studies shared this disturbing tidbit with the Student Re-visioning Committee last night: Challenge and Champions, a summer academic enrichment and athletic program for middle school students co-sponsored by the DES and the graduate school. Like many DES initiatives, this one stemmed from an awareness of profound inequalities in the existing education system:

Our vision is that all middle-grades youth, regardless of income, ethnicity or home life can work toward increased: skills as a student, confidence as a learner, cultural competency in a global society, and comfort with taking on leadership…. We accept students with physical disabilities and learning differences.

Only 10 years old, the program has already been ranked one of the top 5 summer learning institutes nationwide. The teachers are M.A.T. (Masters of Arts in Teaching) students who are up on the latest research.

Dean Tedesco has quietly promised to maintain the C&C program in the absence of a Division of Educational Studies. Yes, it is better than stamping out the program entirely. But what will the name and the legacy mean in the wake of the cuts? The faculty who designed and ran the initiative would still be laid off, and the student teachers may not have received professional training.

Amber expressed a sentiment that’s been on many of our minds: Deans Tedesco and Forman are increasingly eager to appease graduate students in “token” ways. Making the best out of a bad situation? Or just giving up?

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Dean’s Hours this week

Dean Tedesco of the Graduate School will be holding “informal conversations regarding graduate education” this week:

  • Thursday, 4:30-5:30pm, White Hall 111
  • Friday, 3:00-4:30pm, Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry (1635 North Decatur Road)