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SRA Humanities Update: November 2009

SRA Humanities Update: November 2009

Jessie Bauman, SRA Humanities

On October 21, Joe Finkle (SRA Humanities), Morganne King Wale (MSU member), and I met with the Associate Dean of Humanities, David Wright, to discuss issues pertinent to our education. Some of the highlights included discussing the financial implications of doing a cross-faculty combined degree, the rumours of a humanities/social sciences merger, and the always-relevant issue of sessional professors.

A major concern as a student is where your tuition dollars go. For single honours students, your funding follows your faculty. There is often little direct funding that follows which courses you take outside of your home faculty. Wright says that there has been a lot of discussion, amongst University administrators, about this method of budgetary allocation. As a consequence, a ‘mixed model’ of budgetary allocation has been recommended, which will have some funds that will follow ‘bums on seats’.

The social sciences and humanities merger: Do not fear! While it is, and always will be, a constant debate, Wright does not believe that any merger (if there is one) will happen anytime soon. The next time Wright anticipates the debate is at the end of the terms of the current humanities and social sciences deans, two years from now.

Did you know that the Faculty of Humanities hired 27 new members, 17 of whom are tenure or tenure-track individuals this past year, the most in its history? As a consequence, tenure or tenure-track professors are teaching almost 95% of the humanities fall/winter courses! That is a HUGE number and AMAZING! While the quality of education from sessional professors is still awesome, it makes it extremely difficult for students to want to build up rapport with a professor who may leave the university next year.

The Faculty of Humanities is also experiencing huge renovations. We have newly renovated faculty and academic advisory offices in CNH 107 (no more waiting in the hall!). The Interdisciplinary Studies office was redone, and there is a new linguistics lab. Togo Salmon Hall is now also home to the new Confucius Institute, and space in the Library is scheduled for renovation to house the Bertrand Russell Archives.

At a University that appears to be very science and engineering based, humanities students often feel under appreciated and forgotten about. Remember this: We’re not. Be proud to be a Hummer.

.:callen:., finklej, kingwam like this.
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