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February 7,2012 MICHAEL R. GOTTFREDSON EXECUTIVE VICE CHANCELLOR AND PROVOST RE: "Needs Attention" Plans In your November 10, 2011 memo, you requested that we submit a plan for attending to the units in our school with the designation "Needs Attention." In what follows we provide specific proposals and recommendations for these units, along with some more general analysis of the state of Humanities at UCr. School Overview: Since 2008, fiscal imperatives have changed the School of Humanities in various ways. As part of our response to the budgetary crisis, we have shuttered or suspended programs such as HumaniTech® and the Visual Resource Center and have clustered administrative staff (for example, introducing one staff pool for Art History, African American Studies, and Asian American Studies and one staff pool for Comparative Literature, Women's Studies, and European Languages and Studies). In part because of such clustering, the number of staff employed in the School has declined from 96 to 65. On the faculty side, attrition from retirements and unsuccessful retentions has also made a deep mark, and the number of faculty in the School has declined from 178 to 155. Hiring freezes have clearly hampered our ability to refill or redeploy lines, although we have been able to make a handful of excellent targeted hires. The 2010 UCUES provides strong evidence that even under these difficult circumstances we have been able to maintain undergraduate satisfaction with Humanities faculty, staff, and courses. We earned, for example, the highest marks across the campus for the following categories: quality of faculty instruction, quality ofTAs, and access to faculty outside of class. The School also earned the highest marks in such learning outcomes as analytical and critical thinking skills and ability to read and comprehend academic material. We continue to fulfill our mission of preparing students to be global citizens and leaders by equipping them with the tools of analysis, expression, and cultural understanding required in today's world. For the School of Humanities, a key to providing the best of an undergraduate liberal arts education within a public university is maintaining a balance
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between large classes and smaller seminars. At the same time, we must insure that faculty can pursue their research and are engaged in graduate education. The budgetary strategies that we are currently adopting in the School aim to safeguard this balance and these various missions, although they also confirm that we are increasingly stretched. We are reducing the number ofTA sections funded to the amount provided in our permanent budget (for an anticipated savings of some $600,000). We will offset this reduction in part by increasing and strictly enforcing the minimum enrollments required before a TA can be assigned to a lecture course or to discussion sections. Reductions in the size of our graduate student population also make what amounts to a reduction in graduate student support feasible. We are simultaneously increasing the minim ums for both lower-division courses and upper-division seminars to insure that the instruction that we provide is both fiscally and intellectually justifiable. We are also, for example, moving faculty teaching power in underenrolled units to Humanities Core, which will reduce our reliance on lecturers, and we have encouraged the mounting of large, attractive lower-division courses that will capture student credit hours from those seeking to fulfill their general education requirements and others. Response to "Needs Attention" Memo and Explanation: Seven units in the School of Humanities received the designation "Needs Attention." Given the various criteria of evaluation employed by the Academic Planning Groupresearch productivity, external funding, student credit hours, numbers of majors, etc.-it is not surprising that different units seem to have been so designated for different reasons or arrays of reasons. Having said that, where structural or other similarities exist, we point this out, group, and analyze accordingly. Moreover, the general budgetary strategies that we have outlined above are only sometimes relevant to the individual "Needs Attention" units (for example, some have robust SCH to faculty ratios thanks to large enrollments in lower-division courses; for such units there is no incentive or need to introduce more such courses, and any gains in enrollment are likely to be marginal at best). While we have treated budgetary concerns as necessary to all of our analyses and recommendations, there are not by themselves sufficient. That is, we continue to weigh other factors, such as workload equity. We have attached responses from "Needs Attention" units where they have been provided (Asian American Studies, Comparative Literature, East Asian Languages and Literatures, and Women's Studies), as well as a letter from the School's Advance Equity Advisor, Heidi Tinsman. In some instances, we agree with these responses and do so strongly; in others, we do not. We acknowledge that higher levels of administration may find our recommendations tentative, whereas our colleagues in the affected units may find them preemptive. These recommendations and, indeed, the analyses on which they are based are part
of an ongoing process and conversation with the units in question, the School of Humanities as a whole, and the upper administration. IDPs: All of the interdisciplinary departments and programs in the School of Humanities received the designation "Needs Attention." Like many of our colleagues in these units-and within the School as a whole-we are alarmed by what would appear as a discounting and marginalizing of departments and programs centered on issues of gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity. We take this occasion to reassert the mission and critical importance of interdisciplinary instruction and research. In institutional terms the interdisciplinary departments and programs in the School of Humanities do have similar profiles and similar issues. All of these units generate significant student credit hours in relation to faculty size. Most of these SCH are generated by enrollment in lower-division courses that count toward campuswide general education requirements. On the other hand, the numbers of majors in these units remain small. By duplicated headcount as of fall 2011, African-American Studies had a total of 9 majors, Asian American Studies a total of 24, and Women's Studies 31. In these respects, the IDPs look similar to the Department of Classics, which in the revised quality rankings sent via the EVC/Provost on July 10, 2011, received 0 votes for "Protect," 20 for "Maintain," and 12 for "Needs Attention." (We might here compare Women's Studies, which received 0 votes for "Protect," 10 for "Maintain," and 21 for "Needs Attention.") There are differences between Classics and the IDPs, however, beside the relatively recent emergence of the latter compared to the former. One of the most significant of these is that while Classics is the administrative home of a tricampus graduate program, none of the IDPs has its own graduate program. The Culture and Theory PhD was, according to the founding documentation, intended to serve as a graduate program primarily for faculty in the IDPs. While the explanation of the "Need Attention" memo does contain inaccuracies about the staffing of the Culture and Theory director position-IDP core or affiliate faculty have served as directors since the program's inception-there have been significant problems with graduate support that have hobbled directors and contributed to the high turnover in this position. These problems led to the suspension of recruitment in Culture and Theory in 2009-2010 (this suspension was recommended by the program's director and had the imprimatur of the program's Executive Committee, as well as the unanimous approval of the core faculty; it was further approved by Graduate Council). Inadequate block fellowship funding, however, was not the principal issue. Rather, the failure to fully commit TA support among certain of the IDPs to
the Culture and Theory program made offering competitive recruitment packages difficult. The bottom line is that Culture and Theory does not currently at the organizational level belong to or within any of the IDPs or to all of them together. We recommend that these units lay claim to Culture and Theory both for pedagogical reasons and for building a more comprehensive profile. Another difference between the IDPs and Classics has to do with what the explanation memo calls "clarity of purpose and focus." We would put the matter differently and state that the School structure at UCI and particularly the division between Humanities and Social Sciences has made it difficult to honor and properly serve the interdisciplinary purpose and focus of these interdisciplinary units. It is for this reason that ChicanolLatino Studies, with its institutional home in Social Sciences, is in fact placed alongside the IDPs in Humanities in the "Needs Attention" memo. What seems required here is a commitment to turning an institutional barrier into a source of strength. We might add that a commitment to the interdisciplinary project needs some direction and support at the administrative level above School deans, who-we are the first to admit-have interests in retaining or gaining resources. We would add that steps have already been taken by the IDPs to increase majors. Asian American Studies, for example, has redesigned it major requirements and courses for 2012-2013 to make the major more cohesive and easier to complete (potentially capturing more majors=-especially double majors-and bringing requirements into line with those on other University of California campuses). Certain IDPs along with several other units have also requested an alternative to the current School-wide second-year language requirement that, if adopted, has the potential to increase majors. The IDPs together might also consider shared major courses to increase enrollments in upper-division classes.
East Asian Languages and Literatures: The explanatory memo focused on the small size of the faculty, especially when factoring in the division into subunits concentrating on China, Japan, and Korea. Also, the Korean major is particularly small (12 students by duplicated headcount as of Fall 2011) and given the very modest growth since the inception of the major in 2008 seems unlikely to grow significantly (by duplicated headcount: 2 in 2008, 6 in 2009, 12 in 2010, and 11 in 2011). The graduate program has remained small as well, in part because the department on its own does not generate adequate TA support and because of the expense involved in recruiting top-tier international students with the fellowship support they deserve. The memo also expresses concern about the research productivity of faculty in the unit as whole and the lack of senior leadership in the department. We expect this
situation to be clarified and partially rectified with two promotions to full professor this year, but hasten to add that a future senior hire would further offset both deficits. More immediate ways to address the "Needs Attention" status could include focusing on the East Asian Cultures major and converting smaller majors within the department, such as Korean, to emphases or tracks within it. We reject as specious the notion that the choice and numbers of majors ought somehow reflect undergraduate demographics and that not attracting large numbers of majors from well-represented cultural and ethnic groups on campus implies a failure on the part of the department. Rather-much like the case of the IDPs-we think that the ability to mount programs that cross disciplinary lines and School borders (i.e., area studies programs) would more effectively grow SCH and majors. An interdisciplinary Masters in Asian Studies might similarly serve to bolster EALL's graduate program. French and German: In part as a response to the "Needs Attention" memo, the former departments of French and Italian and of German have been merged into a single department of European Languages and Studies. This unit now houses the French major, the German major, the European Studies major, and the Italian minor, and will be housing the Russian Studies minor effective July 2012. We would note that this merger has already produced intellectual synergy, goodwill, and a burst of purpose, and that other units would do well to consider these positive results. The merger is not, however, a panacea. The number of faculty who specialize in German literature and culture is out of proportion to the number of majors: 6 FTE to 8 German Studies majors by duplicated headcount as of Fall 2011. Numbers of SCH generated from lowerdivision courses also remains relatively low, although there are plans to change this with large lower-division courses that will attract students fulfilling general education requirements. Notwithstanding, we expect faculty in German to remain underemployed in terms of teaching in their specialty. This will mean that these colleagues will of necessity continue in various service roles until a more sensible balance can be reached. Faculty should also expect to teach outside of their specialty, for example, in Humanities Core or the First-Year Integrated Program. The German graduate program is small, but there are hopes that a tri-campus program in German, along the lines of the Classics PhD, can be mounted and that this will increase enrollment numbers. We encourage our colleagues to pursue this plan vigorously. Because it seems highly unlikely that the German major will grow significantly, we would suggest that faculty in ELS consider eliminating the major and reconstituting it as an emphasis or track within European Studies. Unfortunately, the European Studies major itself has not grown as projected and has only 13 majors by duplicated headcount at present.
Whereas the student major to faculty ratio in German is low, the opposite is the case in French, which underwent a veritable meltdown, with three senior faculty recently retiring and several junior faculty leaving the former department. There is currently one faculty member within ELS fully dedicated to the French major, which numbers 23 students by duplicated headcount. Given this situation, the graduate program in French was suspended. ELS has recently been authorized to recruit in French, and this will help service the major. However, because the major is and will in all likelihood remain relatively small, the department might consider -as we outlined above regarding German-a single European Studies major with tracks or emphases in specific languages, literary traditions, and cultures. The prospect of reviving what was once a highly ranked French graduate program at the moment seems dim. There has been some talk of a European Studies graduate program, although we cannot predict the viability of such an undertaking. Comparative Literature: While the Department of Comparative Literature shares scholarly interests and methods with both the IDPs and the language and literature departments, its institutional profile is markedly differentindeed, one is tempted to say inverted. Historically, the strength of Comparative Literature has been its graduate program. Some of this strength derived from the reputation of the School more generally for "critical theory," and this reputation was built on real faculty power. This is not the forum to debate the place and fate of "theory" in the Humanities. What we can say is that Comparative Literature still has a selective and strong graduate program. Yet it has very low major per faculty and SCH per faculty ratios. The number of faculty in Comparative Literature is roughly the same as in Film and Media Studies, which has a major that is some seven times larger (311 compared to 46 by duplicated headcount). Comparative Literature also generates very few lower-division SCH compared to small units such as Classics, Philosophy, Women's Studies, Asian American Studies, and African American Studies. While Comparative Literature is actively pursuing ways to increase SCH in particular, allocating additional resources is not currently feasible. These issues are longstanding, albeit they were obscured when Comparative Literature's numbers were folded into those of English (the two departments officially split in 2005). Cross-listing to increase enrollments and the offering of attractive lower-division courses may mitigate what are in fact deep workload inequities in the School, but they will not eliminate them. Given that all faculty in Comparative Literature have expertise and often specialization in areas served by other departments in the School-and often in units that have high student-to-faculty ratios-we believe that the long-term solution to this problem of distribution can only come about by better positioning faculty to teach in these other units, which could mean sharing of faculty across
departments, combining of majors, a further combining of departments, or repositioning of faculty lines. Concluding Remarks: We are committed to working with all units in the School of Humanities not only to address problems that have become increasingly visible and acute in difficult budgetary times but also to build on our considerable strengths. We take this opportunity to remind the upper administration that cross-School comparisons within vcr are often less revealing and helpful than comparisons of units at vcr with similar units at other top-tier public universities and especially at other VC campuses. Our colleagues in the School of Humanities should understand that we will proceed in ways that protect and nourish humanistic inquiry in its plurality while fostering equity and acknowledging fiscal reality.
Respectfully submitted, Vicki L. Ruiz, Dean, School of Humanities James A. Steintrager Acting Dean, School of Humanities
Cc: Vice Provost Michael Clark Assistant Dean Penny Portillo
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