2012-13 Academic Program Review of the School of Humanities External Review Committee Final Report February 20-22 and 25-27, 2013

Table of Contents
Review of the School Review of the Schoolwide Programs: Religious Studies and Global Cultures Review of the Program in African American Studies & Department of Women’s Studies Review of the Department of Art History Review of the Department of Asian American Studies Review of the Ph.D. Program in Culture & Theory Review of the Department of Classics Review of the Department of Comparative Literature Review of the Department of East Asian Languages and Literature Review of the Department of Film and Media Studies Review of the Department of English Review of the Department of European Languages and Studies Review of the Department of History Review of the Department of Philosophy Review of the Department Spanish & Portuguese p. 1 p. 24 p. 26 p. 39 p. 46 p. 53 p. 58 p. 70 p. 77 p. 79 p. 88 p. 101 p. 111 p. 126 p. 139

University of California, Irvine School of Humanities Report of External School-wide Review Committee April 2013

The Review Process Many members of the extended review team found the task of reviewing simultaneously an entire school and its particular academic and administrative components foreign to their experience of having two or three outside faculty assess individual departments. The split of the review into two visits by groups that did not interact compounded the awkwardness. Since this school-wide approach remains the standard practice at UCI, we will not reiterate the critique made by the 2004 school-wide review of this process. Instead, we commend the organizers of the two visits for trying to bring reviewers from cognate units together. In retrospect, we note that it would have been useful for English and Comparative Literature to be reviewed at the same time since the respective visitors would have been able to discuss the causes and results of their split. Similarly, it might have been useful to schedule History, English and Film Studies, the departments with the most majors, at the same time so that their approaches could be more pointedly compared. The shift of Spanish and Portuguese to a later week of visits was unfortunate since it prevented the initial team from examining it in tandem with the new European Languages and Literature Department, which suggests a strategy for coping with a shrinking faculty contingent that might be regarded as model for future arrangements. Even with the dedication of staff, generosity of the Senate and Dean’s office, and willing participation of faculty, a whirlwind visit, limited meetings, and a set of unit-based selfstudies of uneven quality cannot fully capture the vibrancy and health of an institution. Our report does reflect a considerable reliance on conversations with a self-selected group of faculty and staff, those who attended sessions with the review team. It emphasizes the overwork of Associate Professors, the fears of Assistant Professors, and long-term concerns of Professors. It comes on the heels of a quite recent change of leadership that appears promising but that was preceded by a period of transition and erosion of faculty confidence. In this context, we offer our assessment and make recommendations that take into account the imperatives at both the school and university levels to move smartly into an exercise of setting priorities and planning for the future.

Overview: The Legacy of Hard Times The last school-wide review, chaired by UCSB’s Dean David Marshall, offered cautious optimism that the strength of the faculty and promise of interdisciplinary centers and initiatives would allow the Humanities to maintain its stature. After five years of expansion, despite signs of statewide financial difficulties, the Marshall report envisaged a School of Humanities that could move toward reinvigorating the emphasis on critical


theory central to its reputation and toward extending its engagement with ethnic studies. At that time, a number of promising initiatives were underscored: Humanities Out There for civic engagement; a new Humanities and Arts major for a model for inter-school cooperation; and the International Center for Writing and Translation for innovation and potential to spark significant intellectual connections. Today these programs have fizzled or are in hibernation. HOT is a shell of its former self; when it no longer could rely on UC Outreach monies, it failed to produce the kind of quantitative evaluation that would keep federal funding. When it became clear that students were not coming to Humanities and Arts, the major folded. The International Center had a strong endowment, but it was spent down. When its renowned director moved toward retirement, the Center essentially went on hold. Issues noted nearly a decade ago have festered. Even then reviewers sensed unease beneath the surface, made manifest by the comments of those who longed for those glory days when the Humanities were the jewel in the university’s crown and in the concerns of others who worried about adequately serving the state’s majority minority population. Underlying structural disincentives to collaboration and coordination, noted in 2004, became no longer just vexing impediments, but exacerbated by a subsequent reductions in state funding over the years. An overarching institutional obstacle comes from the organization of the university into schools (i.e., Social Science, Humanities, Arts). The arrangement has proved less flexible than needed for interdisciplinary studies and, during a period of limited resources, thwarts enrollments of students, invites curricular duplication, and curtails interactions among faculty. The configuration into schools is not likely to be revisited and is, in any case, beyond our charge to address—except to observe that the College of Arts and Sciences or College of Liberal Arts format of other institutions has allowed for better working together of deans and departments across field and disciplinary divisions during a period of financial distress. Given its overall organization, UC Irvine clearly has to work harder than its peers to combat the construction of silos and bureaucratic fiefdoms and to find ways to overcome the internal competition that now prevails. The processes of boundary-crossing and exchange— whether they entail the cross-listing of classes, joint running of programs and centers, joint appointments of faculty, extra-departmental opportunities for teaching assistantships for graduate students, or incentives for interdisciplinary projects and collaborative research that mark the best public universities--need to be promoted rather than thwarted. Individual faculty and outward-looking units, through joint appointments and wideranging interests, have built bridges, but sustaining initiatives across schools is difficult. The Center for Asian Studies, for example, has suffered from dual reporting and lack of buy-in among all the departments that could be involved. That such centers have curtailed their small grant programs lessens faculty commitment to cooperative participation as well. In recent years reaction to hard times has intensified general concerns in the School of Humanities about the erosion of resources and a loss of intellectual solidarity. Amid the fiscal crisis of the state and the national trend of declining numbers of humanities majors, the School confronted not only reduced monies and loss of faculty, but systems of evaluation that disadvantaged its smaller departments in numerous ways. The silos grew


taller as departments retreated and sought to protect themselves from further loss of resources, including faculty lines and graduate funding. Rather than encourage interaction, a new workload policy—established with faculty input for the purpose of enhancing equity—has led departments to discourage students from taking courses elsewhere in a frantic effort to maintain student credit hours and retain four- course loads. Under such pressures, appealing to the undergraduate consumer became the primary imperative, more necessary than retaining standard offerings that long have defined the integrity of majors or the shape of fields. Filling classroom seats took on exorbitant importance. Some faculty retired, others were lured away. Demoralization hit an already anxious faculty hard. Seeking to protect their own turf, faculty disagree over whether increased diversity is a strength or a drain on resources that should go to languages or critical theory—an indication of the digging-in during hard times that pervades the school. Some go as far to suggest that some departments, such as History, belong in or at least would fare better in the School of Social Sciences, not in the School of Humanities. In the midst of the contraction and demoralization evoked above, a damaging episode came to exacerbate the school’s difficulties. A central assessment of units (by Academic Planning and the Executive Vice-Chancellor and Provost) placed seven small departments of the School of Humanities in a “Needs Attention” category and positioned the School of Humanities itself in a decidedly unfavorable position. It was understood that the allocation of FTEs and other resources would be blocked until the seven units could account for and remedy perceived defects. The claim that the memo was “leaked” is hardly a defense either of its damaging impact or of the kind of thinking about academic programs in which it was anchored. The larger departments of English and History were classified in a way that would allow them some growth and greater resources—that is, the strong, despite their real losses, would get stronger while the weak would be left to expire. Or so it appeared to faculty who were not well informed about the criteria used and were skeptical about the intent of the top-down evaluation. In the case of Asian American Studies, for example, the chair discovered inaccurate information factored into its rating. Women’s Studies had built up its student credit hours, as it thought it was supposed to do, but was judged inadequate for having relatively few majors, even if they were among the most satisfied in the entire School according to student surveys. Not knowing what the administration valued confused the program building of this and other units. Faculty across the School complained of “shifting goalposts.” It would be hard to overemphasize the seeds of distrust, the resentment, and destruction that this exercise has sowed. It is especially important to weigh the significance of applying the invidious label to ethnic studies departments, Women’s Studies, African American Studies, Asian American Studies, Chicano/Latino Studies (in Social Sciences but part of the Culture and Theory PhD) and the already besieged languages. Departments that had emerged from recent splits, like Philosophy and Comparative Literature also felt targeted. In part, it seemed that recently constituted fields with a history of social engagement and responsiveness to underrepresented or excluded groups were deemed vulnerable. Their role in making diversity real—not just through bodies present but also through scholarship generated—and in developing challenging


interdisciplinary paradigms for research was less important than the profiles generated by administrative metrics. The memo, after all, appeared as political attacks against these fields exploded in other states, like Arizona and Texas, putting additional strains on public universities. Other departments, like Comparative Literature and Philosophy, were hard put to understand their classification. The languages feared that their very survival was in doubt. Most of all, lack of transparency or consultation over criteria hampered this exercise, which seemed to verify claims about the corporatization of the university that have been prominent for the past decade. The type of educational organization that is appropriate in the humanities, where teaching languages and writing and serving diverse student populations are central preoccupations, appeared to be missing from the deliberations. We believe it is widely understood in the university community that the “Needs Attention” designation has to be disowned. At the same time it cannot be forgotten: questions of evaluative criteria, the problem of small departments, and the concerns about transparency and faculty input persist. The effort to respond to them should include consultation with the departments themselves about the criteria through which it is appropriate to judge them. A comparative evaluation process that will be taken seriously and used responsibly will provide the units assessed with data that interests them and will be designed to initiate conversations about constructive change rather than demands for fixes from upper administration addressed to the dean. In sum, involving Humanities faculty in evaluation and structuring the School and its units in terms that are sensitive to the roles of the specific fields will be necessary if productive outcomes are to be achieved. Other issues raised during the review, of course, are not unique to UCI or the School of Humanities. Faculty concerns at UCI are echoed across the nation: over budget cuts, reduced personnel, heightened expectations in all dimensions of faculty performance, smaller graduate cohorts, inadequate financial support for graduate students, the impact of larger classes on teaching and learning, and the fairness of the process for allocating available resources across departments. The review team was particularly struck by the plight of the Associate Professors we encountered, which may be even more severe in the School than it is thought to be in most U.S. R-1 universities. The extreme workload and barriers to promotion are most pronounced for the women within this rank, who often find themselves squeezed during this time of their careers between university and personal demands on their time and capabilities. But the end of course reduction for administrative tasks and elimination of Vice Chairs, amid consolidation of staff, has increased workloads, impacting the many good citizens within this group. In other domains, it is also clear that, policies justified in reasonable terms at School, UCI-wide, and UC-system levels of governance result in difficulties that are not unique to UCI, but are intensified there. For example, few students enter universities to major in Women’s or African American Studies, but after taking some classes, many are attracted to these interdisciplinary fields. Yet a language requirement in the School of Humanities that consumes more time than other UCI units require often discourages them from pursuing a double major. The same problem afflicts the Humanities and Law minor in the


Department of Philosophy. Simply eliminating the second year requirement, however, could further harm language departments and would dilute the notion of humanities education as traditionally embraced. It seems clear that a restructured requirement, stipulating a level of competency that can be achieved in a variety of ways, needs to be considered. While incentives to pursue external funding for humanities research are less robust than in the social or natural sciences, the absence of a culture conducive to seeking outside grants and fellowships seems unusually pronounced in the school. Some professors feel discouraged by the lack of funds for topping off grant-supported salaries and by the need to use sabbatical credits when receiving prestigious external awards. It is fair to say that policies on the status of lecturers and adjuncts are controversial in many U.S. colleges and universities, yet they seem to have especially counterproductive effects at UCI. As is the case in most R-1 universities, lecturers are vital to the teaching mission,, especially in the areas of writing and language instruction. Yet UC rules governing their status sometimes have perverse impacts, as when a lecturer cannot gain security of employment because he or she works for more than one unit. For some, there is no established way to reward important efforts (like advising and program development) that go beyond classroom teaching. While the need for a well-rationalized policy that is equitable for all members of the non-tenure-track teaching corps seems to be recognized in most quarters, it remains to be adequately addressed. Our meetings with faculty made it clear that, since the advent of stringent austerity, the Dean’s office has been the principal target, whether deserved or not, of the ensuing frustrations. One respondent to the faculty survey summarized a dominant perception as follows: “Karen Lawrence squandered a period of growth with poorly conceived, poorly integrated initiatives. Vicki Ruiz, coming in, discovered that the situation was more grim than she had thought, did not move quickly when there were resources, and then found herself constrained by balking, self-protecting departments when the financial crunch came.” Ruiz had to implement cuts from above that other schools were better equipped to absorb by drawing on external funding streams and by resorting to larger classes and enrollment increases. Forced to cope with the imposition of university-wide standards and the disparity of resources that put the humanities at a relative disadvantage, she had to step on sacred cows and dislodge privileges. The most salient example was the move to require the typical individual faculty member nearly to double the number of students taught per year. A predictable irony in this picture was that a fair number of Humanities faculty found themselves resenting changes in the rules that were adopted in the name of equity and balanced workloads. The difficulty that is far from being overcome is that arithmetic formulae cannot result in equitable arrangements if these are defined without appropriate sensitivity to pedagogical imperatives at the various levels and in the various fields. A system of intelligent compromises on expectations for class size, graduate student cohort size, and resource allocation is indispensable. While flexibility cannot always be as elastic as individual departments wish or require, rigidity on such matters both alienates faculty and fails to preserve the integrity of the curriculum. Today, as in 1999, there is a new Dean. His very presence promises change. Guarded hopes have emerged while laments over leadership—some of which were doubtless self-


serving--have abated. This is not to say that grousing over “bean-counters” in the Dean’s office has ceased. An opportunity exists to initiate the streamlined strategic planning that Dean Van Den Abbeele envisions and thereafter to pursue reorganization and constructive educational reforms. The faculty hungers for engagement. Yet whether the silos can open, whether departments and individual faculty members can come together around common objectives and school-wide initiatives during a time of limited growth will depend on their perceptions of self-interest and their sensitivities to incentives. It is vital, in other words, for them to be convinced that there is something in the planned changes for them as individuals and departments—that they will gain intellectual but also institutional satisfaction and recognition. As numerous professors repeatedly insisted in their meetings with the team of reviewers, they want some “carrots” rather than all “sticks.” They also clamor for transparency in decision-making and for thoughtful dialogue with the administration, and they underscore the need for some incentives to pursue their research and develop innovative teaching practices. The desire for avenues to work together and proactively was palpable among the full professors who crowded the meeting room when it was their turn to talk with us. The dismal portrait that emerged during our visit is only a partial truth that does not take into account the strong foundations and rich resources already in place. Despite losses in personnel, resources, and élan, the individual reports on departments and programs have identified many areas of outstanding achievement and solid potential. The basic facts and statistics pertaining to faculty, students, programs and facilities are not out of line with such indices elsewhere. Dedicated faculty and staff make the school work and keep up its quality. Some of these efforts, as with single individuals running Global Cultures and Religious Studies, are impressive but seem to us unsustainable as currently constituted. Many interdisciplinary programs and departments, like Women’s Studies and African American Studies, are serving increased numbers of students, if not garnering majors, and there are signs of revitalization—as with the new European Language and Literature Department and with Asian American Studies, which has managed to weather losses of faculty. The inventory of strengths is impressive. A partial listing would include: the world history program in History; the distinction and breath of Art History; the ability of Classics to appeal to non-majors; the overall quality of English and sophisticated development of its Composition Program; the work of Academic English; the growth of Film and Media Studies and its strength in digital and new media; the robust placement statistics of PhD graduates from Comparative Literature; the enthusiasm of students and faculty for the still young Culture and Theory Ph.D.; the reimagining of the Humanities Core; the strong outreach to segments of the community in the areas of Armenian, Jewish, Persian, and Vietnamese Studies (especially the Vietnamese American Oral History Project); and the energy of the Humanities Collective and the Jordan Center. Do the parts add up to a whole? A school need not have a single brand. Diversity can be a source of strength only if rules and governing structures allow that diversity to flourish. Critical theory, understood in an expansive, multi-dimensional sense, still distinguishes this faculty. Collective projects in the humanities that aim to advance principled accounts of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and societal formation, that aspire to geographic reach and philosophic breadth, that recognize the interest and value of poststructural,


post-human, and postcolonial approaches but refuse to be confined to them, can still be a key source of institutional identity for UCI. From the organizational standpoint, the conceptual spectrum along which a curriculum oriented by contemporary vectors in critical theory might be envisaged is already in place in the School of Humanities curriculum. One strand of intellectual affinities would mobilize strengths in East Asian, European, and Latin American language study, world literature and history, and international writing and translation in order to study globalization in a multi-disciplinary framework far broader than the socio-political focus that prevails in international relations. A revitalized International Center for Writing and Translation could be the hub of a global theory initiative. Another dynamic area on the horizon of current theoretical interests in the humanities is that of visual studies. In the School of Humanities there is already a contingent of accomplished faculty in the strong departments of Art History and Film and Media Studies whose work in this vineyard could take the refurbishment of their joint Ph.D. in Visual Studies as an initial objective. In various departments, but most notably in English and Comparative Literature, the theoretical paradigms operative in text-based fields are well represented and could engage with such imperatives of the moment as the so-called digital humanities and with confronting the challenges of relating the humanities to the social and natural sciences. Finally, the still relatively new interdisciplinary Ph.D. program, “Culture and Theory,” which involves African American, Asian American, Chicano and Latino Studies, and Women’s Studies, beckons toward a comparative perspective on approaches to the diverse social and ethnic questions that traverse these fields that remains to be developed. Each of these three thematic horizons has a relevance to real-world problems that large portions of the faculty and student body should find compelling, and each is close enough to the preoccupations of entering students to be regarded as a source of motifs for the Humanities Core. The question at hand for the participants in the school’s strategic planning effort is whether interdisciplinary programs (or centers, institutes, etc.) built around a set of themes related to an updated critical theory emphasis could make for cohesive relations or even amalgamations of smaller departments and place them in a better working relationship with bigger ones. A corollary question is whether such programs could serve as magnets conducive to collaborations between other university divisions, including information science, the arts, biological sciences, law, and social sciences. The actual form such clustering might take (and the actual themes) would of course have to come from discussions on the ground, the kind of strategic planning and school-wide seminars that will revitalize the humanities as the faculty alone can—with a vision for their shortterm presence and long-term viability. One possibility might be to reconfigure the Humanities Collective as a full-blown humanities center and to charge it with organizing such conversations, much as Berkeley has done with its “threads” initiative. The point would be to deploy modest incentives to encourage the conception and testing of collaborative ventures. Such experimentation need not end with new administrative configurations, but could redeploy resources for discrete periods of time. It could aim either to develop the Humanities Collective into a larger umbrella for the various interdisciplinary programs, centers, and institutes or to launch a process that would lead


to an entirely new framework for the dynamic activity that lies outside the traditional curricula of core humanities departments.

Administration, Governance, and Space Governance—along with “Balkanization”—was the topic that respondents to the faculty survey consistently qualified as a weakness of the School. These complaints seemed to come from frustration more than anything else. Considerable resentment was expressed about the role of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Study, Sharon Block, in policing course enrollments and workload. That this Dean and the Associate Dean for Graduate Study and Research, Glenn Mimura, are Associate Professors is unusual and at least for some it provokes a concern about the paucity of senior leadership in the school. That both associate deans come from groups previously underrepresented in administration is to be applauded, but the assumptions some observers make about their interests, set alongside their rank, may reinforce the skepticism some faculty members voice about their decisions. At the same time, it seems important to recognize that these Associate Deans spoke with knowledge, authority, and genuine concern about the state of both undergraduate and graduate education. The school is fortunate to be able to rely on their experience at a time when the new administrative team in the Dean’s office is faced with the task of designing an efficient approach to strategic planning. From the standpoint of a skeptical faculty, the confluence of interim and short-term administrators during years of stress has not helped to establish central authority and collegial confidence. On balance, the Associate Deans appear to be doing a good job under difficult circumstances. The change in command is a distinct plus. Dean Van Den Abbeele has the opportunity to put his own stamp onto the working of the office. Part of that stamp, he recognizes, must be greater consultation and openness. Faculty and staff in the School are prone to bandy about the term transparency in discussing situations in which the basis for decisionmaking is unclear. Full and intimate transparency is, however, not the objective they have in mind. The need is not so much to know details but to have a timely sense of what is happening, why, and how their viewpoints have been factored into the process. They want to know that they can participate in appropriate, meaningful ways even if they will end up not wanting to be involved in the details of administration once such work is demystified. Attentive and well-timed communication is the key here. The new Dean already has instituted regular and more frequent meetings with chairs as a group and with individual chairs. Greater consultation, rather than handing down of directives, should gain the trust of department leaders, who will be crucial to a larger planning process. We were not privy to finances or budgets. But the Assistant Dean informed us that each school now has to absorb rising costs in benefits and foresaw, if not severe austerity, a continuing regimen of constraint. During our visit in February 2013, chairs were upset with having to provide plans for possible cuts of five and ten percent. They were still reeling from four years of cuts that forced them to return open FTEs, including cutting staff, Unit 18 lecturers, and even TAships, which make it impossible to recruit new


cohorts. At this point, departments have little to give back. Having more faculty teach the Humanities Core, rather than lecturers or TAs, would achieve further economies in certain areas (already, we note, faculty from some departments with dropping enrollments do that). But would such measures elicit their constructive cooperation? Their lack of awareness of the full circumstances that have led the administration to request such redeployment of faculty effort underscores the general problem with communication and the difficulty of exercising leadership under conditions of ongoing retrenchment. A classic example of the adverse effects of budgetary erosion is the reduced computing support available to individuals. While training and outreach programs compensate to some degree, the decline in service inevitably feeds a general waning of morale. One bright note comes from the initiative that departments, including staff, displayed in reorganizing their work in the wake of the budget crisis. Campuses across the UC system responded to the crisis by eliminating staff through attrition. Some humanities staff members were lured away by other schools and overall numbers dropped nearly in half. In response, German and Comparative Literature proposed to the Dean that they share staff. This arrangement proved efficient; many of the smaller units subsequently merged for administrative purposes. Nonetheless, some units have their staff time reduced by more than 50% and some MSOs are juggling two or three groups of faculty and students. Small departments still have to carry out all the tasks required of large departments with fewer people to accomplish them. In general, the staff reported that everyone was willing to share knowledge. They also found formal trainings essential and recommended more of them for incoming department chairs as well. The staff representatives with whom we met were less exercised about the increased workload per se than with the lack of consideration they perceive in last-minute administrative directives to meet short deadlines. In a context in which the personnel process and administrative arrangements are becoming more centralized, they need to know changes in procedures as far in advance as possible in order to plan their work. When it comes to FTEs, the bleeding may have stopped. There is some possibility for hiring, though not enough to make up lost FTEs, which stood at157 Senate faculty in 2011, down from 183 in Fall 2008. Position control at UCI, unlike that of some institutions, requires that only one out of every four newly vacant FTEs revert to the Provost. Additionally, with salaries (including those from senior people) staying in the School, strategic hiring is possible. The Dean has substantial autonomy in allocating appropriations provided by the central administration, but the question remains whether Humanities receives an appropriate amount of funds, given its service courses and its inability to generate the kind of big grants and donations that other Schools are better positioned to secure. That is not to say that generous donors never fund the Humanities. UCI has, for example, received gifts that fund the Teller Chair for Jewish Studies, the Chair in Rhetoric and Communication, and the Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies. There is a strong desire to tap more into the uniqueness of Orange County and the Los Angeles area without letting donor defined gifts distort curricular and scholarly directions. The Dean’s office has learned from past mistakes: for example, the terms of a gift with funding insufficient to cover foreseeable program costs has led to tensions


between East Asian Studies, which needs a curriculum in Korean history, and History, which does not prioritize replacing a vacancy in that area. The renewed development division is working closely with the Dean to enhance gift giving. Practices of shared governance vary tremendously within the UC system. Schools differ from university-wide bodies, but in some respects, the Schools at UCI undertake tasks that would fall to Senates elsewhere, like parceling out small travel and research grants. We met with the Humanities Executive Committee, the elected governing body of the School. The committee serves as a liaison to the Faculty Senate and to the Dean. However, it was unclear whether the change in its bylaws that removed chairs and directors from the committee had improved its functioning as an advisory and representative body. The Dean’s office, rather than a faculty group, appoints non-elected standing committees that coordinate programs. To the extent that such work involves responsibilities similar to chairs, as overseeing the Critical Theory Emphasis or coordinating foreign language study, appointment by the Dean is appropriate. Space is more adequate than in the past. Art History and Film and Media Studies are now near each other, which should help facilitate their working together to articulate their joint Ph.D. But Film and Media Studies faces another kind of barrier: it lacks adequate equipment to meet the high student demand for production courses. Institutional barriers keep it from taking advantage of facilities in the School of Art. Yet the cost of acquiring and maintaining ever-changing technologies makes duplication of resources a poor solution to the problem. For the department, providing its students with training necessary to the field is a urgent responsibility with which it is obliged to confront the administration. If the Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, part of the School of Social Sciences, could relocate its offices closer o the Department of Philosophy, the resulting exchanges between faculty and graduate students would benefit both units and help reunite a faculty that split apart some fifteen years ago. Graduate students generally lack office space and some departments lack common rooms. Provision of both would enhance interaction.

Undergraduate Programs Overall the School of Humanities is ably carrying out the core mission of undergraduate education as measured by student surveys, faculty self-assessments, and program reviewers. It continues to prepare students from across the University in crucial skills of writing, analysis, and critical interpretation. In today’s global environment, its attention to cultures, peoples, and languages adds a crucial component to general education. The various interdisciplinary programs--Film and Media, African American, Asian American, and Women’s Studies—attract non-school majors. Film and Media competes well with School of Arts in filling courses meeting GE requirements. Other departments have GE courses that draw well, with Classics’ popular Mythology course perhaps the most noteworthy. But this service component of the curriculum places a heavy burden on understaffed units, often leaves little time for cultivating majors, and leads to curricula


heavy in lower-division courses. More could be done to enhance the abilities of departments to meet wide student interest and still develop majors and advance graduate education. Some departments have cultivated students through more individual attention, capstone courses, and special events, like Comparative Literature’s annual undergraduate Critical Theory conference. The quality of the students gained is admirable even when the numbers are relatively small; such efforts allow for the nestling of liberal arts education within a large university. As with other areas under consideration, the decline in FTEs has a negative impact: there is some indication that unavailability of required classes and rigid sequencing of courses delays graduation. Additionally, a gap exists between the catalogue and offered classes— which the use of advanced graduate students, properly supervised, as Teaching Associates might relieve (and in the process provide excellent preparation for such graduate students, who would enter the job market having taught their own courses.) The size of sections run by teaching assistants (two sections at 30 each) is larger than usually found for big introductory classes, though the total number of students per TA is in keeping with the UC norm. Smaller sections facilitate undergraduate learning, especially of basic skills; movement in that direction is desirable either through hiring of more teaching assistants or dividing their existing load into three, rather two, sections, as is the case at other campuses. Declining enrollments in all humanities courses is not a UCI problem. Understanding why some enrollments are weaker than others is essential to deciding whether to continue offering such classes. Beginning sequences only in the Fall makes it impossible for some students to start a language or take Humanities Core. Other administrative barriers, like the difficulty of cross-listing courses, discourages enrollment. Even with such technical fixes, the problem of attracting students who respond to economic pressures by majoring in “practical” subjects and rushing to finish their degrees will remain. To attract such students, the School can sell its majors as the best preparation for job flexibility in an ever-changing workplace and global market. But the signal benefits of the humanities often lie elsewhere: as an alternative to the market-driven worldview, they offer a diversity of voices and perspectives, encourage critique, and foster cultivation of the whole person. Educating citizens of the world is a responsibility our best colleges and universities have assumed altruistically. To judge the School through cost-benefit analysis or by enrollment sets it up for failure. A separate section will address school-wide undergraduate programs in Global Cultures and Religious Studies. Here we take note of the Appendix to the Classics report on The Humanities Language Learning Program, now housed in that department. With the right development strategy, and some creative staffing, there is a potential to enhance study of “heritage” languages with culture, literature, history, and related courses, as seen in the course offerings similar to the departments of European Languages and Literature and East Asian Languages and Literature.


Advising UCI has layers of advising, but most undergraduates come into contact with central advisors from the Office of Undergraduate Study, who can inform them about School and university-wide requirements. These counselors speak with those in other schools, which often do not have school wide requirements. The counselors highlighted on the ground problems: lack of available courses resulting from lack of faculty in some majors [East Asian Studies, for example] or high student demand [Film and Media Studies]. Topics classes that faculty prefer are difficult to fit into graduation schemes and there are administrative problems with cross-listing courses across schools. Recently the registrar began to enforce regulations that made cross-listing even more difficult. Counselors suggested that the faculty initiate change in this procedure through the Academic Senate. From department to department there is considerable variation in the extent to which undergraduate advisors and individual faculty work closely with students and to which students report satisfaction. For example, Asian American Studies finds its inability to provide course release to the undergraduate advisor hampers quarterly individual meetings. History has not been able to assign faculty to this task because of its reduced faculty numbers but is considering implementing a two-year term for its undergraduate committee to address advising issues. Film and Media Studies, in contrast, begins each quarter by offering majors and minors advising by faculty. Art History also has mandatory individual advising. Because English had found few students coming to advising sessions within the department, it now relies on informal advising by faculty and on the Office of Undergraduate Study. Some departments, like Classics and Comparative Literature, make special efforts to advise students who wish to apply to graduate school. The size of African American Studies and Women’s Studies has facilitated advising; other departments, like Spanish, rely on the trusted method of a free lunch to create a space for discussions between students and faculty. In general, departments are actively trying to reach out and advise undergraduates, including transfer students. School-wide Requirements At a time when other institutions and schools are watering down liberal arts education, the School of Humanities requires that its students take a six quarters of language and a Humanities Core that perhaps are more than ever necessary in our interconnected global world. But the School suffers from its intellectual honesty. Other schools allow students more flexibility with their GE requirements, such as taking courses without regard to sequence, which has lowered the numbers taking Humanities Core and cut into the number of majors throughout the school. The Freshman Integrated Program, established about eight years ago by the Division of Undergraduate Education, draws some students away from Humanities Core, but has its own scale and staffing problems and cannot replace Core. Still, this alternative accounts for the loss of about 300 students (between 30 to 40% of the total decline). The drop stems from the decline in entering majors and from the constraint on first year schedules occasioned by the double load of credit the Humanities Core entails each quarter. However, as of Fall 2012, Academic Senate


approved changes in the counting of quantitative GE courses puts the School at or close to parity with other schools in the number of required GE courses. Some transfer students and double majors have had trouble meeting the school’s schoolwide requirements—and transfer students make up an increasing percentage of overall majors. Appropriate alternatives to the Humanities Core in the form of general education classes taken separately from composition provide the necessary flexibility in this regard. The language requirement appears to create a larger barrier. More flexible approaches to meeting language proficiency are necessary to advance enrollments in general and in some departments. Rather than water-down the language requirement, however, we would encourage experimentation in its fulfillment: staggering sequences (off-module) so that one series runs Fall, Winter, and Spring and another Winter, Spring, and Fall (or perhaps Summer); developing language houses; offering intense instruction during the summer; encouraging immersion study abroad programs; and crediting “heritage” speakers. Over the long term, revigorating the study of languages is a task for the university in cooperation with K-12 education and offers an opportunity for public engagement. Humanities Core There is much to praise about Humanities Core. Research shows that students improve their writing skills when composition is part of content-based classes. The structure of Core provides an extra quarter of writing intensive instruction. It further gives a common experience to cohorts of majors so that students bring to other classes some common knowledge. It serves as a training ground for teaching assistants, who learn from the skilled lecturers who have run the majority of sections. It also has functioned as a space for experimentation with on-line education, with the addition of a library research module and a lecture section. The program has not stood still; it has introduced a summer school version and bridge sections for students without the English skills to take the class. We are persuaded that it is pedagogically effective and cost-efficient. The question isn’t the organization of Core as much as whether its content represents the cutting-edge of humanities research and offers an attractive introduction to the diverse fields in the School. There is some perception among faculty that Core is an exclusive and elitist enterprise, with restricted participation. Certainly some faculty have met their workload through participation in Core and would be reluctant to end their involvement. At the same time, Core leaders bemoan that departments will not release faculty to teach in the program. Discussion over who is invested and who feels excluded from the course is entangled with larger school-wide issues—silo mentality, unevenness of individual and departmental workload, and the placing together of traditional fields with new interdisciplinary ones under the same school structure. That a new director will take over next Fall (and does so every three years) is an opportunity to refresh and rethink what is taught as well as how the course runs, as well as the most promising outreach to other schools.


Honors Program The school-wide honors program is one of many opportunities that exceptional students have to do original research at UCI. Other honors programs exist in departments and university-wide. English, Film and Media, and History—the departments with the most majors--are poised to create their own programs. Humanities Core has honors sections and some of these students join the honors program for their junior and senior year. The program is ably run and organized. Finding mentors among an overextended faculty is a problem since independent studies no longer figure directly into workload. Some sort of reward system, perhaps small research stipends, might alleviate the necessity of approaching faculty with “cup in hand,” as Director Alice Fahs noted. Academic English By all measurements, the Academic English program, under Director Robin Scarella, is a well-run and successful program that increasingly devotes its resources to English learners (ESL). It has an admirable grant record and contributes to the development of new instructional materials and assessment projects on national, statewide, and UC levels. With the growth of international students at UCI, the program serves the entire campus. In addition to administering the Test of Oral English Proficiency for potential teaching assistants, it handles placement, determination of advanced proficiency, and assessment in reading, writing, grammar, speaking, and listening skills. The program faces the challenge of finding qualified staff and trained instructors. This shortage provides an opportunity for additional training of lecturers and graduate students in the field that would be worth investing in. On-line education is not the solution, however. While the program has experimented with computer-based supports, and has given online instruction during the Summer, it regards such methods as supplemental to classroom contact. Recently the Dean has placed the program under the campus Writing Center run by Professor Jonathan Alexander of the English Department as an attempt to coordinate better various composition and writing units that serve the entire university. Relations between Academic English, Composition, and the Writing Center appear to be excellent. Graduate Programs UCI can boast of a number of nationally ranked graduate programs, notably English and History, but also Philosophy and Comparative Literature. It is home to two innovative interdepartmental programs, Visual Studies and Culture and Theory. However, most graduate programs could benefit from careful definition of their uniqueness within their fields rather than attempting to be all things to every possible applicant. Throughout the departments, replacing faculty for key fields is imperative. But hiring must take place in the context of strategic planning. Reviewers raised specific issues, some of which are worth noting here. With the loss of its founders, current faculty in Art History and Film and Media Studies have the opportunity to reconfigure Visual Studies beyond parallel seminars in each department. Culture and Theory is a unique approach to ethnic and gender studies that takes


advantage of UCI’s strength in critical theory and the transnational turn in scholarship. But established right before the sweeping budget cuts, it has never had the resources or personnel to build a solid foundation. Nonetheless, the only graduate students who came to talk to the school-wide reviewers were fierce supporters of this program and its faculty. These students found in its approach a form of analysis missing from most graduate programs in ethnic studies. It is this kind of distinctiveness that is so valuable in attracting the best students and makes this program one worth cultivating. Students also praised the Feminist Studies Ph.D. Emphasis, a program that at UCI, as in other places, allows doctoral candidates across the university to strengthen their work in feminist epistemology and methods and the areas of gender and sexuality. No faculty or students came to talk with us about the Critical Theory emphasis. The Tri-Campus Graduate Program in Classics presents a model that is worth considering for other departments that no longer can sustain their graduate curriculum. It must have better coordination between campuses, which will involve negotiations between Deans. The Emphasis in Asian American Studies is an example of a program that has trouble staffing its seminars because faculty time is pre-empted by the undergraduate major. At UCI, as in graduate education generally, funding and placement of students loom large. The School admirably provides a first year fellowship and summer stipend, but subsequent funding is not comparable to that of peer institutions. While departments guarantee additional years of teaching assistantships, lack of fellowship support inevitably increases time to degree. Students scramble to find employment, despite the difficulty of crossing departments and schools to obtain positions. They amass debt that they may have difficulty paying back, given the job market. The lack of affordable and suitable graduate student housing exacerbates financial distress. The situation is untenable: at the same time that the university depends on graduate student labor to run undergraduate sections, it also insists on shortening time to degree—without making it easier to do so. There isn’t adequate funding for research and specialized training or travel to conferences, both of which are essential for making competitive professionals. Accepting fewer students would appear to be the appropriate response to the inadequate resources. But then who would teach the courses, for what pay, and under what working conditions? Smaller graduate cohorts mean a lower block grant from the central administration. Other schools more easily can tap extramural funding. A reasonable case could be made for sharing such resources, given the teaching that humanities students perform for the university as a whole. In fact, it is imperative that bureaucratic barriers be removed so that graduate students gain an opportunity to teach across schools so as to become competitive with their peers from other institutions. Those in Culture and Theory or in History, for example, should be able to TA in Chicano/Latino Studies, which is a component part of the Culture and Theory program. Others should be able to TA in International Studies. The level of graduate satisfaction has much to do with the level of financial and academic support. There is no way getting around that. Departmental effectiveness in advising and mentorship varies tremendously, in that respect resembling the pattern in undergraduate education. Individual mentors are more important in PhD preparation but graduate


students have to have other faculty to consult with, especially when there are disagreements with the advisor. Central advising could become important, especially when it comes to school-wide policies. In a move to facilitate communication, the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies has instituted open meetings. Increased centralization—whether for TA selection, advising, or even admissions—needs to be carefully considered by the faculty as a whole and not imposed by the Dean’s office. On the other hand, upkeep of job placements, alumnae whereabouts, and related information might be handled centrally without complaint. The Dean’s office could play a coordinating role in the creation of Graduate Learning Outcomes and assessment strategies, which at other institutions have effectively taken place at the level of a separate Graduate School. But individual programs will have to be able to introduce refinements appropriate for their own fields. Worrying about a school wide culture among graduate students seems misplaced; most students identify with their field or department. Still the Humanities Graduate Student Council has important work to do in advancing professional training and providing student voices as the School goes forward in discussing its future. The School should encourage the dissertation writing and study groups that are taking place within departments and across them by offering some modest funding for speakers and materials. Such graduate groups that cross fields forge new forms of knowledge and are central to the integrative study of the human condition that the humanities seek to advance. The Associate Dean of Graduate Study recognizes many of these hurdles. It is encouraging to see the School thinking about alternative career paths, enhanced training, and more vigorous mentorship. Such initiatives include training in digital and public humanities to improve employability; forums and support for non-traditional jobs; an apprenticeship program through work-study in academic administration; and programs for Research Fellow without salary and other postdoctoral opportunities through the Humanities Collective. The School already provides training in Academic English and Composition/Writing. These are growth areas for jobs, but there is reason to suspect that many of these positions will be insecure and part-time.

Centers Humanities Collective The Humanities Center (or Collective as it is named) functions under the shadow of the all-UC Humanities Research Institute, housed at UCI and now under the superb direction of David Theo Goldberg, Professor of Comparative Literature, Anthropology, and Criminology, Law and Society. Outsiders often confuse the two entities. All the UC Humanities Centers benefit from UCHRI, but UCI could take greater advantage of its expertise, programming, and general presence, including the scholars that it brings to campus.


Professor Catherine Liu from Film and Media Studies became director in 2007, and brings creative energy to what she renamed the Collective. It distributes grants to faculty and graduate students amounting to about 50K and sponsors or co-sponsors various events, conferences, and public programming. It features a Work-in-Progress series and a social media website promoting faculty books. The extent of its activities seems less than what is found at other UC Humanities Centers, which is not surprising given the lack of full-time staff. Thus, it is heartening to see the outline of a multi-year fundraising effort. But more money must come with school-wide rethinking of the functions and role of the Collective and what larger roles it can play in the fashioning of a school identity.

The Jordan Center for Persian Studies This Center exemplifies the good work that can come from donor driven opportunities and community interest. It has several initiatives that are generating archives of various aspects of Persianate and Iranian culture. Its outreach activities attract lay as well as scholarly audiences. Director Nasrin Rahimienh appears enthusiastic and doing a good job. The Center might feed more directly into undergraduate and graduate student training. Center for Asian Studies Before the budget crisis in 2009, this Center, jointly administered with the School of Social Sciences, had funding from the Deans to run faculty and student exchanges with universities in China and Japan. It also ran a graduate fellowship program for international students. Travel grants in the past facilitated completion of research and allowed faculty and students to become competitive for external funding. These grants should be restored in some form. With an impressive number of core and affiliated members, the Center crosses school boundaries, but Director Anne Walthall notes the difficulty of bringing people together. A structural foundation is present for building Asian Studies as an interdisciplinary graduate program. Already the Center conducts graduate student forums. The dual reporting structure is cumbersome and might be streamlined, but such units have the potential to reconfigure the organization of knowledge beyond existing school divisions. International Center for Writing and Translation There was no self-assessment provided. The Center is currently on hiatus. This outcome is unfortunate because it had played a generative intellectual role under founding director Ngugi wa Thiong’o. The Center provided grants to faculty and graduate students as well as initiating and facilitating translation projects. It spent down its endowment rather than raising money, but it still has a financial base to expand upon and should be, with the right leadership, a development priority. For the concept of translation is elastic even as the traditional practice remains a learned skill of the highest order when done in conjuncture with critical and literary analysis. We concur with the observation of the last school-wide review that the Center might serve as a fulcrum for the areas of creative


writing, literary journalism, translation, and world literature, as well as one pillar (with languages and History as others) of the School’s program in global cultures. It might be relocated as a Center under the Humanities Collective, but in any case, it requires creative leadership and commitment from faculty. Critical Theory Institute We were unable to meet with anyone from this Institute. Neither did the Institute (nor the Critical Theory Emphasis) submit any self-assessment. What we learned came from other faculty. Though a signature program at UCI, and associated with the Humanities, it appears that loss in funding has impacted its long term sustainability and its internal organization appears weak. Professors from the Social Sciences now seem to be driving this initiative. With shifts in the meaning of critical theory, it might be time for rethinking this project. Either it should be revived and called upon to exercise intellectual leadership or else properly interred. Diversity ADVANCE is a program that is doing much to keep questions of equity alive. Director Doug Haynes and Equity Advisor Heidi Tinsman raise questions, develop mentorship programs, and press for action despite the countervailing resource issues. While more support is needed for mentoring faculty and graduate students alike and for educating those who hold decision-making positions, UC Irvine stands with the most enlightened institutions by having faculty advocates in the area of diversity and equity. Nonetheless, women seem to be taking longer to advance to professor than men and more men are in the professor ranks. Mentoring programs should be extended to the associate rank and indeed to the barrier steps within the professor rank. The numbers of faculty from underrepresented groups are low; they are essentially absent from some fields. That demographic state is a general one, but labeling the units that contribute most strongly to faculty diversity as problematic can hardly help recruitment. As the reviewers for History underscore, more robust TA packages may very well attract a more diverse graduate student body. To the extent that departments join the interdisciplinary fields of Women’s Studies, African American Studies, and Asian American Studies in advancing areas of study that address questions of race, gender, sexualities, and nation, they have a better chance of diversifying the faculty as well as student body.

Recommendations The 2004 school-wide review ended with eleven recommendations that resonate uncannily both with those embedded in our report and those that follow below. It is fair to say that the first seven of those recommendations remain entirely pertinent nine years later. Were effective follow-up on those recommendations treated as a standard for judging the performance of the university and the school since the 2004 review, it seems


evident that the verdict would not be positive. While efforts to act on the recommendations were surely made in good faith, the past nine years have been a period of stagnation rather than progress. In their overall thrust, the recommendations offered below echo and reinforce those articulated in 2004, even though the conditions that now prevail in higher education and the need to reverse a downward trajectory impose a somewhat different tone. Nothing would now be gained if UCI administrators chose to dwell on explaining the institutional failure to respond strongly to the 2004 review. Many factors make it understandable. The point is to distill what one usefully can from recent experience and move on. All concerned need to face up strongly this time around to the unfinished business at hand as well as to address problems that have emerged as a result of massive budget reductions. But the results cannot be at the expense of continuing to take active steps to improve and value diversity of personnel and students, fields of study, and gender equity within the school. 1. The School of Humanities in the University The School of Humanities cannot address the problematic organizational structure at UCI; the university administration must assume the responsibility for ensuring cooperation across the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences that is much easier to achieve under a classic arts-and-sciences umbrella. The university should assert strongly the centrality of the humanities for all the domains of inquiry that it harbors and should recognize openly the distinctive features of teaching and learning in the humanities that disallow imposing on most programs and faculty members in the School the expectations with respect to numbers of students taught or majors recruited that prevail in the social and natural sciences or professionally oriented programs. The problem of designing an appropriate system of interchange among the schools is not within the purview of the review committee, which is charged with examining the School. It is clearly a problem the university administration must address if it wants the humanities at UCI to flourish rather than to wither. 2. Strategic planning Dean van den Abbeele has indicated clearly that the difficulties he faces as he assumes his responsibilities are exacerbated by the lack of a strategic plan, which makes for a vacuum where there should be a vision and an agenda. The strategic planning exercise must be anchored in a realistic reckoning with the depleted resources and the climate of retrenchment that have become fixtures since the 2008 financial crisis. Serious and efficient strategic planning cannot be carried out without cost. The university administration should provide the School with the modest resources it needs to pursue self-examination and planning in a positive spirit. Since sound strategic planning requires a capacious understanding of budgetary constraints as well as hard thinking about the academic future, the university’s leaders must assist the School’s administration by helping it provide faculty and staff with full information about available resources and university-wide agendas. In the current environment, no plan that is strategic can simply call for increasing support for all the worthy people and programs in the School. The challenge is to find a way to arrive collectively—rather than by administrative fiat or by


default—at decisions to allocate resources so as to strengthen key programs and maintain a respectable liberal arts curriculum. 3. Administrative practices and arrangements The previous reviews of the School make it clear that communication at various levels— between the School’s administration and faculty and the university administration, among the deans of the various schools at UCI, between the School’s dean’s office and the departments and programs, between the dean and members of the faculty—has been a chronic deficiency. The responsibility for improvement in this domain rests primarily with the provost’s office and the dean’s office; the provost and the dean themselves must preside over the institution of measures to open channels of communication and to ensure that information useful to and desired by faculty and staff actually reaches them in a timely manner. With the university administration in transition (with appointments of a new provost and a new dean of the School of Social Science pending), it falls to the new dean of the School of Humanities to shoulder the immediate burden. During his first year on campus, he must surely place a premium on meetings with fellow administrators (especially chairs and directors) and with faculty members in the School’s academic units. These conversations need to aim explicitly for an understanding of what the coveted transparency really means, specifically what information will be shared (in what way, on what schedule, etc.), and concretely what expectations for cooperation will be put in place and treated as criteria in the assessment of performance. A collective reckoning on the part of the School’s faculty with the necessity of thoughtful, attentive, time-consuming administration will be vital to achieve a reversal of the downward trajectory of the last decade. This process will inevitably entail calling on senior faculty, who may consider themselves beyond the stage in their careers when administrative chores should be their lot, nonetheless to take on such responsibilities and to work to ensure a better balance of the service load between Associate and Full and Distinguished Professors than the one that currently places inordinate burdens on the former. 4. Resource allocation While the School has faced in recent years a declining-sum game, it now appears to be embarking on a period when it will be possible to fill some vacant positions. Since it will obviously not be possible to return all departments/programs/centers to earlier levels of strength or to increase all units with great intellectual potential or growing student demand to resource levels commensurate with their aspirations, the question before the School—no less a concern for the faculty and staff than it is for the administration—is how the available, but limited and inadequate resources will be invested, how decisions about the inevitable trade-offs will be made. The imperatives that have to be factored into the deliberations—budgetary constraints, needs of existing programs, development of promising new academic ventures, pursuit of faculty diversity and support of academic initiatives that serve a diverse study body, elimination of programs or curricular components that are not viable or cannot be properly supported—are multiple. Conciliating them is an exceedingly delicate matter and will require intelligent compromise. In the first stage of the new dean’s intervention, while strategic planning is


being pursued, we recommend that he consider constituting a temporary advisory group of perhaps six to eight widely respected veteran faculty members with whom to share detailed information about the budget and the processes of resource allocation and with whom to discuss the intricacies of decisions about how to distribute the fraction of available resources actually subject to reallocation. Such a group would serve the dean as a kind of informal cabinet or ad hoc advisory board through the 2013-14 academic year and provide him with a sounding board not only on resource allocation but on the organization and implementation of strategic planning. 5. Academic program: principles, priorities, and trade-offs Although it is far preferable to conceive of an undergraduate curriculum and a set of graduate programs as a structure integrating the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics, a school of humanities within a relatively fragmented, disjointed university like UCI is, paradoxically, obliged to assume a special responsibility for the integrity of a certain academic core that a research university ought not only to sustain, but to situate as the center around which to construct a liberal arts education. The administration and faculty of the School must reassert that responsibility by coming to agreement about the indispensable components of that core, which in turn implies agreement about what undergraduates, in particular, must have an opportunity to study in an institution that works with a durable edifice of knowledge and uses it as a framework for summoning students to understand their humanity in both individual and social terms, over time and space, in a multi-cultural world. The School’s commitment to a revitalized Humanities Core course and to language study are vital to its mission and to the university as a whole, as is the maintenance of a well stocked curriculum that must reflect classic disciplines as history, literature and philosophy as well as deliver the new knowledge coming from visual studies and ethnic and women’s studies. Making sure this disciplinary core is in place and in good condition should be a first priority. In deciding what to construct around the core, the faculty’s first principle should derive from a concerted, analytic reckoning with students’ needs and interests. The emergence of student-faculty research collaborations at all levels, and especially in the domain of the so-called digital humanities, is perhaps the major trend to emerge in the humanities during this decade. Overall the School appears to be lagging in relation to humanities research initiatives in peer institutions and must now play catch-up. In the strategic planning exercise that is on the agenda, the faculty should make confronting this trend a high priority. 6. Interdisciplinary programs UCI’s institutional signature in the 1970s and 1980s came from a stellar concentration of powerful voices in literary, critical and interdisciplinary theory. A natural institutional outgrowth of this intellectual trademark was the development of interdisciplinary initiatives, programs, centers, institutes, and so forth, often with the effect of bridging the humanities with the arts and social sciences. The maturation of interdisciplinary inquiry reaching across the arts, humanities and social sciences has altered the academic


landscape of U.S. higher education in ways that confirm the historical importance of that late-twentieth-century theoretical moment and also make the specific work of high critical theory less distinctive simply because it has become ubiquitous. No institution can now claim to be in the forefront as Yale and UCI were able to assert thirty years ago. The defining intellectual dynamics has moved, precisely, into the interdisciplinary programs, many of which now function in relation to professionally organized fields for which comparative literature provided an early model during the years after World War II. UCI is fortunate to be the site of a number of these programs, in nearly all of which a range of theories are important contributing components just as they are in the traditional disciplines. Yet the horizon of inquiry is broader than theory, and the question of institutional identity, to the extent that it is determined by academic orientation, now has to do with the particular combination of interdisciplinary departments, fields or programs that coexist and interact in a given site. At this juncture the School of Humanities clearly lacks the resources required to enable all of the units that are more or less officially in place to prosper. It will thus have to decide to support those it elects to keep with more resources for faculty and advanced students that foster interdisciplinary projects and pedagogical experiments. More importantly, the School lacks a rationale for education or research that would enable its leaders to determine readily which of these under resourced units should be retained and given enhanced support. Ideally such a rationale should be developed in concert with the arts and social sciences, but since a structure allowing for this may not be in place at UCI in the foreseeable future, the School should not recoil from examining this issue internally and deciding on its own how to coordinate or consolidate the interdisciplinary programs so that the most promising ones will be in a position to mount graduate programs and provide graduate students with competitive support packages. Maintaining some continuity with the UCI legacy through activities such as the Wellek Lectures and the hosting of stellar visiting thinkers could make good sense in the current intellectual environment and can be a responsibility assigned to whatever unit—the restored International Center for Writing and Translation and the Humanities Collective are obvious possibilities, whereas the dormant Critical Theory Institute appears not to be—is selected for a school-wide leadership role in this area. 7. Workload issues for faculty and staff Coming to grips with what is unsatisfactory both for departments and programs and for individual faculty members is a very high priority. It is obvious that equitability cannot be adequately defined and achieved by a number-of-students-taught requirement, that it is better (although not adequately) conceived as a time-and-effort-devoted-to-teaching standard, that time spent on administrative chores has to be accredited in the calculation of workload, and so forth. In many institutions, departments/programs of viable critical mass (say at least 8-10 faculty members) are the primary units expected to meet a students-taught or credit-hours delivered criterion, and the expectation itself is established historically on the basis of the unit’s calculated capacity, which is a function of many factors, including the type of teaching done in the field, the number of large introductory courses offered, and the responsibility for courses populated by students


satisfying general requirements. An effort to prevent the emasculation of curricula in various fields by enforcement of an imperative to privilege “popular” courses is possible in a context that provides for a modicum of flexibility and seasoned judgment; it is not possible when over simple metrics are applied mechanically. The nature of the problem here requires work at two levels: the policy discussions of the UCI provost with the deans of the various schools, and within the School of Humanities itself, where the dean may need to constitute a task force to revisit the problem. In regard to workload, other necessary considerations revolve around fairness to lecturers and appropriate use of teaching assistants and associates. 8. Alumni affairs and development The privatization of public higher education in the U.S. has accelerated during the past two decades. The need for private support is evident. The difficulty is that fundraising requires resources that are particularly hard to set aside in a period of budget-cutting and faculty retrenchment. Our committee learned little about the university-level development operation, but did discuss with the dean and the school’s small team of fundraisers the opportunities they are pursuing. Their efforts to encourage public humanities outreach and cultivate donors in Orange County or Southern California who are interested in certain programs are laudable and have to be understood as a long-term venture that will eventually, albeit not predictably, bear fruit. For want of sufficient data, it was not clear to us whether the opportunity to grow the annual fund that depends on large numbers of (usually modest) contributions from alumni warrants a special investment or not. In other public universities, it has been the lode of opportunity mined first because it yields a steady income stream that does not require the long-term cultivation characteristic of most relationships with major donors. As the future unfolds the fraction of the operating budget reserved for fundraising will have to increase. Although Dean van den Abbeele has a very full plate and needs to ward off time-consuming distractions, we recommend that he undertake to develop relations with the university’s fundraising organization and interest it in a vigorous investment in initiatives in support of the humanities.

Respectfully Submitted, Eileen Boris Hull Professor and Chair Professor of History, Black Studies, and Global Studies University of California, Santa Barbara Chair of the School-wide Review Committee Philip E. Lewis Vice-President Andrew W. Mellon Foundation April 2013


School-wide Programs: Religious Studies and Global Cultures Philip E. Lewis Vice-President Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

These two programs can reasonably be considered together since their majors are the only ones, of the 23 in the School of Humanities, that are not departmentally housed. Administration of the programs is located, arbitrarily and by default, as it were, in the departments of their respective directors, History (Religious Studies) and Spanish and Portuguese (Global Cultures). The two programs are further characterized by their dependency on a single director, one of whom (Religious Studies) is well into retirement, and by the extreme paucity of resources allocated to them by the School. The School’s self-study observes that, structurally, this situation does not make for sustainability and recommends shuttering them. Given the need for resources to strengthen other areas and the greater promise of other interdisciplinary programs, the review team is obliged to concur with this recommendation. Nonetheless, some further comment is in order and some lessons should be noted. 1. As an interdisciplinary field in American Higher Education, Religious Studies grew substantially in importance during the second half of the twentieth century. In the typical research university, the field is distinct from theology and from commitments to particular religions, and it usually brings together scholars from numerous fields— anthropology, archaeology, area studies, art history, classics, history, literature, music, philosophy, psychology, sociology—for whom the world’s religions, in their multiple aspects and settings, constitute the central object of inquiry and require the concerted attention of a substantial body of faculty. The historical and political importance of religion is clearly such as to make this exceedingly broad horizon of interest and study seem crucial in most research uiversities, including those that have been most assertively secular in their academic culture. In sum, it is hard to imagine that a university of UCI’s standing can comfortably sustain itself without an institutional commitment to the field. 2. The number of faculty affiliated with the current program (68, representing five schools and 16 departments), the number of students taking course (250 in the current quarter), and the program-based activities (speaker and brown-bag lunch series, friends/donors group, student clubs, graduate concentration, website, and so forth) suffice at least to demonstrate solid interest. Yet the inadequate resources available at UCI—a single lecturer, tiny budget, volunteer director, inadequate faculty advising, unavailability of a capstone course for senior majors—and the lack of faculty specialists in some major religious traditions disallow the notion that the current program is viable. It suffers moreover, from the same internal pressures that affect most units in the humanities: potential faculty participants are obliged to give priority to their home department’s curriculum and efforts to attract students. Incentives to participate in a non-departmental


program are missing. The program itself ascribes to inadequate publicity for Religious Studies and to the impact of enrollment metrics its difficulties in attracting students/majors and mounting a respectable curriculum. 3. The program in Global Cultures paints a curiously upbeat picture of its situation within the university, stressing student satisfaction, enrollment growth, and the admission of majors into top graduate programs. Yet the problems are in a sense more acute than in Religious Studies because Global Cultures is caught up in direct competition with International Studies in the School of Social Science. International studies has staff, budget, and campus recognition because of its profile as a pre-business major, and Global Cultures has difficulty attracting double majors, whereas International Studies does not. The director of Global Cultures is in a much more difficult position than his counterpart in Religious Studies since, as the only linguist in Spanish and Portuguese, he has to carry a very heavy teaching/advising load in his own department. A further disadvantage in Global Cultures is the lack of a core course of an introductory sequence. The program’s inability to mount an adequate advising program closely resembles that of Religious Studies, as does its struggle to secure adequate commitments from faculty who teach courses appropriate for the major but are unable to spend time working in the program. 4. Global Cultures presents a problem for the UCI administration that distinguishes its situation from that of Religious Studies. In an environment of shrinking resources, all the signs point toward the desirability of integrating Global Cultures and International Studies, which is to say, toward a program that requires collaboration of the Schools of Humanities and Social Sciences and allows for more than one track (perhaps an orientation toward business and one toward global history) within a broadly conceived major. Pursuit of a rational integration of this sort cannot be the sole responsibility of either school; it has to be a project of the university administration. In the near term, the only sensible course for the School of Humanities is to phase out the wobbly Global Cultures major that is in place.


Program in African American Studies & Department of Women’s Studies Michelle M. Wright Associate Professor in African American Studies Affiliated Faculty in Gender and Sexuality Studies, Northwestern University Overview: Because the Program in African American Studies and the Department of Women’s Studies share many common concerns as small academic units that are interdisciplinary in focus and were also listed as a “Needs Attention” unit, the first part of this report will focus on those shared concerns. The second part of the report will center on those issues that are not shared between the two units, and must be discussed separately. Day one of my time at UCI consisted of interviews first with the entire faculty of Women’s Studies excepting the new Chair (which will be explained shortly): Associate Professors Laura Kang and Jennifer Terry, and Assistant Professors Lilith Mahmud and Jeanne Scheper, as well as Mary Underwood, the department manager for Women’s Studies, Comparative Literature, and European Languages & Studies. I then met with undergraduate majors and minors. On the second day I first met with Annamarie Newton, the Assistant Administrator and Caroline McGuire, the Program Administrator for African American Studies. I then met individually with the Director of the Program, Associate Professor Jared Sexton, then with Assistant Professor Tiffany WilloughbyHeard before meeting with the entire faculty as a whole (which would include Professor Frank Wilderson, who has a 50% FTE in AAS, Professor Nahum Chandler, the new Undergraduate Director for the Program and Associate Professor Bridget Cooks, the former Undergraduate Director. My final meeting that day was with the graduate and undergraduate students in the Program. While it is not the schedule, I scheduled a lunch meeting with Mary Underwood and Caroline McGuire (my schedule had generously given me an unscheduled 90-minute lunch) to interview them further about the various rules and regulations around course scheduling, given how these are always specific to each School or College within a University or College. I should note that everyone with whom I met—administrators, faculty and students—were generous with their time and thoughtfully knowledgeable in their responses. I would like to thank the Department and Program administrative staff particularly, whose knowledge of administration is not only broad and deep, but solution-oriented and dynamic. What structured our series of conversations both as a group and perhaps especially those of us assigned to review departments and/or programs, was the recent “Needs Attention” memo to the Dean whose purpose and intent was explained to the ERC on the first day by the Vice Provost of Academic Affairs, one of its authors. Because there is so much space for miscommunication and misunderstanding between the intent of the authors, the reaction of the departments and programs designated as “Needs Attention” (Women’s Studies and African American Studies were named as such in the memo, alongside five other units), and the interpretation of the reviewers, it is most useful to be direct and transparent about the impact of “Needs Attention” –and most productive to be cogent and coherent in my briefing rather than belabored and repetitive. I therefore begin with


“Needs Attention” given its literal role in introducing us to the academic units we were about to review, but will forego what would only be re-narration of the memo and/or adding yet more speculation and impression. Although “Needs Attention” caused some negative confusion in both Women’s Studies and African American Studies, during my review I found that it was the students, not the faculty, who struggled with a deep sense of hurt and betrayal when news of the list spread across campus. The faculty, by contrast, are very sanguine. They are concerned about the possibility that “Needs Attention” is indeed a direct reflection of how they are viewed and evaluated by the School of Humanities, but their response is a desire for dialogue and clarity. As both scholars and teachers they are moving forward with the missions of their Program and Department respectively, and look forward to contact from the Dean to discuss sustaining, enhancing, and further enabling the productive work they do for the university. When I asked directly what impact “Needs Attention” had had on their lives, the response was uniform: faculty in these two units are aware of how their students feel about “Needs Attention” and find the most pragmatic way forward is to remind them through action of the importance of their shared mission as part of UC Irvine: the successful matriculation of students as critical agents for change in the world. The faculty are not, however, blindly optimistic: their overwhelming reaction to reading the “Needs Attention” was confusion, and the phrases used most often to accompany this reaction were, in order, “shifting goalposts” and then, by way of explanation, “butts in seats.” Both the senior and junior faculty explained these two phrases in the same way. They had been told either in direct conversation or collective conversation that the Vice Provost wanted to see enrollments climb across the curriculum. Both the Director of African American Studies and the Chair of Women’s Studies at the time then asked if this meant an increase in majors and minors, or simply enrollment; the response, quite literally, was that “butts in seats” were a priority. However, according to the memo, the basis for their “Needs Attention” designation was low enrollments of majors. Yet as both units pointed out, their undergraduate SCH is actually higher than departments and programs not listed –and whose numbers are significantly lower. Other assertions in the memo appear to be based on inadequate research: neither Women’s Studies nor African American Studies have “struggled to attract and retain chairs/directors” as claimed, and both do in fact offer PhD programs through the Culture and Theory Program, whereas the memo insisted no such degrees existed. The core argument in “Needs Attention” is unclear because its standards are unclear and appear randomly applied to those academic units about which the authors were most unaware. Its argument for the elimination of certain academic units because they are “not traditional” is no more rational an assertion than to argue economic restrictions requires the abandonment of progressive action. It is usually progressive outlooks and behaviors that best address moments of economic crises, rather than reversing course and


attempting to backtrack to an earlier era. Of equal importance is maintaining UC Irvine’s standing as a “research one” university that can continue to compete with Berkeley, Stanford, U of Chicago, Harvard, Yale, Duke, and so on, in attracting the most competitive students and faculty to produce scholarship and knowledge that reflects the world rather than one ideology alone. Without interdisciplinary unites whose task is to focus on the transnational reach of gender, race, class and sexuality, their competing ideologies and standpoints, and so forth, one struggles to provide students with the information and critical lenses now needed to analyze our first Black U.S. President, or the fallout from the “Arab Spring”. This is why even in recession we see U.S. colleges and universities continuing to build interdisciplinary departments –they are not an accessory, they are in fact essential to the future of scholarship because their methodologies are shaped to find, analyze, and reflect the diversity of our world. Regardless of where they build their careers, it is incumbent on U.S. college graduates more than ever to display an international cultural competency, an ability to grasp and work alongside radically different views and beliefs and find a middle ground for discussion. Whether politics, economics, media, or academe, undergraduate and graduate education must reflect a non-chauvinistic understanding of the world, and reflect a respect for a broad variety of peoples and cultures through knowledge rather than empty rhetoric. Both Women’s Studies and African American Studies are interdisciplinary in their nature, drawing equally from the Humanities and the Social Sciences in their epistemology and methodology, and this is reflected in the content of their leading journals, the panels and speakers at their conferences, and the diversity of students they attract from both divisions. Specifically at the University of California at Irvine, African American Studies and Women’s Studies enjoy impressive reputation that firmly distinguishes them not only among the other universities in the University of California system, but nationally and internationally as well. In “UCI” terms, the scholarship and ideas published and advocated by the faculty in these two departments achieve especially high circulation among the adherents and practitioners of “critical theory”, especially in the fields that are still growing despite already enjoying impressive booms in the 1990s and 2000s: postcolonial studies, transnational feminist studies, queer studies, African diaspora studies, not to mention two disciplines-in-the-making heralded by the hiring of scholars in Black European Studies, Disability Studies, and Transgender Studies at Berkeley, Yale, Columbia, Washington University, University of Chicago, Northwestern, Bryn Mawr, Duke, Stanford, UC Santa Barbara, London School of Economics, Humboldt University in Berlin, Oxford University, --and UC Irvine. This move is hardly random: as very real financial and manufacturing capital transfer to Asia, South Asia, China, South America, and the Middle East, these cultures, governments and corporations are changing what used to considered exclusively (white) Western economies, currencies, imports, exports, government policies, and, inevitably intellectual culture. Women’s Studies and African American Studies at Irvine represent the best of


interdisciplinary programs because they are dynamic and contemporary in their engagement even as they remain deeply historical and interdisciplinary in their methodologies. The problems these two interdisciplinary academic units face is entirely serious yet entirely amendable because both units already boast what external reviews look for in a successful department/program: renowned faculty, accomplished graduate students, and promising undergraduates, all of whom are devoted to maintaining high standards while carrying out the academic mission of their unit. The obstacles they face will hardly be unknown to at least some of the readers of this review: the bureaucratic obstacles that produce the “silo effect,” in which despite a shared university system, the School of the Humanities and the School of Social Sciences lack a means of working together to support their interdisciplinary faculty they have hired, graduate students they have admitted, academic units they have created, not to mention the mission of the university to create well-rounded students and PhDs who can identify, define and make connections across disciplinary and professional fields. In other words, like any large institution that remains dynamic and undergoes change, the bureaucratic infrastructure is often not incorporated into those changes, producing an institution that is in effect at times working against its own goals. Rather than change the goals, which in UCI’s case especially are laudable (academic excellence that trains and prepares its students for a complex world), one needs to adjust the administrative infrastructure to empower and enable those goals. The specific nature of these obstacles and the solutions required by this Program and this Department will be outlined below, but central to both (and, I would expect, other academic units) is the need for consistent and clear communication not just between the heads of these units and the Schools’ administration, but the fixed incorporation of the units’ administrative staff into these discussions. The heart of these obstacles involve the banal yet essential mechanics of how administrators are asked to report course schedules and tally enrollments and majors, as well as the different guidelines that effectively prohibit the hiring of all eligible graduate teaching assistants from one School for courses in another. These problems are hardly insurmountable but they require what I can only describe as the material knowledge of infrastructure mastered by the department’s/program’s administrators, the faculty’s practical and ideal knowledge that informs the department mission, and the upper-level administration’s “macro view” of what the statewide University of California system demands from them, and the best ways to meet it that specifically fulfill UCI’s mission. Ideally, undergraduate and graduate representatives should also be brought into specific meetings where there is a focused need for their input. Majors and minors obviously play a crucial role in the health and well-being of all department and programs, but interdisciplinary programs at UCI face obstacles they shouldn’t have to in the granting of majors and the tallying of minors. Students seeking to major in Women’s Studies and African American Studies often find they cannot do so because the language requirement in the School of Humanities forces them to restrict their course choices to completing one major. Minors are also an important part of undergraduate education because they play a central role in serving the mission of the university: that is, to enable and empower all students in the Humanities, Sciences, Arts,


and Social Sciences to explore knowledges connected to their major, whether that be engineering, microbiology, political science, or English literature. Interdisciplinary programs and departments offer minors that are desirable to students across all these Schools because they speak to rich and complex issues of diversity both in the workplace and the research. The analytical tools used by African American Studies and Women’s Studies inherently call for cross-sectional analyses. In other words, their courses are designed to explore the ways in which different epistemologies and different bodies of knowledge intersect and connect to one another. As a minor, these courses effectively help students “web” together ideas, movements, legislations and concepts that in turn can be applied to their “monodisciplinary” majors. Both the Department of Women’s Studies and the Program in African American Studies share the problem of knowing which students intend to complete a minor. One immediate benefit to knowing one’s own minors is the ability to reach out to them quite easily through electronic media to invite them to gatherings or alert them to important information. Because minors play such a key role in providing an education with a global focus, academic units should be provided with the means to tally their minors, and these tallies should count toward their evaluation. Department of Women’s Studies: The Department of Women’s Studies is a nationwide leader in Gender and Sexuality Studies due to its focus on transnational and feminist studies through an interdisciplinary lens. It is impossible to point to rankings for the simple reason that there is such a broad variety of size and composition to academic units titled Women’s Studies; Feminist Studies; Gender Studies; Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies; or Gender and Sexuality Studies (there are yet more, but these are the ones I come across most frequently). As such, the best and most rigorous way to rank is on the basis of the influence of faculty scholarship, the frequency of their citations, the frequency of invited talks and panels, and the successful placement of their graduate students into academic positions—especially tenure-track. In all of these categories, the senior faculty excel, and the junior faculty are developing competitive cases for tenure. Jennifer Terry’s An American Obsession: Science, Medicine and Homosexuality in Modern Society is a landmark book that enjoys critical and popular acclaim for its pioneering interdisciplinary work on the debilitating link between sexual stereotyping and medical research. She has also published two edited volumes, and regularly publishes in peer-reviewed leading journals (Trans-humanities, Women’s Studies Quarterly, differences, and the Journal of Sex Research). Professor Kang is the recipient of the Association of Asian American Studies Book Award in Cultural Studies for her 2003 Compositional Subjects: Enfiguring Asian/American Women, a work that broke new theoretical ground by in critical theory by reworking the mechanics of subject formation to reflect the complex ways race, gender, sexuality, class and nationality interact with one another in these formations. She has co-edited a volume and also publishes frequently in leading peer-reviewed journals (American Quarterly, Feminist Studies, and the Journal of Asian American Studies). Both professors are frequent contributors to the leading peer-reviewed journals in their wide range of fields, from critical theory (both Professor Terry and Kang received their doctorates in the Santa Cruz History of Consciousness Program) to feminist studies, postcolonial studies, American


studies, transnational studies, transgender studies, all of which they intersect with medical science, technology, and political science. The Department’s two assistant professors, Lilith Mahmud and Jeanne Scheper, are already establishing their names not only in Gender and Sexuality Studies, but the fields with which their work there intersects, from anthropology and ethnography to critical race studies. Mahmud’s first book, The Brotherhood of Freemason Sisters, is about to be published at the University of Chicago Press (it is “at press”), and both have published several articles in peer-reviewed journals. Scheper is currently at work on her own book manuscript, Moving Performances. Despite its small size, the Department’s footprint is quite large in contemporary scholarship across these fields; equally notable, they enjoy enviable success in both the placement of their undergraduate majors into PhD programs, as well as the placement of their graduate students into tenure track (and in some cases now tenured) jobs across the country, including Loyola Marymount (tenured and Chair), Albert Magnus College (tenured), George Mason, University of Iowa, Scripps College, Ohio State, University of Wisconsin – Madison (tenured), UC Riverside, and Hunter College—not to mention an Executive Director of the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art. In other words, this Department does not just enjoy a “passive” reputation, but a reputation in action: their graduates are often selected over all other candidates as the next generation of intellectuals in transnational feminist studies. The Department’s specific strengths lie in the prominence of their senior faculty, and the rising visibility and influence of the junior faculty as they move into the tenure process. As I will elaborate below, the quality and effectiveness of their teaching ranks at the top of the already impressive norm for evaluations by students at UCI. Kang and Terry have provided excellent support to the junior faculty by taking on the lion’s share of administrative responsibilities while carving out time to actively mentor the latter through the process of review and now to tenure. To be cogent, while Kang and Terry were hired and evaluated according to the high standards for scholarship that make UCI’s reputation as a “research one,” the dominant request from UCI has been that they serve as administrators and, in the wake of budgetary restraints, take on yet more administrative duties. So far, there is a temporary solution that needs a more permanent fix: Professor Jonathan Alexander from the Department of English has graciously agreed to serve a term as Chair so that Kang and Terry do not have to endlessly play tag team as Chair. The senior faculty have requested a senior hire, and like many Departments at UCI they have lost FTE in recent years. This department’s exemplary service to its graduate students and their fulsome appreciation is matched by the loyalty and enthusiasm of its undergraduates for the Departments, its faculty, and the courses they teach. In my interviews with some of these majors, students made very clear that the intersectional emphases taught in their Women’s Studies courses enhanced the courses they were taking in “monodisciplinary” majors and further empowered their self-view as world citizens and agents for change.


For these majors, all of whom double major in the sciences or social sciences, Women’s Studies is “ a great space to learn tools to critique and challenge the world around me; [my other major] doesn’t support critical thinking”; another student relates that the major enabled her to “bridge social justice with medicine, which has been powerful”; finally, another summed up, (and I am quoting verbatim): “Women’s Studies provided me with training in transnational feminist analysis and interdisciplinary frameworks that aren’t rigid: what’s learned in the classroom can be applied to all aspects of life, from activism to government work to non-governmental organizations. Women’s Studies is more a critical analysis of life, with the instinct to engage rather than passively accept facts; you have to interpret the facts”. These are the kind of quotes from students that university brochures like to boast, much less find expressed with such relative sophistication by an undergraduate. Yet, strangely enough, these Women’s Studies majors are under threat from the new student to faculty ratio guidelines for the simple reason that the rules are generic whereas Department and Programs are not. Exactly like my own department at Northwestern, students find out about Women’s Studies through word of mouth, take one course and become addicted. In their senior year they realize that they have taken enough courses to be a major, at which point they declare. In other words, although enrollments are strong and climbing, and student enthusiasm is high, as is the recruitment of majors, this pattern of declaring at graduation makes it exceptionally difficult to plan for capstone course enrollment—a course that has a strong and productive infrastructure in Women’s Studies because in one course they move from writing a research paper to preparing a condensed presentation of the paper with electronic media. Family and friends are invited to participate, and the result is a deeply gratifying example of how interdisciplinary education takes curious, ambitious students and turns them into thoughtful, knowledgeable, reflective, active, and engaged citizens of the world. The ranking of this department does not need to be improved—it is already quite high— but it does need to be sustained. It is common but not inevitable for research universities today to hire faculty as scholars, employ them as administrators, and evaluate them as teachers and scholars. This conflicting message ultimately costs the university money: scholars depart, morale drops and productivity wanes; controversial reputations can make it difficult to hire competitive scholars. Of course it is inevitable that senior faculty will be called upon to leave their research behind and devote their energies to the running of their part of the university, but this must be acknowledged either explicitly adding administrative duties to the evaluation of faculty for promotion and salary increases and/or the securing of course releases and time off to start, pursue, and finish large book projects. In the case of Professors Terry and Kang, they have managed to publish highly regarded and influential chapters in books and journal articles, and maintain and active speaking schedule, but need that essential compenent of time off to make progress on their book-length projects. Because both junior professors are coming up for tenure (Mahmud and then Scheper), they look forward to working with their new Chair to discuss the tenure process and familiarize him with their work. Like the senior faculty, they expressed deep gratitude for this service.


This Department’s curriculum, wholly revised in 2007, dynamically reflects the kind of knowledges and skills needed to become a critical agent for change in the world; its success among the graduate students and its undergraduates is born out by their job placements and academic successes. At the same time, it finds itself hampered by guidelines intended to enable and empower students but, developed generically outside of conversation with Department Chairs and their administrative staff, the result achieved is actually the opposite. Capstone courses are sensitive things, reflecting the nuances of the discipline and its specific goals for professionalization in the field and mastery of its foundational knowledge and methodologies. There are three main recommendations I would make to ensure the Women’s Studies at Irvine remains a nationally and internationally recognized scholarly and pedagogical hub for transnational feminist studies and critical theory. First, I would recommend that the bureaucratic impediments that make the development and teaching of cross-listed courses a punitive process that also prohibits the pedagogical training graduate students across disciplines be addressed and cleared. If the UC Irvine wants to continue to compete for faculty and students who are the best of the best, then they must offer the same sort of interdisciplinary infrastructure offered by the leading research ones, where cross-listing a course is a matter of assigning a number, splitting enrollment counts transparently and with mutual agreement, and securing graduate teaching assistants from any of the other departments and programs is simply not an issue. Second, I would recommend that the problem over the capstone course become the first step in developing a structured form of communication between faculty and administration so that the specific workings and needs of interdisciplinary units inform the guidelines that regulate capstone courses, and well as any future changes the administration seeks to implement. Finally, the Department’s core senior faculty need relief from service as Chair; they are prominent scholars and successful teachers, and this shouldn’t be disabled, however unintentionally, by a situation where they must “switch off” as Chair. The Department has recently lost two FTE and the addition of one, ideally a full Professor to serve as Chair, would provide the kind of concrete foundation that the Department once had to support and sustain excellence in scholarship, teaching and training of graduate students. At the moment, they are doing all of this, but without a steady foundation to ensure it can be sustained for years to come. African American Studies: While African American Studies enjoys a long history at UCI, its current formation is quite recent but no less notable. Many graduate students in my own department of African American Studies at Northwestern are fervent adherents of Jared Sexton’s recent theorization of “anti-blackness” as well as his award-winning book Amalgamation Schemes; Nahum Chandler’s landmark formation of the “neo-slave narrative” in African American fiction is now a core part of graduate education in the majority of African American and African Diaspora Studies departments both in the United States and overseas; Frank Wilderson’s theory of “afropessismism” is one of the most frequently discussed and debated topics amongst graduate students and faculty


across Black Studies. Associate Professor Bridget Cooks, alongside Sexton, provides dynamic intersections of race, class, gender and sexuality studies to reveal how these formations are in fact always already intersecting and informing one another. In addition, Professor Cooks’ Exhibiting Blackness currently enjoys enthused critical and popular attention in academe and the museum world for its timely intervention into the formal and informal theorization of Blackness in the visual arts, the museum world, and academe. Their most recent hire, assistant professor Tiffany Willoughby-Hirard, is already an established presence in my own subfield of race and identity formation; her book Theories of Blackness is simply a must-read. In short, this department’s senior and junior faculty are well-known and recognized across African American, African Diaspora Studies, critical theory, postcolonial theory, queer studies, feminist studies, and literary studies, to name only some. There is no need to improve the Program’s national distinction and profile: it ranks directly alongside all of the top programs in African American and African Studies including Harvard, Brown, & Yale, as especially evidenced by the high quality of applicants from top-ranked universities and colleges into its PhD emphasis. Both the undergraduate and graduate students are enthusiastic supporters of the Department, but find themselves fighting to take classes given the language requirement as well as scheduling conflicts with other required courses. According to Bridget Cooks, who until recently was the Undergraduate Director for the Program, African American Studies is often an invisible major or minor because undergraduate students take one class based on excellent word of mouth from their peers, and then actively incorporate one to two course per quarter—as their schedule allows. Yet, as other departments and programs have complained, the language requirement in the School of Humanities makes it impossible for them to complete the major as they had initially intended. Most recently, to the dismay of graduate students and undergraduates, the faculty revised the curriculum so that fewer courses were required for the major—a concession to the hard reality of School of the Humanities requirements and its unintentional but very real prohibitions against students achieving a major in African American Studies. The students want more classes, and specifically, more classes that do not always directly conflict with their other requirements. Roughly forty undergraduate and graduate students showed up to speak with me about the Department. Unlike the faculty, who are focused on carrying out the mission of the department (research and scholarship), the students are deeply unhappy and battling very low morale. “Needs Attention” confirmed their worst fears: that the University of California at Irvine is seeking a way to eliminate African American Studies and thus shut down any form of dialogue or discussion on race, racism, and racial inequities both on campus and in the world at large. In voicing their complaints, the students were primarily drawing from first hand experiences. A surprisingly common problem centered around the advising they receive from all three Schools (i.e., not the Program itself). I counted a total of seven students who complained that upon entering Irvine in their first year, their stated desire to take African American Studies courses was actively discouraged, with advisers either hinting or stating outright that this unit would not be in existence much longer. Another four


students complained that even though they had entered Irvine with science honors and exemplary GPAs, their advisers encouraged them away from the Sciences and towards Public Health as a better fit. At the very least there is egregious miscommunication between the advisers and the administration that trains them, but it is also unproductive and wastes money: the School of Humanities should not be paying people to disable its diverse curricular offerings, whatever the reason or intention. These, of course, are also the sort of anecdotes that can circulate and dissuade minority students from applying to Irvine if the campus comes to be seen as having a reputation, undeserved or not, for being hostile to minorities. Because I can only imagine this is deeply unwelcome news, I will add that the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences at Northwestern currently suffers from this reputation, and we do lose some of the nation’s most promising undergraduate applicants –not just minorities-- after they visit campus and hear about racist incidents and administrative inaction. An assertive and proactive move forward on these issues (as opposed to accusing, blaming, punishing) through explicit communication to advisers and structured meetings with the undergraduates framed by a focused goal can have a powerfully positive effect for all parties involved—especially if it is made clear the goal is solutions rather than a canvassing of complaints. In addition to this, African American Studies and its related extracurricular offerings is difficult to find on the uci.edu website, and the students made frequent mention of this. Given the fame of its faculty, and UCI’s success in bringing them here, that achievement should be advertised and, well, trumpeted. For the graduate students, there is a paucity of classes to teach, classes that the undergraduates very much crave, and that the former need to be viable doctoral candidates on the job market. Here they can benefit from the same dissolution of strictures that inhibits Women’s Studies in hiring TAs from the Social Sciences because many of these TAs should be receiving at least half of their training in the Social Sciences. This is because in the United States African American Studies departments and programs are largely composed of social scientists; those who teach literature and/or philosophy, as in my case, often find more jobs in English, Literature, and/or Philosophy departments (our discipline often counts History as a Social Science). Doctoral candidates in African American Studies need to be fluent in the methodologies of field and archival research because search committees will be seeking candidates who can teach entry-level courses that incorporate these methodologies. The interdisciplinary focus of every single core faculty member in the Program as well as the interdisciplinary topics of their Ph.D. Students (located in Culture and Theory Program) means they will not require special training before they can serve as teaching assistants in the Social Sciences: they can start immediately, and they do need that formal credential in their transcript and arsenal of skills. The Program is attending to what they can do about the low morale through informal personal and group mentoring. Each faculty member spoke of encouraging the students to focus on their students, as that would remain their most important and productive task. Nahum Chandler, the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Program, would like to implement an informal coffee hour where students and faculty can drop by to chat and informally mentor, perhaps host a Brown Bag for visiting or affiliated faculty. This is a


wonderful idea and Professor Chandler remains open to extending it to graduate students as well as all who are interested in communion. The faculty themselves seek improved communication with the administration because they, like all of the other departments and programs designated as “Needs Attention” do not understand why they were first asked to increase the number of enrollments to the exclusion of all else, yet then were penalized for not having achieved significant growth in the number of majors. The key here, I think, is that the faculty communicated clearly to me that they shared the confidence of their Director, Professor Sexton, in the Program’s future as a strong and productive partner in UCI’s academic goals. Far from protesting that they are unable to meet these goals, they simply want the “goalposts” to be clearly stated and consistent rather than “shifting”. The Program in African American Studies needs exactly what it is requesting: a cooperative relationship with the administration in which their contributions to the university curriculum is productively enabled. It is also crucial that the administrative personnel who work directly on these guidelines—i.e., that they are the ones who input information--are part of these discussions. Streamlining curricular guidelines so that they are flexible and adjust to the composition of each department is common sense—a small interdisciplinary program contributes to a university far differently than a large department, yet with equal qualitative and quantitative impact. Guidelines can only be transformed if those who understand the way in which curricular information inputted and implemented are part of the conversation. By allowing the staff to remain an active and central part of the discussions (along with the faculty serving in relevant administrative positions), ideas for reform will incorporate the essential logistics of exactly where the resistance to core needs such as cross-listing courses, assigning TAs across Schools, and a system that encourages students to register earlier for a minor and have that automatically information communicated their chosen Department or Program. One final key component is a simple one: that all relevant communication on guidelines, changes, etc., to the curriculum that is sent to Chairs and Directors also be sent to their administrative Directors. This Program is especially rich in its human resources: its entire faculty is established in their fields, their students are ambitious, hard working and enthusiastic about the Program. While the bulk of my 90-minute conversation with the students focused on the sharing of common problems (as well as solutions and the sharing of information, which was wonderful to watch in action), they explicitly referenced the essential role African American Studies played in the lives, both on and off campus. The knowledge and skills they are provided through these courses, they attested, enabled and empowered them to better understand their environment, their history, and how to move forward and negotiate life’s obstacles while seizing its opportunity. To be frank, I was awed by how their degree of intellectual inspiration from all of the Program’s faculty bordered on the spiritual; it reminded me of memoirs and interviews in which those who have effected change pinpoint moments in education in which they could see their goals and the means to achieve them. No wonder they want more classes, more opportunity, greater exposure


and greater experience. As I mentioned above, the students clearly enjoy communion with one another and with the faculty, and even in informal setting do “work”—that is, ask questions about classes, double majors, registration guidelines, extracurricular activities and programs. If the faculty are willing, I would also recommend a monthly 45-minute chat session for faculty alone, where each person can ask a question, ranging from questions about living in the area, schools, etc., to university resources or methods. The questions should not be so demanding that work must be assigned—even sending follow-up emails. The sessions should be productive and light. I personally was struck by the dynamic personalities of the faculty when we met as a group, and reflecting on the diversity of their relationships with the university, the local area, its institutions and schools, as well as their location in the tenure clock, it made sense to me that they should be provided with explicit time to exchange and build with one another. Of course discussions on curriculum should continue to take place separately, and I hope that the administration might work with them to develop a syncopation of class schedules that gives their students access to their classes and—should the faculty find it productive, growth rather than reduction in their curriculum, including stand-alone courses that could be taught by graduate students who are at the doctoral stage of their candidacy. The faculty is already developing large enrollment courses in response to the “butts in seats” directive, but they understandably do not want to pursue that same mission if the “goalposts” have instead shifted to increasing the number of majors. Of course both can be done, but that simply needs to be worked out in consultation with the Program faculty and its administrative staff. If it makes sense for the faculty to offer a small number of large enrollment courses, graduate students in their first and second years can TA sections, which would improve the range of meeting times for courses that the undergraduates seek. Conclusion Both the Program in African American Studies and the Department of Women’s Studies remain thriving and successful academic units that attract a diversity of students to their courses, including many who go on to become majors and minors. The interdisciplinary nature of these two academic units, however, hampers their educational and training goals because it is difficult to schedule appropriate TAs for interdisciplinary courses, cross-list courses in a manner that is equitable to the teaching load and enrollment counts, and keep track of their minors, a vital resource for sustaining a dynamic intellectual culture in the department or program. Students who wish to major in African American Studies often find themselves faced with conflicting meetings times for the courses in their other majors, and graduate students who wish to teach and TA courses find themselves without courses to teach or TA for. Women’s Studies struggles to predict the number of students who will take the senior capstone because students discover Women’s Studies in their 1st or 2nd year on campus, and then realize they want to major in it or add it as a double major in their junior or senior year. Finally, “Needs Attention” needs attention: that is, it should be laid to rest and declared defunct because even its best


intentions are based on ambiguous information; in short, it is not actionable because it does not reflect the true landscape of research one universities in the United States. Dean Georges Van Den Abbeele is a “dream dean”: his international background and training, his deep and broad knowledge of the Humanities—not just within academe, but its applications in the public and private sectors outside of the “Ivory Tower”— potentially make him an ideal leader to steer the School out of this controversy. This is someone who can (and did) speak to a broad variety of scholars who range from understanding themselves as fully within the Humanities to truly located in the Social Sciences. He is interdisciplinary in his thinking and knowledge to more than just a superficial degree, and I think will enjoy his engagement with these two respected, productive, intellectually generous and dynamic units. Dean Van Den Abbeele’s ability to sit and listen to these units will of course be crucial, but I should add that it wasn’t frequent meetings that faculty denoted as indicative of an accessible and effective Dean: it was responses to emails and phone calls, specifically “turnaround” time. When one makes a call or writes and email to the Dean, it is usually in a moment of concern or crisis; a quick response from the staff, depending on the urgency (but no later than 48 hours) can provide help defuse a great deal of potential anxiety and complication –even if that first response is simply to note that the faculty member has been heard, and a reply is forthcoming within x amount of time, or in x range of days. In my interviews with faculty and students, I found it most useful to simply listen, and allow the questions—directly originating from the Charge to External Reviewers that I was given—to take on the language of the concerns I was hearing. That is to say, I do not think faculty expect immediate and brilliant solutions, but they would like to be heard, and to be shown that they have been heard. External reviews are a funny business because they inevitably must focus on the negative. I should note that my visit to campus was entirely enjoyable, and my encounters and interviews with faculty, staff, students and administrators matched my high expectations of UC Irvine as a university possessing great intellectual dynamism but also a consistent and real concern for the quality of academic life. While I was surprised that faculty did not express anger over “Needs Attention,” I was not surprised that their biggest obstacles centered around bureaucratic obstacles that need to be lifted so they can continue to fulfill the university’s mission—one, of course, that is clearly stated and developed through discussion.


Department of Art History Anthony W. Lee Mount Holyoke College Let me state at the outset that the department is extraordinarily strong. The faculty is comprised of dedicated scholars and teachers. The staff is equally dedicated in its efforts to serve students and keep the administrative machinery moving at a well-oiled pace. Together, they have created a department that is high-functioning, full of high morale and camaraderie, and exudes an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust—a remarkable achievement in these difficult economic times. Partly this achievement is the result of strong leadership. There’s a history of good chairs, beginning, since the last department review a decade ago, with Jim Herbert, then Cecile Whiting, and now Bert WintherTamaki. Partly, too, this is the result of the gathering together of good people. The department has made superb hires over the years; it saw in the last decade a spate of retirements, but it has recouped and become even stronger and more intellectually and demographically diverse. The department seems non-hierarchal, as much as that is possible in a ladder-rank system. The faculty takes turns teaching at both the upper and lower divisions and serving as advisors and on steering committees; there appear to be no glaring imbalances or inequities in workload. The department is now undertaking a search for a tenure-track hire in Medieval Art, and although the search comes rather late in the hiring season, I fully expect that it will land a top-flight scholar who will only add to the current group. I will try to address some of the key questions in the Charge to External Reviewers and also offer some recommendations, with the caveat that the comments should be regarded as observations rather than strict findings. It’s hard to get much more than a glimpse in such short meetings with faculty, staff and students. A report about the graduate program in Visual Studies, which the Art History department shares with Film and Media Studies, is co-written with Lynn Spigel and filed separately. Distinction The department’s distinction lies in its judicious scholarly and teaching breadth across three continents, Asia, Europe, and North America. Few Art History departments can claim that kind breadth; often a single art historian is assigned all of Asia, for example, or all of North America. This breadth—perhaps it is better to call it both breadth and depth—allows for a much more global sensibility to emerge, in which the simple and sometimes cursory coverage of large geographical areas gives way to more rigorous specialist inquiry and, at the same time, more nuanced thinking about the interactions between and among art historical places and times. Even a quick glance at some of the scholarship in the department suggests the extraordinary fruitfulness of this kind of arrangement—of cross-pollination and thinking within and across geographical and chronological borders, and of theoretical rigor and innovation. It’s an intellectually exciting time to be an art historian in the department. Were the funding available, I can imagine that breadth and depth expanded to include Africa and South America and the


department becomes something like a world art center. In such a scenario, there would be few other departments in the country to match, perhaps only the very large graduate programs like Chicago, Harvard, Michigan, Princeton, UCLA, and Yale. I do not sense that competing with those programs is where the department wants to go; but a world art program would indeed be nationally prominent. At present, the department has no special concentration in architecture or photography. At least in the case of photography, this is a reversal from a previous generation when the distinguished photo historian Sally Stein was in the ranks. This new formation seems not the result of a deliberate effort to downplay or omit architecture or photography or to redirect pedagogy, more an effort to hire the strongest applicant, whatever their specialty may be. The Major and the Curriculum Students take one of two sequences at the lower division, eight topical courses at the upper division, a practicum, and either one or two pro-seminars. This is a balanced set of requirements. It places emphasis on a survey-like knowledge and yet allows for some degree of specialization. The practicum, what at other institutions is called Theory and Methods, is an often controversial feature in undergraduate training. The general bugaboo has tended to be the effort to include historiography in a methods course. The department has smartly avoided that and focused instead on a course devoted to teaching students the “tools” of the discipline. The department has equally smartly tried to take advantage of its global reach by restructuring, in Fall 2011, its major requirements at the upper division. Previously, the upper division was organized around survey courses in six art historical categories: Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance/Baroque, Modern, Asian, and American—a familiar structure for the field. Now, it is organized across three trans-historical regions (Asia, Europe, North America) and five trans-regional periods (Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern, Modern, and Contemporary). In this new logic, a student taking a course in “Modern,” say, can elect that course in an Asian, European, or North American setting. The change makes sense, given the department’s strengths and beliefs, and it probably portends the future of the field at large. Furthermore, it pulls Asia and North America into historical time, where in the previous formation they existed as if outside of time. While the upper division makes sense, the lower division seems slightly out of step. Currently, the lower division is organized into two sequences: Western (AH 40A through C) and Eastern (AH 42A through D). But while the Western is organized chronologically (Ancient, Medieval/Renaissance, and Baroque/Modern) the Eastern is structured geographically/culturally (China, Japan, India, and Islam). To ask the obvious: is it possible, or desirable, to make the two follow the same logic? Perhaps organize the Eastern along the same chronological structure as the Western? The emphasis on chronology may then allow students to mix and match between the two sequences over the course of an academic year and, throughout the mixed courses, retain a stronger sense of historical time and cultural cross-fertilization. And the lower division courses would then flow smoothly into, or at least match, the upper division logic, and indeed follow the ideological and intellectual strength of the department.


Almost all of the courses are taught by ladder-rank faculty. The number of lecturers seems to vary between two and five per year, all of them filling in for faculty on leave or for positions left open because of retirements. In any case, the department’s curriculum is workable and sustainable—no over-reaching, fully grounded in the expertise, energies and collective vision of the permanent faculty. The dozen undergraduate students I spoke with found the new upper division requirements sensible and, with diligence, comfortably completed within a normal time to degree; they were less articulate about the lower division. Enrollments As is the case for most departments in the School of Humanities, the enrollment in Art History classes has dropped in the last two years. I received aggregate statistics from the School of Humanities and, from the department, a detailed accounting per course at the lower division over the last decade and the upper division since 2007. The drop is at all levels and across the board. Where between 2003 and 2008 the lower division western sequence reliably enrolled between 330-350 per course (for a high of 1036 in 2006-07), for the last two years it has drawn more than 300 in a course only once and the rest have drawn between 130-255. Last year’s total was 582, this year’s 652, a drop of 44% and 38% from the high of just six years ago. The eastern sequence’s drop is not as precipitous, though still quite noticeable. The Arts of Islam (AH 42D), being offered for the first time this quarter, has drawn just 24. (This is to some degree compensated by the enrollment in Arts of Japan [AH 42C], which now has 240 students, a hundred more than at any time in the last decade. The disparity may simply be the result of students’ unfamiliarity with a new course, where word of mouth hasn’t yet taken hold.) At the upper division, many courses are not reaching an enrollment of 30, which was commonly met in years past. This year, 9 of the 20 courses have not reached enrollments of 20. Faculty were somewhat split in their assessment of the drop, from a few who viewed it as an aberration, including one who viewed the present numbers as the norm from a longterm perspective, to the majority who were more concerned that it might portend something more ominous. The new measurements applied by UCI in evaluating and funding humanities departments may settle the debate. Already the smaller enrollment at the lower division is affecting the graduate program in Visual Studies, which now cannot offer as many teaching assistantships to graduate students; the result is that the most recent entering classes in that program have been among the smallest in its history. The department has taken some initial steps to fathom and stem the change, including polling cognate departments, exploring options for cross-listing courses, imagining ways it could re-name or re-brand itself to catch the eyes of students. (In the matter of cross-listing, the department finds that both the School of Humanities’ process for counting and approving shared courses and the defensive posture of the various academic units, now seeming to compete with each other for bodies, have made working across departments extraordinarily difficult. Here is an opportunity for the Dean’s office to make an immediate impact and help facilitate collaboration and cooperation.)


The long-term plan for finding a more equitable means to measure humanities departments is a School-wide project. But perhaps some smaller suggestions for Art History might be helpful in the short term, both to stimulate enrollment at all levels and to encourage students to consider becoming majors. First, the department might consider offering several seminar-like classes for first-year students, along with its large lower division surveys. This may seem counterintuitive, since lower division classes are often thought of as feeder classes; and the larger the class, the thinking goes, the better the chance of grabbing the attentions of a few. But my experience at other institutions is that small classes often yield just as many students, and often more enthusiastic ones. In the small first-year seminar, one can be amazingly experimental and topical to the needs of the moment: a seminar in art criticism, for example, or one tied to an exhibition at a Los Angeles museum, or a focus on the built environment in southern California, the Asian American experience in art (one would imagine to be a huge draw, given UCI’s student body), art and sustainability, and so on. If after a seminar a student decides to major, that translates into thirteen more courses in the department; if a student minors, which is often the more likely scenario, another six; or if a student simply has his/her mind stimulated, a handful more. That is, the seminar yields not only majors, minors, and enrollment but more excited students attuned to visual things. The department would be offering a liberal arts experience within a university setting; and those kinds of experiences can go a long way. Second, if it is the case that the department maintains its lower division as a series of two distinct (western and eastern) sequences, one alternative for the Arts of Islam is to see it as belonging to both sequences, as indeed Islamic art itself has a strong presence in both traditions. As a corollary, the department might consider altering its requirements at the lower division to allow students to mix and match between the western and eastern sequences. Third, the department might consider reducing the foreign language requirement from two years to one. Of course there is no reason an art history major, with graduate school in mind, cannot take a second (or third or fourth) year of a language; but it prevents so many others, especially transfer students, who can make up a significant portion of majors, and those who have no interest in grad school, from having any kind of flexibility in accommodating a curriculum in Art History with other sorts of intellectual, academic, and career explorations. In this case, more requirements sometimes translate into more exclusiveness rather than inclusiveness. Fourth, the department might more actively promote and also accommodate a junior-year or junior-quarter abroad program. Of the dozen undergraduates I spoke with, only two had gone abroad; but almost all the rest wished they had. For comparison sake, at my home institution, usually half the majors study abroad. It’s one of Art History’s most appealing aspects. There seems to be some confusion among the students about how feasible a study abroad program is, at least from a financial aid point of view. But the department can promote how intellectually and academically feasible it can be, and how much a global emphasis in the curriculum can have resonance today. If it is the case that


the second year of the foreign language requirement is kept, that requirement can be a rather easy thing to fulfill abroad, too. Teaching and Advising My charge included an assessment of the teaching and advising of students and of their outcomes. I was given neither detailed teaching evaluations, syllabuses for courses, nor some sense of oversight of grading. Nor did my time at UCI include visits to classes. I did receive a statistical aggregate for the department and a choice paragraph here and there taken from student responses in the university-wide Undergraduate Experience Survey. For future reviews, I would strongly recommend that time be set aside for the reviewer to visit classes and witness the teaching on the ground, gain a more vivid sense of how facilities are used, the quality of projection equipment and the quality and quantity of image resources—key for Art History—and the energies of students in lectures and discussion sections. The field as a whole is some years past the anxious moments when analogue gave way to digital—or, in the language of Art History, when slides gave way to jpegs and when slide libraries gave way to Information and Technology centers. But problems persist, including access to collections, copyright, and other hurdles in the digital environment; and it would be important to know that the department is getting proper support to teach well. My overall impression, however, is that undergraduate teaching by the permanent faculty is outstanding. Without exception, the students I spoke with gushed about the quality of teaching throughout the department, and the accessibility, professionalism and earnestness of all the faculty. It is clear they adore their teachers. There is a brief mention in the department self-study that worries over the sluggish enrollment being tied to the presence of an unusually large number of visiting lecturers hired during the rush of retirements some years back and, implicitly, that the teaching was below par. I note that several of the low enrolling courses this year are being taught by visitors or lecturers; it may be worth revisiting that earlier worry. I was very surprised to learn that the department is the only one in the School of Humanities to mandate advising among its majors, and that no major can register for classes without first meeting with a faculty advisor. This is standard procedure in most departments I know. At present, the advising is handled by two faculty (a third is on sabbatical), and I am told the assignment rotates through the faculty. This kind of handson advising program is extraordinarily time-consuming and does not seem to be rewarded by the university, but I encourage the department to keep it. Two related activities within the department attest to its commitment to teaching and advising. First, the department recently established the Friends of Art History, an organization that allows the department to raise funds for student internships. It’s a brilliant idea. And second, the students have taken the reins of the Art History Undergraduate Association, formed about five years ago, to organize the beginnings of an honor’s program. They describe the thoughtful guidance of faculty and staff to put the program into place. Such a program might eventually enable more capstone projects,


thesis work, and other large independent specializations. At present, the major requirements allow for but do not especially seem to facilitate these kinds of work; and it remains to be seen how often and successfully students will pursue them. But I am confident the department will attend to such a program earnestly and fold it into the major smoothly. There seems some gap between the students and faculty advisors in the matter of career advising. The advisors told me of a number of discussions and panels they plan each year to orient students and help them think about careers; the students seemed unaware of them. Perhaps some more creative use of the department website and Facebook might help bridge the gap. In addition, there seems no accounting for where majors go after graduation—admittedly, a difficult list to maintain and update—though perhaps the Friends of Art History might be one venue to try to obtain this information. Overall Observations and Recommendations Let me reiterate my admiration for the overall excellence of the faculty and of the department they administer. I have tried to refrain from dwelling on the impact of budget cuts in this review, though it is clear that they are having a severe effect. Resources are stressed, bodies are stretched thin. For one, the administrative cuts have led to a situation in which Caroline McGuire, the MSO, is the department manager for Art History, already a full-time job, but also for Asian American Studies and African American Studies as well. The hiring of Cecilia Flanagan in a part-time capacity as Undergraduate Coordinator has helped, but only to a point. Despite the staff’s efficiency, good will, and strong sense of service, this is an arrangement that cannot easily be maintained for the long term. For another, the inequitable allocation of teaching assistants and, often, the extra work load placed on those graduate students who do land positions—a topic that is explored more fully in the review of the Visual Studies graduate program—is leading to a situation where departments become adversaries rather than collaborators and graduate students are treated as so many bargaining chips or, worse, become abused. I will add a third, and that is the effect on the department’s sense of itself in relation to the School of Humanities. In response to the financial squeeze, the department has hunkered down and simply tried to survive and, for better or worse, perpetuated the silo effect that characterizes relations across the university. Individual faculty certainly have strong connections to other individuals and groups across campus—Lyle Massey and Amy Powell to the Group for the Study of Early Cultures, for example, Bridget Cooks to African American Studies, or Bert Winther-Tamaki to East Asian Studies—but the department as a whole sees its affinities almost exclusively with Film and Media Studies, its partner for the graduate program. One faculty member stated that the issues currently facing the School do not affect Art History. If it is the case that the School is at an important crossroads as it tries to redefine itself for the future, Art History ought to play a role in that—indeed, ought to be encouraged to play a significant role. And if it is the case that the School’s critical theory past gives way to some new intellectual disposition, whether it is organized around global cultures or investigations into the nature of representation, Art History is a natural spokesman. The department, as I say, is strong


and can be an extraordinarily eloquent and, I would wager, willing ambassador for the humanities. I would suggest, therefore, that the department think more aggressively and collaboratively about the future. Perhaps an application for a Distinguished Professor? Perhaps a broad thinker who can help consolidate the “visual turn” that now exists across so many parts of the humanities? If such a person were in place, I would not be surprised if, by the time of the next review a decade from now, the department has become, along with the traditionally strong departments like English and History and the rapidly expanding ones like Film and Media Studies, a key component of a renewed School.


DEPARTMENT OF ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES David K. Yoo Professor of Asian American Studies and Director, Asian American Studies Center UCLA OVERVIEW Over the course of four decades, Asian American Studies (AAS) as part of ethnic studies and other aligned areas of study, has developed experienced much growth as an interdisciplinary field since its beginnings in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The University of California system is a leader in the field with programs on many of its campuses in addition to Irvine: Berkeley, Davis, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and at Riverside and San Diego (Ethnic Studies). While some of the programs in the field today date back to its earliest days (e.g., San Francisco State University), there are many relatively new programs such as the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, the University of Maryland, College Park, University of Texas at Austin, University of Pennsylvania, University of Minnesota, New York University, and the University of Massachusetts. In addition, there are a number of graduate programs, directly in Asian American Studies (e.g., UCLA and SF State) and those housed under other interdisciplinary units such as Ethnic Studies (e.g., UC San Diego, UC Riverside, University of Colorado, Boulder, University of Washington, The Ohio State University) or American Studies (Brown University, University of Michigan, University of Southern California). The scholarship in AAS has grown with the field, marked by two academic journals (Amerasia Journal (UCLA) and the Journal of Asian American Studies (Association of Asian American Studies)) and dedicated series in AAS at university presses such as Hawaii, Illinois, Rutgers, Stanford, Temple, and Washington. The Association of Asian American Studies serves as the professional organization for the field with an annual conference, regional activities, and other programs. AAS is also well-represented in scholarly organizations such as the American Studies Association and across a number of discipline-specific fields like History, Literature, Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Education, and Political Science. By all measures, AAS is a field that has deepened and broadened in its scholarly trajectory, reflecting its theoretical and methodological diversity as well as the changes and issues set into motion within its populations marked by the Immigration Act of 1965, post-1975 refugee populations (especially from Southeast Asia) and post-September 11th. AAS, like ethnic studies in general, has had an-going commitment to the production of knowledge that is just and inclusive and to an agenda of research that is relevant and connected to Asian American communities. At UCI, AAS began as an IDP in 1991, reporting to the Executive Vice Chancellor (EVC), and then, in 1995 reporting to the EVC through the Dean of Humanities. AAS achieved department status in 2002 within the School of the Humanities and established the minor (1996), major (1997), and a Graduate Emphasis (1999), as well as being a


central participant in the Ph.D. Program in Culture and Theory. Since the last review (2004), the department seemed well-situated to grow, but an internal crisis developed in which the three senior faculty members moved their FTE to other units in the aftermath of serious breaches of trust and administration by a senior faculty member. Two other long-term faculty also departed. This proved to be a extremely challenging period, and AAS went into receivership during 2005-06. Fortunately, the remaining ladder rank faculty who were junior (Fujita-Rony, Kim, and Vo) were promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. During a very difficult and vulnerable time, Linda Vo stepped in as chair and did much to stabilize the department. Subsequently, the hires of Assistant Professor Christine Balance in 2008 and Associate Professor James Lee in 2009 have contributed to the intellectual, curricular, and administrative needs of the department, as Professor Lee has provided leadership as chair following Professor Vo’s term. All of the department members and staff should be credited with re-building during a demoralizing and enervating period coupled by the fiscal crisis of 2008. The department has had to spend considerable energy and time on the “Needs Attention” designation (along with other programs in the School of Humanities), and the lack of a clear blueprint from the administration has made it difficult to discern how AAS might move forward from this designation. In spite of this situation, the outlook for the department is better now than it has been for quite some time. Nevertheless, at 4.5 FTE, the UCI AAS Department is simply too small to address a range of inter-related issues that affect almost every aspect of an academic department’s mission. Working to resolve this situation will not only benefit AAS, but also the School of Humanities and the campus as a whole.

FACULTY & RESEARCH As mentioned in the overview, there has been a dramatic shift in the faculty landscape within the department since the last review with the departure of 5 faculty members. The faculty members who have stayed and now are among those with longer tenures (FujitaRony, Kim, and Vo) having published major first books in their respective areas. Given the internal crisis within the department, it is understandable that weathering the internal department storm took its toll on morale and productivity. It should be noted that Associate Professor Linda Vo assumed chair duties not long after receiving tenure under very stressful circumstances. Associate Professors Fujita-Rony, Kim, and Vo are at work on their next major projects. Fujita-Rony continues her work in labor history and its intersections with transnational political economy and migration patterns. Kim’s expertise in comparative race relations has encompassed the linkages between the study of race and animal or species studies. Vo’s research in community development and transformation is grounded in her analysis of Vietnamese Americans in Southern California as well as how interracial relations influence the shaping of Asian American community.


Assistant Professor Balance has brought to UCI AAS strengths in the fields of performance studies and popular culture. She has won a prestigious Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship and is currently working on her research in anticipation of her upcoming tenure review in two years. Associate Professor Lee has been very supportive of the research agendas of the other faculty, at cost to his own established research on urban space and literature and newer projects on the liminal spaces of race and illness. Given his role as chair of AAS and director of the Culture and Theory, Ph.D. program, it will be a challenge for him to find time for his own work, but his service in both programs is vital given where both programs are in the current moment. AAS has been able to build upon the strengths of the Southeast Asian American Archives at UCI through its Vietnamese American Oral History Project (VAOHP). Started in 2011, the project has quickly become a success on many fronts – it has connected oral history methodology, based in the scholarly literature and taught in the classroom, to neighboring Vietnamese American communities. Students have gained research skills and valuable experiences of community-based learning that benefits all involved through civic engagement. The VAOHP also has enabled the AAS Department to work with other units on campus like the library, and the oral histories become a lasting research resource for students, researchers, and communities. Finally, the department is to be commended to cultivation of donors and funding to support this exemplary program.

TEACHING & CURRICULAR ISSUES Undergraduate Education: For a very small department, AAS has a vibrant undergraduate teaching program in which over 1000 students take their courses annually. The limited course evaluation summary data suggest that AAS courses are roughly on par with the rest of the school for the period from Winter 2008-Spring 2012 (Table D10). All of the AAS lower-division courses fulfill General Education requirements in Multicultural Studies with about half the courses also fulfilling GE requirements either in Social and Behavioral Sciences or Arts and Humanities. AAS has been very welcoming of students in these courses as part of its service to the school and university. The concern over lower numbers of majors is something that the department has addressed through reevaluation and recent implementation (Fall 2012) of an expanded and revised curriculum to make more explicit the range of disciplinary approaches within AAS and to give students more choice as they become more familiar with the field. The objective is to boost already health enrollments to give even more students an exposure to the field. Accordingly, upper-division classes have been redesigned to provide more flexibility to encourage students to minor and major in AAS. Graduate Education:


The Graduate Emphasis in Asian American Studies should be a win-win situation for the department and for the school and the university that underscores the value of interdisciplinarity and cross-fertilization of ideas that work against a silo-effect that siphons off creativity instead of tapping existing strengths at UCI to enhance and to promote generative scholarship that crosses disciplines and schools for graduate students in doctoral and master’s programs at UCI. Faculty and graduate students alike benefit from the working across campus, divisions, and disciplines. The current situation is even more disappointing since the graduate emphasis since 2005 has been an important part of the training of some 25 students who have gone on to teaching positions. In many ways, the challenges of the graduate emphasis mirror the issues with the Culture and Theory Ph.D. program, given that Asian American Studies represents one of the three core components. The current chair of Asian American Studies also serves as the director of the Culture and Theory program. Please see the separate report for the Culture & Theory program. In sum, the challenge is that there are not enough faculty members in AAS to support the core courses of the graduate emphasis given the demands of undergraduate teaching and service to other programs. DEPARTMENT STAFFING Lecturers: The number of lecturers has fluctuated with budget cycles, but it is clear that they have helped the AAS Department in terms of covering courses and in expanding the scope of the curriculum. The opportunities for professional development are a welcome dimension of lecturing at UCI. Representation also has helped clarify the role of lecturers on campus. There seems to be a small, but solid sense of community within AAS among the lecturers, especially those who have been able to have more continuity of teaching more than a single class. Support Staff: Although the support staff is shared between several programs, the consensus is that they have done an extraordinary job in coordinating and facilitating departmental business in an efficient, effective, and professional manner. The smooth operations of the department is all the more noteworthy in that staff members are new to AAS and so have had to juggle not only multiple program assignments, but also trainings amidst tending to on-going responsibilities. Staff members noted with appreciation support for professional development that benefits both the department and the individual staff person. Some challenges include the need to create more incentives to retain staff members who may look elsewhere on campus because of compensation issues and additional support that will allow staff members as a whole to be less reactive and more pro-active.


RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DEPARTMENT 1) Strategic Plan for Majors & Minors The AAS Department can do more to develop an intentional plan to recruit more majors such career workshops. The department may want to work with current majors to engage in outreach efforts through the dorms and/or other venues. The department should also evaluate its advising and mentoring functions to see where it might better target potential students to major and minor in Asian American Studies. 2) Streamline of Major/Minor At UCLA, the Provost’s office has recommended that all departments re-examine their major and minor structure to ensure that students can reasonably move through the major/minor in a timely fashion. In some cases, this may mean reducing the overall number of units required for the major and minor. In other cases, it may mean restructuring the major or minor to streamline the process by which students can concentrate in a particular area. Perhaps UCI is also doing this, but it may be something that the AAS Department can consider in light of wider efforts within the School of Humanities. 3) Greater Incorporation of Affiliated Faculty Although affiliate faculty by definition are tangential to the core operations of any department, AAS might think about more creative ways to involve and draw upon affiliate faculty. It would help if the department explores with the school how appropriate incentives might be mounted to more effectively use affiliated faculty in the life of the department.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ADMINISTRATION 1) New FTE Provide at least 3 FTEs, at least one senior and one junior and one searched at open rank, over the next five years to build capacity in the next 5-7 years in the department and to support related programs (e.g., Culture and Theory). It should be noted that these 3 proposed hires represent a minimum simply to put UCI AAS on a footing to address critical concerns within the department and school. These hires also would enable UCI to catch up to AAS programs at the Davis (8 ladder rank faculty) and Santa Barbara (6 ladder rank faculty) campuses. Moreover, these positions do not represent expansion slots, but rather replacement FTE for AAS.


Faculty growth is directly tied to the research profile of the department, curricular offerings and advising/mentoring of students, and service to the department, school and university. Unlike Davis and Santa Barbara, Irvine has the distinct advantage of much more vibrant Asian American communities on and off campus. The Department’s identification and articulation of the need for new hires in the areas of immigration and diaspora/transnational studies as well as comparative race align well with developments within ethnic studies and Asian American Studies. In particular, attention should be paid to the nearby Asian American and Pacific Islander populations in Orange County and in the greater Los Angeles area. Ideally, the senior hire can be at the Full Professor level to relieve some administrative burden.

2) Graduate Emphasis The structural limitation imposed by the current faculty size within AAS has a ripple effect across many other issues within the department. A case in point is that the Graduate Emphasis in AAS suffers because of the lack of faculty to teach its core courses. This is a loss for graduate students across the entire UCI campus and further reinforces the silo-effect of education that is a challenge on so many campuses. School of Humanities constraints have also had a negative effect upon the Graduate Emphasis. By its very interdisciplinary nature, AAS has much to offer graduate education at UCI that is not currently being maximized. That cross-fertilization represents intellectual community-building among graduate students and fits into the original and enduring vision of UCI. Working with a wide range of graduate students can invigorate the teaching and research of the faculty involved. These points for the Graduate Emphasis in AAS also are applicable to the Culture and Theory Program.

3) Departmental Honors Program Like the graduate emphasis, the AAS honors program has been a casualty of the lack of faculty resources. It is recommended that the departmental honors program be reinstated since it will create an important space for majors and minors to deepen their knowledge and skill sets that will in turn, help encourage students to major and minor in AAS. The honors program can help build community among students and provide a platform in which to showcase research and faculty-student collaborations. For instance, the department can better utilize the Southeast Asian American Archives and the VAOHP by incorporating them within the context of the honors program through theses and other capstone projects.

4) Extramural Funding


To build upon the successful VAOHP, the AAS Department, with support from the School of Humanities and University advancement, will need to explore further avenues of extramural funding through grants and private donors. UCI AAS has developed ties with Asian American communities in Orange County and elsewhere and those connections will prove important in helping the department of expand its capacity to bring innovative research, teaching, and programming to campus to the benefit of the entire campus.

CONCLUSION The UCI AAS Department has and continues to have great potential in terms of its standing within the field and its larger contributions to ethnic studies and to the humanities and social sciences. UCI’s proximity to vibrant and growing Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in Orange County and metropolitan Los Angeles along with its student populations puts UCI in an enviable position in terms of its engagement with the field in terms of curriculum, research, and the area of engaged, communitybased scholarship and civic engagement. The department has emerged from a very difficult period and turned the page in terms of moving forward in positive ways, and at this stage, the lack of resources, in particular the size of its core faculty, is directly affecting the department’s ability to address current challenges. Providing more resources will be pivotal in the next 5-7 years to enable the department to achieve greater standing within the field and to increase its vital contributions to the school and university.


Ph.D. PROGRAM IN CULTURE AND THEORY David K. Yoo Professor of Asian American Studies and Director, Asian American Studies Center UCLA OVERVIEW The Ph.D. Program in Culture and Theory welcomed its first group of students in Fall 2007 and so represents a very young graduate program. Building upon the tradition of critical theory at UC Irvine, the Culture and Theory program draws upon African American Studies, Chicano/Latino Studies, Asian American Studies, and Women’s Studies to offer an interdisciplinary program addressing issues of race, gender, and sexuality in relation to diasporas, transnational, and postcolonial contexts. It is difficult to assess the rank of the Culture and Theory program in part because the program is new, but also because it occupies a relatively unique niche. Programs within the UC system that might draw comparison are history of consciousness at Santa Cruz, cultural studies at Davis, and ethnic studies at Berkeley, Riverside, and San Diego. In that sense, Irvine’s program has the advantage of distinctiveness, and yet, faces the challenge of carving out an identity for itself. The healthy number of applicants to the program (89/Fall 2008; 102/Fall 2009; 74/Fall 2011), however, indicates that there is interest, and the program has been careful to admit cohorts of about 4 students per year to manage financial aid and to control for a difficult job market. Time will be the marker of whether the Culture and Theory program is sustainable in the long-term since only one student has graduate thus far, and it is too early to tell whether the program will be able to place its students. There is clearly potential for this program given its component parts, but a number of issues require attention and planning now. Overall, one gets the sense that the program was just under way when the financial crisis of 2008 set into motion constraints that arrested the development of the program that might have occurred in better economic times.

CURRICULUM The program’s strength in being able to draw upon three different programs and also from other parts of the School and University is also its weakness, reflected in the fact that Culture and Theory does not have faculty depth to offer its own core courses. The key issue is not interdisciplinarity, but rather the fact that African American, Asian American, and Women’s Studies programs are themselves small programs that are stretched thin to cover their own internal needs let alone those of Culture and Theory. The responsibility of the faculty members in these programs to offer introductory (general education) and upper division undergraduate classes (for majors and minors) works against their ability to offer graduate courses. Recommendation to Program: Comprehensive Curriculum Plan


Although it will not be easy to do, there is a need for a comprehensive plan for the curriculum in order to ensure that the graduate students will be able to take a core set of courses and electives in a timely fashion and with some predictability. It may be advisable to streamline the core sequence to two classes (versus three) to make offering the core sequence more manageable and to the extent possible, to link the graduate emphases to the curriculum. The curriculum structure will need to be intentional and efficient to navigate successfully the current situation. In addition to the timing of the seminars, there needs to be a vision for how the core courses are to prepare the students in terms of a base or foundation of knowledge that becomes the signature of the Culture and Theory Program. Moreover, it will be important to sync the seminars with how they prepare students to align themselves for their qualifying exams and for their dissertation work. Because the Culture and Theory Program is new, there is an opportunity to think outside the box regarding humanities graduate education. The traditional trajectory that results in a dissertation that will become the basis of the book for a tenure-track position will no doubt continue to be important. At the same time, given the rapidly shifting world of print and digital media and the challenges within American higher education in terms of the shrinking of tenure-track faculty positions, it behooves the Culture and Theory Program to think carefully about how graduate students in the humanities may look to alternative career paths – an issue that cuts across many disciplines and areas of study today.

GRADUATE FUNDING During our external review visit, Dean Van Den Abbeele indicated that the School of Humanities has been able to offer first year and final year (5th year) fellowships with TA assignments during years two through four. This seems aspirational as many Culture and Theory Students are only offered four years of guaranteed support. For most humanities programs, a five-year completion timeline would be a stretch, but four years highly unlikely. Because Culture and Theory students are reliant upon teaching assistantships from the three core programs that support it, they are placed in a more unstable situation that those graduate students in other humanities departments. This means that even for those years in which TAships are considered the core of support, students are subject to ebb and flow of budgets and competition for resources in African American Studies, Asian American Studies and Women’s Studies.


Recommendation to Program: Serious thought will need to be given in terms of reducing the time to degree from seven years to five years. This is needed because of the strain on available funding sources that will continue for the foreseeable future. Recommendation to Administration: Guarantee students five-year financial aid packages with the understanding that the program may only admit a set number of students per year that will be supported by the allocated resources. Moreover, create pathways for Culture and Theory students to access teaching assistantships in the Humanities Core and Composition as well as Chicano/Latino Studies in the Social Sciences. CORE FACULTY While the Culture and Theory Program draws from three programs for its core faculty, it will be important to bring in faculty whose primary responsibility will be to support the Culture and Theory program and secondarily support African American Studies, Asian American Studies, and Women’s Studies. Recommendation to Administration: Ideally, the School could commit tenure-track faculty lines to at least two of the core IDPs and the individuals filling these dedicated lines can take responsibility for directing the Culture and Theory Program on a rotational basis with some provision for other faculty members to step into the director position when appropriate.

RELATIONSHIP WITH CHICANO/LATINO STUDIES The location of Chicano/Latino Studies in Social Sciences would not seem to pose a major structural problem, but in fact, it has created a situation in which student in the Culture and Theory Program who want to work in this area have encountered barriers. A key issue has been the inability of Culture and Theory students to receive teaching assistantships in Chicano/Latino Studies. Recommendation to Program and Administration: The Director of the Culture and Theory Program and the Chair of Chicano/Latino Studies should meet with the Deans of Social Sciences and of Humanities to resolve the issues and ensure cooperation and collaboration.


PROFESSIONALIZATION AND PLACEMENT ISSUES Because the Culture and Theory Program is new and in need of better definition of its niche within the academy, there needs to be an intentionality of how students are being prepared to enter the job market and how they will craft their professional profiles. In part, the work on the curriculum will be important in shaping the professional trajectory of the students and the program. In addition, the program will need to work on how to help students navigate the professional realm beyond UCI, including comprehensive mentoring (CV reviews, mock job talks, writing workshops, etc.) Graduate students have expressed concern over assistance regarding placement, and the concern is perhaps more reflective of the current job market in academia since so few of the students in the program are at the stage of applying for jobs. Nevertheless, the expression of such concern signals an issue that the department and administration should be mindful of in its work of running and supporting the program. Recommendation to the Program: Core faculty within the program will need to think through a multi-pronged strategy regarding the professionalization of the students in the program from courses, TA and teaching opportunities, conference presentations, publication outlets, and job marketrelated preparations. These functions are common to most Ph.D. programs, but will be even more critical to Culture and Theory because it is a new program and also an interdisciplinary one without clear alignment with other interdisciplinary programs. Given the fiscal crisis in higher education that has impacted available faculty positions, the Culture and Theory program (as is the case in many fields) needs to be creative and forward thinking about how its graduates might enter jobs in the governmental sector, non-profit world, and in various industries. Narrowly focusing on traditional tenure-track positions will not serve the needs of students in this program as well as a host of other graduate programs across the humanities. Related to the issue of employment, it is advisable for the program to re-think its capstone project to expand upon the traditional dissertation. In some programs, the focus is more upon a set of publishable articles for journals that will help students to be more competitive on the job market. In other cases, the major research exercise may take other forms such as documentary films or media-related projects and curated exhibitions. Culture and Theory has the advantage of being new and able to flexibly move in multiple directions. Recommendation to Administration: Resources to help build the infrastructure of the program will be key in enabling the Ph.D. program to establish a solid foundation to prepare students to find employment and to develop professionally. These concerns should not only be part of the extracurricular focus on the program, but built into its curriculum as well.


DIVERSITY ISSUES In its brief history, the Culture and Theory program has been able to attract a very diverse set of students into the program and into the School of Humanities graduate student landscape. To the extent that UCI embraces the value of a diverse student body, Culture and Theory is to be commended for its contribution to the diversification of graduate students at UCI and to the professional ranks into which students will enter.

CONCLUSION In the School of Humanities briefing period for the external review team as a whole, a senior UCI administrator commented that the Culture and Theory Ph.D. program has great potential, but that it has been left hanging out there since its creation. The implication is that the program has not received the kind of support needed, a sentiment echoed by faculty and students. The School needs to invest and to properly support a young Ph.D. program that in turn will bring distinctive branding to UCI Humanities in terms of the kinds of intellectual projects it produces as well as how that production of knowledge may take multiple forms that help re-think and re-position how the humanities will engage the academy and settings beyond the university.


Department of Classics David Blank Chair, Department of Classics University of California, Los Angeles The Department of Classics at UCI, in a somewhat precarious situation at the time of the last review of the School of Humanities (2003-4) and in the years immediately following it, has now reestablished itself on a firm footing. It has done this through good management and the dedication of its faculty and staff. The Department teaches a very large number of lower-division students in large lecture courses, while maintaining a range of undergraduate majors and a graduate program. So far, then, it is a story of success. However, the Department struggles to keep up with the demands brought about by this success and is in need of reinforcements. A modest investment in new faculty lines and a small infusion of funds would go far to improve the Department’s standing in the field and, at the same time, allow it to offer more seats to undergraduates in the lower division. Classics is an area study, interdisciplinary at its heart since at least the latter part of the 19th century, when it amalgamated the study of the languages, literatures, history, arts, and cultures of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, and the field has continued to expand its range. Today’s classical scholars have spread their geographical territory to Egypt and the Near East; North Africa; Afghanistan, India, and China; Southern Europe. Their chronological reach now extends from the Early Bronze Age to the Arab Conquests and, beyond that, to the reception of Greece and Rome in many places and media, including the cinema. Even combining their personnel across departments of Classics, Art History, History, Comparative Literature, Religious Studies, Political Science, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, and Philosophy, among others, few universities will be able to field specialists in all these areas, and UCI will never be among those few. In the event, many universities are also losing positions, both in Classics and in related fields, and UCI is no exception. Thus, UCI has lost its only ancient historian to retirement, and it is unclear when or whether History intends to fill that position. There are, fortunately, scholars with interests in classical Greece and Rome in Philosophy (Casey Perin) and Comparative Literature (Susan Jarratt). No meetings were arranged for me with those faculty members, so I can only hope that they are interested in collaborating in the strength of the Classics at UCI. Another scholar, Margaret Miles (Art History) is currently seconded to Greece (for a total of six years, ending 2014), but I am aware that she has a very active interest in UCI’s Classics program and in the Tri-Campus Graduate Program in Classics. The School of Humanities’ ambitions and claim to excellence demand, among other things, that the humanities as a whole and the various departments representing humanities disciplines neither be, nor be seen as, basically providing a service to other schools by teaching writing skills, general education courses, and a few languages at basic levels. At the same time, as the undergraduate enrollment at UCI grows, the


demand for such services grows with it, and humanities departments’ ability to provide them efficiently grows in importance. Since the early 1990s, the UC system has weathered several financial crises. During the most recent of these, the system’s dependence on income from student tuition has overtaken the funding it receives from the State of California, enrollments have grown, and departments have been called upon to increase the student credit hours they teach, while cutting budgets. The UCI Classics Department has responded to the crisis in different ways. In particular, the Department has this year taken over the management of the Humanities Language Learning Program, effectively giving about 20% of the time of its Manager and of the Lecturer SOE to that Program. More broadly, the Department has focused its energies on providing a maximum number of places in its lower division courses, giving it a very high ratio of student credit hours to faculty. The faculty have been stretched to the limit and beyond by teaching both service and program courses, while also providing a substantial number of tutorials, in part to make up for the limited number of regular courses that can be offered; in addition, they regularly teach in the Humanities Core. At the time of the last review, the Classics Department was in a transitional state. It had 3.5 ladder faculty and one Lecturer SOE; of the ladder faculty, one was a Full Professor at 50% Classics, 50% Thesaurus Linguae Graecae; the other Full Professor was about to retire; two Assistant Professors rounded out the ladder faculty. The Department had numbered as many as 8 FTE in the past, but suffered in the VERIPs of the 90s. In the years immediately following the review, the faculty’s size fluctuated somewhat, going as low as 2.5 FTE. It is now again about the size it was in 2003-4: 1.5 Full Professors (Maria Pantelia, who also directs the TLG; James Porter, newly hired in 2007-8 after a lengthy search), three Associate Professors (Andrew Zissos, who had been at Irvine for the last review; Zina Giannopoulou and Andromache Karanika, who arrived in 2005-6 and 2006-7 and were recently tenured), and the continuing Lecturer SOE (Cynthia Claxton); there is also usually one temporary lecturer FTE to help with teaching. With staffing levels this low, the UCI Department of Classics could not begin to cover anything like the scope of the field of Classics today. Its faculty members do, however, offer considerable strengths in Greek literature, Imperial Latin poetry, gender studies, digital work in Classics, and classical reception. These faculty members are responsible for a three-pronged undergraduate major in Classics, and in addition, they host the TriCampus Graduate Program in Classics which also involves faculty from Riverside and San Diego. Undergraduate Programs The Classics Department offers three year-long sequences of lower division courses in Classical Civilization, thereby serving both its own interests by enticing majors and, most especially, the interests of the University. The three courses in Classical Mythology (45A The Gods, B The Heroes, C Ancient and Modern Perspectives of Classical Mythology) are its largest offering. Taught each year, they enroll 400 students each term and could enroll many more, if funding for additional instructors were available; Professor Pantelia has also begun offering 45A in an online version and is keen to continue to experiment


with this in different formats. She would like to develop an online course in Greek and Latin Medical Terminology, which would certainly be a big draw for enrollments, but she has not so far been able to be released from other duties, which would give her time to develop such a course. Perhaps there might be funding available from the School for course releases for development of online instruction, particularly given the recent initiatives in this area from the Governor and Legislature. The sequences in The Formation of Ancient Greek Society (36A Early Greece, B Late Archaic and Classical Greece, C Fourth-Century and Hellenistic Greece) and The Formation of Ancient Roman Society (37A Origins to Roman Republic, B Roman Empire, C Roman Legacy) are smaller, capped at 180 and enrolling ca. 150 each term, and are taught in alternate years, due to lack of available faculty. It is apparent that the Department is performing a tremendous service to the University by offering these courses with such high enrollments and such frequency. The syllabi look good, with substantial readings, and the faculty are clearly concerned that they work well. It is somewhat worrisome that the sections in these classes are large, with enrollment caps of 45-55, in itself not an optimal size to encourage discussion (I should have thought 25 a more suitable maximum). Further, since each TA has two such sections, they may have rather a large group of students to cope with. Accordingly, there are no independent writing assignments for these courses, and examinations, five for the Mythology class each term and three for the Formation of Greek and Roman Culture classes, can include only a brief essay, in addition to multiple-choice or short-answer questions. The Department offers an undergraduate major in Classics, with emphases in Greek and Latin Language and Literature, Latin Language and Literature, or Classical Civilization. As indicated in the Self-Study, the Department offers majors and minors the advantage of small classes and excellent opportunities for interaction with faculty. The severely overstretched faculty can only offer a couple of upper-division lecture courses in Classical Civilization each term (sometimes only one!), along with the Capstone seminar. Greek and Latin offerings are restricted to the three-quarter introductory sequences in each language, along with one course in each language each term combining serving students in both the second and third years of study of that language. In addition to these regularly scheduled courses, there appears to be an opportunity for students to sign up for ‘special studies’ courses in either of the languages or in a specific area of Classical Civilization; these are, of course, another strain on the faculty’s time and therefore somewhat limited, though the faculty do their best to satisfy student demand. The upper division courses in Classical Civilization offer opportunities for various kinds of assignments, including essays, and these are apparently used successfully in such classes. Between these classes, the special studies classes, and the Capstone seminar, in which the students work intensively with faculty over a two terms on a research project, the major can well justify its claim to prepare students well in key areas, such as writing and presentation skills, close reading of texts and analysis. No undergraduates from the emphasis on Classical Civilization met with me, but it is clear from the active undergraduate Classics Club and the Classics Honor Society, both tended by the excellent undergraduate adviser, Cynthia Claxton, that students are engaged in their major.


Certainly, the two language majors I met were very pleased with the quality of teaching and advising they have received—majors are assigned individual advisers in the Department. The Capstone Seminar has been a great addition to the major, playing to the Department’s strong suit of giving individual attention to students. It has also complemented the Department’s strong reputation for innovation and breadth, as final projects have included not only papers, but also the drafting of school curricula, a video game of the Oresteia, and a museum catalogue. It would perhaps be good if the Department’s webpage featured some of these student projects on a regular basis. The 2004 review queried whether the combined second/third-year language courses would prove to be a satisfactory expedient, or not. The Department is pleased with the way in which they have worked, and the two language majors I interviewed seemed pleased overall, while expressing some concern about the different levels of linguistic competence of the students in these classes. The situation is, apparently, saved by the willingness of the faculty to do extra readings with the most advanced students, who can also progress to special studies courses one-on-one with faculty. The second/third-year language courses now read either prose or poetry for the full year, but the Department believes that they will serve students better by mixing prose and poetry, and I think that arrangement will be tried next year, a move I fully support. The Department also offers minors in Greek, Latin, Classical Civilization, and Archaeology. These seem to be well thought-out and should be beneficial to students who fulfill their requirements. The Department has recently had an average of about 20 majors. I should not expect the majors or minors in Classics to become large, useful as they likely are to students preparing for a variety of future endeavors, such as law or medical school; Classics majors around the country tend to be on the small side, even while lower division enrollments soar. On the other hand, with the current levels of staffing, I do not think that larger cohorts of majors or minors could easily be handled by the Department, given its inability to staff a greater number or variety of upper division courses at present. Again, an increase in staffing here would have an effect beyond the Classics Department, since the courses in question typically enroll ca. 35 students, including a large number of majors from other Departments, such as English. Numbers in these classes, as well as for the major itself, might also increase, if more first- and second-year undergraduates were able to enroll in the lower division classes, especially the Mythology series, since past experience has shown that students are drawn to take upper division courses in Classics after an initial experience with Mythology. Outcomes Assessment has begun within the Department and is being implemented gradually and with care. One course is being assessed each year, beginning last year with a writing-intensive course enrolling about 35 students; this year a Greek course will be assessed. The Outcomes and goals formulated by the Department seem appropriate and to


a large extent testable. Outcomes for the major rely heavily on the Capstone projects, which is entirely correct. Recommendations: 1) Explore ways of reducing the size of sections in the large lecture courses, which may require more TAships, perhaps some drawn from other departments, if competent students are available. 2) Implement the planned mixing of prose and poetry in the second/third-year language courses. 3) Consider the creation of an Undergraduate Affairs Committee which would meet regularly to consider the state of the Program and its responsiveness to the changing needs of the students. Such a Committee would also serve to give interested faculty a greater chance to be involved in the Program’s development and to propose new undergraduate courses, while allowing the current Undergraduate Advisor to continue her fine work. The Committee might also be given a role in mentoring and monitoring temporary lecturers, ensuring that they are confident in their understanding of administrative procedures and of the Department’s goals for the classes they have been assigned. 4) The Department needs to be reassured by the Administration that its work in maintaining a high number of Student Credit Hours in large classes will allow it to continue to teach small—or even very small—classes in Greek and Latin. At present, there is great uncertainty about whether the Department might be required to cancel courses which do not meet a certain minimum enrollment. The Tri-Campus Graduate Program in Classics The UCI Department of Classics is home to the Tri-Campus Graduate Program (TCGP), founded in 1998 and administered by a Joint Executive Committee composed of faculty from Irvine, Riverside, and San Diego. The Program began when the UCI Classics faculty had been greatly reduced in size, so that it could no longer continue its M.A. and Ph.D. programs on its own. Its architects had the innovative idea of combining faculty across various departments and campuses, as classicists were teaching at UCR in Literature, Philosophy, and History, at UCSD in Literature, Philosophy, History, Art History. Two graduate courses are offered by the Program each term, usually one taught by a UCI faculty member, one by a faculty member from a different campus. Graduate students apply to the TCGP and matriculate as graduate students on the Irvine campus. Fellowships are provided mostly by the Irvine campus, as are TAships, though Riverside has also played an active role, providing fellowships for some students, along with some TAships. The idea behind the TCGP still seems a good one, allowing faculty in disparate departments access to a pool of students trained in Greek and Latin, which they might not find among graduate students in their own departments. The UCI Classics faculty are very committed to the Program and form the backbone of its teaching staff. Some faculty


on other campuses have also manifested an intense and continuing commitment to the Program, particularly the Literature Chair at UCR, Tom Scanlon, and the past and present Chairs of the Program’s own Joint Executive Committee (JEC), Tony Edwards of UCSD Literature and Michele Salzman of UCR History. The Program was originally designed to emphasize interdisciplinarity and theory (200ABC), and digital work (201) in Classics, capitalizing on strengths of the campuses, especially those of Irvine, to give the Program a distinctive—and distinctively modern— coloration and place in the market. Over time, however, staff shortages have made the offering of the core courses infrequent. Both students and faculty felt that these core courses ought also to be taught at a higher level than was possible when they were viewed as a common introduction to the Program. Thus, students have been encouraged to fulfill the theory requirement by taking appropriate courses offered in other departments, something UCI, thankfully, is not short on. At the same time, students feel that their preparation for examinations is left up to them, while the courses offered have little relation to the examinations, which focus on translation from a list of Greek and Latin texts, an overview of the history of Greek and Latin literatures, and a survey of Greek and Roman history. I agreed with the students’ point of view and discussed this with faculty members, who have themselves come to think that the declining core course sequence can be substituted by a new sequence for the first two years of study, perhaps consisting of a survey of literature, including extensive readings from the required list; a ‘proseminar’ designed to introduce students to the breadth of fields and methods used by classicists, and a prose composition course. While new to the TCGP, these are well tested options: some programs make a series of such courses the basis of their M.A. programs. In my opinion, such a change would be good for the Program, which would then be able to shore up its distinctive attributes in theory and digital humanities in more advanced courses. The Program’s working relationship with the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, one of the oldest, most highly developed, and useful digital projects in the Humanities, built and still housed at Irvine, should be important in this respect. Indeed, there is a TLG fellowship for a graduate student in the Program, and the TLG’s offices serve as a place for some students to study and gather. In addition, Professors Professors Porter and Giannopoulou already contribute to the Critical Theory Emphasis, binding the TCGP to UCI’s strengths in critical theory. There are, for example, 12 students in Porter’s seminar on theory, half from Classics and half from other departments, and the students have benefited from this mix. The offering of a certificate in Comparative Literature for the Classics students is also a good step in this direction. Again, the Irvine Department has been cut to the bone while prioritizing its lower division offerings. If new courses are to be required and their content or nature specified to a certain extent, they will be less attractive for faculty not deeply committed to the success of the TCGP qua program to teach and may fall largely to the UCI faculty. In addition, the contributing institutions as a whole are woefully short on specialists in Latin literature, especially of the Republican period. An unfilled faculty line in that field at UCI must be opened by the administration and filled as a top priority. I should also say that


the Program is in dire need of historians, as well, and the appointment of an ancient historian (perhaps with a strength in Roman history, as a Greek historian has now been hired at Riverside) should also be a priority for the Irvine campus: it is shameful for a campus of 22,000+ undergraduates, where the Classics Department attracts so many students and has an active graduate program not to have an ancient historian. Such an appointment could perhaps best be made either in the Classics Department or jointly with History. If the planned expansion of the UCI faculty allows, a further enhancement would be a faculty member working in Classics and Digital Humanities, perhaps one with interest in geographical, topographical, or archaeological studies, who would complement the strength already present at the TLG. The idea of maximizing faculty resources and the availability of students across three campuses is still a good one, perhaps now more than ever. Some practical problems have arisen in its implementation, both administrative and instructional. Administrative procedures for enrolling students on different campuses have not always been clear to either students or their advisers, and this has caused some difficulties for students. A couple of students have had to transfer their matriculation from UCI to UCR, which seems to violate the original intention of an intercampus program, besides causing a certain amount of confusion over the student’s status and the procedures to be followed. Again, courses taught for the TCGP on other campuses have at times only been given credit when listed on the students’ transcripts as independent study courses taken at their home campus. On the academic side, some seminars have been taught at UCR and UCSD as part of the TCGP’s slate of courses, while also serving students from other programs, e.g., History at UCR or Philosophy at UCSD. Such seminars are an enrichment to the Program, though they cause some grumbling on the part of the students, who have to travel to the other campuses and to arrange their schedules accordingly. A seminar was held by teleconference from UCR in Winter Quarter 2013. This experiment has revealed some shortcomings in the implementation of what would otherwise seem a good answer to the problems of either faculty or students having to travel for seminars. First, there are some technical flaws in the teleconferencing systems used (though they were managed professionally at both ends). I am uncertain of the extent to which these bugs can be fixed or are inherent in the system, such as a one to two second time-lag, and to what extent greater familiarity with teleconferencing will produce protocols allowing the participants to alleviate its awkwardness. Second, the students felt somewhat estranged from the instructor and the course, as they had never met the instructor face-to-face and never had individual advising sessions with her. My discussions with the Chair have found a desire on the Department’s part to continue to experiment with teleconferencing, but to require two or three sessions in which the class meets in the same room with the instructor, so as to establish an initial rapport and goodwill, which can then be maintained both virtually and in person. To some extent, the problems and alternatives mentioned above have come to the fore as the TCGP has matured, with larger cohorts of students making more consistent progress to degrees than was the case in the earliest years: these are all signs of success. Due to support from the UCI and UCR administrations, all students entering the Program now have fellowship support in their first year. Successful lower division courses have


allowed the Program to offer students multi-year packages of support including guarantees of TAship. Such means of support are necessary if a graduate program is to be competitive. To be more competitive, additional funding, perhaps through outside fundraising activities, should be found to support research projects and attendance at some of the many special seminars held around the world during the summers. Programs such as those at the American Academy in Rome, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, the American Numismatic Society, the American Society of Papyrologists, not to mention old favorites such as the Goethe Institut, are very important in opening new paths for young classicists. The Program’s rate of completion of the Ph.D. has recently picked up notably, and recent graduates have fared pretty well in the punishing post-fiscal crisis job market. It is difficult to say just where the TCGP should now be ranked among Classics graduate programs in the U.S. It is smaller than the Departments at the University of Washington, Wisconsin, or Minnesota and has a far shorter record of achievement. Yet it is not difficult to think that, with some of the planned and hoped-for enhancements, it might rise above the level of those programs. At present, I should think the TCGP was about at the level of the older and better-funded Ph.D. program at UCSB, though the latter also has a very highly respected M.A. program which stands on its own. It should be ranked higher than programs at SUNY Buffalo or Johns Hopkins. Recommendations: 1) The Program and its unique organization should be better understood by those staff and administrators who have to deal with it, so that they can standardize and streamline procedures, particularly those involving the enrollment of students in courses and their registration as graduate students on another campus, when necessary: this should, ideally, not be necessary. I recommend that the Joint Executive Committee consider where the administrative bottlenecks lie and what they would like to see done about them, then try to arrange a meeting with representatives from the graduate registrars on all three campuses. Once procedures have been clearly worked out and standardized, they should go into the TCGP’s student Handbook. 2) The Program allows faculty on the Riverside and San Diego campuses access to something a number of them would like to have: graduate students trained in Greek and Latin. While the Riverside Dean has embraced this idea, the San Diego Dean has not, feeling, apparently, that his campus does not benefit from the Program, which he views as belonging to UCI. It would be good if the Deans at all three campuses could be brought together, perhaps with interested faculty, or in some other way, if the UCSD Dean could be persuaded of the Program’s interest and utility. For a very small investment of funds, UCSD faculty would be able to teach their specialties, perhaps attracting some to write theses with them. Considerations of economical maximization of resources, especially available faculty, ought also to be pressed, perhaps by the Deans in cooperation with the JEC, at the level of the UC System as a whole. UC ought to provide support for the TCGP, given that it could serve as a model for other disciplines suffering losses in instructional staff at various campuses, and that it functions in some ways


similarly to Multi-Campus Research Groups, but with an actual instructional program as well. 3) The Program should return to its original intention of hosting at least one, or preferably two annual events bringing together interested faculty and students from the various campuses and disciplines. This was already a recommendation in the previous Review, where the good suggestion was made to use such events to have in-progress research talks, one by a faculty member, one by a graduate student. 4) There should be a town-hall meeting of the UCI Chair and Graduate Adviser with all graduate students, probably semi-annually. Such meetings would allow students to make suggestions and assessments of the current operation of the Program. It would also give the student representatives material to present at the JEC’s meetings and greater confidence in presenting it. One type of question that could profitably be discussed in such a town-hall meeting would be the current structure in which all students take certain examinations at the same point in their careers: is this necessary, or should students be allowed to schedule different examinations according to their own particular levels of preparation? 5) To address the differing levels of preparation in Greek and Latin of entering graduate students and to ease the current disjunction between their reading list examination, for which they prepare entirely on their own, and their coursework, it would be good if survey courses involving reading across a range of Greek or Latin authors were taught, at least occasionally (some programs make such courses the basis of their M.A. preparation). If staffing will not allow regular offering of such courses, it would be good to have graduate seminar instructors ensure that a certain amount of Greek or Latin is both read and translated in class. I am now told that the Program is considering, in part spurred by the review process, revising its requirements and offerings, so as to abolish the current 200ABC series of core classes in theory in favor of a new introductory series consisting of (perhaps) a survey course in reading Greek and Latin, a ‘proseminar’ style (perhaps team-taught) course introducing the various disciplines and types of source material of interest to classicists, and a course in prose composition. Details of this proposal are yet to be worked out by the Joint Executive Committee, but they seem to be going in the right direction. 6) The Department is in urgent need of reinforcement. It is imperative that the unfilled line for a Latinist be filled, and soon. After that, an ancient historian is sorely needed, perhaps one concentrating in Roman History. A third position, perhaps for a scholar with a digital bent, would bring the Department to a size more commensurate with its presence in undergraduate teaching at UCI and its role in the Tri-Campus Graduate Program. Departmental Governance and Atmosphere: The Department has suffered a good deal from the uncertainties of the past few financial crises, a perceived lack of leadership before the advent of the new Dean of Humanities,


and the lack of assurance from the SOH that its efforts would be recognized and rewarded. Professor Zissos has served as Chair for five years under very difficult conditions, marked by an almost constant fight to preserve or receive funding. In my opinion, he has done very well in preserving the core instructional mission of the Department and serving the interests of the School by providing a large number of seats in lower division classes. But the Department has been doing the latter on spec all this time, with no reward in terms of extra-seat funding for temporary lecturers. The only advantage reaped so far from the Department’s efforts on the lower division front has been additional TAships. That is a welcome addition, but not nearly enough. On the contrary, things have got so bad that faculty have been unable to take accrued sabbatical, since there is no funding to replace their teaching (apparently, if a sabbatical is taken at full salary, no salary-savings return to the SOH and nothing is given to the Department to replace the lost teaching). The SOH must have funds to rectify this unsustainable situation, perhaps deriving from the extra enrollments it is experiencing at present. The Department’s operating budget for expenses (other than salaries) is now $9,000 per annum. It has some funds in the bank from earnings distributed from Summer Sessions in the distant past, while such distributions were entirely curtailed for two years, then given again at 25% last year, amounting to $4,000. It has been asked to produce a plan to cut 5% or 10% of its expenses (including salaries) in the near future. In view of its banked surplus, the Department is considering forfeiting its entire operating budget to cover the cuts. I think that such a cut would be very damaging and is unjustifiable. First, the Department has been more than earning its keep. Second, it has devoted both staff and faculty time to the management of the HLLP, which should be calculated in lieu of a budget cut. Third, the atmosphere in the Department would be substantially improved by some additional spending on social and academic events such as lectures by outside speakers, conferences, coffee-hours, work-in-progress brown-bag lunches, etc. A prior Dean apparently imposed a limit of $300 in expenditures on bringing in outside lecturers, which limited visitors to friends who happened to be passing through the area. This restriction has now been lifted, and the Department should take advantage of its new freedom, to the extent that its finances allow. In its prior quarters, the Department enjoyed a common area which promoted a social atmosphere and good interaction between and among both students and faculty. Such a space is sorely missed in the Department’s new building, however adequate the new quarters are in other respects. Both students and faculty expressed a need for greater social or social-cum-academic interaction, and I believe that fostering occasions for this would do good all around. This could involve a policy encouraging open office doors, along with an increase in guest lectures and conferences, and the institution of work-inprogress lunches or coffee-hours. It is understandable that, in a period of constant crisis, the Department has avoided holding many faculty meetings, in which faculty might just become despondent over the situation. However, both Assistant Professors hired since the last review have now been


promoted to tenure and should now be eligible to participate more fully in Departmental governance and service. In addition, the projects now contemplated by the Department, including changes in undergraduate and graduate programs, new social occasions, and the possible hiring of new faculty, make this a good time to regroup and to re-establish Departmental governance as an ongoing project regularly shared by all faculty and with participation by graduate students, where appropriate. Recommendations: 1) It would be good if the Administration communicated better with departments. Departments seem to get the impression from the Administration that all news is dire and that the School and University lurch from one crisis to another, each one precipitating a new war for resources, which could result in all or nothing treatment of programs. Departments need to be able to plan, which requires rather that the Administration send a message of capability and stability, that new developments, while difficult, will be managed without the institution of a competition of all against all. As it is, departments often have not been given a transparent accounting of the School’s situation and plans, nor an indication of what sort of response would be likely to follow any initiatives a department might undertake. These problems of communication are manifest in the results of the faculty survey, as well as in the comments of all those I interviewed in the Classics Department. The new Dean, however, seems to be aware of the difficulties, and there is great hope in the Classics Department that matters will improve under his leadership. 2) In recognition of the Classics Department’s role in the School and its assumption of management responsibilities for HLLP, further budget cuts should not be demanded of it. 3) The faculty should meet more frequently and reinforce its committee structure to aid the perception that Departmental governance is a common enterprise. Committees should be given annual charges by the Chair, and where they are charged with spending Departmental funds, they should be given rough estimates of the budgets within which they should work. An Undergraduate Affairs Committee and a Committee on Lectures and Special Events might be especially useful at this time. 4) The Department should foster more occasions for social and academic interaction among faculty and students. -------------------Appendix: The Humanities Language Learning Program (HLLP: http://www.humanities.uci.edu/hllp/program/persian.php) The HLLP was not specifically mentioned as part of the purview of this review, nor did the Academic Planning Board seem aware of its existence. Since the Department was, at the last minute, told by the Dean’s Office to arrange an interview for me with the HLLP’s Director, and since its management now falls to the Classics Department, I thought I should include it here in an additional note. The HLLP currently has within its purview instruction in a number of languages common among heritage speakers in the UCI


community, viz., Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Vietnamese (Russian instruction has now lodged in the Department of European Languages). Of these languages, the most active on campus (with an endowed Institute for Persian Studies) and also the best supported, with substantial ongoing funding from the community, is Persian, followed by Vietnamese, Arabic, then Hebrew. At present, there are introductory courses in Arabic, Persian, and Vietnamese, and intermediate courses in Persian and Vietnamese, while Hebrew has lapsed (temporarily, it is hoped). The original management of the HLLP has yielded this year to new management, under the aegis of the Classics Department. The Director is Cynthia Claxton, while Sherry Miller is the Manager. Each spends about 20% of her time working on the HLLP, which was, apparently, in serious need of reorganization. The new team is dedicated to continuing and enhancing the HLLP and its various offerings. There is now, for example, a course in Iranian Film and Fiction, and Dr. Claxton thinks there would be room to institute courses in the cultures of the other linguistic communities covered by the HLLP in the near future. To do this will require fundraising expertise, and it is hoped that the University’s Development Office will assist in this, along with liaisons between the campus and local communities. One possibility raised by the Director would be to involve the local community by sponsoring cultural events, such as showings of films, then use these as occasions to organize further involvement and giving. All these initiatives contemplated by Dr. Claxton should be encouraged, in my opinion. Thus far, there seems to have been no negative effect on the operation of the Classics Department from the addition of HLLP to its responsibilities. The Manager is being compensated with a stipend, though perhaps reclassification might be in order; the Director receives a course-release for her administrative r


Department of Comparative Literature John Hamilton Professor of Comparative Literature Harvard University The Department of Comparative Literature at UCI has long enjoyed a stellar reputation worldwide, recognized particularly as a trailblazer in Critical Theory and Postcolonial Studies. It is commonly regarded as having played a key and vital role in the brilliant success of the university’s Critical Theory Institute (CTI) as well as the International Center for Writing and Translation (ICWT), which flourished under the directorship of Ngugi wa Thiong’o, and the very presence of the UC Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI), currently directed by David Goldberg at UCI—all of which have earned the department a truly global distinction. Indeed, it is hardly an exaggeration to say that Comparative Literature at UCI is viewed as one of the most vibrant and forward-looking departments in the country. Upon visiting the department, I could immediately see that the department would live up to my high expectations. Over the course of my interviews and meetings, I got to know a dynamic and exceptionally engaged faculty, enthusiastic and talented undergraduate majors, and first-rate graduate students doing innovative and consistently interesting work. Clearly, there remains need for enhancement and refurbishing, particularly in the wake of Jonathan Hall and Dina Al-Kassim’s recent departures, which have had serious consequences in course offerings and advising. All the same, the department’s primary focus on critical theory and postcolonial studies certainly continues to thrive, while also expanding into areas that are truly path-breaking. Whereas other leading programs are just beginning to incorporate literature from Africa, East and South Asia, and the Middle East, UCI has all along been offering a healthy array of courses in all these areas. The Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture, directed by Nasrin Rahimieh, has earned international prestige and is exemplary of the novel and crucial contributions UCI is making to the study of Comparative Literature in the US. Feminist criticism, queer theory, performance theory, and world literature are all decently represented. In addition, the department remains committed to teaching in the more traditional literary histories of Europe and the Americas and in established methodologies, for example, rhetoric, narratology, and media studies. In speaking with both undergraduate and graduate students, it is clear that fresh areas of inquiry have profoundly intensified the study of more canonical materials. Still, I would hope that at least a couple of new faculty hires could be approved, so as to maintain the high standards for which the department is known and respected. To be sure, academically and intellectually, Comparative Literature at UCI is flourishing. In terms of departmental morale, however, there remains the stigma of the notorious “needs attention” designation, which has recently circulated in the central administration. Faculty and students alike consider this assessment to be particularly unjust, created on the basis of shifting criteria and tendentious quantitative data. Although I am not in a


position to test fully the validity of this designation, I can, as an external observer, readily observe the effects it has had on the program as a whole; and I find it extremely difficult to discover anything positive about it. On the contrary, those working in the department point to obvious policy consequences, particularly with decisions concerning new faculty hires and the allocation of much-needed resources. If I understand my charge correctly, it is clear that this designation should be eradicated altogether, for the simple reason that it is counter-productive, that it threatens to stifle the growth and enhancement of this valiant department and thereby weakens its capacity to make important and lasting contributions to the School of the Humanities and the university in general. To my mind, the department’s merits cannot be questioned. The major, which has recently specified three distinct tracks (Comparative Literature and Critical Theory, Cultural Studies, and World Literature), is a model for undergraduate education, providing students with all the crucial skills one would expect of a top-rate Humanities program. In addition to introducing majors to a wealth of literary and cultural texts in a broad range of media and genres, the courses cultivate key critical and theoretical approaches, which enable students to refine a basic aesthetic sensibility, to devise interpretive arguments, to formulate innovative questions, and to pursue interdisciplinary ramifications. Moreover, work in at least one non-English language and explicit emphasis on the role of translation inspire a profound awareness of cultural difference and the varied consequences of living in a pluralist environment. In brief, the Comparative Literature major learns how to engage with his or her world in a more theoretically informed and critically astute fashion. Since the department split off from English in 2004, it has worked hard to clarify its aims and objectives. The curriculum features a healthy mix of lower- and upper-division courses, including the central sequence (CL 60A, B, and C), which serves as the basis for concentration, and a “capstone” seminar (CL 190), which allows every major to investigate a special field of study and written project. In reviewing the course offerings, I was struck by the breadth of theoretical and disciplinary approaches—a testament to the way in which Comparative Literature at Irvine can build bridges to other departments not only in the Humanities but in the Social Sciences as well. Whereas the lower-division courses clearly attract freshmen, sophomores, and non-majors, the upper-division offerings serve older students well, especially those—roughly two-third—who plan to move into an academic career. Here, the department has been quite successful, with students entering doctoral programs both in the UC system and in many of the nation’s prestigious universities. Although most continue to work in Comparative Literature, it is important to stress that some have gone on to do graduate work in Counseling Psychology, Education, Law, and Nursing. Apart from academia, there are students who have begun careers in administration, public relations firms, publishing, and even clinical research. This range of options speaks volumes about the program’s strengths and its ability to train engaged citizens of the world. Upon falling to a disheartening low of 24 majors in 2009, the number has steadily risen, which counters the persistent trend of lower enrollments in the Humanities as a whole. To be sure, speaking from a national perspective, comparative literature has never boasted a


large amount of majors. The field has historically drawn a special kind of student, one who is sufficiently self-motivated to take advantage of the rich host of options and opportunities for individual work. At Irvine, Comparative Literature certainly understands the value of individualized study, with decisive input from faculty and graduate student mentorship. Adriana Johnson is a caring and altogether devoted director who ably maintains a platform for this all-important interaction (absolutely crucial work that should be rewarded with some course relief). One undergraduate whom I interviewed switched from Political Science to Comp Lit precisely because she desired more integration with the faculty. In cases like this, small class sizes constitute an obvious strength rather than an embarrassing failure. Although it would be wonderful if the number of majors increased to 50 or 60, it would be a mistake to interpret mere quantities as a comment on quality. The Comp Lit major stands to benefit greatly from the kind of attention that a small department is able to devote to a select group of talented and inquisitive young scholars. On this basis, the annual Critical Theory conference, which is organized through the Koehn Assistantship in Critical Theory and serves as an ideal venue for undergraduates to present their own work, has over the years consistently included sound representation from the department. The faculty has stepped up its efforts to design an exciting array of innovative courses, which have been attracting a fair number of non-majors. This effort in particular demonstrates that the department takes seriously its commitment to serve the undergraduate community. It is noteworthy that Comp Lit has become the site for crucial exchanges on highly topical issues within the college. For example, Rei Terada’s 2010 course on “Civil Disobedience” provided a critical occasion to discuss and assess the protests sparked by the UC budget crises, in the same way that her 2012 class, “Occupy/Decolonize,” gave students an opportunity to think through the global Occupy movements. Together with Eyal Amiran’s course entitled “Police/State,” these offerings, which feature strong collaborative input among the faculty, underscore how Comp Lit has become a vital resource for undergraduates to reflect seriously and rigorously on their roles as concerned participants in democratic debate. In a related key, the department’s proactive initiative to build connections with local community colleges, spearheaded by Adriana Johnson’s vision, is laudable and has already reaped clear benefits, especially given the fact that, in general, the field of comparative literature is not as instantly recognizable as other disciplines. Efforts like this work in concert with the department’s intention to attract more minors and increase enrollments—efforts that should be concretely rewarded with further resources and encouragement by the Humanities division. There seems to be too many unnecessary impediments to cross-listing, obstacles that prevent Comp Lit to reach out to a broader community. It would be in the best interest of all to facilitate cross-listing—a practice that has always been a major component of comparative literary study—not only within the Humanities but also between schools. In speaking with faculty, I could sense an earnest desire to develop exciting courses that focus on literature’s relationships with the health sciences, with social sciences, with education and law.


One particular issue that should be addressed is the English department’s recent decision to restrict its students from taking Comp Lit courses for credit toward their major. Such barriers make little sense and appear to stem from the somewhat avaricious climate produced by the administration’s quantitative method for budgetary decisions. With each Humanities department and program scrambling to attract a limited amount of students for enrollments and majors, that is, for the kinds of numbers that would motivate greater allocations, this type of territorial thinking may well be understandable but it hardly strengthens the division at large. UCI was formed by the noble ideal of interdisciplinarity that Comp Lit has always cultivated. As is true in colleges across the nation, setting up departmental restrictions threatens to cause Comp Lit to wither, insofar as this field, perhaps more than others, draws sustenance from interrelationships, cross-fertilization, and intellectual exchange. Collaboration is the key to success, and not only for Comp Lit. With the division and the university’s support, it could capitalize on the Humanities spectacular opportunities and thereby serve the needs and expectations of student constituencies from across all the schools. A step in the right direction would be to persuade the English department to allow portions of the introductory sequence in Comp Lit (60A, B, and C) to count toward its major. Further to this end, I would recommend more participation in the Core Humanities courses by Comp Lit faculty. Large lecture courses in other departments may also be capped to allow greater distribution among undergraduate enrollments. The emphasis on World Literature, which is a recent development in the department, should be cultivated, perhaps by establishing a line for a new hire in this burgeoning field. Translation Studies should also be expanded, since the practice and theorization of translation are pivotal for a very large range of disciplines both within the Humanities and beyond. Elsewhere in other universities, translation studies, generally housed in Comp Lit, provides an indispensable service to students in the social sciences, education, health, and even engineering and the natural sciences. This would be an excellent opportunity to maintain the quality and vibrancy of the ICWT. In other areas, given the popularity of Jonathan Hall’s courses and the particular demography of Southern California, it would be wise to hire a scholar in East Asian literature to complement the work of Ackbar Abbas, as well as find a professor to fill the slot that Dina Al-Kassim left vacant. This would position Comp Lit to help organize and participate in clusters of faculty, for example in East Asian Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, and Film Studies, thus taking advantage of resources already present in the college. Possible joint hires, like the recent arrival of Beryl Schlossman, are also a viable option, insofar as this would greatly augment the department’s profile within the Humanities as well as instigate more collaboration. Finally, there is a glaring need to hire a new Distinguished Professor in Critical Theory, presumably someone with a comparatist orientation, so as to perform this legendary role in an equitable fashion and help resuscitate the Critical Theory Institute. These recommendations are further justified by continued leaves and the impending retirements that the department will soon face. Susan Jarratt has done an admirable job as chair; and it is highly important that her replacement will assume this role with the same commitment and comprehensive vision. Already in its present configuration, the Comp Lit faculty boasts many prestigious and eminently regarded scholars, who deserve the


freedom to travel and share their work abroad; yet, this renown also requires maintaining a solid faculty presence on the ground at Irvine, members who could cover for each other and thereby prevent leaving students with a scarcity of courses and advising. Needless to say, the graduate students would also benefit greatly from new hires, which should be aimed to build on the department’s strengths as well as expand its historical and cultural coverage. To be sure, thanks to its deeply committed faculty and its excellent reputation, the doctoral program continues to attract highly motivated candidates. Comparative Literature at UCI beautifully reflects the flexibility typical of the field, which in large part accounts for the department’s extraordinary placement record. Already in the first year of study, the introductory, group-taught seminar, “History and Theory of Comparative Literature” (CL 200A), demonstrates the faculty’s collective role in preparing the next generation of scholars. The range of courses offered is noteworthy both for its cultural breadth and its critical rigor. Yet, for reasons broached above, the administration should attend to structural issues that might imperil future success. The relatively low stipend offered to graduate students may be prohibitive for those who would be eager to study at UCI but shudder at the high cost of living in Orange County. It is no surprise that many outstanding applicants choose to enter other peer institutions merely on the basis of more generous, multi-year financial packages. More options for fellowships both within and outside the university should be carefully explored. Again, supporting interdisciplinary clusters with targeted funding would go a long way in enhancing graduate student work. Without question, training in teaching has always been a major component in doctoral programs. However, as things stand, there appears to be too many obstacles that restrict the students’ options. Granted that I speak from the perspective of a wealthy, private institution, still, it is unsettling that teaching assistantships are assigned only after 75 students have enrolled in a course. This policy is especially detrimental for Comp Lit, which fatally ceded control of TA lines in the “Composition” program to the English department in 2004. In general, it would be worthwhile to consider newly designed policies that would provide doctoral candidates with more options for teaching. Another fruitful idea would be to split up the undergraduate sequence (CL 60A, B, and C) into multiple sections that could be run by the graduate students. This kind of interaction is always an excellent way to create a general esprit de corps within the department. In addition to pedagogical training, doctoral work depends on strong and consistent faculty advising and mentoring. As already mentioned, faculty leave schedules, which are certainly necessary for encouraging research and productivity, also risk compromising the attention owed to students writing their dissertations. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that many members of the faculty are obliged to run large centers, leaving them little time to teach and advise, to do committee work and assume administrative positions within the department. The administration should applaud the generous efforts made by Jane Newman and others to sponsor a sense of collegiality among the cohorts. The regular brown-bag luncheons and especially the works-in-progress meetings at Newman’s house, which invites students to present dissertation chapters with a faculty respondent, are obviously very effective and inspiring. I was also impressed by the cutting-edge themes addressed in the annual graduate student conference, which is


organized by the third-year cohort. Events of this nature secure the department’s position in the field at large and further prepare doctoral students to make decisive contributions. They usefully complement the department’s general efforts in graduate student professionalization, which continues to become ever more challenging, given the rapid shifts in the academic job market. In the interest of bringing even further cohesion to the program, I would like to recommend that a public dissertation defense be instituted. All too often, the final submission of the dissertation is anti-climactic. Instead, the successful conclusion of the PhD should be marked by an official celebration, where faculty and peers may show their support and offer a proper send-off. Without a doubt, the implementation of a defense would build upon the initiatives begun by Jarratt and Newman to enforce consistent feedback on the students’ written work, and further serve as a fitting occasion to invite faculty from other departments and other schools to participate, thus enhancing the intellectual climate of the university as a whole. Another remedy, now speaking about the earlier stages in the dissertation, would be to establish a policy whereby the entire faculty would review and approve each prospectus. At the very least, there should be a full committee meeting to discuss the merits of the project and suggestions for improvement. In my interviews with some of the graduate students, I got the sense that more structure in the dissertation process would be welcome. Perhaps a writing workshop for the latter-year cohorts would be useful. These efforts would be greatly facilitated by expanding the faculty, which could begin by making some simple mergers. An obvious path would be to include the faculties in European Language Studies and Women’s Studies, especially now that they all share a common space and common administrative offices under the direction of Mary Underwood. The organizational connections are in place and it would be worth considering ways of taking advantage of them. I found Underwood to be extremely insightful in this regard and the dean’s office would do well to consult with her on modifying and steam-lining the program. Incidentally, she deserves some time for training, especially to catch up with new administrative systems, like payroll. Given the recent cases of faculty attrition, it would be wise to secure new faculty lines, either fully in Comp Lit or in the form of joint appointments. I have already made specific recommendations above. To these I would add a position targeted to attract a scholar in earlier historical periods. The present faculty wonderfully and expertly represents a rich and varied range of fields: globalization, post-coloniality, postmodernism, digital media, Chinese culture, feminist theory, queer theory, psychoanalysis, the history of philosophy, and the literatures of the Americas, Africa, Europe, and Persia. Their published work is highly respected and has had important impact on the national and international levels. Yet, with the exception of Jane Newman, there is clearly a presentist emphasis. A professor working in the eighteenth century, for example, would significantly enhance both graduate student training and the undergraduate curriculum. Over all, I believe the Department of Comparative Literature at UCI has exhibited great dedication and commitment to maintaining the high standards that the field has come to expect. I would hope that the administration continues to reward these efforts by lending


much-needed support. The CTI and the ICWT—long regarded as a vital part of the department—deserve considerable attention. New lines in Middle Eastern (Arabic and Francophone) literature and culture, in East Asian culture, in Translation Studies, and in earlier historical periods are crucial for insuring the department’s continued success and impact. Finally, Comparative Literature should be recognized as a central participant in the flourishing of the Humanities, as an intellectual and critical landing ground for interdisciplinary discussion and debate. A return to Irvine’s original vision of transdepartmental integration should be seriously appreciated, one that rests on a federation of humanists without being too concerned about numbers of majors and enrollments within each program. To my mind, the School of the Humanities will be able to reassert its central position in the University by reaffirming its role as the primary mediating force on campus and certainly not by sowing the seeds of divisiveness among its constituents. With this aim, Comparative Literature is without question absolutely indispensable.


Department of East Asian Languages and Literature (EALL) Michelle Yeh Professor of Chinese East Asian Languages and Cultures University of California, Davis Like most units, EALL has both strengths and challenges. There are four notable strengths. 1) It has a senate faculty of national and international distinction. The advancement of most assistant and associate professors in recent years has been on time and successful. In the few cases where there seems to have been a slowing-down in research (e.g., for unforeseeable personal reasons), it is important to note that the faculty in question continue to command considerable respect in their fields and provide high-quality teaching and mentoring to students. 2) Related to the first observation, the students, especially the graduate students, are very happy with the teaching and mentoring offered by the faculty. The number of undergraduate majors in EALL is high in the Humanities and comparable to similar programs on other UC campuses. The quality of the teaching and mentoring is also evident in the excellent placement record of PhDs holding tenure-track or postdoctoral positions at research universities. 3) The Department has been successful in winning three large grants to develop the Korean program. 4) The senate faculty genuinely respect and enjoy working with one another. The level of collegiality is very high and communication open. They also work with faculty in other departments who have expertise in East Asia or with faculty in other literature and film departments. On the other hand, there are several challenges facing EALL. 1) Several departures in the past decade in literature and other fields of East Asia (e.g., film, history, art history) have not been replaced. While this situation is by no means unique to UC Irvine, attrition has definitely hurt the Department’s ability to offer a sufficient variety of courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels, and to attract more applicants to graduate programs. 2) More generally, there is a common perception among the faculty and the students that the Department has not received the kind of recognition and support from the administration that it needs and deserves. Instead of recognition and support, there seems to be indifference and under-appreciation. 3) Feedback from students and instructors suggests that there is room for improvement in the Japanese language program. The recent decision to adopt a new textbook seems to be a point of contention. More than one instructor asks for more transparency and consultation. In terms of language classes, one instructor’s extensive use of English in advanced Japanese classes has caused students much distress.


4) The Department policy requires that PhD students who are international students take the Qualifying Exams at the end of the second year. (There may be exceptions.) While the policy is probably based on financial considerations, it puts undue pressure on the students. While they are taking graduate seminars and adjusting to a new environment, they are also learning how to teach as Teaching Assistants. It is important that they have more time to digest what they have studied and to mature intellectually. 5) There seems to be consensus among PhD students that they would benefit from more feedback on papers, more professionalization, and more travel grants to present papers. Recommendations for the Department: 1) EALL may develop a vision statement that clearly articulates a plan for achieving and sustaining excellence in the next five to ten years, including priorities in new FTEs and increasing undergraduate enrollments. 2) While the Department should continue to dialogue with the administration about the urgent need to fill at least some of the vacancies in East Asia, the senate faculty may at the same time strategize ways to collaborate with other units in the Humanities or other schools to meet the diverse needs of the undergraduate and graduate students. 3) The senate faculty may need to review the Japanese language program with regard to the leadership, the textbooks, etc. 4) The Department may want to consider ways to provide graduate students with more feedback on papers and more advising on professionalization.


Department of Film and Media Studies Professor Lynn Spigel Department of Radio/Television/Film Northwestern University On February 25-27, 2013 I served as an external reviewer for the Department of Film and Media Studies at the University of California-Irvine. I read the department’s self-study and related materials. During my campus visit I met with the tenured/ tenure-track faculty in residence, four undergraduate students, the staff, and 5 graduate students in the jointly administered Visual Studies graduate program. I also toured departmental facilities, including the newly designed media lab. Apart from the lecturers, I was able to discern the concerns of individuals and the group as a whole, but I particularly heard from track faculty and staff. I should say at the outset that I reviewed this department in 2004; therefore, I am able to make some personal comparisons. In addition, I was charged to review (with Professor Anthony Lee) the Visual Studies PhD, which is jointly administered through the Departments of Film and Media Studies and Art History; that report is filed separately. Overview This is a very strong department, full of potential for growth. Since the last review in 2004, the faculty has done a remarkable job rebuilding the program in the face of past and continued senior faculty departures as well as the UC budget cuts. In 2004 the faculty was shrinking (it had only 6.5 lines out of which 4.5 were filled), and faculty members were clearly exhausted. In 2013, the faculty is now larger (11.75 lines). This is a relatively young group (mostly comprised of associate level professors, with 2 assistant level professors, and 3 recently promoted full professors). Overall they have strong research agendas and either have or are earning high reputations in the field. The department has the second largest student population in the humanities, and while the student-faculty ratio has improved since 2004, it is still quite skewed. At the time of this review, the faculty is hoping to hire additional tenure-track professors, and is in the process of recruiting one (but ideally two) strong candidates in digital media studies. Despite student faculty ratios and crowded classrooms, the undergraduates appear to be very pleased with their instructors. The curriculum offers a good range of introductory and advanced level electives in a range of courses dealing with media analysis, media history, media theory, and national cinemas. The curriculum is generally logical and efficient, although there are concerns pertaining to the production courses, course size, and course sequencing. There are also undergraduate research opportunities, student internships (which could be expanded), student-run festivals, visiting lectures, and other extra-curricular activities. The staff impressed me as highly professional and energetic. They were also extremely proud of and devoted to the department. The faculty, students, and staff all appear to be collegial. Unfortunately, I was not scheduled to meet with the lecturers who teach most of the production curriculum.


In 2004 I noted that the department’s goals meshed with general directions in the humanities and the growth of humanities-based film and media studies. Since that time, the faculty has continued to build a strong department that positions itself as a leader in interdisciplinary and “intermedial” studies, focusing on a broad range of media and the convergences and relations among them. The department includes a range of approaches, from industry analysis to policy to cultural history and theory. In 2004 I encouraged nourishing this department so that it could be competitive nationwide with similar programs at well-regarded universities. Since that time, the study of film, media, and visual culture studies more generally has flourished; there are strong undergraduate and/or graduate programs at Yale, Harvard, Berkeley, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, and UC Santa Barbara, as well as the more traditional film schools such as UCLA, USC, and NYU. Given the growth of this area, I am therefore pleased to see that the university has given resources to this department and that the department has used the resources wisely to build a thriving undergraduate major. There is much potential for some redirection and growth at the graduate level (a subject I deal with more fully in the Visual Studies PhD review). Insofar as the university’s investment is already paying off, it seems wise to continue on this path by providing the additional resources necessary for continued excellence. With proper resources and some adjustments in several key areas, this department can continue on its path toward being a national center for film and media studies. Below I review the department’s successes, opportunities, and challenges in a number of areas, and I offer recommendations regarding the following five concerns: 1. Production faculty and curriculum; 2. Class size and student-faculty ratios; 3. Resources for facilities; 4. Graduate education (dealt with more expansively in the joint review of Visual Studies), and; 5. Vision and leadership. Faculty This is a vibrant faculty full of dedicated teachers and impressive researchers. Many assistant and associate professors are rising stars in the field. Associate and full professors have published respected, award-winning books with major university presses, and a number of faculty members have newly published books or books in progress. Numerous professors have won teaching awards as well as internal and external grants. In short they are an energetic, productive, and well-regarded group. Together they show strength in areas of national cinemas and postcolonial studies; television/video/digital studies; and scholarship on media, sexualities and race. A number of faculty members are also accomplished film and media historians. Finally, faculty members serve in leadership roles across the university, including Director of the Humanities Center; Associate Dean of Graduate Studies; and Chair Elect and Secretary of the Academic Senate. The faculty provides what appears to be excellent instruction for over 300 majors and also serves non-majors, particularly with the introductory course 85A. Professors teach core courses in film and media analysis/history (85 A, B. C, and 101 A, B, C) as well as a


broad range of upper division courses. They generally have chances to teach graduate seminars once every two years (although some faculty members point out they have had fewer opportunities), and some direct or sit on graduate committees. The student surveys, teaching evaluations, and my discussions with four undergraduates reveal that students value their classes and have very high regard for professors. I was surprised I was not scheduled to meet with the 3 18-unit lecturers, both because of the unique labor and wage issues that lecturers often face, and because of their central importance to this program. Insofar as they are doing most of the heavy lifting for the production courses, it would be appropriate to consider their viewpoint as part of this review. When I spoke to lecturers during the 2004 review, they had many concerns with their status in the department, their teaching loads, over-enrolled courses, and departmental decision-making regarding curriculum and other issues. So it seemed especially unfortunate they were not part of the current review. So, too, as I discuss below, production is the area that the students voiced most concerns with, not because of teaching quality but due to the lack of classes offered, especially to lower level students. I am also told the lecturers are all women, which raises concerns about gender equity. Otherwise, the department has a high percentage of women in tenured and tenure-track positions). Future searches, however, should reach out to underrepresented groups, including African American and Hispanic faculty. The two junior faculty people appear to be very happy and feel nurtured by associate and full professors. They both stated that the tenure process is very clear. The newer hire, Allison Perlman, is a joint hire with history and it’s clear she is sometimes pulled between the departments. This is a hard position to be in, and I suggest faculty pay close attention to her teaching and service workloads, the number of courses she is expected to prepare, and her overall progress, especially because the student-faculty ratio in Film and Media Studies is still unfavorably skewed. Apart from feeling burdened with its faculty-student ratio, the faculty appears to be generally enthusiastic and hopeful that the university will continue to support future hires and departmental progress. Faculty morale is much higher than it was in 2004. Nevertheless, a few topics did arise. One faculty member stated concerns about research and travel support for tenured faculty, especially for single authored works and historical research. This scholar also suggested that the campus should provide much more support for the writing of external grants. This came from a very accomplished and active scholar with a major reputation in the field. So, too, despite a general level of enthusiasm for their department, several faculty members told me that they assumed a number of them would move to other, apparently more desirable institutions. Again, because these were very productive faculty, I think it worth mentioning here as it bears upon the general future and/or future aspirations of the group. Teaching, Curriculum, and Students The program offers a broad range of courses in areas that are central to the field. The department is wisely adding more lines in the area of digital media. Given that most of the tenured and tenure-track faculty focus on history, criticism, and theory, they have


built a curriculum that offers students an excellent background in film and media analysis. Core courses take students through basic key terms and procedures in media/visual analysis through to deeper historical background in film. This seems generally logical and well planned. However, I did wonder why the 85 series includes broadcast history as it might make more sense to have the 85 series devoted to skills of media analysis and put all the historical courses (including history of TV) into the 101 historical series. Right now the 101 series solely devoted to the history of cinema. My sense is this structure might be a holdover from when the department was more organized around film studies per se. At any rate, I trust the department to know what works best here, but it did seem odd to me to have broadcast/TV/video history divorced from film history in this manner, as these histories should really be thought about together. As I understand it, the sequencing of the film history courses is now up for review as this has created some stumbling blocks for student progress, especially for transfer students. My main question has to do with the status of production curriculum and faculty. Unlike most film and media departments, this department has chosen to leave the production courses mostly in the hands of their three lecturers, and therefore these courses are less emphasized in the curriculum. Prof. Fatimah Tobing Roby, who has expertise in both theory and film production, teaches across the curriculum. In discussions with the group she voiced her hope that the department would emphasize connections between production and media analysis (which was also stressed in the departmental vision of the 2004 review and reiterated in the current self-study). I agree that the Irvine program could be well served by emphasizing more connections between media analysis and media production (including screenwriting). By foregrounding its faculty’s strengths in history, criticism and theory, the department correctly describes its goals and values to students and also differentiates its program from the immediate competitors (UCLA, USC, Chapman, UC Santa Barbara), which have well-established production programs with much more infrastructure in place. But the problem is that even while students like the current focus on media analysis they nevertheless also want more opportunities to take editing, cinematography, directing, animation, screenwriting, and other productionoriented courses in cinema, video, and digital media. In other words, the department has yet to provide a truly interconnected curriculum that bridges media analysis with production. The four undergraduates with whom I met all expressed a desire for more production courses and at earlier stages in their coursework. Indeed, the one strong complaint they voiced involved the number and sequencing of production courses. They are not able (at least in practice) to take production courses until their junior and/or senior years. Admittedly, four undergraduates don’t constitute a representative sample, and the schoolwide undergraduate surveys do not provide space for students to voice such concerns. However, the faculty self-study also raises this as a concern, and in my experience virtually every film student wants to hold a camera, write a screenplay, edit a film, work with computer graphics, or the like. Because many of these majors want to go into the film, television, or gaming/digital industries, it seems especially important to grow this area both in courses and in the


number of internships available. (The self-study states that 10% of the students do internships, but that seems low for a school situated in Southern California.) Therefore, even while I believe the department is right to emphasize its strengths in film and media analysis, I am nevertheless surprised there are no tenure-track faculty lines devoted solely to production. This is unusual in a film and media program where undergraduates by and large want to work in this area and imagine themselves working in the industry. The self-study acknowledges its need to develop this area, stating that even while they want to continue to foreground media analysis, they would like to “expand…production offerings somewhat, but we lack the space and technology for them, and we also lack instructional staff in this area. Particularly at this time of shrinking instructional budgets, that part of our curriculum is in real peril.” My sense is that a few targeted tenure-track hires in this area would allow for better leadership and put Irvine in a better position to compete both in Southern California and nationally. It is also the case that a greater investment in this area could prove fiscally wise in terms of attracting outside donors and grants. This has been the case at schools like UC Santa Barbara, UCLA and most obviously USC. It is also a trend nationwide. Apart from concerns with production, the students seem competitively intelligent and very engaged. The surveys suggest they have a very high level of enthusiasm for classes and instructors, although the survey indicates that many students would like a greater range of courses (65% approved) and there appears to be problem with “availability of courses needed for graduation” (only 69% approved). It is curious to me that despite high scores for teachers, instruction, and the major in general, only 60% felt the good about the “overall value of your education for the price you are paying.” This may be a clear indictment of the general rise in tuition at public universities and anxieties about the job market for the humanities, but it also suggests that the department might do a better job communicating the value a film/media studies major in relation to the current job market and/or graduate school. I was happy to learn that one student saw this major as a gateway to law school (he had recently been accepted). Copyright law and entertainment law are career trajectories that most film departments don’t consider; yet the major (especially Irvine’s focus on film/media analysis and history) is often a good preparation for these fields (which basically require knowledge about genre analysis, prior art, and or industry/production/policy studies). At any rate, it seems to me students may need more information about various career paths and professional/graduate schools.

Class Size and Student-Faculty Ratios When I came to Irvine in 2004, the faculty was clearly exhausted and the program needed new faculty lines in order to keep up with demand. In 2013 the program looks much healthier. The university has invested in this department, and it is obvious faculty members are no longer as worn out. Morale is much higher. Nevertheless, the studentfaculty ratio is still 27.2 :1. This means courses are generally large and professors overextended. Many professors expressed concerns with the class sizes and the lack of TA support. I concur that the sections (sometimes with up to 36 students) are much too


large, and the general opportunities for close mentorship dwindle. The faculty-student ratio has also meant that the faculty finds itself unable to participate in the Humanities Core course offerings. The obvious suggestion is that the university needs to devote more attention to this issue, preferably with more track lines, more TAships, and/or more full time lecturers. Facilities Since the last review the facilities for production have greatly improved. The Humanities Gateway building provides a well-designed work environment with reasonably sized offices, an impressive theater/lecture space with state of the art projection for multiple formats and internet connection, and the use of outdoor space for informal gathering. The Department of Film and Media Studies is now in the same building as the Art History Department with which it shares the Visual Studies PhD. The media lab and editing suites are impressive if still somewhat limited in terms of number of facilities per student (there are roughly 20 editing suites and between 15-20 cameras). Insofar as the technology changes quickly, the faculty voiced concerns about the need for a revenue stream to maintain the lab. I also did not see a studio for production, and if indeed there is none it would be desirable to think about how to provide this. (The undergraduates told me they sometimes have access to a studio space in the Art Department, and I wondered if more formal links between the two departments could be made in this area). The Department of Film and Media Studies also maintains a collection of DVDS for teaching, and this too needs a revenue stream for upkeep either for DVD purchases, rentals, or streaming video. The faculty mentioned concerns about using student fees to pay for these facilities, so if that cannot be the source the university will need to consider new options. The staff person in charge of the facilities is obviously extremely dedicated to the department, excited about his job, knowledgeable about technology and student needs, and eager to serve the department. Graduate Education One of my biggest questions had to do with graduate education and the department’s relationship to the Visual Studies PhD. It seemed odd to me that faculty members were not as apparently engaged with the graduate program as they were with their undergraduate majors. This may be the direction the faculty prefers and which the campus seeks to emphasize. However, it appears that the synergies between Film and Media Studies and Art History should be stronger. While a group of faculty have research interests that clearly merge art historical and media studies topics (some prominent examples include Ed Dimendberg, Peter Krapp, Catherine Liu, Fatimah Tobing Rony, and Eyal Amiran), it was not always clear to me how this worked for the entire group. In fact, several faculty members told me that they had very little occasion to teach a graduate course, and some said they had little interest. I will address this more in the joint report on Visual Studies, but here I want to emphasize the need for this department to think more about the direction they want to take in relation to graduate studies. Vision and Leadership Despite their success, the faculty faces challenges for their future. Because they are a relatively young group of very strong research scholars, most faculty members are busy


building their research profiles and careers. At the same time, they have obviously had to work very hard at conceptualizing the program’s re-design and they also have put much effort into teaching, hiring, and service. Associate professors have served as department chair and have done the hard work of tenure and promotion (activities that are ideally done by full professors). A number of faculty people serve in leadership positions across the University. All of this intensive effort has resulted in much success. Yet, I was struck by the fact that faculty were not fully able to articulate their goals for the future, beyond additional hires based on coverage of missing areas. In discussions, faculty stated that given the large number of students, and the program building and service they had to do—not to mention their own research—they had little time for collective discussions about the future. So too, with the retirement and passing of Mark Poster, the faculty now is without a valued mentor and leader. At the campus visit, my assessment of leadership and vision may have been hampered by the fact that the Chair (Peter Krapp) and I spoke one-on-one only for about ten minutes on the first day of the visit because he had surgery scheduled that afternoon. So most of my discussions on this topic took place at a final “strategic planning” meeting on the second day with Krapp and a larger group of tenured/tenure-track faculty. At that final meeting, I was pleased to hear that the department was actively engaged in recruitment. However, I do have concerns about the departmental hiring strategy. Right now the plan is to hire in areas that lack coverage (sound studies, industry studies, etc). I encourage the faculty to think about whether coverage is the best solution or whether they want to consider building deep areas of strength. For example, the faculty has a strong group of people working on national cinemas and postcolonialism that could be further developed. I especially wondered (in connection with the graduate program) why joint hires with Art History were not being considered. At the strategic planning meeting the faculty also told me they had not had much time to collectively discuss their future vision. They did, however, seem very excited to talk about their direction, their distinction from other departments nationwide, and the status of film and media studies generally. My sense is that now that they have reached a level of success with building their program, faculty members should create more occasions to think about their future in relation to the wider field of film and media studies, and also think more about how they fit into the larger university vision. This is especially important for maintaining the vitality of the graduate program in Visual Studies that competes with other interdisciplinary programs nationwide for the very best students in film and media studies. Summary and Recommendations: As stated at the outset, this is a very strong department full of high functioning dedicated faculty, devoted and proficient staff, and energetic students who seem to adore their professors. It is a vibrant and growing major. My main suggestion is that the campus continue to invest in this department, both with resources for hires and facilities and with more attention devoted to fostering their faculty’s vision and leadership on campus. This is a growth department in a growth area in the humanities. It is clearly poised to have


deep connections to other fields in the humanities–not only art history but also the digital humanities, the English department, women’s studies (especially regarding issues of gender and media), the languages (via national cinemas and global media), the school of the arts, and engineering and computer science (particularly in relation to digital media and gaming), and (given faculty strengths) cultural history generally. I therefore suggest that the university build on its past investments and the strength that this energetic faculty has already built in order to achieve an even more successful future. My immediate recommendations include: 1. Faculty: Hiring in strategic areas is needed, both to address student-faculty ratios and to ensure the program’s continued excellence. I encourage the faculty to think much more about their goals with production and to consider hiring at last two tenure-track positions in this area so that production will have a logical core and a greater voice in leadership. I also encourage them to fully consider the viewpoints of the current lecturers now and involve them in future self-studies. This is a dynamic area for students, and while this program rightly visualizes its main focus as history, theory, and criticism of media, faculty members have also expressed their interest emphasizing the interactions between media analysis and production. More scholarpractitioners might be considered for tenure-track positions. But whatever course is taken, I strongly recommend the faculty rethink its current practice of relying mostly on lecturers for this area. I also want to reiterate that growth of the production area may be a boon to fostering future alumnae/donors and to fundraising now. 2. Curriculum: As stated above, production curriculum needs to grow and the department needs to offer a greater range of production courses to students at earlier stages in their development. More attention to the internship program is also needed in order to capitalize on training and career opportunities in the area. While the media analysis courses are generally very strong, as suggested in the self-study, some adjustments to the sequencing and requirements can ensure student progress. 3. Facilities: Ongoing revenue streams for facilities, particularly with regard to editing software and cameras, is needed to ensure that students have the most up-to-date technologies at their disposal and that the labs are in good working order. If possible, more space is needed for additional editing suites, and studio facilities should be considered. A revenue stream for the department’s media collections is also needed. 4. Graduate Education: The film and media faculty should consider their goals and investment in the Visual Studies graduate program. (See the joint study by myself and Anthony Lee submitted separately.) 5. Vision and Leadership: More opportunities to think about collective goals, priorities, and future direction would enhance this department and ensure its healthy future and reputation. More discussion of fund-raising opportunities and potential donors should also be part of this discussion. This might be done through departmental retreats, workshops, visiting lecturers, mentorship from leaders in other divisions, and the like. Given how far this faculty is stretched, I would suggest that whatever arrangements are made this does not merely add to the workload. Service credit, course credit, or other incentives might be given to faculty to form a steering


committee for future directions, or the chair position might include greater incentives to provide leadership in this regard.


Department of English Paul Armstrong Department of English Brown University Joseph Boone Department of English University of Southern California Overall Assessment UC-Irvine boasts a very strong English department, one with a storied reputation and an excellent faculty. English is one of the highest ranking units in the Humanities. Its MFA in particular consistently elicits the highest ratings, its relatively new program in Literary Journalism has made good on its early promise, and the graduate program remains nationally competitive, drawing top-notch applicants despite comparatively limited funding. That said, it is also time for English as a unit to redefine itself in a way that reflects more accurately its current research interests, that gives it a unique identity distinguishing it from peer institutions, and that articulates a coherent vision of itself with staying power for the next decade and beyond. For too long, English at Irvine has relied on its historic reputation as a center of cutting-edge, largely post-structural critical theory. That legacy—while continuing to manifest itself in the work of various faculty members—no longer defines the department as a whole (just as it no longer dominates the profession), and to some extent this legacy works as a strait-jacket that inhibits the department from the necessary task of reconceiving its identity and its vision for the future. As one faculty member noted, “we dwell too much within our ‘theory brand.’” Another echoed: “we are living off a reputation that’s been gone 15 years.” This legacy need not and should not be wholly renounced, however. Rather, the department—and the research faculty in particular—needs to sit down and strategically determine what it wants “theory” to do and mean vis-à-vis its identity and mission, coming up with a self-definition or new “brand” that, while creating links to Irvine’s theory legacy, focuses its sights on the future. After all, “theory” can and does mean many things, more so today than ever, and it is time, as the research faculty recognizes, to become proactive in shaping those meanings to match its current interests and to project its vision for the future. What we found particularly heartening is the research faculty’s desire to tackle this admittedly difficult task of creating and articulating a new unifying vision. They seemed grateful to be asked “who are you?” and “what do you want to be?” and equally desirous of being encouraged, indeed pushed, to engage in intensive meetings where they can hash out these challenging questions. “We need more space for these discussions,” one faculty member noted, admitting that the general uncertainty and demoralization of the last three


years have left them with little time or spirit to engage in such conversations. With the administration’s encouragement that such discussions will make a difference, the faculty strikes us as more than willing to develop a positive vision, not only for English but for the leading role English can play in helping the Humanities at large to reassert its historic importance within the University. Before our meetings with the faculty, the department’s strategic plan struck us as rather bland and uninspired, describing itself in generic, open-ended ways that might define any number of English departments nationwide. The document’s recourse to the language of “flexibility” as the department’s distinguishing trait struck us as neither an adequate description of its profile nor a particularly convincing justification for its multidirectional interests. It seemed a sign, rather, of a reluctance to hammer out a unique identity and vision. Thus we were heartened to find the department as a whole to be a vibrant, intellectually engaged community quite capable of developing a distinctive rather than generic description of its defining interests, strengths, and opportunities. And in our discussions we saw several strands of a potentially distinctive, coherent self-definition beginning to emerge, particularly in terms of theoretical interests that cross historical fields. The next step is to commit to certain of these pathways, to articulate how they combine to form a distinctive multifaceted departmental identity, and to develop an aggressive strategic vision for developing them as unifying nexes that advance the interests of the department as a whole. Our first recommendation, then, is that the Chair convene a series of meetings in which the research faculty explores and defines a vision for the future based on its current membership and interests. Although the MFA and LJ programs seem already to have a quite strong sense of their identities, they too should meet separately to reaffirm and articulate more precisely their vision and goals. Both would also stand in a much stronger position if they put creative thought into how they might contribute in a more integral manner to the current life and future directions of the department—and viceversa, how the strengths of the department’s other units might be exploited more effectively to benefit their programs (see below for more extensive comments on the need for these various units to respect and value each other and to work together with a sense of shared purpose). Next, the department as a whole should convene to hammer out a common mission and vision, bringing all the units—including rhetoric and composition—into the discussion. Indeed, we sense that building strengths in rhetoric/discourse theory might emerge as one unifying thread of the department’s new self-definition and as a resource for mutually beneficial collaborations with other departments and schools (see below). Once these definitional challenges are met, the two retreats that have already been announced for rethinking the undergraduate and graduate programs can follow, building on the common vision that has been established. Likewise, determining hiring priorities will develop logically from these discussions; right now, the hiring suggestions outlined in the self-study, while unobjectionable, seem a bit all over the place, with the vague goals of increasing diversity (a good goal, more of which later) and promoting interdisciplinary study that has hitherto often been located outside rather than inside the


department (also see below). A compelling hiring plan that will reward the University’s investment needs to emerge from a more general, frank, and comprehensive assessment of how to build a future of excellence. This planning process must begin by crafting a coherent, distinctive identity, and only then can the department rigorously, imaginatively, and strategically chart out the steps required to realize its vision of itself. In achieving a unique, unified vision, the department’s various units also need, bluntly speaking, to establish more civil relations among each other. All of these units have every reason to value and acknowledge each other’s contributions, and they need to be encouraged to do so. All of the units have impressive strengths that deserve recognition and support; but the recent history of cut-backs and competition for limited or shrinking resources (along with the universally—and rightly—detested system of rigid enrollment quotas that ignore the desirability of smaller literature classes and writing workshops) has created a destructive atmosphere of antagonism, rivalry, and resentment. Thus a very high priority must be for the administration and departmental leadership to create teambuilding and cooperative spirit among these units so that they can work together productively to craft a mutually beneficial vision for the future. We cannot attribute causes to what remains hearsay, of course, but it appears that some research faculty have dismissed the creative writing faculty as “non-professionals” or lesser members of the community; and, on occasion, the literary journalists have felt snubbed by the creative writing faculty as “second-class” citizens who “only” do service writing. In a more civil and collaborative environment, many inspired liaisons could be fostered across all these units. Team-taught courses can be a testing-ground for developing such collaborations. For example, what if a journalist working on warreportage were to team-teach a course with a creative writer on the craft of war literature, including fiction and poetry as well as non-fiction from World War I up to contemporary scenes of combat? Or what if a theoretically-inclined research faculty member interested in “post-post-structuralist” analyses of the “ethics of care” developed a course with a literary journalist investigating some specific cases of ethical dilemmas in contemporary politics, science and medicine, or class/race relations? These liaisons might also take the form of collaboratively-run symposia, either in tandem with a team-taught course or standing alone. Modest financial incentives from the School to encourage and support such collaborations could reap great rewards. The composition faculty’s desire to launch a graduate course on “Theories of Writing” might be another way to facilitate collaboration across units. Departments in other universities have begun to hire faculty who are both creative writers and literary scholars, as well as creative writers who also publish broadly in more journalistic venues. Hiring a writer of creative non-fiction who would contribute to the MFA as well as to the literature and journalism curricula could foster such liaisons and signal a new era of collaboration. The very act of envisioning such appointments could help bring the various units together in a cooperative and productive fashion. Crucial in implementing these recommendations, of course, is strong and empathetic leadership. Thus the choice of the next chair of the department is absolutely critical to making good on English’s promise. The department is in dire need of a leader who will


commit to the position for an uninterrupted period of at least five years, and this person will need to have the kind of personality that makes everyone feel included. We have heard nothing but praise for the current Interim Chair, Professor Julia Lupton, who seems to exemplify these desired traits, but unfortunately she steps down once the school year ends. We encourage the administration to do everything possible to make the position of chair an attractive proposition to the person who succeeds Lupton. In this regard, it is crucial that the position of Vice-Chair be reestablished with course releases. Organizing and staffing the undergraduate program is one of the most time-consuming jobs in any large department, and frankly no chair should have to do this work. There is simply no time left for visionary, strategic leadership and departmental community-building when one is saddled with duties that rightly belong to an undergraduate director and undergraduate committee (see the section below on the undergraduate program). We are not aware of any top-ranked program with an equal number of majors where the chair is expected to do these administrative tasks. This is an anomaly and needs to be corrected immediately. At the most exciting and interesting departments in the country, excellence in English studies has been marked by a commitment to diversity in faculty appointments and by encouragement of research and teaching in areas related to diversity broadly defined. We were disappointed that many faculty in the department who teach courses in ethnic and minority literatures were absent from our meeting with faculty, and we took their absence as a worrisome sign of disaffection that may suggest these areas are neglected and need attention. We have seen statistics that suggest hirings and course offerings in these fields are not as extensive at Irvine as at peer institutions, and a commitment to diversity should be part of the department’s vision for excellence. The administration has aspirations for excellence in the Humanities that cannot be realized unless the English Department rises to the challenge and helps lead the School of the Humanities back to its position as a pinnacle of University achievement and a source of institutional pride. The English Department cannot do this alone. English needs to be seen by other units within the Humanities and in other schools as a resource for developing their own excellences through systematic, sustained collaboration. The “silos” that thwart such collaboration seem especially entrenched at Irvine. These divisions between units and schools have been exacerbated by differential budget cuts and by poorly informed assessments of program strength that were (whether rightly or wrongly) perceived as punitive. A redefined “theory” profile could provide the basis for widely beneficial collaborations, but the Dean and the Provost need to establish and project a new reward-system that demonstrably facilitates joint efforts. We were frequently told of exciting intellectual conversations between units about interdisciplinary interests that could have led to initiatives in research and teaching—but that unfortunately froze up and died as soon as money or faculty FTE’s or rivalry for student credit hours became issues. The School of Humanities must have more than one or two excellent units if it is to achieve its rightful ambitions. Because a zero-sum rather than positive-sum attitude toward resources has prevailed, however, smaller interdisciplinary units have


understandably perceived English as a threat rather than a potential partner from whose strengths they can benefit. A side effect has been that interdisciplinary innovation within English has suffered because such work is perceived as the domain of the smaller units. A strong English department can and should be seen as an asset by other smaller units that they can take advantage of in pursuing their own visions of excellence.

Undergraduate Program The word “flexible” was also frequently used to describe the undergraduate program. Once again, this is an ambiguous term that can signal an openness to multiple academic interests or an absence of coherence and common purpose. Recent concerns about the undergraduate curriculum have been driven by anxieties about productivity rather than by a vision for an intellectual and pedagogical program that foregrounds the strengths of the faculty and imaginatively addresses the needs of the students. Worries about studentcredit-hour numbers (whether real or imagined) and rigid, pedagogically inappropriate TA-allocation requirements have prevented the department from restructuring its course offerings and its distribution of class-sizes in ways that would make the English major more attractive and effective. Paradoxically but not surprisingly, statistical productivity measures have created an environment where the imagination and innovation necessary to improve enrollments in the humanities have been stifled rather than encouraged. Faculty are interested in re-engaging with the undergraduate curriculum, especially at the lower-division level, and obstacles to creative thinking about how to do so should be eliminated. Attractive paths through the major could be constructed through formal “emphases” or informal advertising and advising that reflect the research strengths of the faculty and speak to student interests. More could be done to take advantage of the presence within the department of world-class faculty in creative writing and literary journalism as well as an intellectually exciting rhetoric and composition program to appeal to the interest of many students today in writing and communication. The decline of roughly 20% in the number of English majors from 2004 to 2011 (from 643 to 510) is only slightly higher than the 16% drop nationally in recipients of bachelor’s degrees in English from 2004-10, and it should be an occasion for smart strategic planning rather than numbers-driven alarm. Institutions that have succeeded in slowing the turn away from the humanities have done so with a three-pronged strategy: imaginative and energetic efforts to create exciting learning experiences for students (especially in lower-division gateway courses), emphasis on the usefulness of competency in writing for a wide range of professions, and attention to the careerprospects of potential humanities majors. Initiatives in these areas would be easy to encourage at Irvine. The structure of the department’s course offerings should be redesigned to create a more sensible distribution of small classes and large lecture courses, as opposed to the current model of medium-sized courses that are too big to be effective vehicles for either class discussion or writing instruction. This restructuring should not be blocked by anxieties


that individual faculty or the department will suffer if the resulting enrollments in some courses should fail to satisfy an arbitrary, pre-set productivity metric. In order to profile the department’s commitment to undergraduate teaching, more tenure-track faculty should teach lower-division courses in the E10 “Topics in English and American Literature” and E28 “Nature of Literature” series. The department’s best teachers and most high-profile research faculty should be visibly engaged with the courses that may be the entry-way of students to the major. The sizes of these courses and the allocation of teaching assistantships should be managed so that undergraduate students have meaningful interactions with researchactive faculty and so that effective attention can be paid to their writing. With some creative, flexible scheduling, more tenure-track faculty could be assigned to these courses without jeopardizing the opportunity of graduate students to teach them, which is important to their professional development and job prospects. Indeed, graduate students would like more opportunity to serve as teaching assistants in upper-division courses, and a readjustment of their teaching responsibilities that would include a mix of composition courses, self-standing sections of E28, and TA-ships in lecture courses would serve their interests well. In order for such planning to occur, a faculty member with sufficient course-release should be designated as Vice Chair or Director of Undergraduate Studies and charged with oversight of the undergraduate curriculum. This person would work with faculty to create an attractive and sensible balance of course offerings and class-sizes and would also keep in mind the need to distribute courses over available class-times in ways that fit well with student schedules. This position would also be responsible for facilitating ongoing conversations among the faculty about how to translate its profile of research interests into new course offerings and curricular emphases and would work with the Chair and the Dean to collaborate with other units within the School and across the University to develop interdisciplinary, cross-departmental initiatives, whether for humanities majors or for majors in other units who would benefit from the abilities in critical thinking and communication that English courses can foster. Team-teaching to develop such initiatives should be encouraged, and the perception among faculty that SCH-metrics stand in the way of such collaboration needs to be actively combated. There are many ways in which the English major can benefit from the presence within the department of prominent creative writers and literary journalists. As suggested above, team-teaching and other pedagogical collaborations between these writers and the literature faculty should be encouraged. Part of what “flexibility” means should be a permeable boundary between the curricular offerings of these groups of faculty. Transfer students are a particularly important population within the English major, and curricular offerings should be developed that facilitate their integration into the department and that address their academic needs. Without burdening them with another requirement, for example, special sections of E101 or E102 could be dedicated to transfer students, thereby giving them a sense of community and providing them with the special


instruction in writing and critical reading they need to succeed in other upper-division courses. A flexible major requires excellent advising, and the articulation of advising responsibilities between the department and the School of Humanities needs improvement. Without inappropriately giving faculty the duty of overseeing the technicalities of graduation requirements, they need to take on a more prominent role in mentoring and guiding majors. This problem reflects a larger need for a comprehensive review of the administrative distribution of responsibilities between the School and the department. Better coordination, less centralization, and more departmentally based service for students would improve the experience of English majors and increase their sense of identification with the department.

Graduate Program Perhaps the most upbeat voices in English belong to its PhD students. They uniformly praise the program for its non-competitive culture, the excellence of the faculty, and the attentiveness with which their critical work is treated. The PhD cadre of students is topnotch, selected from a highly competitive national pool (an appropriately sized class of about 10 from 200 applications). These observations speak very well for the graduate program. Nonetheless, there is room for improvement. The financial packages that the students receive lag behind most peer institutions and will eventually affect the department’s ability to recruit the very best students. Currently, the package consists of one year-long fellowship and four years of teaching (more teaching is almost always available). In contrast, several top-ranked departments (such as Stanford) offer 3 years of fellowship support, and most offer two. Nearby USC guarantees PhD students 2 years of fellowship with a third (and often a fourth) year likely. Although students who turn Irvine down never say that the financial package affects their choice, in all likelihood it does. More fundamentally, of course, the most important way to improve the graduate program lies in implementing the kind of coherent, focused departmental vision outlined at the beginning of this document. Students are drawn to institutions because of their reputations, which in turn are built on areas of excellence that give them a unique profile. In the case of English at Irvine, students are most often attracted to its historical reputation for post-structural and continental theory, although (as previously noted) this is no longer the defining impetus of the department’s research and teaching. While most graduate students nonetheless seem to find mentors whose research is compatible with their interests, over the long term a disconnect between the perceptions of applicants and the realities of current faculty strengths is a potential problem that may result in a decline in the department’s reputation and its ability to attract top applicants. How graduates are selected for the program is a concern for some faculty. It seems that selection procedures have varied according to the practices preferred by the person


running admissions that year. We were surprised that departmental bylaws do not set out standard procedures for this and other facets of governance. Although this is not an urgent problem, some concerns we heard warrant departmental discussion. For example, it is apparently now customary selectively to consult specialists about the finalists in their fields, but this necessarily excludes input from faculty in areas where candidates have not risen to the top. We were also unclear whether the committee’s first consideration is sheer excellence regardless of field (allowing the students to adapt and shift their interests as they meet potential mentors). Are admissions decisions guided by the intention to be equitable across historical periods, or is an effort made to match faculty interests with the research areas indicated on the applications (sometimes an iffy proposition, since the most intellectually curious students typically find themselves interested in something new once they’ve embarked on graduate studies)? When the department discusses the graduate program at its planned retreat, reaching a consensus on admissions criteria would be useful, making the process more transparent and addressing concerns that the process may be weighted toward particular sets of interests. While individual mentoring of PhD students seems strong, their professionalization might be improved. Right now professional training seems informal, often generated by the students rather than by the faculty. A joint effort between faculty and students alike to facilitate the formation of reading groups, the sharing of papers, the rewriting of seminar essays into publishable articles, the establishment of rigorous prospectus-writing workshops, and the like would make such training a more consistent, beneficial aspect of the overall graduate program. At the conclusion of PhD training, job placement might be reconceived on a more formal basis as a required 2-unit, quarter-long course. In the first year of graduate study, the faculty might wish to consider a required “methodologies and professionalization” seminar that would foster a shared intellectual culture among the entering cohort while exposing students to important issues, debates, and developments in the profession that cross the boundaries of particular periods and fields. Students also expressed interest in receiving more guidance about alternative, non-academic career opportunities, a goal that might best be pursued in tandem with other departments as a School of Humanities initiative. The department’s placement record has been reasonably successful, given the downturn in tenure-track jobs over the past five years, but here too there is room for improvement. Aside from one or two jobs every year, the positions that students have taken are neither as good as they deserve nor what one might expect of a school with Irvine-English’s national reputation. Successful placement is an area in which added fellowship opportunities—not just an extra quarter off here and there—for the very best students might make all the difference between a mediocre job offer and an outstanding one. Because students depend on teaching for their income (with the exception of the one fellowship year), time-to-degree inevitably suffers. The department has improved in this regard, but the average still seems to be seven years, whereas six would be optimum. Creating opportunities for graduate students to engage in collaborative teaching and research with other departments would also greatly enhance their training and future employability. Collaborations in graduate courses and cross-enrollments should be


encouraged between English and other units within the School and across schools (not only the Visual Studies and Culture and Theory PhD programs and the Comparative Literature PhD but graduate programs in other schools). PhDs in English today are invariably interdisciplinary, and initiatives to lead the way here could be an important part of how English at Irvine forges its new identity as a coherently related ensemble of theoretically sophisticated, innovative emphases that cross the lines of traditional periods, disciplines, and modes of discursive production. A few other issues raised by graduate students are worthy of note. One involved complaints about the weakness of the library. The strength of the state-wide UC library system is often used as Irvine’s excuse for the lack of an adequate on-campus collection, but the students say the interlibrary loan process is often slow and impedes their research. Another issue involves the meager allowances available for annual conference travel, which makes it hard if not impossible to attend out-of-state conferences (which should be an integral part of their professionalization). Affordable housing in Orange County is an obvious problem that only increased graduate student campus housing can alleviate. Parking expenses turned out to be an unexpectedly high burden that many graduate students didn’t anticipate and can ill afford.

Literary Journalism The department benefits in many ways from the presence within its faculty of distinguished, high-profile literary journalists. Among other things, the literary journalism program emphasizes to potential majors the department’s commitment to the teaching of writing, even if those students do not choose to major or minor in literary journalism. This shared interest in the study and teaching of writing is one reason why the literary journalists rightly regard the English department as a good intellectual and professional home, and it should be a basis for further collaboration between the journalists and the literature faculty. Literary journalists should be encouraged to teach topics courses under the E103 rubric and, where possible, to team-teach with literature faculty with shared interests. Graduate students who teach E20 “Literary Journalism” have a valuable credential for the job market, and a large lecture course on a special topic by a literary journalism faculty member could also provide them with important TA experience. The size of the literary journalism major seems to have stabilized after a surge in interest shortly after its inauguration, and the introduction of a literary journalism minor should further encourage enrollments. Here again, however, a concern with student-credit-hour productivity should not drive decisions about budget and curriculum, and care should be taken so that zero-sum anxieties about SCH generation do not stand in the way of curricular innovation. Workshops in writing must be small in order to provide effective instruction, and instructors of writing should not be penalized for this. Worse, we were told of LJ initiatives to team-teach with other faculty or to introduce cross-departmental programs or even to cross-list courses that were blocked because of worries about their


effects on SCH statistics. We repeatedly saw evidence that numbers-driven productivity measures had stifled creativity, and it is clear that a university committed to excellence in the humanities must find better ways to assess and promote its strengths. Literary journalists work across boundaries between disciplinary areas, and the opportunities to collaborate that this work opens up should be encouraged. A course on “revolutions,” for example, by a literary journalist who has covered them would be an ideal vehicle for partnerships with social science units (history, political science, international studies, even business) that could lead students to double-major and could possibly also result in other initiatives with potential benefits for both research and teaching. Although the literary journalists are rightly focused first of all on the traditional arts of writing, their work also naturally dovetails with work in film and video, photography, and digital media in ways that could lead to collaborations with other units within the School of Humanities and other schools in the University (not only the School of Arts but also schools of science and engineering). One way to attract potential students and to open the way for faculty collaborations is to sponsor visiting speakers. We were surprised to learn that the literary journalists do not have a dedicated budget for this purpose. A small investment here could produce large dividends.

The MFA in Creative Writing The MFA program boasts an extraordinary record of excellence in the students it attracts and in the success these students have met in their post-graduation careers. Likewise, its professors are a highlight of the UCI humanities faculty, a group whose collective renown might be better utilized by the School and the University alike. The reputation of the MFA program and the excellence of its faculty are attested by its extraordinary admissions statistics. In 2011-12, for example, more than 600 students applied and only 2.2% were accepted. In four of the last eight years, the yield of admitted students was 100%, and it never dropped below 70%. That the program manages to get nearly every student it wants without having any fellowships to offer attests to the program’s reputation. Given the program’s success, it struck us as unfortunate that this unit seems to have to fight for every penny it needs to finance its modest operations and, worse, that it feels disenfranchised from the department as a whole. Despite the fact that writing is seen as a prime area of interest for both the department and the School, the creative writers feel that some research faculty dismiss them as “unprofessionalized” (presumably because of their focus on craft rather than theory). The creative writing faculty realizes, rightly, that a split from English would not serve their interests, and they want to feel a “part of the team.” Instead, they feel like they exist on the fringes of the department and have little impact on its overall identity. Their morale seems lower than that of any other group we met within the department. This, as already noted, is a problem that the Dean and the department need to address immediately.


Several problems feeding this sense of marginality could be easily remedied. First, any creative writing program of note deserves a designated space—a guaranteed room for seminars, for talks, for building a library, for creating a sense of belonging and unity. It appears that the MFA once had such a space, only to return one summer and find it had been taken away. We realize that campus real estate is always at a premium; but so successful a unit deserves a dedicated room at the very minimum, particularly if the School wishes it to continue competing successfully with comparable MFA programs. This space should be located close to other English offices, making creative writing as central to the department’s operations and identity as the other units. Enhanced physical proximity between research faculty and creative writers may also lead to enhanced psychological proximity, encouraging members of both groups to recognize each other as contributors to a common cause. A second remedy would be for the School to guarantee funding for the program’s graduates to attend the annual Squaw Valley conference. This meeting is the capstone of the MFA students’ professional training, where they are introduced to other writers, editors, agents, and publishers. Given the fact that students in the PhD program—with whom the MFA cohort shares many seminars—receive one guaranteed year of fellowship support, it seems eminently reasonable that the School should assure the writers financial support to attend this import conference in their final year to complete their professionalization. The writing faculty should not have to fight for this modest amount of money every year. It should be a guaranteed part of the MFA. Third, the lack of an operating budget for visitors and insufficient administrative assistance to do the work of arranging events lead to an under-utilization of the resource that this program represents for the department and the School. Our sense is that the unit has to ask the department each time it needs even miniscule funds for readings and the like. Whether a 50% staff person is adequate for the routine administration not only of the MFA (including the annual task of organizing some 600+ application files) but also of the undergraduate curriculum is also an issue that needs to be reviewed. An autonomous operating budget and increased staffing could be strategically used to the University’s benefit, creating opportunities for fundraising—donors love to meet writers!—and generating positive publicity for both the School and the University. The practice of bringing in a winter-quarter visiting professor, which is crucial to the design of the program, seems the one budget item that the MFA can count on. Two other issues worthy of mention have contributed to the demoralization of this faculty. One is the mandate to fill class enrollment quotas that ignore the pedagogical requirements of effective writing instruction. As we have already indicated, these metrics have had deleterious consequences for many areas of the curriculum, but the SCH quotas have had a particularly negative impact on faculty who teach writing workshops, where enrollment must be capped at a number that allows the teacher to assign and comment on multiple drafts and to work intensively with each student. Second, frictions were sorely exacerbated by a seemingly unilateral decision that no MFA faculty could teach graduate seminars this year (presumably so that newly arrived research faculty could offer them).


The opaque way in which this decision was made is unfortunate; simply requesting the creative writers to forego their seminars for a year and explaining the purpose of the request would no doubt have been met with graceful acquiescence instead of the resentment generated by a dictate from on high. While the MFA students do not receive any fellowships, they do benefit greatly from the three years they spend teaching composition. This is one area of successful cooperation through a shared commitment to and concern about writing that could be the basis of further collaborations among units. We have indicated, in our overall summary, some of the innovative ways that all units, including creative writing, might consider collaborative efforts, including co-taught courses. The fact that all the faculties and students, in different but complementary ways, share a passionate interest in writing points to a common purpose that is currently under-recognized but that has important implications for twenty-first-century collaborations that would benefit both the undergraduate and the graduate populations.

Rhetoric and Composition There are many models across the nation of how to structure the administration of a composition program. Although such a program has university-wide responsibilities, it is best housed in an English department when it has a strong tradition of research interest in rhetoric and composition, as is the case at Irvine. The director of composition and the campus writing coordinator both find the English department a congenial intellectual home, and their partnership makes possible effective coordination between the freshman composition curriculum and the university’s writing programs (which include the Writing Center, the important new Academic English initiative for ESL, and the upper-division writing requirement). This partnership could indeed be used to foster further cross-departmental and crossschool collaborations that promote the interests across units in issues having to do with writing and communication (for example, with the new School of Education, where a course on “theories of writing” has apparently been under discussion, but also with other units concerned with “rhetoric” broadly understood as the study of argument and communication). As the campus writing coordinator works with different departments to develop junior-year “writing in the disciplines” courses, s/he should be on the lookout for potential areas of intellectual and pedagogical collaboration. The training program through which graduate students learn how to teach composition seems soundly conceptualized and well-administered, following nationally recognized best practices. The teaching load and compensation of lecturers could and should be improved, especially in light of the important role such experienced instructors play in providing continuity and leadership to the program and in mentoring new graduate students teaching composition. The allocation of TA-ships between English and Comparative Literature seems to the composition director to be working well, perhaps in some measure because the current Chair of Comparative Literature is also an important


scholar in this field, but the danger that this allocation can become the cause of conflicts between programs (as often occurs elsewhere) must be avoided. The new summer online version of E39A, the first semester of the composition sequence, is now finally producing sufficient evidence to test its effectiveness, and the initial signals are positive (grades of students in 39B and C from students taking the on-line and on-campus versions of 39A are apparently comparable, and blind assessments of their writing also show no significant differences in quality), but it is expensive in time and resources and is not finally preferable to face-to-face instruction when that is possible. There are compelling intellectual as well as administrative reasons for adding faculty positions to the rhetoric and composition program. Adminstratively, two faculty lines do not give the program adequate “bench strength” to rotate responsibilities when faculty go on leave, take on other administrative duties, or simply need to pause, recover, and refocus. Intellectually, the field of rhetoric and composition is a very promising area of departmental strength that should figure prominently in the discussion of areas in which to build for the future. This is an area of traditional departmental excellence that arguably deserves a central place in any rethinking of what “theory” might mean for the twenty-first century, and it holds promise for a variety of cross-departmental, interdisciplinary collaborations. It is also the case that graduate students working in this field have excellent job prospects. Conclusion There are many signals that warrant concern about the condition of the English Department at Irvine, but there are also many reasons to believe in the potential promise for a future of excellence that would be worthy of the department’s impressive history. Indeed, the still broadly perceived reputation of the department as a “theory powerhouse” is an asset that can be transformed into a foundation on which to build a new identity appropriate to its current strengths and possibilities. To accomplish this transformation will require strategic, creative re-thinking of the “theory legacy” for the new intellectual challenges of the twenty-first century as well as imaginative development of intra- and inter-departmental collaborations that build on the many strengths of the Humanities at Irvine. With strong leadership in the School and the department, and good will among the faculty, this vision is within reach. It is not automatic, but it is an opportunity that the University should embrace as it imagines its second half-century.


Department of European Languages and Studies Clorinda Donato California State University, Long Beach

I. INTRODUCTION The Department of European Languages and Studies at the University of California Irvine has only been in existence since January 2012. The Department was created from what had previously been the Departments of French and Italian and German and the programs in European Studies and Russian. Although the new department came about as a way to consolidate resources for programs that had lost faculty and degree programs over the previous ten years, in a very short time the new department has forged an identity and a collaborative spirit. Indeed, the combining of energy around European languages and studies has rapidly given the department a distinction, visibility, and purpose. In a very short period of time ELS has established a new major in European Studies that offers students unique opportunities to embark upon a dual area of specialization, i.e., a language, literature, and cultural studies area with the broader umbrella of European Studies, a plan that offers students specialization and aperture towards an entire continent at the same time. This new configuration of faculty, course offerings and majors promises to revitalize the formerly separate programs with a new direction. The success attained thus far is indicative of this unit’s ability to enact a strategic plan and implement it in a short amount of time. The planned conferences on Europe will give the Department visibility, as scholars from around the world discuss Europe, past, present and future in for students, faculty and the entire community. These conferences are tangible evidence of the Department’s ability to plan and project into the future their new programs and purpose. The Department’s specific strengths are: European Studies, French, German, Italian, and Russian. The Department as currently configured has a unique opportunity to draw students who can develop a highly desired skill in the marketplace, i.e., knowledge of a second or third language together with competence in the inner workings of Europe and its cultural, economic, political and religious landscape. The European Languages and Studies department deserves full support of the administration as it moves into its second year of existence. II. REVIEW BY LANGUAGE: A. French: French, a UCI program with a stellar reputation in the past, was a point of reference for the entire field throughout the United States and even the world. Indeed, the ensuing problems following the deaths of Derrida and Lyotard demonstrated what can happen


when too much attention is paid to superstars and not enough to those who are investing their time to provide a solid foundation and progression toward the doctorate. Heady with the outstanding reputation in critical theory, French somehow lost its compass. Faculty was not tenured and then the budget crisis made it impossible to replace that faculty. The backlash against French has been severe, to the detriment of the entire School of Humanities. It is time to stop looking backwards and time to look ahead to building on the excellent base that has been restored thanks to the tireless efforts of Professor Carrie Noland. Indeed, the program is rebounding, also thanks to outstanding management of the language program by Maryse Mijalski, who teaches 6 undergraduate classes, supervises all French language instructors and provides advanced pedagogical instruction in a Practicum. She has a panoramic vision of the language program and has analyzed how to grow the program through deft scheduling with excellent results. Over the past year, two hires have been made, now giving French a solid base from which to rebuild. The French BA program has done as much as it can with the resources it has. Investment in faculty lines for French must occur at this very critical juncture to both bring back the PhD, but also to strengthen the BA, which is understaffed. Recommendation 1) Restore the French PhD program. Two hires would make it possible to restore the French PhD program, with one of these a shared hire with the History Department. A second hire should be made in the area of Francophone literatures, in particular in the area of the Maghreb. The specialist they did have in North African Literature, has yet to be replaced. Indeed, this hire should be able to can address colonialism, post-colonialism, and the relationship between Europe and colonial migration and movement. 2) Restore the TA program in French. The TA program, which once had 8 slots, should be restored. This is of course a corollary to the restoration of the French PhD program, but we wanted to highlight it as one of the best ways to return stability to the French program, and ultimately, to the department. The beneficial effects of having an additional cohort of graduate students to that of the German students is addressed elsewhere in this review 3) Strengthen the BA Program. By hiring tenure-track faculty, the French program will be able to cover the core courses for the major that it has trouble staffing with so few faculty lines. Additional permanence among the faculty is a must to keep the program growing. It is very difficult to maintain quality when there is a revolving door of lecturers who have to be trained on a year-by-year basis. 4) Allow the off-module courses to run. French has profited in the past from a second sequence of language courses that begins in the Winter quarter, with students completing the


sequence through an intensive quarter of study that combines two quarters into one, or by completing the sequence during the summer, with a study abroad option also being a possibility.

B. German: With six tenured faculty members, the German program has the most faculty of any single section in the ELS Department. German also offers the full range of degree programs from minor, major, to PhD. Some students stop their progression toward the doctorate after three years and leave with an MA. An issue we have been specifically asked to address. The biggest overall issue to be faced is that of low enrollments in every sector of the program. Some of these issues are simply due to national trends, other certainly have to do with some extremely severe enrollment policies that have damaged the German program and given students little confidence in their ability to finish their degrees in a timely manner as upper-division classes are continually cut due to low enrollment, with some lower-division courses being cut, too. The German facultyare to be commended for being the motor behind the restructuring of the section under the leadership of German professor Gail Hart. They have invested many hours in rethinking the department and shaping it into its new configuration of ELS. For this reason it would have behooved the administration to keep courses open at all costs as they transition into their new configuration. European Languages and Studies has been a very well thought out solution, one that if properly marketed, could also reenergize the entire German section. Students should be encouraged to take a double major in German and European Studies. European Studies should be a direction of growth for the doctoral program as well. The German Faculty has become instrumental to the mission of the department, teaching many of the European Studies courses. By combining the numbers of students taught in European Studies with the numbers taught in German, the faculty are more than meeting their burden of teaching 80 students per year. Our meetings with faculty in the German section were extremely positive. All of the faculty (individual meetings either in person or through SKYPE were held with each faculty member with the exception of John H. Smith who is on leave. Many of them are working overloads, doing everything they can to accommodate students and assist them in finishing the program. In some cases, the extra hours are provided so that students have the opportunity to discuss readings they have done in German in courses that are taught in English.



1) Leave courses open for students to complete their majors, especially those courses that are taught in German. For a few years, allow the lower-division courses to run with lower enrollments, too. ELS has been created with significant input from German. The newly configured department will generate more enrollments in each direction, European Studies and German, but time needs to be given to the program and confidence restored. 2) Invest in the creation of some hybrid and online courses Funding will be necessary to do this, but hybrid and online courses could offer some flexibility, especially when students are unable to take a section at a particular time. Alternatives to courses in real time could keep people in the program, allowing them to reenter the sequence in a subsequent quarter. 3) Promote joint degrees in European Studies and German and show students the advantages, including study abroad. 4) Encourage study abroad to possibly fulfill some of their language requirements. C. Italian: The Italian program has one tenured faculty member, James Chiampi, and a lecturer, Franca Hamber. They have been working together for many years and have maintained a minor degree in Italian that enrolls between 1 and 4 minor degree-pursuing students every year. The language program has traditionally enrolled well, though recently there have been some slight dips. The Departmental Self Study offers no information on the vision for the program and plans for growth, or how it interprets its role within the newly configured European Languages and Studies Department. Considering the strong interest in Italian nationwide, it should be possible and desirable for the Italian program to grow and to spark interest in the minor. Students enjoy Italian and they will do more if offered some innovative courses and opportunities to interact with other students in the Department through club activities. It behooves the Italian section to work with the Chair to increase enrollments and minors. Recommendations: • Create a class taught in English on Italian cinema or Italian American culture. Both of these courses would be a draw across the campus. They could be alternated. In this way, Italian, like German, French and Russian, would have a large class that would attract students to the minor. Russian, with the courses 50 and 150 enrolls high numbers of students. • Work toward growing a BA in Italian Studies by hiring an additional tenure-track person with a joint specialization in Italian and European Studies. This would also bring the Italian program into closer alignment with the rest of the Department.


D. Russian: The Russian Program with its minor in Russian Studies is a well-thought sequence of courses that has enabled students to acquire two years of Russian language and a rich sequence of culture and literature courses taught in English until recently, when faculty retirements have left only one lecturer, Lora Wheeler Mjolsness, to run and teach the entire program. This has resulted in reduced language class offerings, no longer making it possible for students to take first year Russian every year. Students who want to take two years of Russian must now hope to be on the right sequence, for first and second year Russian are no longer taught every year. A number of students came to the meeting for undergraduates to complain about this, as they want to take Russian but are unable to complete it. In order to keep the minor program going, Dr. Mjolsness is teaching an overload. Dr. Mjolsness is to be commended for the amount of enrollment she has brought into the department and the following of committed students to Russian language and culture. Recommendation: The hire of a second lecturer to teach Russian language is critical. Russian is a strategic language and UCI has built the ideal minor program on very few resources. We can only urge the university to rectify this situation immediately and to keep this vibrant program alive and thriving. We are particularly impressed by the Dr. Mjolsness’ dedication and wonder how much longer she will be able to sustain the current pace.

III. Specific Problems and Recommendations: • Europe and European Studies: While the Department is named European Languages and Studies, not all countries of Europe are represented. One of the most glaring gaps is the Iberian Peninsula. Recommendation: Create a new position that is shared by European Languages and Studies and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese to bring Spain and Portugal into the department while at the same time creating a link between ELS and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. This relationship should be enhanced through the establishment of a European Languages and Studies lecture series that brings in speakers who address topics of interest to both ELS and Spain. These lectures should always be coordinated in conjunction with the European Studies classes so that there is an audience and so that the students see how the various parts of Europe work together. • Interdisciplinarity: The new department, ELS, implies an interdisciplinary course of study, when, however, the faculty in the Department are primarily language, literature, and cultural studies. How can a more interdisciplinary relationship be established?


Recommendation: Establish a joint position between History and ELS. An area that is sorely in need of coverage for both the History Department and ELS is the French Revolution. Such a hire would augment coverage for the French Program, as the eighteenth century would now be taught. UCI had a strength in the area of the French Revolution with Tim Tackett and it would be good for both History and ELS to restore that strength. The French Revolution is a very important topic for German, Italian, and Russian as well, and the courses taught by a historian on the period of the French Revolution and its European influence could become a staple in the ELS course offerings. This is a field that every university offers and it is a necessary area to be fulfilled. By writing a position description strategically by thinking about the areas that could be served by this faculty member, UCI could, with a hire in this area, address a number of weaknesses, not to mention bringing the French Program closer to the goal of restoring the French Ph.D. program. • Further Development of European Studies Recommendation Faculty hired into the Department should have an interest in European Studies and be able to contribute to its growth. Ideally, the Department is going to continue to jointly foster European Studies that unites all faculty, and the specializations in language and literature that in turn, feed European Studies. The Department should seriously consider building an MA in European Studies. Those students who wish to pursue a PhD could then do so in French or German from the perspective of a very strong base in European Studies. •

Departmental Enrollment Issues: There is concern about enrollments in language classes, literatures classes taught in the target language, the two-year language requirement, and graduate classes. This has led to tension between the Department and the Administration as classes that are necessary for the major in German and French and the minor in Italian and Russian have been closed. The closure of language courses is also worrisome, as it can produce a domino effect in the case of German, for example, where a closed language class can create problems for the teaching associate who depends on that class for employment.

Lower Division Language Requirement, Quarters 1-6: UCI has a two-year language requirement for students with majors in the humanities. Some departments have expressed a desire to lower the requirement to one year. Having considered the majors in the School of Humanities, the twoyear language requirement should be seen as an enhancement of the various


majors, rather than a detriment. Most jobs require applicants to possess knowledge of at least one, if not two foreign languages. For some students, the perceived onus of the language requirement is related to the inability to take classes outside of the fall-winter-spring sequence, with alternative scheduling rare. Specific recommendations are made on a languageby-language basis within that language area. Recommendation: The language requirement should be seen as a badge of distinction in the School and there should be a school-wide effort to promote it as such. Indeed, our reading of the Undergraduate Survey about majors in the Humanities corroborates this idea. Students stated that they valued the international content, languages and knowledge that they received in the School of Humanities (see The 2010 University of California Undergraduate Experience Survey (UCUES) p. 2 under Learning and Development Gains where they commented positively on the development of their foreign language skills, yet it appears that they don’t know how that translates into jobs as they don’t seem to see the connection between the two as is made evident by their response to that particular question. At a time when there has never been more attention being paid to bilingualism and multilingualism, with a proliferation of journals and monographs on the topic, colleges and universities should be encouraging students to acquire more languages. On college campuses these days, high percentages of students are already bilingual and should have facility with learning another language. One of the marks of distinction of a graduate from the UCI School of Humanities should be knowledge of one or more languages. The review team recommends that alternative methods of course delivery be attempted to offer courses off-sequence, in the summer, or through on-line means. Intensive sequences might also be explored. We recommend investing resources into this possibility. For example, an online, first quarter course could make it possible for students who have time conflicts to take the course anyway and join the second quarter class when it is offered.

IV. The University of California Undergraduate Experience Survey (UCUES) and European Studies There are a number of items in this survey that reflect positively on ELS, including students reporting a high level of satisfaction with the teaching in the program. By the same token, students in ELS reported a high level of academic challenge. Humanities majors had selected their major for international experience or the opportunity to study abroad. This means that students in the School of Humanities associate language study and the language requirement in a positive way as leading toward academic travel. Once again, we would like to iterate how important it is for Humanities majors to make a


positive connection between language study and international experience. This can be done by the School of the Humanities taking this on as an area to build in its branding of the School. Majors in European Studies (14 polled) reported 100% satisfaction when it came to academic advising, quality of faculty instruction, quality of upper-division courses in the major; 100% of the European Studies majors also reported that they incorporated material from class into assignments. V. Graduate Education in ELS: German There is only one graduate program in ELS, the German PhD program. We had a onehour meeting with the graduate students in German. Five students attended this meaning. All of the students lamented the paucity of support available for travel to conferences. They were concerned about the need to build up their CV’s with conference presentations, as well as the need to change those presentations into articles as quickly as possible. The German graduate students have a good grasp of the market and the challenges they face. They were all keen on placing themselves in as positive a light as possible. They reported on getting acceptances to conferences, but then not being able to acquire funding from the University for this travel was a source of stress over how to make ends meet. They said that they knew that UCLA had better funding for its graduate students and they wondered why there is variation from one UC campus to the other in this area. The graduate students were impressive in their engagement with their dissertations and their commitment to German Studies in the broadest sense and to its intersection with other disciplines. The graduate students in German were overall very enthusiastic about their program, their professors, and advisement, but they did express concern about the future and the job market. It should be noted that many of the concerns expressed by the German graduate students were also echoed by the graduate students in other disciplines, most especially the lack of sufficient funding. The Graduate Student Survey reports the following when students were asked if they would choose UCI again: “Open-ended responses suggest that the most frequent reason for not choosing UCI again is the decline in graduate student financial support” (p. 2, Graduate Student Survey). In the survey, when students were asked how to improve the program, increased funding was cited. Quality of Graduate Education and Learning Outcomes: The PhD exams in German have been structured in a very unique way, one that stimulates students to draw on all of the knowledge they have acquired to create four course syllabi. This task has the advantage of also preparing them for the job market, for one of the questions that candidates are regularly asked is to discuss the courses they would like to teach and why. The German faculty are to be commended for their innovation in this regard. Their model should be emulated.


Attrition Query: “German Only: The department notes attrition of students who initially plan to pursue a PhD, but leave with a Master’s. How might this situation be ameliorated?” Response: This is probably a common situation in graduate programs. It is normal for students to pursue a course of graduate study and then decide that they do not want to invest the time into the PhD. One of the most important things to do to curb attrition is for the faculty to work closely with the Modern Language Association, which now has a new committee on non-academic applications of the PhD. As our profession becomes better at advising students how to transfer their skills to non-academic jobs, the PhD will gain in respect as a viable degree for multiple avenues of employment. Another issue may be time to degree. This is not to say that the graduate students in German are taking any longer then anyone else, but rather that nationwide, time to degree for many Humanities disciplines is considered excessive and there is a robust discussion going on, also at the MLA, about how the PhD might be restructured or recast to hasten progress. Once again, many of the questions about the German PhD program reflect questions at all PhD granting institutions in the area of Language and Literature.

Further Recommendations: The restoration of a PhD program in French will improve the graduate student experience in ELS by creating a larger cohort of graduate students, which will stimulate collaboration and the creation of new projects and outlets for graduate student exchange. The German graduate students suffer from isolation to some extent and would most likely feel more connected if they had other graduate students to share experiences with. We recommend that TA funding be increased and that courses for the TAs in German be maintained. Faculty and students alike worry about courses being closed for low enrollment. The German faculty were deeply concerned about the well being of their graduate students and want to insure adequate funding for them as they progress to degree in their PhD program. VI. TEACHING ASSOCIATES IN ELS The teaching associates in German area well trained and they enjoy teaching. Their contribution to the program is significant as they cover all of the required courses for the language requirement in School of Humanities. French will benefit greatly once the graduate program is restored as they will have a cohort of TAs to teach French language. Currently they have problem finding adjunct faculty to teach French language and several lecturers have been lost due to the unstable situation. French enrollments are good and growing. VII. FACULTY QUALITY


The quality of the faculty in ELS is very high. The vast majority of the faculty are active scholars with a solid research agendas and publications. The amount of innovative work they have been able to do in one short year is a testament to their abilities.


Department of History Herman L. Bennett Professor of History The CUNY Graduate Center Eric Van Young Distinguished Professor of History University of California at San Diego

Introduction & Overview: As state governments steadily cut and reduce their financial contributions to educational institutions, public universities confront an unusual challenge. At its core, the challenge concerns the very definition of a public university. The reduction in state funds—with a reversal of the current trend far removed from the political and fiscal horizon—calls for a redefinition of public university that for all purposes may no longer be classified as public. Since current funding levels for many public universities derives increasingly from student tuition and private sources as opposed to state governments, it seems more fitting to refer to these institutions as recipients of public funds or stateassisted, as opposed to public universities. Of course, these issues are not peculiar to the State of California. American public education stands at a crossroads. Its future remains decidedly uncertain and its core mission subject to considerable re-negotiation or even significant degradation. The ways in which the University of California, Irvine addresses this unprecedented challenge will exemplify several among many possible remedies for a national dilemma. In voicing these concerns within a national framework, the members of the Academic Program Review (APR) merely wish to situate their assessment of the University’s History Department in a larger structural context. As administrators seek creative solutions for budgetary constraints individual units in the university play a critical role while also bearing the consequences of such adjustments. The History Department, a cornerstone of the School of the Humanities, has been a regional and national draw for promising students and distinguished faculty. The steady decline in the number of faculty members and the University’s decision to increase student enrollment in order to address budgetary matters and respond to public demand pose a challenge to both the University and the History Department’s core mission. The History Department has long had a reputation for its superb teaching, its culture of nurturing and advising undergraduates, its service to the State of California, and its distinguished scholarly profile. As dedicated teachers, the History Department faculty have cultivated a devoted core of students and growing pool of alumni while simultaneously maintaining scholarly productivity that situates the Department very respectably in the national rankings among Research I schools. (For what such exercises are worth, the Department’s graduate program comes in at number 36 nationally in the 2013 US News and World Report


rankings, a short distance behind UC Davis and UC San Diego. Virtually all the departments ranked ahead of UCI’s are larger, and even those proximate to it are considerably larger.) Balancing a culture of superior teaching and superb scholarship represents a formidable challenge, which only a select few institutions have achieved. This feat positions UC Irvine’s History Department as such a rare institution and a national model. In fact, given all the constraints on its size and financial resources, the Department may be said to be occupy a rank well beyond the number of its faculty. Overall, such balances are precarious. As the History Department confronts a steady decline of faculty numbers, increased student enrollment, larger classes and packed classrooms, less time for undergraduate advising and nurturing, a conscientious core of faculty seem anxious and willing to surrender ever more of their scholarship time—time that it takes to produce high-quality and nationally recognized scholarship in the humanities. Although the social costs are not yet easily discernible, ultimately the imbalance in favor of attending and administering to a growing undergraduate population puts the History Department’s national ranking at risk in terms of the quality of scholarship and scholarly productivity. A long-term imbalance also threatens the morale of a vibrant department only too willing to link its core mission to the overall vision and direction of the University. There are no easy solutions. Still, the administration should take the initiative with a frank and transparent dialogue with faculty leaders and departmental collectives openly to address these concerns and seek some common ground for an institutional vision. In the fifty years since its inception the Department of History at UC Irvine has acquired a reputation for scholarly distinction. After its site visit, the members of the APR concluded that the reputation of the History Department as an innovative center for scholarly and teaching excellence is well deserved. As an academic unit with national visibility, the Department of History is at a critical moment. Poised to enter the ranks of the second tier, UC Irvine’s History Department warrants significant strategic and material support from the School of the Humanities and the University administration. In order to make this desired move, the members of the APR feel strongly that firm, strategic, and transparent leadership at various levels—the departmental, the School of the Humanities, and the University—needs to be exercised in consultation with the faculty so as to navigate the fiscal and financial shoals confronting the University of California system in general and the Department of History at UCI specifically. Governance, along with additional resources (the authorization of strategic hires and increased support for graduate students) will affect the immediate and long-term standing of a department poised to cross the next threshold among Research I institutions. Many of the institutional pieces are in place, but for this move to occur real leadership and strategic thinking need to be enacted at the levels of the School and the Department in consultation with each other. At this moment the possibilities are still promising, but without thoughtful and consultative governance the opportunities will wane. Despite the Department’s nationally recognized strengths and strong standing in the School of the Humanities (discussed in more detail below), the members of the APR believe that the Department must engage in a series of strategic discussions to make best use of its current faculty resources and present an effective case to the administration for


additional faculty lines. Little doubt exists that additional lines are required but, given the University’s present financial circumstances, the Department must demonstrate how FTEs can enhance the effectiveness of current faculty as well as fill significant gaps. The members of the APR also feel that the strategic discussions could assist the Department in thinking through its priorities and in re-configuring an inherited institutional culture that is a holdover from a time when the History faculty was significantly larger, with its intellectual core more firmly rooted in the West European intellectual tradition, and when it had to serve far fewer undergraduates. Although the Department has recently experienced the loss of distinguished senior scholars due to recruiting to other institutions and retirements, the tenure process and ‘opportunistic’ hires have put in place a faculty that serve as building blocks for the immediate future, especially in its burgeoning strength in world history. Strategic discussions would help the Department realize the potential strengths in Atlantic, gender, ethnic, and early American history alongside those already present in World, Asian, and Latin American areas, thus putting into place both a more rationalized undergraduate curriculum and a streamlined graduate program. With its existing faculty, the Department must—as a group—decide how to configure its strengths in relationship to its pedagogical and scholarly programs so as to represent, and if possible anticipate, the most up-to-date directions in the profession. This strategic thinking, which should also encompass interdisciplinary collaborations, will enable the Department faculty to make the necessary strong case for additional faculty lines that are critical for maximizing the collective effectiveness of this exceptional group of teacherscholars. Ultimately, the members of the APR feel that the strategic discussions will serve both to enhance the History Department’s national prominence and position this cornerstone of the humanities as a leader among its peers in the University of California system. The following sections provide our assessment of the Department’s achievements and potential in each area of the University’s mission in teaching, service and outreach, and research and scholarship. Teaching: Undergraduate Program: In a fundamental sense, and despite its standing as a Research I institution, the Department of History constitutes first and foremost an undergraduate teaching unit: teaching, but undergraduate teaching in particular, is at core of its mission. For this reason, and because undergraduate teaching demands influence deeply all other aspects of the Department’s mission, we have devoted what may seen an inordinate amount of space to it. The faculty devotes most of its energy to teaching undergraduates and will be expected to teach ever greater numbers as the University increases its overall size. Even though greater enrollment at the University level has not resulted in a proportional growth in the number of students taking history courses or in an increase in the number of majors, the History Department plays a vital role in the educational mission of the School of the Humanities and the University in general. Offering a breadth of courses with a wide range of geographic, temporal, and thematic coverage represents a real strength for an increasingly diverse student body and multicultural/transnational state.


In its teaching of large numbers of undergraduates, the Department of History contributes significantly to the educational and service mission of UC Irvine. The faculty is clearly devoted to teaching undergraduates and fulfills the model of scholars as teachers. Both tenured and pre-tenured faculty regularly offer courses at the various levels and serve as instructors for most of the Department’s classes. The few syllabi that we had a chance to see indicate sophisticated and diverse approaches to learning, with a great deal of emphasis on primary sources. The few undergraduate students with whom we met praised individual History faculty for their instructional skills and accessibility, indicating that they felt supported and mentored. They particularly esteemed upper-level classes and seminars, in which they had more individualized and sustained contact with those instructors. The faculty to whom we spoke clearly values their lecture and classroom experience. We were particularly impressed by the commitment that junior faculty manifested toward teaching even though they regularly taught courses with high enrollment figures (200 and 300 plus students, large by humanities standards). Many of the junior faculty, but also the faculty in general, talked about trying to find ways to maintain the quality of their courses even as enrollment numbers increase; in doing so, they discussed strategies for reaching, challenging, and mentoring students. Despite these strengths, undergraduate teaching is also a matter of increasing anxiety. For some faculty, bigger classes result in an unwieldy and less personal teaching experience. The instructional quality, especially writing, at the introductory level is steadily diminishing because of time constraints on instructors. Complicating this dynamic is the fact that the School has increased the enrollment caps for TAs (one TA for every 60 students with two sections, or one for every 75 students without sections). As one faculty member noted “[T]his simply constitutes an increased work load that brings with it the demoralization of the History faculty.” Finally, there is the matter of equity in terms of bearing the undergraduate teaching burden, which despite steady references to collegiality seems to be a considerable issue. Faculty commented freely that the load seems not to be carried equally among the various colleagues. This was not simply a matter of lament among the junior and mid-career faculty, but an issue that came up across the ranks and was directed at individuals who prized their scholarship and graduate instruction at the expense of their responsibility to colleagues and undergraduates. In order to address this concern, transparent governance, frank faculty conversations, and careful redistributive planning are called for. As one faculty member noted “[Let us] make service transparent so as to attend to existing inequities.” The need for planning, intellectual coherence, and advising are prevalent concerns among the faculty. As one faculty member observed, “[E]xpansion of field coverage at the graduate level has meant less coverage at the undergraduate level.” This dynamic has in turn engendered a serious discrepancy between the History Department’s course catalogue listings and the actual courses on offer during any given quarter. The unwillingness of the Department to attend to this discrepancy speaks to the lack of serious and sustained collective conversation about the state of the undergraduate major,


teaching, and advising. In some respects this is simply a departmental matter, but as one faculty member noted there is “no focused vision from the Dean of Undergraduates” and in general the situation reflects the “lack of vision or what our new vision should look like.” Structurally, the School or the University have contributed to this problem by eliminating the course release for Undergraduate Chair, a position that brought some planning, coherence, and a modicum of advising to the History Department. In lieu of this course release, the position simply adds to an individual’s work-load, thus discouraging innovative or strategic thinking in relation to the undergraduate curriculum. The curriculum, even as the faculty topical offerings have shifted to world history, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, manifests serious “gaps” but is also decidedly “unpredictable, especially at the in-between level,” a point raised with the APR committee anecdotally but strongly in our talk with the small group of undergraduate students who showed up in the hour allotted for them during the site visit. One possible solution to providing coverage of courses in the catalog in the face of increased demands on the teaching time of the line faculty might be to establish a program in which doctoral students in the write-up phase of their work teach courses as the instructors of record (known as “Associates-In”) and are paid at appropriate levels, typically somewhat below those of visiting assistants or instructors with their doctorates. This has enjoyed some degree of success at other UC campuses (e.g., UCSD), providing financial support and considerable teaching experience for doctoral students about to enter the academic job market, as well as providing coverage for courses in the catalog, but that might not be offered in any given year because of a shortage of line faculty. The talk about a History Honors track indicates that the faculty remain interested in forward thinking concerning an enrichment of the undergraduate experience, but there needs to be a clearly articulated vision from the Dean of Undergraduate Studies in tandem with the School of the Humanities. Such a message has to entail more than talking about “butts in seats versus majors” (to use the colorful local idiom), to include discussions about the quality of undergraduate education (framed around writing, analysis, and critical thinking) in view of increasing enrollment figures, higher enrollment caps for TAs, and in general the role of humanities education in the era of STEM. Indeed, in several of our discussions with the Department leadership and faculty, we heard expressed the complaint that the administration has a tendency to “move the goal posts” with shifting strategic priorities, leaving the Department confused as to whether the fulfillment of its mission and its welfare as an academic unit depend upon student credit hours in the aggregate (the “butts-in-seats” metric), or upon the number of majors. Along with a clearly expressed vision from the administration, the Department needs to embark upon some frank conversations about establishing a coherent undergraduate curriculum for majors and non-majors. These conversations need to address concerns about a shared responsibility to the undergraduate student body, establishing an equitable rotation among lectures, discussions, and upper-division seminars. Perhaps this will momentarily temper the widely acknowledged collegiality within the Department, but on the other hand this ethos is being undermined by a sense that citizenship is not being equally enacted. Here incompetence in large lecture formats and indifference to the undergraduate body should not result in default assignments to upper-division seminars and graduate teaching.


The members of the APR believe that the History undergraduate curriculum, therefore, despite its considerable success, could benefit from a focused review. Changes in the composition of the faculty, declining enrollments, and a decline in the number of majors (there are at present about 270 majors, down considerably from a few years ago— but this is a national trend hardly unique to UCI), along with talk about an Honors track, should occasion a more general review of the History major to ensure that the program reflects recent trends in historical scholarship and pedagogy to prepare students for possible graduate study. One method suggested to us for increasing the number of majors (and thus reducing the possibility that teaching from the Department will over time assume more and more a “service” function) is to construct a concentration in teacher preparation, although this would necessitate closer faculty advising instead of the rather ad hoc style of advising currently in place. Another mechanism for developing some undergraduate esprit de corps would be to revive the History Club. As discussed below, the current faculty specializes in many of the areas that embrace the broad sweep of world and comparative history, but the teaching of a wide variety of courses is not synonymous with a curriculum. The faculty could perhaps help their undergraduate majors think through more integrated programs by offering examples of curricula that provide some focus on areas such as world-comparative, Atlantic, Latin American, Early American, and gender and women’s history, etc. Although we agree that undergraduate History majors benefit from exposure to a variety of courses over time and space, we suggest that students headed to graduate school should have the opportunity to develop the depth of understanding that comes from a directed approach to the curriculum, and of working with several faculty members who bring different perspectives to a field. Some other aspects of the undergraduate program require rethinking and readjustment, especially since the acknowledged “thinness” of undergraduate class offerings has resulted from the retirement of a number of senior faculty who were very active in the program. For example, the 100W class substituted for the abolished capstone essay for majors seems to have been well accepted, and History 190, we were told, has produced among undergraduates a “generally good experience.” Still, one of the acknowledged virtues of history instruction is that it can offer, in the small-class context, a much deeper engagement with the traditional humanistic skills of document analysis, critical thinking, and writing. The Department should try to develop ways of accommodating these goals even for interested non-majors. The two-language requirement for students within the School of the Humanities discourages students from majoring in history, we were told, although why this should be true, apart from certain inelasticities in students’ time, is not clear to us. There must be ways around this, such as incorporating language-learning into the history curriculum in some ways, and this warrants consideration on the part of the faculty. We learned in talking with Department faculty that many are involved in some way with interdisciplinary programs and Schools at UC Irvine. We probed for an explanation about the lack of cross-listed courses and other manifestations of institutional cross-fertilization, which help to formalize these ties and signal to students the value placed on interdisciplinary learning and perspectives. We received the explanation that


bureaucratic hurdles and institutional hostility across Schools and programs discourage cross-listing, team teaching, and faculty collaboration while making it difficult for students to register, receive coherent advising, or double-major across disciplines and Schools. The opinion seems to be held by some faculty members, for example, that the cross-listing of undergraduate courses across Schools provokes “punishment” from the Registrar, although what these punitive measure may be—smaller classrooms, suboptimal scheduling—is not clear. Nor is the nature of these obstacles overall, as well as their history and administrative logic, entirely clear to us, but they did arise several times in conversation with Department members and are clearly burrs under the saddles of several faculty. We encourage the administration, Academic Senate, and Department faculty to find ways to eliminate these barriers that reinforce silo mentalities among faculty and students alike. Graduate Program: The Department of History has in a short time established itself as a small but vibrant graduate program. The students we spoke to were extremely thoughtful, intellectually engaged, and keen on their professional development. They were also quite candid about the funding challenges they confronted and the ways in which financial considerations affect their studies, their professionalization (research possibilities and attendance at conferences), and attendance at scholarly events on campus. Although the students we met were highly motivated and devoted to the program, they uniformly observed how arbitrary and haphazard both funding and advising were within the Department. This in turn engendered an “extremely stressful situation” and a “battle to find TAships,” which in turn can lengthen time to completion of the degree. (We would note, in passing, that while the reduction of normative support time for doctoral students from seven to six years just treads the line of plausibility in terms of completing the doctorate, rumors we heard of reducing the time still further, to five years, are patently ridiculous when considered in the context of national-level statistics for time-to-degree among historians.) The uncertainty of obtaining TA positions from year to year, or even quarter to quarter, takes it toll on graduate students in terms of their primary task, their studies. The thin, not to say inadequate, funding situation has yet another impact on the course-phase of graduate instruction. With relatively little funding available to recruit new students, and with the rule that a graduate seminar must have a minimum of four registered students to “make,” there are simply not enough “bodies” for the existing seminar offerings. This has led to the necessity of renumbering the same seminars so that they can be taken multiple times by any one student, a clear dilution of the instructional power of such classes. Given that, as one administrator told us, UCI as a whole has not yet “built out” its graduate student population, something will need to give here. The incoming dean of the School of the Humanities acknowledged this in noting that while first-year support is committed to every entering graduate student, it is the “follow-up” support in subsequent years that it is the problem as things now stand. A five-year support package (first-year fellowship, three years of TAship, and a writing year) has apparently just been put in place, but given the resources available it seems unlikely that the funds will stretch to underwrite many of these. And as far as the search for outside funding is concerned, as one student noted, and the rest agreed, in the Department there is a pervasive sense that “you are on your own.” For this reason, the students felt a need for


a collective orientation and guidance toward outside funding and fellowships—a clearinghouse or inventory for fellowships. In lieu of departmental guidance, the students thought that by default the entrepreneurial spirit was hypertrophied and rewarded—and ethos they believed was antithetical to graduate training in the humanities. The students also conceded that the intellectual environment was “uneven.” They collectively agreed that the absence of intellectual content (extracurricular talks, seminars, and reading groups) within the Department was unfortunate and a matter of considerable concern. There was also considerable positive response to the notion of instituting dissertationwriting and professionalization workshops in a more formal way, rather than in the ad hoc manner in which they may (or may not) presently exist. We were informed that there is virtually no money available to support graduate student travel to conferences or to do short research stints, both of which are vital to the doctoral learning curve and the establishment of professional scholarly identity. Finally, the students felt that the Department needs to make more of an effort to ensure that they have access to office space, a desk, or a carrel since the library is usually crowded and noisy (something with which the undergraduates we talked to agreed). As is the case at many U.S. institutions, a significant number of the History graduate students focus on U.S. and regional history, though the number of UC Irvine students in the East Asia and world history fields has increased somewhat in recent years. This development seems promising given the availability of academic positions in East Asia and World History, and Irvine’s faculty strength in these areas. We came away from our meetings with faculty and graduate students with the understanding that students are obtaining excellent training in certain areas. The Department of History has a wealth of expertise that, when supplemented with key new hires, can allow the faculty to offer graduate fields in some critical areas. After talking with faculty and graduate students—and thinking about the comparative strengths of history programs elsewhere— we believe that the Department could benefit by streamlining its graduate program. Understandably, for most faculty members at a Research I Institution training graduate students is desirable. Still, it seems unrealistic that all fields should be represented in the Ph.D offerings, since it dilutes the overall History curriculum at the doctoral level. The Department should be encouraged to take a hard look at what fields are truly viable at Irvine then strengthen the curriculum in those areas and actively recruit students in those fields. This does not mean that faculty in other fields should be excluded from graduate training—they simply need not offer Ph.Ds in their fields. Instead, they could be given priority and credit for teaching the History & Theory and general historiography courses. By engaging in the honest and difficult task of streamlining the graduate program, the Department could, in turn, strengthen its undergraduate program and foster a first-rate Honors track in which all faculty members share responsibility equally. To sum up, chief among the concerns that need robust action by the administration, the faculty strongly recommended higher and comprehensive T.A. stipends to recruit top students. From our own experience, we agree that competitive stipends are critical to attracting and nurturing talented students. This is important particularly for recruiting students at the national level in areas such as East Asia, Latin America, transnational, and world history. Only administrative support will foster


strength in these areas and could result in greater success in recruiting students from under-represented groups. Given the Department’s commitment and considerable achievement in diversifying its faculty ranks, principally along gender lines, diversity in terms of cultural and national origins seems an important area for discussion and followup that might eventually foster racial diversity among the graduate student population. Service & Outreach: The UC Irvine Department of History carries a high service load that seriously impinges on time and effort that could be devoted to scholarship, thus inhibiting the Department’s ability to further advance its fine reputation. Departmental leadership positions include the Department Chair, Undergraduate and Graduate Program Directors, the Personnel Committee, and sundry other committees. Service responsibilities expand further to include the School of the Humanities and University committees, as well as the weighty but critical responsibility for informally advising the hundreds of undergraduates and graduate students. Much of this service and professional leadership is essential to support the Department and University missions, and fits well the traditional culture of shared faculty governance within the UC system. It is nonetheless quite evident that this burden is not evenly distributed among the faculty. As an example, we could point to long list of independent studies that a number of mid-career faculty members teach, especially the associate professors, and to the role of this obligation in delaying the publication of the second book. Clearly students are drawn to these excellent teachers and mentors but the proliferation of service means that their advancement to the rank of professor is noticeably delayed. We suggest that the Department review and openly discuss the distribution of service to ensure that pre-tenure faculty and associate professors are asked to meet only a proportionate and appropriate share of the responsibilities. Although our concerns are based on qualitative impressions, the Department and the administration might generate data on these issues to avert what appears to be a crisis of service related to gender inequity. There is a strong impression especially among some of the more junior women faculty members, that such inequity exists, and it will inevitably undermine morale in substantial segments of the Department. Moreover, at the junior and early post-tenure levels, faculty members of color are likely to take on, or implicitly have thrust upon them, considerable service obligations in the undergraduate sphere. For personal, political, and pedagogical reasons these faculty members are generally happy, even eager, to take on such obligations, but this inevitably impacts their own scholarly work, and therefore the pace at which they advance, as we have noted; a point of equilibrium more favorable to these faculty members needs to be arrived at. The Department’s self study details its wide range of outreach activities, including the Humanities Out There (HOT) program and the remarkable UCI History Project. We were mightily impressed with both of these, which with related programs enrich the educational experiences of UC Irvine’s undergraduate and graduate students while supporting the University’s mission in the State of California. If the School of the Humanities and the University wishes to strengthen its public mission and the public perception of relevance, institutional support and commitment for an academic


coordinator would go a long way in sustaining some of the vital service to the State of California embraced willingly and effectively by Department members. Departmental Governance, Relations with the SoH, and Paths to Promotion The Department of History seems to us well governed, although there could be some adjustments made that would both facilitate the business of the unit, and deepen the sense of what we might call “stake-holding” among the assistant and associate ranks. Many of the points raised in this regard turned on what the junior faculty in particular feel to be an insufficient transparency in the way departmental business is carried out. One remark that stuck with us was that policy decisions seem to be pushed through the Department without sufficient discussion across ranks. Now, while discussion in such situations can be paralyzing, it can also give faculty members a sense of enfranchisement that in the end is just as positive in contributing to the internal atmosphere of the unit as it may be somewhat negative in terms of efficiency. The simple practice of consistently providing agendas, reports, and action items as far in advance of departmental meetings as possible might help to alleviate this impression. That service expectations and obligations within the Department, and between it, the School of the Humanities, and the University should be made more transparent was another point raised by several faculty members. Finally, one or two people remarked to us that although all ranks within the Department are involved in internal personnel reviews, the fact that the otherwise anonymous ballots are marked by rank tends to make the junior members feel that they are at risk for the evaluations they express through their votes. We became acutely aware during the visit that relations between the Department of History and the administration of the School of the Humanities had become quite tense in recent years; in this respect there are sanguine expectations that the arrival of a new dean of the School will improve matters. Still, the need for greater transparency concerning policy decisions at the School level that impact the Department was raised several times. One senior member of the faculty suggested that even if decisions from on high about the allotment of FTEs, budget cuts, and so forth are not what the Department would like to hear, the existence of an information gap about the rationale for such decisions aggravates the situation. Furthermore, absent such transparency, internal departmental discussions about the configuration of the Department faculty, its future fields of emphasis, the relationship between undergraduate and graduate instruction, and so forth, cannot be very meaningful. Promotion actions within academic units are very often fraught both for the candidates and the rest of the unit. Although there is certainly no way to avoid this entirely, it can be ameliorated to some degree through greater transparency—again, that term—of criteria and procedures. Most of the junior faculty—that is, assistant professors looking toward promotion to tenure, and associate professors contemplating movement to the full rank—seem to feel that rules for tenure, at least, are “pretty clear.” But perhaps an internal departmental document laying out as clearly as possible the criteria for promotion at all levels, not in rigid but probabilistic and normative terms—would alleviate anxieties about movement up the ranks. The discussions attendant upon the


generation of such a document might also take into account the possibility of widening the criteria, especially for movement from associate to full rank, by according greater weight to teaching and service. We realize that this is a sensitive issue among humanists, where the “second monograph” rule applies quite widely in Research I settings. But it is worth some discussion, especially in view of the fact that some of the associate professors seem “stuck” in terms of advancement. Finally, the need for peer teaching review at promotions was raised. Other issues raised under the heading of the internal life of the Department depend more clearly on an injection of funds from outside, an unlikely occurrence in view of the current (and likely future) environment of limited expectations. Several of the junior members of the faculty suggested that start-up research packages are too low, and that there are not enough funds available from departmental or Academic Senate sources for conference travel or short research stints. Both faculty at all levels, and graduate students, suggested that intra-departmental intellectual exchanges could be fostered by some small amount of funding for visiting lecturers, as well as the occasional brown-bag colloquium or study group, and so forth. We are aware that such activities depend as much upon individual faculty members’ initiative as upon funding, but the point was raised several times and warrants broader departmental effort. One aspect of Department functioning that seemed to draw no criticism, but only praise, from faculty and graduate students alike is the support staff. Our talks with staff members revealed their relations with the faculty to be good, and their morale resurgent after recent faculty departures. Office space, an issue of perennial irritation in most academic units, is adequate for the staff but completely inadequate for the graduate students. Research & Scholarship: The reviewers were very favorably impressed both by the volume and the quality of scholarship the Department has produced and continues to produce. Tenured and pretenure alike, UC Irvine History faculty publish monographs, chapters in edited collections, and peer-reviewed essays; participate in national and international conferences; are invited to speak at colleges and universities, again nationally and internationally; apply for and receive funding—all in numbers that belie their considerable teaching responsibilities, committee work, and general service. UC Irvine has a productive, if not prolific, faculty. For a small to mid-sized department, the faculty members collectively wield a considerable national reputation. Recognizing the quality of the scholarship and prestigious venues in which it appears, the administration would do well to acknowledge the Department’s distinction, but more importantly figure out how to protect the very source of the History Department’s national prominence— scholarship. The maintenance of such high levels of scholarship is heroic given the rapid attrition in recent years and the inability to hire at levels necessary to share the burdens of administration, teaching, and outreach. Given the intensity of budget cuts in California as


elsewhere, it may seem futile to insist on more support as the only way the Department can continue at this level of achievement. Yet the point of a review is not to figure out what is possible but rather to underline what is necessary. The Department of History needs more lines both at the junior and senior levels, to remedy a situation in which fewer and fewer people are called upon to teach more and more, and so that advising and mentoring are broadly shared, and service equally distributed. Beyond that, however, it should be possible to support in particular pre-tenure and middle-level faculty in the pursuit of their research agendas by creating a rotating research year – or quarter if that is all that can be spared – in addition to the regular sabbatical. Along with such support, it is clear that the Department, the School of the Humanities, and the administration need to give some serious thought as to how to take into account the various manifestations of scholarly productivity beyond the canonical second book. In view of how productive the middle-level faculty members are in non-traditional avenues of scholarly production, some strategic re-considerations might be in order for promotion to professor. In the absence of further support it is likely, given the nature of all academic professionals, that the faculty at UC Irvine will continue to strive to excel on all fronts: service to the University and the community, teaching, research, and scholarship. But the University cannot count on such good will forever, and morale is on the brink of wavering if it has not already begun to do so. We would like to make a strong case for tangible support, courageous leadership, and the need for effective and transparent governance at the departmental, School and University levels. Service to the region and the state need not come at the expense of the Department’s national reputation for research. Indeed, the decline in its national reputation will have an adverse effect on the regional and statewide demand on its service. Here the administration at the level of the School and the University needs to be the advocate for History faculty and the overall importance of the humanities. Leadership in this arena is critical for History and the University in general. Strategic Developments and Hires: The overall number of faculty has declined from 41, at its height, to around 30 today. In terms of diversity the Department is doing reasonably well: nearly half the faculty are women, and about one third non-White. Still, the evident shrinkage in the size of the Department, the presence of nine unfilled lines, and the unpredictability in FTE availability are bound to affect the morale, character, and work of this distinguished program. In the face of this, recent hires have contributed substantially to maintaining the strengths and national reputation of the Department of History. Even in light of some important losses, recent recruitments have fostered the Department’s national reputation in world history. In the areas of Latin America and Atlantic history, both of which contribute substantially to world history, the Department has enhanced its offerings and national standing; East Asia remains strong despite a recent significant loss; and the Middle East area is equally solid, as is the American, especially Early American, field. The continuing attrition among the European faculty, however, poses a problem for viable graduate education in the field. But in view of Dipesh Chakrabarty’s assertion that Europe is good to think with, the Department may need to consider why a senior European hire might be beneficial to the overall coherence of both the undergraduate and graduate programs. Building on the considerable international scope of the Department


of History across time and space, the recent hires add depth in several areas but also further re-align the Department’s intellectual horizon. Interestingly enough, the Department appears unaware of the new intellectual or thematic clusters, which do not figure prominently in its self study. By viewing the new hires simply as personnel (i.e., colleagues), as opposed to members of potential or vibrant intellectual networks, the Department has, for instance, overlooked how it has acquired a substantial presence in Atlantic history that is not centered on the Anglophone world. Atlantic history is but one new field or area of study (transnational another) that exists in the Department of History. The histories of gender and ethnicity also represent seemingly overlooked strengths of the History Department. Considerable strengths in Middle Eastern history could be seen as enhancing the existing strengths in East Asia and world history, especially if the Department moved to hire a scholar of South or Central Asia. The faculty as a collective might do well to consider how these intellectual areas—both emergent and re-configured—might re-frame the Department’s understanding of itself. One senior faculty member remarked that the shape of the Department today is an “accidental remainder” of palmier days and other visions, a second that the unit has been in “free fall” from its losses, and yet another that while the Department has undertaken such broad architectural self-examination in past, there seems little point to it now given the resource situation. There may be something of a circular problem developing here, however, between the School of the Humanities and the Department. The new dean told us that he intends to “sit” on the vacant FTEs until the Department comes up with a plan for its future direction, and not just reallot them as before; while many members of the Department feel that no planning is very meaningful unless and until the unit has some more concrete sense of resources in this area. Setting this aside, in undertaking a conversation about its own reconfiguration, the History program may address one of the re-occurring concerns of the APR: that there is a need for rethinking, but more importantly articulating, that at all levels of the curriculum, departmental strengths in scholarship and recent hires subject the traditional categories— European history, and Europe as the exclusive site of social theory—to fundamental reconsideration. Although it should strictly be left to the outcome of such conversations whether to consolidate the strengths of the fields presently represented by the faculty, or to strike off in new directions, several “gaps” in the FTE array were brought to our attention that we would be remiss in not mentioning, and that on the whole we support. The areas mentioned most prominently for hires in the near to mid-term were in European, Korean, and modern Mexican history. If the Department elects to engage in a process of collective reflection, some serious thought and effort needs to be devoted to affiliations or collaboration with those units with which individual faculty have established relationships, or at least where intellectual affinities exist or may be cultivated. The members of the APR noticed the dearth of reference to Latin American Studies; Africana-American Studies; Middle Eastern Studies; and Women’s & Gender Studies in the departmental self study, as well as over the course of our meetings. While individual faculty members have ties to interdisciplinary units, the Department’s silence about these ties and units raised some serious concerns especially in an institution that once prided itself on inter-disciplinarity.


As a core institution in the School of the Humanities and a nationally prominent academic department, the History stands to gain from formally fostering ties to interdisciplinary programs and departments. Efforts at cross-listing courses and mechanisms for accounting for student enrollment, for instance, should be developed. Here the University administration should provide leadership, particularly in breaking down the “siloing” much mentioned between the Schools, which will help administrators see the History faculty’s crucial role in fostering interdisciplinary collaboration across Schools and the University. Conclusion: We will not rehearse here our general analysis of the shape of the Department of History, about its achievements to date, its potential for the future, or about the conversations it might undertake about the configuration of its faculty, its undergraduate teaching mission, its doctoral training program, or the complex inter-relationship among all these moving parts. Our overall conclusion, as is the case with many such program evaluations of academic units in the humanities at public institutions, is that here we have a fine department required by circumstances to do more and more with less and less. Recommending an infusion of resources in the form of additional FTEs, funding for graduate students, intra-departmental activities, and so forth, may in fact be Utopian in the current situation of University finances, but we insist upon it nonetheless. But rather than repeat all the areas in which this might make a difference, and the reasons for it, we close our report with a simple listing of issues we feel should be addressed, both within the Department itself, and between it, the School of Humanities, and the UC Irvine administration. We list these in the order in which they have occurred in the above report: Undergraduate Teaching: 1) Undertake a discussion of the need to reduce the gap between the undergraduate courses appearing in the University catalog and those actually taught in any given year 2) Restore a one-course/year release for the departmental Undergraduate Curriculum chair 3) Consider establishing “Associate-In” positions for the teaching of undergraduate classes by advanced doctoral students 4) Establish the Honors track for majors 5) Undertake a discussion with the School of Humanities about the “moving goal post” issue—that is, whether aggregate student credit hours or number of majors is the metric by which departmental teaching effectiveness is to be assessed 6) Assess the equity of teaching obligations across ranks 7) Undertake an undergraduate curriculum review 8) Develop a concentration in “teacher preparation” at the undergraduate level 9) Revive the History Club in the Department 10) Examine the School of the Humanities two-language requirement vis-a-vis the history major 11) Reduce “siloing” and other impediments to cross-disciplinary and team-teaching within and between the Schools


Graduate Program: 1) Improve advising procedures at the doctoral level 2) Make TA assignments more predictable quarter-to-quarter and year-over-year 3) Increase funding levels in general and decide on the relative priority between admitting more students with less funding of fewer students with more funding 4) Increase the size of support packages if possible 5) Provide more guidance in the search for outside funding 6) Increase the number of talks by visiting scholars, internal departmental colloquia, reading groups, and so forth (also mentioned by the faculty) 7) Establish dissertation-writing and professionalization workshops 8) Provide more funding for conference travel 9) Make more office space available Service and Outreach: 1) Make the assignment of service obligations more transparent 2) Seek to rebuild funding support for Humanities Out There and the UCI History Project Governance: 1) Make intra-departmental decision-making practices more transparent, including providing agendas, reports, and action items available well in advance of Department meetings 2) Make voting on departmental personnel issues completely anonymous, including rank designations 3) Seek to have more open lines of communication and greater transparency between the Department and the School of the Humanities dean’s office 4) Generate clearer guidelines within the Department regarding promotions, especially from assistant to associate professor 5) Discuss broadening the criteria for promotion to include service and teaching more heavily 6) Increase the research funding component of start-up packages for new faculty 7) Increase the amounts of Department funding available for conference travel Research and Scholarship: 1) Provide more protection from service obligations, and possibly more release time, for junior faculty Strategic Development and Hires: 1) Increase the number of actual FTEs to bring the Department to its budgeted size of 39 2) Undertake hires in the near future in the fields of European, Korean, and Mexican history


Department of Philosophy Nathan Salmon Professor of Philosophy University of California, Santa Barbara

The Department of Philosophy (hereafter “the Department”) in the UCI School of Humanities (“SoH”) is a very solid program. It easily meets and, in important respects, exceeds, the standards in both research and teaching that are appropriate to the University of California. The present report incorporates numerous assessments and insights obtained through interviews with Philosophy Department faculty, philosophy students, the Philosophy Department MSO, and UCI administrators. I extend my thanks to all those who met with me during my on-campus visit. I have endeavored to make this report comprehensive. I regret that I did not have sufficient time to prepare a more detailed and better organized report. It is my hope that the present report is sufficiently thorough to be at least somewhat helpful. I shall make some recommendations below. Except where noted, these recommendations should not be misinterpreted as reflecting significant shortcomings or a negative assessment. The focus of the recommendations is on improvement rather than assessment. Unfortunately, there is some significant discontent, divisiveness, and problems with morale within the Department. It is noteworthy that two of the Department faculty members I interviewed describe the Department as “highly dysfunctional” (using that very phrase). Problems of discontent and dissatisfaction are not uncommon among philosophy departments, or indeed among university units more generally, but they need to be addressed. There has been significant infighting within the Department. I am given to believe that some of the resulting bad feelings might have found there way, illegitimately, into the voting on some personnel matters. The Committee on Academic Personnel and the other various personnel reviewing agencies are evidently aware of this, and appear to have taken this into account in their review of some personnel recommendations by the Department. Continued diligence on the part of the reviewing agencies is strongly recommended, especially in cases of split departmental personnel recommendations. Routinely department-review reports (and unit-review reports more generally) advise investing substantial resources into the unit under review. Budget cuts at the University of California have been through muscle to the bone, and in many instances into bone. As a very longtime faculty member of the University of California, I am painfully aware of the current budgetary crisis in California and in particular in the University. I shall recommend the infusion of some resources in the UCI Philosophy Department. I shall do so extremely sparingly, however, keeping firmly in mind the economic realities of the University at a time of nearly unprecedented budgetary stringencies.


A. The Department Faculty In September 1998, nearly all of the logicians and philosophers of science in the UCI Philosophy Department at the time seceded from SoH altogether, to form the Department of Logic and the Philosophy of Science (LPS) in the UCI School of Social Sciences (SoSS). In some respects, UCI then had two separate philosophy departments in two different schools. LPS has no undergraduate major, although the LPS chair informs me that each member of LPS teaches at least one large lecture course per year—— importantly, logic courses of the sort standardly taught by philosophy departments. LPS has some of the character and feel of a research institute. The two UCI philosophy departments appear to have very good relations with one another. The campus catalog specifies that “the Ph.D. program in Philosophy is jointly and cooperatively administered” by the two departments, having both a Philosophy track and a LPS track. It is perhaps for this reason that the two departments are ranked together as a single graduate program in Brian Leiter's Philosophical Gourmet Report, which is the most widely cited ranking of Ph.D.-granting programs in philosophy. Each of the two departments has its own graduate students, but there is a great deal of cross-fertilization. Graduate student dissertation committees frequently have members from both departments. The combining of the two philosophy departments for the purpose of rankings has benefitted the SoH Department. In the most recent ranking, the faculty of the combined UCI program was ranked 29th overall (tied with another program) among the 50 topranked American Ph.D.-granting programs in philosophy, and 34th overall (tied with three other programs) among the 50 top-ranked Ph.D. philosophy programs in the broader English-speaking world. This is an undistinguished but respectable ranking. At the same time, the combined-program faculty ranked quite highly in a number of specific fields. Specifically, the combined-program faculty was ranked in the very top-tier cohort (alongside two other departments) in the field of decision, rational choice, and game theory. The combined-program faculty was also ranked in the second tier in general philosophy of science, in the philosophy of physics, and in the philosophy of social science; and in the third tier in philosophical logic, in the philosophy of mathematics, in mathematical logic, and in the philosophy of biology. All of these are areas of concentration in LPS. It should be noted, however, that a few of these are areas with some overlap between the two UCI philosophy departments. Professor Bencivenga, who is Above Scale in the SoH Department, has done work in philosophical logic (in which the combined-program faculty ranked in the third-tier cohort), and Professor Gilbert, who holds a named chair in the SoH Philosophy Department, also works in the philosophy of social science (in which the combined-program faculty ranked in the second-tier cohort) and in rational choice theory (in which the combined-program faculty ranked in the top tier). The Philosophy Department rebounded from the 1998 depletion of most of its most visible members primarily by building upon its remaining strength in the history of philosophy. In the most recent ranking, the combined-program faculty ranked in the third-tier cohort in the relatively small research area of medieval philosophy, and in the


fourth tier in the very large core area of metaphysics. Both of these are areas that had remained, at least primarily, within the SoH Philosophy Department after LPS’s secession. The specialty rankings themselves are respectable, especially given that only two of the Department faculty——one of whom is non-tenured——specialize in metaphysics (among other things), and only one specializes in medieval philosophy. 1 The Department’s previous concentration in the history of philosophy was severely weakened as a result of a series of losses at the senior level (including Professors Jolley, Nelson, Santas, Schwab, and White). The Department no longer has any discernible concentration in the history of philosophy. Instead there are presently small, more or less equal pockets in three of the four main areas that a Ph.D.-granting philosophy department needs to cover: (1) metaphysics and epistemology (M&E), construed broadly to include the philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and related fields; (2) ethics (or value theory more generally); and (3) the history of philosophy, including at least ancient and modern philosophy. The fourth area is classical logic (introductory, intermediate, and advanced), which is currently covered at UCI by LPS. Moreover, there are strong faculty at each of the ranks: Assistant, Associate, and full Professor. At the same time, LPS has recruited in areas outside its original core areas of logic and the philosophy of science, including the history of philosophy. The current state of the SoH Department, combined with LPS’s more recent convergence with the Department, provides the Department with an opportunity to redefine its identity, if and when sufficient resources are secured. The UCI Philosophy Department is a relatively small unit in the SoH, excessively small as compared with other SoH units, especially critical theory. Across-the-board budget cuts place a disproportionate burden on smaller units like the Philosophy Department, which had a small operating budget to begin with. Larger units are significantly better able than smaller units to sustain a 10% cut to faculty and teaching-support (TAships, and the like). The Department had 14 ladder faculty in 2004. It currently has only 10. Two FTE lines have been unfilled and placed on hold since 2006, perhaps longer. The Department sorely needs to fill those two FTEs. There appears to be little internal agreement concerning how best to grow the Department. Some of the faculty suggest that with the existence of the new law school, the Department should consider developing a strength in the philosophy of law. Some faculty would like to see a new hire in the philosophy of mind, which has seen an explosion of activity of late. Some faculty agree——and there appears to be a solid consensus on this point——that the Department needs to fill at least two FTEs at the senior level. Based on my understanding of the UCI Philosophy Department, I have two recommendations concerning its membership. Both of the recommendations are bold but very carefully considered. Each of the recommendations requires explanation. In many respects, the discipline of philosophy is sufficiently unique that it does not fall squarely within the humanities or within any other broader academic category (e.g., the

Whereas two LPS faculty also list metaphysics among their areas of specialization, both of them work primarily in the philosophy of science and are not especially prominent in metaphysics. (I am myself an evaluator for the Philosophical Gourmet Report in several specialty areas, including metaphysics.)


hard sciences). The set of practices, methodologies, and standards that are characteristic of contemporary analytic philosophy is fairly well defined and is not duplicated in any other subject. Those practices, methodologies, and standards contrast very sharply with such subjects and research programs as are found throughout the rest of the humanities, having much more in common with some of the hard sciences than with more literary subjects. It is partly (not wholly) for this reason that philosophers could secede from the SoH and form what is in effect a philosophy institute within the SoSS. In several fields in the humanities (and outside the humanities), the strength of a program may be a function of multiple factors, one of which is the well-roundedness of the program. To a very large extent, this is not true of philosophy. In some respects, philosophy is like mathematics and physics, and again like music and art, in that there is a special ability or talent that appears to be inborn in some, present to a lesser extent in others, and all but entirely absent from others still. The best philosophers are those with the most ingrained talent for doing philosophy generally, the weakest are those with the least talent for it, more or less regardless of sub-field. Of course, University faculty in the humanities are also people with special talents and abilities, pertaining to languages, literature, and the like. The difference is that very capable philosophers are typically very adept at engaging in a variety of sub-fields other than their areas of specialization. Indeed most often they are actually better in those other fields than less capable philosophers who specialize in those fields. The very best philosophers of language, for example, are typically capable of engaging fruitfully with epistemology, the philosophy of religion, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of law, the philosophy of mathematics, or what-haveyou. In philosophy, to a large extent, talent matters and specialty doesn’t. As mentioned, there are indeed certain essential areas that any respectable philosophy department should cover by including at least one specialist in each: M&E, ethics/value, classical logic, history of ancient philosophy, and history of modern philosophy. Aside from this lower bound, the strength of a philosophy department is not very dependent on its wellroundedness. Instead the department’s strength is highly——indeed, almost entirely—— dependent on the amount of philosophical talent or ability in it. Given this, when a philosophy department has an FTE to fill, if there is already someone in each of the essential specialties (M&E, etc.), it almost always makes most sense for the department to conduct a search that is fairly open in regard to area of specialization. The department can then hire the most talented candidate——the most philosophical philosopher available——and let the chips fall where they may with regard to resulting pockets of strength (whether it be epistemology or ethics or the philosophy of mind, for example). By contrast, relatively area-targeted searches yield relatively narrow candidate pools, perhaps missing an opportunity to improve the department to a greater degree by recruiting a significantly stronger philosopher whose work happens to be principally outside the targeted area. By contrast with area considerations, considerations of rank are important for the longterm health of a philosophy department. A department that is excessively senior-heavy can become dangerously depleted when its senior members retire, die, or resign. Philosophers of my generation have witnessed a number of fairly dramatic reversals in the rankings as a direct result of formerly powerful, senior-heavy departments ignoring


this fundamental fact. Ideally, a philosophy department should have some faculty at each rank. My first recommendation is that the Department be allowed to fill at least two FTE, unrestricted as to field and rank, or with as few restrictions as economic reality allows. Open-area job searches in philosophy generate large numbers of applications. The important task of evaluating applications and winnowing the application pool down to a short list should not fall entirely on the members of the search committee. Instead the task could, and should, be spread among the Department’s entire ladder faculty (including junior faculty), with each application being evaluated by at least two members. During my on-campus visit I met with a number of graduate students on three separate occasions. Two of those students complained that during the most recent job search, the short list of the final four applicants to be brought to campus to give job talks included no females. (One of the four finalists was Hispanic.) The implicit suggestion was one of two things: Either (1) that the search committee that had winnowed the field of candidates, had exercised sexism in excluding one or more females who would otherwise have emerged as among the top four; or else (2) that the search committee should have selected at least one female finalist even if no females had emerged among the four strongest applicants. The latter suggestion would have constituted a violation of the state of California Constitution (Article I, Sec. 31). Assuming that the complaining graduate students are aware that the University is legally prohibited from treating any applicants preferentially solely on grounds of gender (or race, ethnicity, or religion), the complaint appears to be that the search committee unfairly and illegally discriminated against female applicants. For whatever reasons, as an academic discipline philosophy does not attract anything close to proportionate numbers of women and ethnic minorities, whether in undergraduate majors, in Ph.D.-granting programs, or in university and college faculty. Given this fact, it is especially important that departmental mutual good will be presumed. I note that those who lodged the complaint did not also complain that none of the four finalists was African-American or Asian, although none were. (Asians are more under-represented in philosophy than African-Americans and Hispanics——a little known fact.) Having interviewed most of the Department faculty, including the members of the search committee (one of whom is female), I am very confident that the committee members conducted their work in a fair, thorough, and unbiased manner. A charge of sexism would be irresponsible. Rather than subjecting the search committee members to unfair and completely ungrounded accusations, based solely on an undesirable outcome (which statistically was to have been expected), the SoH should strongly commend the Philosophy Department committee members for their very fair-minded execution of a large and largely thankless task. Professor Bencivenga is an extremely productive Above Scale member of the faculty who, nevertheless, fits extremely uneasily, at best, within the Department. The ill fit is partly a function of his very forceful personality (which might have played a role in LPS’s secession), partly a function of his eclectic research orientation (which is highly atypical among contemporary philosophers), and partly a function of his idiosyncratic


general academic style (for want of a better word). Professor Bencivenga himself is extremely dissatisfied with the Department, and I am told that his attendance at Department meetings is sporadic. His work runs a very wide gamut, from the fairly technical to straight ethics and political philosophy, to the literary and the artistic. There is a great deal that Professor Bencivenga can contribute to the intellectual life of the SoH, especially if he can be made happier with his circumstances. I very strongly recommend that he be made a Professor of the School of Humanities at large rather than a Professor of Philosophy, with the option of teaching courses and supervising graduate work both in philosophy and in other subjects outside philosophy. This is a highly unusual recommendation, to be sure, but this is a highly unusual case. The arrangement I recommend makes a good deal of sense, whereas the status quo makes almost none. Such an alternative arrangement would almost certainly lead to significantly greater happiness and academic health——for Professor Bencivenga, within the Department, and within the SoH. Some other Department faculty also expressed considerable dissatisfaction with the Department. One faculty member went so far as to propose that the Department be placed in receivership. At the other extreme, another Department member describes his job as a “dream job.” It is doubtful (although it is possible) that such radically disparate attitudes resulted from equally and unfairly disparate treatment by the Department and/or the Administration. Dissatisfaction is not especially unusual, especially in circumstances in which a relatively small number of people are forced to live or work together over a period of several (or more) years. My own department went through a period of similar dissatisfaction, and although the problem has lessened significantly, there are still periods of high departmental stress and dissatisfaction. One source of dissatisfaction with the UCI Department that was repeated, by both faculty and graduate students alike, is that the Department, some feel, lacks cohesion and a sense of community. Again, in my experience this is not an uncommon feature among philosophy departments, or indeed among university units more generally. It is sometimes useful for dissatisfaction within the ranks to be expressed, especially insofar as the reasons for that dissatisfaction can be usefully addressed. In particular, the Department, and indeed the SoH, should regard itself as committed to those of its ladder faculty, including those of its untenured faculty, whose work lives up to the standards appropriate to the University of California. Loyalty to the Department and to UCI should be earned. I make one final recommendation with regard to the faculty. The Department recently moved to its current location in the Humanities Instructional Building. I would recommend that LPS also be re-located if possible to the same building. If the two departments could be housed together, or at least much closer to one another, preferably with a lounge shared by both departments, there would be a much greater sense of community, much more esprit de corps, between the two units.


This would be especially useful to the graduate students. Philosophy is very much an oral discipline. Although the results of philosophical research are normally disseminated through publication (typically in journal articles), more often than not those results have been influenced, often heavily influenced, through oral exchanges with other philosophers and/or graduate students. Philosophers orally bounce their ideas off of one another. Oral exchanges often take place in seminars, reading groups, and discussion groups, but they can, and do, also take place unplanned while sipping on a beverage in an informal common area. UCI is in a unique situation, which presents a unique opportunity, or nearly unique. (I believe there may be similar situation at the University of Sydney in Australia, but I am not certain of this.) There are approximately 20 active faculty in philosophy, and a large number of philosophy graduate students, spread between two units on a single campus. The graduate students take courses from faculty in each of the units. The departments’ Ph.D. programs are combined, and the two units are counted as having a single graduate program in the most important rankings, which are heavily relied upon by prospective graduate students. Faculty and students from either unit are welcome to participate in the other unit’s seminars and colloquia. It simply makes no sense for these two units to be housed across campus from one another. To segregate the two departments is to ignore a rare opportunity to encourage and promote potentially important intellectual exchanges. Such exchanges are an extremely valuable part of the lifeblood of the discipline of philosophy. B. The Graduate Program The Department’s Ph.D. program is on the whole well conceived. There are some problems, however, including a couple aspects of the program that appear to engender a good deal of anxiety among graduate students: the “portfolio” requirement and the prospectus. As mentioned, the campus catalog specifies that there is a combined Ph.D. program in Philosophy “jointly and cooperatively administered” by both the Department and LPS, and that the combined program has both a Philosophy track and a LPS track. Indeed, the portfolio and prospectus requirements are features of both departments’ graduate programs. As far as I was able to determine, each of the two philosophy departments makes its own admission decisions, and ultimately, its own degree-conferring decisions. (It is possible that I misunderstood.) To this extent, at least, each “track” is apparently administered by its own department. Moreover, some graduate students feel that the Ph.D. program “works better” in LPS than it does in the Philosophy Department. Some of the following might provide some explanation, or partial explanation, why those students feel the way they do. During the past 7 years or so, both the numbers of graduate applications to the Department and the yield rate of incoming graduate students have evidently been declining by significant numbers. During the same time, the attrition rate has been quite high, and the recent placement record has been extremely discouraging. Placement directly from the Ph.D. into tenure-track academic positions is virtually non-existent. There is undoubtedly a direct connection among these various deficiencies. The


deficiencies, furthermore, are undoubtedly connected to the recent faculty losses. The Department is younger and less visible than it has been in the recent past. It appears that the Department is having some difficulty attracting sufficient numbers of genuinely capable graduate students. I believe the recommendations I made in the previous section of this report would have beneficial effects with regard to all four concerns: the applicant pool, the yield rate, attrition, and placement. There appears to be a serious problem with the evaluation of graduate applications. Some faculty members feel that the graduate applications are not being reviewed by a sufficient number of evaluators. It is a common practice among graduate programs that at least one writing sample from each applicant is read and graded by at least two department faculty members. Those assigned to read a writing sample are not necessarily members of the graduate admissions committee; every department member is assigned some number of writing samples, so that the department as a whole serves as an extended admissions committee. Some effort is made by the admissions officer to assign writing samples to those best able to evaluate them, with an eye to equalizing the workload for each department member——in much the same way that the department as a whole routinely functions as a faculty recruitment committee. Some faculty members judge that some of the current crop of students are insufficiently ambitious. Inadequate vetting of graduate applications over time inevitably leads to a weak pool of graduate students, and ultimately to a high attrition rate and a poor placement record. The survey of graduate students indicates significant dissatisfaction. I turn now to some of the reasons for this. In talking with the graduate students I was struck by the fact that fellowship support appeared to be largely on the order of three-year packages, along with a somewhat weak assurance of some likelihood of continued support beyond the third year. I believe that four- and even five-year packages are perhaps more standard at many of the most selective Ph.D.-granting programs. (I confess I do not know the statistics.) The offer of a three-year support package might not be sufficiently competitive to attract better applicants. On the other hand, it can be a costly mistake on the part of the Department to over-commit to a student whose chances for success are dicey. If and when the pool of applicants, and the yield rate, improve (if not indeed now), the Department should consider offering more four-year support packages. As is customary, guaranteed continued support from one year to the next can and should be made contingent, at least to some extent, upon satisfactory progress toward the degree. Every major Ph.D. program in philosophy includes a significant pre-dissertation hurdle. This is routinely a qualifying paper of some sort. At UCLA, for example, the requirement is called “the proposition.” There students must have two propositions in separate areas accepted in order to be advanced to candidacy. In the UCI Department, the major precandidacy hurdle is the portfolio, which consists of “at least two papers totaling approximately 10,000 words.” As is usual for such a hurdle, the portfolio is supposed to indicate “the student’s ability to write a Ph.D. dissertation” (from page 326 of the campus catalog). The portfolio is evaluated by the entire Department ladder faculty. In my


interviews with graduate students I heard numerous complaints concerning this requirement, especially from pre-portfolio students. Basically, pre-portfolio students feel that the criteria for the portfolio are excessively unclear. There were also a few similar complaints about the dissertation “prospectus” (I believe entirely from pre-prospectus students). I was told that the prospectus has two phases. At the end of the student’s third year, he/she submits a dissertation proposal. Assuming this is accepted, during the fourth year the student submits a dissertation chapter to be advanced to candidacy. Again, students complained that the criteria for the prospectus are excessively unclear. I am disinclined to place much weight on the students’ feeling that the criteria are unclear. The wording in the campus catalog strikes me as fairly clear. I doubt whether the requirement is one that admits even the possibility of significantly greater clarity than one finds there. Pre-hurdle anxiety can be extremely difficult on a person. I sympathize. But to a large extent, high anxiety simply comes with the territory. Few of us with doctorate degrees would want to re-enroll in a doctoral program. At UCSB, where I teach, the major pre-dissertation hurdle is a qualifying paper (QP), but there is similar unease about the requirement, both among pre-QP students and to an almost equal extent among the faculty. As with the UCI Department, my own department faculty as a whole evaluates the submitted qualifying papers. This procedure has a couple of undesirable results. Students feel that they must write to a fairly general audience, since their work will be evaluated by some non-experts. At the same time, faculty feel quite uneasy about evaluating papers in which they have no special expertise. A good many faculty-hours are spent evaluating the same material, yet inevitably non-experts defer to experts, so that de facto the work is approved or rejected by a small ad hoc committee of faculty with some degree of expertise. I have proposed in my own department that we form small ad hoc committees to evaluate qualifying papers, thereby treating the qualifying paper in much the same manner that we treat the dissertation, which is evaluated by the student’s dissertation committee. This is more or less the procedure that was followed in the UCLA philosophy department when I studied there, and likely still is. My colleagues rejected my proposal, although I do not understand the rationale for their rejection. I understand that a similar proposal was made, and similarly rejected, in the UCI Department. Again, I do not understand the rationale for the rejection. Given that the Department will continue to follow the procedure with which it is by now quite familiar, it might be a good idea for the graduate advisor to inform pre-portfolio students that the papers making up a portfolio are to be the sort of thing one finds in good philosophy journals, and that these might not necessarily be accessible to, or individually evaluable by, a very wide range of philosophers. Students might need to be reassured by their advisor that although not every faculty member evaluating their papers has any expertise on the topic, the judgment of those who do have some expertise on the topic carries weight, and those who do not often (routinely? typically?) defer judgment to those who do. The graduate students told me that Spring quarters generally see a greater variety of seminar offerings than Fall, and Fall a greater variety than Winter. They would like to see


a more even distribution of seminar offerings throughout the year. The uneven distribution of seminar offerings might be a result of faculty preferences. Faculty should consider offering more of their seminars in the Fall or Winter quarters, perhaps on an alternating basis. Many students highly value such things as writing seminars and workshops on professional development. Some Department of the faculty already engage in such activities. Professor Kent, for example, has done mock job interviews and gave a workshop on how to get through the Ph.D. program, and Professor Perin gave a workshop on writing for publication. Other faculty might consider leading similar workshops. Perhaps a portfolio meeting could be scheduled annually for all pre-portfolio students. Some graduate students say that they would like to see faculty offer more seminars on the faculty member’s own research. This could be the best kind of professional-development workshop. Better students best learn how to be professional by observing professionals at work. Like my own department, and many others, the UCI Department offers a number of “piggyback” courses, which combine an upper-division undergraduate course with a graduate-level course. As in my own department, piggyback courses typically have an extra one-hour section strictly for the graduate students. At UCSB this practice is regarded as a service to the graduate students enrolled in the course. However, in my experience (which might be atypical), the graduate section in a piggyback course is not especially useful to graduate students, and certainly not nearly as useful as time spent in a graduate seminar. I was surprised (and frankly, somewhat relieved) to learn that the Department graduate students (at least those who voiced an opinion on the matter) would evidently prefer not having the piggyback graduate section. Graduate students I met with complained that the piggyback-course graduate sections present an excessive time commitment on their part, which they can ill-afford to make. They described the piggyback graduate section as a “waste of time.” This is in keeping with my own experience at UCSB. The Department might wish to consider the efficacy of the piggyback-course graduate section. Some of the graduate students complained that faculty involvement in the graduate program is highly uneven, with some faculty shouldering significantly more than their fair share of supervising graduate-student research and some faculty doing essentially no supervision. They charged that some post-portfolio students have not been able so much as to make an appointment with their advisors, and that at least one has had a dissertation committee member resign from the committee. The students also told me that faculty attendance at colloquia is also highly uneven, with some faculty never attending. It appears that some faculty members might need to take their professional responsibilities more seriously. Colloquium attendance should be regarded as at least a prima facie responsibility, both by faculty and by graduate students. At UCSB we very recently had very similar problems. The faculty reaffirmed that our attendance at colloquia is among our professional responsibilities, and graduate students are told that while attendance is not taken, they are nevertheless expected to attend colloquia. This appears to have helped, although the problems have not entirely disappeared. Of course, people have family and


other personal commitments, obligations, etc. Few faculty and students have a great deal of time to waste merely filling a seat. But for many students, and likewise for many faculty, participation in colloquia is one fairly cost-effective way of keeping ourselves abreast of recent developments in our discipline (including developments for which we have little sympathy). Some graduate students complained that there are “secret” prizes and fellowships, which are awarded in a closed-door process rather than by an open competition. I explained to them that in my own department there are such awards for which faculty are invited to nominate their students, and that they are not something for which students themselves may apply. Finally, the graduate students complained that some summer teaching that might be done by Teaching Associates is done instead by regular faculty. The University encourages regular faculty to teach lower-division courses, of the sort that summer sessions typically offer. Also, some faculty need to teach summer sessions for perfectly legitimate economic or other personal reasons. Especially in times when graduate support is inadequate, faculty should regard the prospect of having Teaching Associates teach summer session courses as one significant factor in deciding whether to request summersession teaching. C. The Undergraduate Program As with the Ph.D. program, the undergraduate program is well conceived. However, some tweaking may be in order. Some feel that the lower division offerings need to be streamlined. The Department might be able to offer one or more additional courses that would qualify as a Category V course under the General Education requirements. No academic unit on campus is better qualified to offer Category V courses, and I would expect that only LPS and Mathematics are equally qualified to do so. I question whether the major’s “Optional Emphases” in Critical Theory and Feminist Studies are viable, especially given the current faculty. I believe the Department would do well to discuss the prospect of abolishing those options while focusing the Department’s depleted undergraduate-level resources on educating students in philosophy as it is currently practiced in the discipline’s most visible research outlets. Browsing through the undergraduate courses, one sees ample evidence of the close relationship between the Philosophy Department and LPS. A good number of the more technically-oriented philosophy courses are also LPS undergraduate courses, and presumably routinely taught by LPS faculty. The cross-listing and equating of courses, along with the joint implementation of a combined Ph.D. program, may provide a useful model for similar connections between SoH units and units in other schools on campus. Some of the upper division courses appear to have very light prerequisites, or even no prerequisites. To give one instance, neither Philosophy 104 (upper-division introductory logic) nor even Philosophy 30 (lower-division introductory logic) is given as a


prerequisite for Philosophy 145 (Philosophy of Language), 147 (Philosophy of Mathematics), or even 146 (Philosophy of Logic). I would expect that the absence of meaningful prerequisites makes it difficult for faculty to teach many upper-division courses successfully. (There is a fairly severe problem of this very sort in my own department.) To some extent, the dwindling numbers that the Department has been experiencing at the graduate level appear to be duplicated at the undergraduate level. To the extent that such problems exist at the undergraduate level, and have more or less the same source as the corresponding problems at the graduate level, the remedies I have recommended should have beneficial consequences at the undergraduate level as well. In addition, it appears that the SoH’s language requirement might be discouraging undergraduate students from majoring in humanities subjects. This may be especially true with regard to the Philosophy Department, since pre-law students who might otherwise have majored in philosophy (and would be well-advised to do so) might choose to major instead in political science. This might be exacerbated by the fact that there is an alternative philosophy department in the SoSS, despite the fact that LPS does not have its own undergraduate major. I was unable to obtain much useful information from the Department’s majors, since only one showed up during the scheduled interview with majors. For what it is worth, that student is delighted with the Department, its faculty, and the TA’s. D. The Department Staff I met with the Department MSO, Alice Decker. I also dealt very briefly with the one other regular staff member and (I believe) a work-study staffer. The staff is remarkably small. They appear to be uniformly pleasant and eager to be of assistance. Their attitude appears to be positive. Ms. Decker in particular feels very honored to have had her position for the past five years. This is especially noteworthy, given the hardships that the staff has had to endure. The workload was increased at the same time that the staff who would do the extra work was cut. The Department staff currently do course scheduling, graduate-student recruitment, and TA assignments. Ms. Decker says that she works 50 hours/week on average. Under these circumstances, it might make better sense to move the work of graduate-student recruitment to the Graduate Division. Ms. Decker informs me that the Department has the fourth largest number of studentcredit hours (SCH) in the SoH. She has been unable to obtain from the SoH Dean’s Office the SoH ratio of staff to SCH. She also informs me that the MSO’s in the SoH perceive inequity as compared with the School staff, which has received salary increases through union contracts. The staffing problems in my own department at UCSB appear to be about as severe as they are in the UCI Philosophy Department. (My own department does not have any staff dedicated to the UCSB philosophy department. Instead we share a large staff with other


departments.) A great public institution like the University of California cannot continue to recruit top faculty, recruit capable students, train those students, and deliver first-rate services to the campus community without adequate staff support. The Department is fortunate to have an MSO as dedicated as Ms. Decker. Her dedication should not be exploited. It should be duly rewarded.


Review Department of Spanish and Portuguese University of California-Irvine by Silvia Bermúdez (UC-Santa Barbara) The Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UC-Irvine continues to draw its strength from the outstanding research record, prestige and international standing of its faculty. The 2010 NCR ranking, which lists the department as third in the nation in terms of number of publication per faculty, attests to their visibility and general influence in the profession. Moreover, its junior faculty is hard at work establishing new and promising intellectual paths, including journalism and media theory, history and urban studies, and affect studies, among others. As a whole, the department is clearly engaged in underscoring the significance of the Hispanic world in transatlantic and global studies and has various areas of strength, particularly Latin American literature and culture, Early Modern Spanish Literature , Siglo de Oro)and Modern and Contemporary Peninsular literature and culture. For the past five years, the Chair has successfully fostered more cordial relations among colleagues, thus building a stronger sense of community among faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students. In my meeting with undergraduates the department was praised for its innovative program. It should be noted that the Spanish and Portuguese Department at UC Irvine is leading the way among UC campuses in revamping its undergraduate program by focusing more toward cultural studies. This is of special relevance as UCI becomes a Hispanic Serving Institution. The Department of Spanish and Portuguese is one of the few departments at UCI that has been expressly dedicated to serving the interests and needs of the Hispanic student population through a vast array of courses stressing the linguistic and cultural values of the Hispanic/Latino culture(s). The Department of Spanish and Portuguese has already positioned itself to play a leading role in this regard and this is one of the reasons why it must remain as a separate entity. The Department is very much aware of the need to raise the number of majors. The goal is to increase it by 20% in the next years. They have devised a thorough recruitment plan that includes: a) visits to nearby Community Colleges (transfer students accounts for much of UCI undergraduate population); b) regular visits to all advanced language courses by the faculty to discuss their areas of expertise; c) social activities targeting other majors and Heritage students.

The Department serves non-Spanish majors generously. This population is served by the almost 90 introductory language courses taught yearly as well as the courses Spanish 44 and Spanish 150, which satisfy foreign language requirements in other departments at UCI.


In regard to the Graduate Program, the Department deserves praise for the placement record of its PhDs in tenure-track academic positions. This is an exceptional achievement among comparable graduate programs considering the overall placement record for PhDs in Spanish at a national level and the job market since 2008. This success is not a coincidence: it is the result of scholarly training and teaching experience, and also of the specific training geared toward preparing students for the job-market, which includes a graduate course devoted to professionalization, the academic career, research, reading papers, applying for funding, and publication. Although the course is not a requirement yet and is not taught yearly, it serves to explain the department’s accomplishment in this area. In addition to the course, early in the process the Department provides students with workshops on the preparation of the CV, the cover letter, and a teaching statement. All these strategies have resulted in a positive record with regards to job placement. According to the graduate students interviewed, the Department has also made important strides in improving mentoring and in explaining degree requirements with clarity (e.g. the Graduate Studies Guide). However, students still consider that the Guide needs to be improved and one of the students had particular suggestions on how to do so. I recommended this student to approach the Chair to discuss ideas for improvement.

The push by undergraduate majors in other disciplines to eliminate the second year language requirement is troublesome. First, there is no evidence supporting the claim that eliminating the School of Humanities’ second year requirement will result in an increase in the number of majors in fields such Asian American Studies, African American Studies, Art History, Film and Media Studies, or Philosophy Second, this move would be an unfortunate return to monolingualism. How is UCI to prepare competent citizens of a global society if the majority of its students are unable to complete 6 quarters of foreign language training?

FTE support is recommended so that the department maintains the critical mass of professors necessary to sustain its mission and current successes. This means to make available two urgently needed FTEs. It is also necessary to establish mechanisms to share resources with other units at UCI where Spanish and Portuguese can make a contribution and where it can share considerable human and intellectual resources as it broadens its own horizons. A good starting point would be to promote and encourage initiatives to become more involved with the outstanding resources UCI has to offer in the humanities, the visual arts, performing arts, ethnic studies, and the social sciences. Needless to say, the first part of the strategy an absolutely essential precondition because the department cannot continue its success or contribute to the university if it does not have a critical mass of faculty members. In my conversations with Dean Van Den Abbeele, the faculty, and graduate students it became clear that the top two priorities in hiring are the following:

(1) A position in Applied Linguistics/Director of the Language Program. This would be an equally critical position both for academic and for professional reasons. It will stabilize the serious lack of continuity that the Department has experienced in this position for the past five years. More importantly, it will help graduate students to remain competitive in the current job market by mastering theoretical knowledge in language learning methodologies, especially second language acquisition by nonnatives and heritage speakers. Many current job advertisements require candidates to have knowledge in applied linguistics and be able to run a language program geared to the particular needs of a specific student body. An applied linguist working as a language program coordinator can offer graduate students the tools required to make them first-rate professionals. (2) A position in Portuguese/Brazilian Studies. This would be a central hire for the department and the School of Humanities for several reasons. First, it will allow the department to fulfill its actual name: currently the Department of Spanish and Portuguese does not have a single faculty member on the second. Second, and as Brazil becomes a major economic and cultural player in the global stage, UCI can strengthen its expertise in this area by bringing another specialist to complement the scholar in the History Department. In so doing the department would be actively contributing to the vision of the School of Humanities. In an environment demanding optimal use of resources, this line can be an important investment for the entire school as a whole. Conclusion: The Department needs to take the initiative to share resources with other units within the School of Humanities and needs to actively recruit Heritage Students from High Schools and Community Colleges in the area as UCI becomes a Hispanic Serving Institution. It also needs to ensure that the campus community, as well as colleagues and communities beyond UCI, are informed of its accomplishments. But beyond achieving recognition by way of effective, strategic representation, the department urgently needs to re-constitute itself by way of recuperating lost faculty positions.


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful