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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

UC Berkeley Shortens Teaching Term

The Berkeley EVC's announcement that 3 teaching days per term will be converted to reading days has been posted on Brad de Long's blog. The EVC also states that the recommendation comes from a study group recommendation delivered to him in May, before the current budget crisis, summer-long furlough debate, and recent UCOP decision to ban furloughs on instructional days.

The official Berkeley plan is very similar to a plan circulated at UCSB by the History Department and others to respond to the furlough by converting week 10 on the 10-week quarter system to a reading week. This kind of plan has been prohibited. It appears that Berkeley will offer reduced instructional days, but not the other campuses.

de Long's entry is weirdly oblivious to the furlough issue raging all around him.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

May is hardly "before" the budget crisis. it's also long AFTER the UC furlough idea was introduced: by Berkeley. And regardless of the back story, DeLong is peeved because the decision was made now: and that timing is very obviously and directly related to the (now utterly meaningless) pronouncement from Pitts that the instructional calendar would not be changed. If the Academic Senate bought the idea that only the Provost can change the UC calendar, reality has just debunked that.

Anonymous said...

Week or weak? Nice for them that they are having their teaching load reduced.

Anonymous said...

other campuses MUST follow.

Anonymous said...

In reply to the "week or weak" comment, it's important to understand that if "their teaching load" is being reduced, that reduction is happening alongside the implementation of furlough days that instructors are asked to take on non-teaching days. Since professors still need to do research, the furlough program is basically a pay cut. The reading days idea sounds like an attempt to make up for the under-compensated teaching professors will now be doing during the quarter. Unless course descriptions and requirements are changing too, I imagine that the three day break (a reduction of just one or two meetings for many classes) will mean that professors just try to cram more work into an already short quarter. A writing course with a 20-page writing requirement is still going to be just as much work in grading and prep work for instructors even if they have an extra day at home at the end of the quarter to complete that work. Harvard, by the way, has had a LONG reading period at least since my dad was there a good thirty years ago.

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