A year ago, we argued for Due Process
in every aspect of the university, and today, we are delighted to
support the same sort of “due process” for graduate students as
demanded by the AAUP:
Imagine the following scene:
graduate students arrive for their first semester at a major Ivy League
university, each with a letter promising a stipend and tuition waiver
in exchange for working as teaching assistants. On the first day of
class they show up to their various classes and sit waiting for the
instructor. After ten or fifteen minutes, one after another they head
to the department office to tell the staff the instructor has never
arrived. They all receive the same answer: “You ARE the instructor.”
Unfortunately, we are not imagining the scene. We are reporting on it,
minus the name of the institution.
Graduate students are the lifeblood of any university, and that’s why it is so important to give them their honor and their due.
students help set the connective expectation of the undergraduate mass
and treating a graduate student more like a member of faculty, and less
like the madding crowd, the better off the entire university teaching
experience will be for everyone involved.