HCCW: Faculty Assessment and Graduate Student Training in the Humanities

William Ladusaw
UC Santa Cruz

Julia Lupton
UC Irvine

The past decade has brought increasing concern about the future of the university as it navigates strong currents of change in the national and global ecology of higher education. These changes bring opportunities for creative innovation and broadened access; they also create anxiety within the academy when they call into question traditional assumptions of value, consequence, and privilege. This working group focuses on changing criteria of assessment for new modes of work in the Humanities and the role and place for graduate student training. As new modes of work, especially multimedia work, have materialized in the Humanities, they have tended to be assessed on the basis of older established assessment criteria especially in the case of hiring, tenure, and merit promotions. The Working Group considers the range of new assessment criteria, their relevance and viability as well as how graduate student training may adapt and adjust its traditional protocols.

The Working Group included 11 UC faculty, administrators, staff, and graduate students who met to examine graduate student training and faculty assessment across the UC system. The group met for three in-person meetings (two in Irvine at UC Irvine and one in Oakland at the UC Office of the President) and virtually via Google Hangout at least 8 times throughout the year. In these meetings the group discussed the current state of graduate student training and faculty assessment, reviewed relevant literature, and created a white paper. In addition to these activities, the group co-sponsored a visit by Stanford Professor Russell Berman to UC Irvine on the topic of graduate student training (including the controversial topic of time-to-degree). Looking forward, the group is discussing the best way to disseminate the white paper so that UC campuses—and in particular, faculty and graduate students by way of their departments—can engage in conversation about the white paper’s recommendations, providing additional suggestions and topics for continued conversation. They are considering hosting a series of regional in-person and UC-wide virtual town hall-style meetings in the winter and spring quarters.