Wednesday, February 28, 2007

listserves - productive or other wasteland??

so on our graduate student listserve there has been some debate recently about the communication between the faculty and the graduate students about graduate student funding. this upcoming weekend is our annual conference where in addition to bringing in grads and scholars from around the country - we also wine and dine new recruits.
the question on the listserve is should we openly disclose to these fresh new faces the daunting and glim sphere of humanities funding? or more specifically the difficulty many grads face in securing funding for their entire tenure in the Program? the faculty has specifically asked us not to "complain" because this would not be good PR and if we increase our grad enrollment - we actually get more funding as a program due to this lovely thing called FTE - full-time enrollment.
Here are some snippets of the conversation:
Let's not be, what does Rosalind Krauss call it, willing subjects.
It is our job to tell these prospective students the truth so they
make the decision to attend or not attend ... in as informed a
as possible. This is the path to having the least
amount of
resentment later on.

and another:

At any rate, a nagging question for me remains: what
exactly does it mean
for us to help them recruit (as [PK]
put it, wearing our "best clothes")
this weekend? I mean,
we were basically told NOT to reveal any of our
dirty laundry
(to continue the lame analogy) because it would create a

toxic environment for the public relations effort this weekend.

and lastly:

It it NOT beyond any reason, however, for business
administrators to be shady about money. Especially
administrators who are
possibly unaware of how they are
being used by the business interests at
hand (after all,
funding practices of the... system were codified in the

Reagan years...). The power of capital is shaping our
advisors and the
kinds of things they can say just as
it is screwing us; its nasty, but its
brilliant in that Dr. Evil
kind of way. That said, I fully agree that the
messed-up level
is off the charts, and that some actual discussion that

isn't a dog-and-pony show would be nice.

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