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 Nora Happily Serving Watermelon  Nora Gimpel
 nora@tauaft.org
 (734) 493-2723

 

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2 thoughts on “Contact

  1. Hello, I’d like remain anonymous so I’m using an old email of mine and will not provide my name. I have a few concerns that I wanted to bring to the attention of the TAU.

    I am a graduate student in the psychology department. Since I’ve been a student, we’ve had our teaching assistantships continually cut. I understand that is not a problem unique to the department of psychology. What is unique, however, is how it appears that the department is circumventing the issue. Over the past year, graduate students have been teaching courses without pay “to gain experience.” In fact, not only are they not getting paid, but they are actually paying for credits to teach these courses. They are doing this under the cover of PSY 6910 College Teaching Practicum whose catalog entry states “Supervised practice in the instruction of psychology at the undergraduate level. The student will be responsible for the design, execution, and evaluation of a college course section involving undergraduate students.” This is exactly what my teaching assistantship used to be in the department of psychology. Now that assistantships are being cut, this “opportunity” is being offered as a way to put a bandaid on the problem – the university has undergraduates that are wanting to take courses that the university does not want to pay someone to teach. There are at least 5 of these “practicum” classes being taught by graduate students right now who are paying to “take” the course. In a related matter, PSY 1000 General Psychology used to offer several paid assistantships. After similar cuts to assistantships, the instructor, Dr. Doug Johnson, is “offering” another psychology graduate student the opportunity to teach his section of the course for free.

    When I first heard about this issue, I thought it maybe was an isolated incident. However, the problem has worsened over the past few years. I don’t know if anything can be done regarding this matter but I wanted to bring it to your attention. My fear is that at this rate, the faculty “offering” these courses and the students “taking” them are simply demonstrating to the university that they don’t need to pay for assistantships at all. Why pay a qualified graduate student to teach an undergraduate course, when we are demonstrating that not only will the undergraduates pay to take the course but the graduate students will also pay to teach them!

  2. Dear Anonymous,

    I just wanted to check in to see how you are doing. I sent you an email on 9/22 that I have yet to receive a response for. TAU would love to be able to help this situation but we need you or someone from your department to come and speak with us about exactly what is going on in order for us to file an official grievance.

    Thanks and I hope to hear back from you soon.

    Chelsea Coss
    TAU VP & Grievance Officer
    email: chelsea.b.coss@wmich.edu

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