So it appears our new faculty hiring has gone through, as today we've been talking about the schedule for next year. But now we've hit - or I'm hitting - on a new sort of difficulty. We, like many schools our size, leave course scheduling choices largely up to faculty. I have, by and large, been able to put courses into the time slots that I think will work best for me.
But this morning, the question that came up is that our new faculty member wants to put the freshmen intro course they'll be teaching on a one night a week schedule. If I'm reading everyone correctly, this makes everyone here uncomfortable. It certainly does with me, though this may be because I taught a one night a week course here my first term in, and it was a disaster. It might also be because an intro course tends to bring in the widest variety of students, and that tends to average out to a short attention span. Three hours straight is a long time for a dog-and-pony show.
If it were just me navigating these waters, I'd simply lay out my concerns to the new faculty member. But, particularly because of earlier moments in the search process, I feel like the waters need to be navigated are even more treacherous. I don't want to, in raising my concerns, trip any alarm bells for the others who have (finally) seemed to calm down from all the search nonsense. Honestly, I'd like a quiet run to the end of the term.
And there's that question of academic freedom, as well, which we don't usually talk about in relationship to things like class scheduling. But as I was trying to convey my worries, I also realized that it's entirely possible that just because a three hour intro course doesn't work in my imagination, doesn't mean someone else can't make it work.
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