McGill University, R.I.P.

It is sad to witness the death of one’s alma mater.  Could I ever think this tragic moment would arrive and one of the best universities in North America would die a swift but painful death?

Dean of Arts Christopher Manfredi announced last Wednesday at a Faculty of Arts Committee meeting that as many as 100 classes in the Faculty of Arts are set to be terminated for the 2013-2014 academic year. The number represents 8 per cent of Arts courses. The cuts have been under consideration since September of last year. According to Manfredi, smaller classes currently taught by full-time professors will be cut, and the professors moved to larger lectures at the expense of the temporary course lecturers currently teaching them. In an email to The Daily,  Manfredi wrote that that the objective was to “increase the proportion of Arts courses and students taught by permanent, full-time faculty members.”

Rest in peace, dear McGill. You will be sorely missed.

In the meanwhile, Canadians are standing silently by and letting this happen. Good job, fellow Canucks! Who needs that boring education anyway?

About these ads

31 comments on “McGill University, R.I.P.

  1. Wow. This is awful. I have always admired McGill. Wow!!! I am shocked. Are the faculty there unionized? If not, going on strike won’t mean much……

  2. Course lecturers are unionized and this is the main reason why they do this. Don’t be become too optimistic: McGill Students and teachers are strongly against the red square movement.

    • “McGill Students and teachers are strongly against the red square movement.”

      - They are traditionally very passive. I remember how the entire city of Montreal marched against the US invasion of Iraq. I canceled class so that my McGill students could attend the protest. But none of them had any interest. The majority preferred to be in class. This was a very weird experience for me.

      • I think they are just indifferent and passive. It is the least politicized student body I ever encountered. Normally, young people have some interest in politics but there it was complete apathy.

      • Passive and indifferent is a very mild way to put it.

        I think that more than being indifferent and passive, people at McGill seem to be content with the way things are.

        I also wish to modulate the anglo vs franco cultural divide about education: at the U of Toronto students clearly expressed their annoyance about the disestablishment of their Centre for Comp. lit. I doubt that something similar would ever happen at McGill. I would be the first to be happy about it, and surprised.

        McGill, just like the Ivy League in minor tone it pretends to be, has the same problem than an Ivy League U like Yale. Do you know how many Spanish majors there are at Yale U right now? 1.
        I think it is the Humanities TT professors’ responsibility to attract more students to their program. Because of that, and even if what is happening at McGill makes me upset and unhappy, I wish TT professors teach more students.

      • ” at the U of Toronto students clearly expressed their annoyance about the disestablishment of their Centre for Comp. lit.”

        - That’s a great example. The UofT folks fought and won. The McGill people are just used to sitting their vacantly no matter what is done to them. Will this finally wake them up?

        ” Do you know how many Spanish majors there are at Yale U right now? 1.”

        - Am I a bad person for feeling vindicated by this?

        “Because of that, and even if what is happening at McGill makes me upset and unhappy, I wish TT professors teach more students.”

        - As a fanatic of gathering huge classrooms around myself :-), I agree completely. But that should not be achieved by cutting courses, as I’m sure you agree.

  3. I do not know anything about these local Canadian politics focused on language disputes.. However, a policy of shutting down adjuncts and requiring full-time faculty to teach more students has my strong approval. Universities across North America abuse students by advertising their full-time faculty in order to attract and then bait-switching them with unqualified adjuncts. Some students never meet a full-time faculty member throughout their undergraduate programs.

    • “Universities across North America abuse students by advertising their full-time faculty in order to attract and then bait-switching them with unqualified adjuncts. Some students never meet a full-time faculty member throughout their undergraduate programs.”

      - I agree completely that this is a sad practice and that the policy of hiring endless adjuncts to substitute full-time faculty is horrible. However, McGill U is addressing this issue not by hiring more full-time faculty but by canceling a huge number of courses.

    • I agree, but why:

      1) Wait until the unionization of course lecturers to do that.

      2) Abolish more specialized courses to do that. That would be unimaginable in a science department.

      Briefly, a policy requiring full-time faculty to teach more students has generally my strong approval, but not using this “breaking the union” method.

    • Well, maybe the university needs you to go there and raise awareness!

      Montreal is a very beautiful and vibrant city. And the gay community is huge and very active.

      See how I’m selling it? :-) I want to hope this is a temporary setback.

      • Well, I do have a reputation for livening up a university community now after my two years at UVic! :)
        I definitely want to see and experience Montreal, after all, and I do know a couple of fellow mischievous activists in that city who could get up to some activities with me.

      • “I definitely want to see and experience Montreal, after all, and I do know a couple of fellow mischievous activists in that city who could get up to some activities with me.”

        - You see? It is not hopeless!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s