History Grad Student Panel Circulates Petition Criticising Admission Policies

A group of graduate students is circulating a petition within the History Department criticizing the department's admissions policies and the University's recent decision to cut back the current teaching fellow budget by 5 to 10 per cent.

The petition, sponsored by the Adams Club Steering Committee, attacks the "lack of coordination" between this week's budget cutbacks and the recent trends towards increased admissions of graduate students to the department.

A member of the committee who asked not to be identified said yesterday that the committee is "trying to communicate the sentiments of graduate students in the department to the faculty" through the petition.

The member said the committee opposes the "boosted admissions" policies of the department because "the job market for Ph.D. holders in history is projected to get worse in the next ten years."

Of the 47 applicants admitted to the department this year, 28, an "excessively large number" according to the committee member, have decided to enroll. The department originally projected the entering class at 22.


Combined with the University's decision to slash next year's teaching fellow budget between 5 and 10 per cent, committee members fear that individual graduate students will receive fewer tutorials to teach. Tutorials are a major source of a graduate student's financial resources.

The committee favors reduced admissions and an increase in funding from the University. "Grad students are extremely unified in their reaction to this problem" the member said, adding that "we're fairly certain that most people who read the petition will sign it."

In another department development, yesterday's faculty meeting failed to reach a decision on proposed changes in concentration requirements.

Vernon R. Proctor '76, a member of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee of the History Department, said yesterday that a "concensus of opinion" emerged during the meeting that favored lessening the minor requirements of concentrators from one-and-one-half courses in a specific area of study to one course, allowing concentrators to take the additional half-course in any area outside their major.