This was presented to at the end of the student meeting with Alan Goodman on April 24th.
Dear Dean Alan Goodman,
Thank you for your prompt response to our e-mail regarding the status of Queer Studies at Hampshire. We sincerely appreciate the advances the school has made thus far in building up a Queer Studies program. In response to your letter, we have a few specific points we would like to raise.
First, we appreciate your work in securing a permanent position in Feminist Science Studies. However, Professor Willey has expressed that she is a 25% Hampshire faculty, and does not have the capacity take on any new students in the coming year; she was already in full demand her first year working in the Five Colleges (her Hampshire class had a waitlist of 36, she has served on a few Div 2 & 3 committees, as well as advising several independent studies) and therefore should not be expected to take on Professor Pryor’s students.
Second, although we certainly look forward to working with Mr. Maitra and what he has to offer us, he can in no way fill the role of a Queer Studies professor and advisor, capable of examining students in Queer Studies. From our understanding, it is not within the job description of the Five College Pre-doctoral Fellow to serve on committees. Since he cannot replace Professor Pryor on our Div II and III committees, the most pressing concern we have, that of having a chair or member who can examine and advise us in Queer Studies, will not be addressed by his presence.
Third, you assert the institution’s commitment to finding good committee members and chairs for all students. We argue the only feasible way this can be guaranteed for the next academic year is by keeping Professor Pryor on so that her Division III advisees can graduate on time and her Division II students can pass Div II or be passed directly from her hands to the capable hands of the new permanent Queer Studies professor to be hired in July 2013. Several faculty members have expressed that they are already overworked in their formal areas of training, and will not and can not advise the committees that Professor Pryor will be leaving.
Finally, we are ecstatic about the national search process and look forward to participating in any way we can to find the best candidate to fill the permanent Queer Studies position. However, leaving us without a Queer Studies professor or advisor who is capable of serving on our committees for the next year would create a huge rupture in our academic and personal lives.
After weighing our options and engaging with faculty and staff throughout this process, we sincerely believe that offering Professor Jaclyn Pryor a new contract as Visiting Assistant Professor in Queer Studies and Public Practice is the only way for us to seriously continue our Division 2 concentrations and Division 3 projects in Queer Studies. Professor Pryor’s presence on campus has been intellectually stimulating and life transforming for many students who have her on their committees or have taken one of her innovative and immersive classes.
Thank you for your ongoing receptivity, your willingness to hear our voices and your commitment to taking our concerns seriously.
The Queer Does Not End Here