I asked Charlie a few days ago what was going on, and this was his reply
to me. I'll post this sometime this weekend but here is an advance copy
for those of you I know have interest. (Or SHOULD have. =) )
His reply has my question attached which has the Vice Provost's reply to
ME attached (that Will Briggs Also received verbatim) so what follws is a
letter from Charlie to me, the preceeding note from me to Charlie, and
the preceeding Vice Provosts letter to me in newest-first order.
I think I will have to make an appointment with the Dean eventually. Is
anyone willing to go with me?
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2000 18:20:36 -0500 (EST)
From: Charles Colbourn <[log in to unmask]>
To: Caitlin C. Coughlin <[log in to unmask]>
Cc: [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: What do you think?
I was saddened to receive your note, especially that the Dean has
not replied to your message. I share your frustration. I wish I
could make a recommendation about a course of action, but as the Chair
of Computer Science I find myself in a awkward position.
Jane mentions a number of things that I wish were true. Dr. Robert
Snapp asked the Dean to meet with the department in mid-September, and
I have renewed that request many times since. But Dean Jenkins has not
responded to our request.
Jane mentions that Dean Jenkins has been in contact with the department
about needs. Unfortunately this is not the case. The document to which
she refers was prepared without the knowledge of anyone in the CS department,
and requested funds which were in two of four cases inadequate to deliver the
courses that Dean Jenkins promised. Indeed in one case he requested funds
for a new CS 21 and received $3700 for each semester to offer one; since it
is a four-credit course, the Continuing Education rate is about $4900 and he
was unable to make up the difference and would not go back to Jane to
request the $1200 difference, so the extra sections have not been offered.
Moreover, Dean Jenkins never met with me to discuss the departent's budget
request made in April of this year. He has never met with the department
or any member of the department to discuss needs for courses.
Robert Snapp requested a meeting with the Provost, Geoff Gamble, also in
mid-September. Because of his planned departure, the meeting did not
occur until 1 November. At that meeting, we were told clearly that there
are no new resources and that Dean Jenkins is doing an excellent job.
I have asked Dean Jenkins to comment on the Provost's suggestion that we send
our students to other majors, and have received no response. I have asked
Dean Jenkins what is happening about the fact that we are losing our CS 21-26
lab on 18 December, and have nowhere to run help sessions for spring, which
he promised to settle by the end of October, and have received no response.
I will not comment on my opinion of these matters, because the Provost has
assured me that the Dean is doing an excellent job.
But, as a person who pays tuition dollars to the University of Vermont, it
is my belief that I am required to tell you that the information provided
to you about a constant involvement of the Dean in the issues of CS courses
could not be further from the truth.
My recommendation to you is the following. Ask Dean Jenkins for a meeting
in person, show him the email from Jane Lawrence, and ask him to comment.
You have a right to a response, even though I have found out that I do not.
As an officer of the university, I am compelled to stand up for UVM and
so must add that there may be an explanation for these inconsistencies of
which I am unaware. Perhaps what upsets me the most is that Jane Lawrence
has gone to real efforts to respond to the needs in Computer Science, but
unfortunately her contact has been someone who will not meet with the
department to discuss these issues, despite repeated requests.
I hope that you have a great Thanksgiving. I am in Mexico and am looking
for turkey fajitas, but no luck so far!
Cheers -- Charlie.
p.s. Don't spend more energy on this than you must. You have a CS 201
assignment to work on....
> Charlie, what do you think of this letter? It sounds like Dr Jenkins
> implied I never told _him_ about this situation... though he never
> responded to my email.
> Is anything I'm doing working?
> *sigh* =)
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2000 15:24:06 -0500
> From: Jane Lawrence <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Cc: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: computer science
> Dear Ms. Coughlin:
> President Ramaley forwarded your email to me and asked me to check into the
> situation in computer science.
> Fortunately, the Provost, the other Vice Provosts and I had a meeting
> scheduled this morning with the Dean of the College of Engineering. I
> shared with him your email. I know he has been working closely with the
> chair and faculty in the Computer Science department to ensure that there
> are adequate courses and sections to meet student demand. In fact, just
> last summer Dean Jenkins arranged for additional funding from the provost's
> office for computer science courses. Dean Jenkins has been very involved
> with the department and their requests for funding. I would hope that you
> would talk with the dean directly about your concerns. It was clear to the
> provost and the other vice provosts that the dean is well aware of the
> situation in computer science and is anxious to support the faculty to find
> solutions to any problems as they arise.
> Once again, thank you for writing.
> Jane Lawrence
> Jane Fiori Lawrence
> Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
> The University of Vermont
> 350 Waterman Building
> Burlington, VT 05405-0530
> phone: 802-656-4400
> fax: 802-656-1363