The Yale Daily News prints a telling retraction of its
paraphrasing of Graduate School Dean Butler as having been influenced by GESO’s organizing for decent stipends:

Thursday’s article “TAs get stipend increase” incorrectly reported Graduate School Dean Jon Butler’s motivation to increase teaching fellow stipends. Butler said the increase was in coordination with the Graduate Student Assembly, the school’s elected body of student representatives.

Last graduate students should get the idea that they can mobilize for progressive change and actually be listened to – because that would just encourage them to do it more…

The YDN on the administration’s response to yesterday’s “Dissertation Derby”:

An estimated 300 graduate and undergraduate students rallied on the steps of the Hall of Graduate Studies Thursday to protest what they claim are overly stringent Graduate School registration policies and pay inequities.

…Butler, who will assume the Graduate School deanship this July, said the current extended registration policies are designed to help students. “It is to every student’s advantage to complete a superb dissertation as efficiently as is possible,” Butler said. “History is imposing no new time deadlines and it’s erroneous to suggest otherwise.”

But according to an internal History Department memo obtained by GESO and released to the News Thursday, Yale’s largest department may require graduate students to submit half of their dissertations to proceed to the seventh year. “[Students] can petition for extended registration [after their sixth year in] the Graduate School in exceptional cases where unique personal circumstances or substantial difficulties in obtaining archival sources have prevented normal progress,” the department’s policy proposal reads.

What’s in every graduate student’s best interest, as a student and as an employee, is to have the full institutional support of the University for the full duration necessary – given the challenges dramatized in yesterday’s street theater but unfortunately undiscussed in the YDN’s write-up – to complete their academic work, and assistance in attaining gainful employment afterwards. That’s what GESO’s fighting for, and what Butler and Salovey should be working for as well, rather than working to accelerate the casualization of academic labor at one of the wealthiest and most prestigious universities in the world.

Oh – and then there’s this picture, with this caption:

A baguette-wielding man attends a GESO-rally…

Um, Weapon of Mass Destruction, anyone?

Jacob Remes points out a History News Network account of the tension at the annual Business meeting of the American Historical Association, which he attended, over the successfully passed resolution calling on Yale to respect the right of its graduate students to organize. Yale History Chairman and candidate for Yale College Dean Jon Butler made the unfortunate argument that it was “presumptuous” for historians to concern themselves in a dispute over free speech and the right to organize and the specious argument that calling for a fair process to determine whether GESO represents the majority of graduate students is unfair to any other potential graduate student organizations, and finally tried and failed to stall the resolution on procedural grounds.