Sunday, April 19, 2009

Response: April 19, 2009

Tonight Carl Flink sent out to the dance majors and theatre list serves an email jointly signed by him and Dr. Ananya Chatterjea.
We have updated our annotated timeline with the pertinent quotes and our responses to them.

Sub: Ongoing Departmental Dialogue Updates
Date: 4/19/2009 9:55 PM

Dear Department Students, Staff & Faculty:

We want to update you on the steps that we are taking at a departmental level to address the questions of institutional power, privilege and prejudice that have been raised by the THIS Project and some other students within the department in recent months. We also want to update you on conversations around the status of the departmental peers for next year.

In terms of student input on the first matter above, we are currently waiting for the peers/ombudsmen's office-driven dialogue that has had two conversations facilitated by Ombudsmen Office representative Josh Casper to develop a roster of suggested actions for the department to consider for raising awareness and understanding on these important issues within the department. We also congratulate the students who organized and participated in the recent training on white privilege led by University Faculty member Lisa Albrecht.

At the departmental level, Ananya and I are currently working with College of Liberal Arts Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs Richa Nagar to develop a dialogue with the University's Office of Equity and Diversity's Vice Provost Rusty Barcelo to identify how the Office and the CLA administration can best facilitate and support these ongoing dialogues. We hope that these conversations will bear some fruit in the coming weeks.

In terms of the status of the departmental peers, the department faculty has considered whether it is necessary to continue these positions as paid in the face of the impending budget cuts our department will need to address this summer. Over the past two weeks I have engaged in multiple thoughtful conversations with the Peers, Jasmine Rush of the X Board and a number of concerned BA students, as well as, department faculty and staff on how the department can move forward with the peers and still responsibly meet the budget reductions it is facing. I hope to have a final resolution in regards to the peers as early as this coming Friday. Students, if you have questions or input about this subject, I strongly encourage you to contact the Peers.


Carl Flink Ananya Chatterjea
Chair, Theatre Arts & Dance Director, Dance Program