UCLA DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH

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					UCLA DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH

    EIGHT-YEAR REVIEW

          Rafael Pérez-Torres, Chair

     Christopher Looby, Exiting Vice-Chair

          Michael North, Vice-Chair

         Lowell Gallagher, Vice-Chair

     Elizabeth Krown Spellman, Manager

      Michael Lambert, Graduate Advisor

    Janel Munguia, Undergraduate Advisor




                July 2008
                                                                      ii


          UCLA Department of English Eight-Year Review
                              Table of Contents


Narrative
A.     INTRODUCTION                                                         1
B.     GENERAL INFORMATION                                                  1
C.     BY-LAWS                                                              2
D.     UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM                                                3
       Overview of Program                                                  3
       Range of Programs Available to Students                              5
       Sources of Undergraduate Student Support                             9
       Faculty Resources                                                    9
       Student Culture                                                     11
E.     GRADUATE PROGRAM                                                    12
       Overview of Program                                                 12
       Sources of Graduate Student Support                                 14
       Scholarship and Teaching                                            16
       The Course of Study                                                 20
       Evaluations and Examinations                                        22
F.     COMPARISON TO THE PREVIOUS REVIEW                                   23
       Graduate Program                                                    23
       Undergraduate Program                                               27
       Physical Facilities                                                 30
G.     STAFF, SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS & PHYSICAL FACILITIES                  30
       Staff                                                               30
       Physical Resources and Equipment                                    31
       Departmental Operating Budget                                       33
       The Friends of English                                              33
       The English Reading Room                                            34
H.     SUMMARY                                                             35



Appendix 1:    Rankings
Appendix 2:    Average Number of Undergraduate Majors in English
Appendix 3:    English/American Lit & Culture Majors Enrolled
Appendix 4:    Letter Grade Distribution
Appendix 5:    Department Teaching Evaluation Score Averages
Appendix 6:    Ladder Faculty
Appendix 7:    Use of Lecturers in Undergraduate Courses
Appendix 8:    Percent of Core Courses Taught by Ladder Faculty
Appendix 9:    Use of Teaching Assistants in Upper Division Courses
Appendix 10:   Teaching Workload Policy
Appendix 11:   Faculty Teaching Load
                                                           iii


Appendix 12:   Number of Dissertations Directed

Appendix 13:   Applications and Admissions
Appendix 14:   Number of Students Completing Program
Appendix 15:   Job Placement
Appendix 16:   Recruitment
Appendix 17:   Minority Enrollment
Appendix 18:   Library Resources
Appendix 19:   Dissertations Completed
Appendix 20:   Faculty Awards
Appendix 21:   Editorial Service of Faculty
Appendix 22:   Distinguished Teaching Awards
Appendix 23:   Graduate Student Awards
Appendix 24:   First Qualifying Examinations
Appendix 25:   Department Staff


Exhibit A:     Graduate and Undergraduate Student Survey
Exhibit B:     Undergraduate Response
Exhibit C:     Graduate Response
Exhibit D:     Sundquist Report on Graduate Program
                        UCLA DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH
                            EIGHT-YEAR REVIEW




                                  A. INTRODUCTION

Work on this current Academic Program Review of the Department of English was
primarily done during the spring and summer months of 2008. The previous review of
the department was conducted in 1997-98. During the process of compiling this review,
meetings with an ad hoc Eight-Year Review committee composed of the department
chair and seven faculty members, the executive committee, ladder faculty, graduate
students, and staff were held to discuss issues relating to this review. In addition, the
chair surveyed graduate students and undergraduate majors via online technology (see
Exhibit A), as well as solicited comments by the faculty and others involved in
departmental programs, seeking their views regarding the state of the department, its
current strengths and weaknesses, as well as its future development. A draft report,
prepared by Chair Rafael Pérez-Torres, outgoing Vice-Chair Christopher Looby, and
current Vice-Chairs Michael North and Lowell Gallagher was distributed to faculty and
student representatives for additional review and suggestions, following which the final
report for submission to the Academic Senate was prepared by Chair Pérez-Torres. In
addition, both the Undergraduate English Association and the Graduate Student Union
were asked to prepare their own responses to the student survey, and these documents are
included with this report. The report was distributed to the entire department for
consideration before voting its approval of the document by a unanimous vote at the
November 21, 2008, department meeting.


                             B. GENERAL INFORMATION

The Department of English is the largest department in the division of the humanities at
UCLA. It has rightly been called the jewel in the crown of the division. Yet the
department has suffered serious losses in the last few years, both due to retirement and
separations. As a point of reference, in 2007-08 the Division of the Humanities had
2,868 majors, of which 1,322 were in English. The division currently holds 243.37 filled
ladder FTE, of which 54.75 FTE are in English. In short, last year the Department of
English taught 46 percent of the majors in the Humanities with only 22 percent of the
division's filled FTE assigned to it.

Given this particular burden, the department has nevertheless ranked well in national
surveys of programs and departments. Were more resources assigned to the department,
one would expect that its ranking would consequently improve.
                                                                                      2


The National Conference Board survey has not been updated since 1995, when the
department ranked twelfth out of 127 programs. The organization Ph.D.org ranks the
department's education effectiveness in graduate study as ninth, tied with Duke's and
Johns Hopkins's programs. U.S News & World Report Best Graduate Programs in
English rank the department tenth in the nation, tied with the University of Pennsylvania
(See Appendix 1). Our areas of expertise remain particularly strong, though we have
fallen precipitously in our ranking in African American literature (from three to sixteen).
Indeed, the losses suffered in the area of American ethnic literatures have been
disproportionate, nearly a third of recent separations (See Appendix 6). Nevertheless, our
rankings remain strong overall.

These rankings are significant given the large number of majors we serve and the limited
FTE afforded the department, FTE increasingly more difficult for the department to
secure. Moreover, we expect that our resources for faculty support will suffer given the
current budgetary crisis the UC System as a whole is likely to endure. In addition, it is
likely that we will continue to experience losses over the next several years as more
faculty members reach the age of retirement. There is every expectation the
administration will be loathe to replace those FTE in the near (and perhaps even long)
term. Nevertheless, the department has continued to produce vital scholarship across the
board and to mount successful programs at both the undergraduate and the graduate
levels in the study of literature written in English.


                                        C. BYLAWS

VOTING RIGHTS FOR ACADEMIC ADVANCEMENT

Effective April 2003
Voting Procedures for Academic Advancement
The chart below shows which faculty are allowed to vote on specified personnel actions.
Merit increase reviews are delegated to the Personnel Committee. The Personnel
Committee is an elected committee. The slate consists of all available faculty members
willing to serve on the committee. Members are elected from the list by secret ballot and
serve two-year terms. The Personnel Committee consists of three Full Professors and
two Associate Professors, with the entire committee voting on Associate and Assistant
Professor merit reviews, and only the Full Professors voting on Full Professor merit
reviews. All actions requiring an ad hoc committee go to the faculty; this includes
accelerated merits of two years or more, merits to Step VI, and all promotions. Lecturer
appointments go through the Executive Committee. Voting rights are not extended to
emeriti.

APPOINTMENTS TO RANK                    VOTING INDIVIDUALS (specified by rank and
(SERIES):                               series):
Professor                               Full, Associate, Assistant Professors
Associate Professor                     Full, Associate, Assistant Professors
Assistant Professor                     Full, Associate, Assistant Professors
                                                                                        3


Adjunct Professor                        Full, Associate, Assistant Professors
Adjunct Associate Professor              Full, Associate, Assistant Professors
Adjunct Assistant Professor              Full, Associate, Assistant Professors
Senior Lecturer (with SOE)               Ladder Faculty, plus Senior Lecturers with SOE
Senior Lecturer                          Ladder Faculty, plus Senior Lecturers with SOE
Lecturer (with SOE)                      Ladder Faculty, plus Senior Lecturers with SOE
Lecturer                                 Executive Committee

PROMOTIONS TO RANK                       VOTING INDIVIDUALS (specified by rank and
(SERIES):                                series):
Professor                                Full Professors
Associate Professor                      Tenured Faculty
Assistant Professor                      Full and Associate Professors
Adjunct Professor                        Full, Associate, Assistant Professors
Adjunct Associate Professor              Full and Associate Professors
Adjunct Assistant Professor              Full, Associate, Assistant Professors


                           D. UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM

Overview of Program

The following description, posted to the departmental website, captures the essential
goals and design of the undergraduate program. “The UCLA English Department is
dedicated to providing its students with a liberal education, one that develops reading,
writing, and critical skills necessary for them to excel in today's world. To do so, the
department focuses on the study of the literatures and cultures of those areas of the world
in which English is the primary language. Although committed to no single method or
approach, the department encourages an emphasis on British, American, and world
literature, and it requires its majors to examine those writers who have helped during the
past millennium make English a global language. Within the major, qualified students
may elect a concentration in either creative writing or world literature. The department
also offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Literature and Culture.” Prospective
and current majors are further advised that the degree offers “intensive training in skills
essential in the modern job market, training that is rarely offered by other fields of study.
The major also aspires to nurture the kinds of thoughtfulness essential for an intelligent,
diverse, and harmonious society, a society that appreciates traditions without following
them blindly.” The specific training offered by the major covers four areas: 1) the ability
to think critically and creatively, and to express ideas clearly and forcefully; 2) detailed
knowledge of several cultural traditions; 3) exposure to many related areas of study,
including history, psychology, philosophy, linguistics, comparative folklore and
mythology, sociology, art history, and religious studies; and 4) preparation for graduate
and professional work in a wide variety of fields. While there is room for improvement
in the department’s handling of the ensemble of targeted areas in any given year, the
                                                                                       4


department has been able for the most part to deliver the training it promises with
remarkable consistency.

Enrollment in the major remains high. In 2007-08 the count was 1322 with an average
enrollment of 1445 since the close of the previous review period (1998). The English
major remains one of the largest in the nation (by comparison, enrollments for 2007-08
were at 1200 at the University of Texas, Austin and at 1000 at Ohio State University.
See Appendix 2). While the number of majors dropped significantly during the last
review period (by over three hundred students), the number has remained relatively stable
during the past decade. The demographic trend observed in the 'nineties—the drift of
majors away from the humanities and social sciences and toward the sciences—seems to
have reached a plateau by the academic year 2002-03. While several factors have
contributed to this relative stability, we believe the continued excellence, rigor, and
widespread appeal of the major have consistently given ballast to the program. Our
proximity to Hollywood also attracts some students to the major, as they eye a potential
career in writing or production for the movie and television industries.

Since 1998, the average upper-division GPA (3.29) and lower-division GPA (3.21 ) have
risen to a steady elevation above the respective GPA for the last review period (3.11 and
2.8), while the upper-division average for the same population has remained comparable
to the average UC GPA (3.25). Further, campus-wide records of teaching evaluation
scores show that English courses and faculty consistently rank well above campus score
averages—impressive testimony to the faculty’s sustained commitment to the
undergraduate program (see Appendix 5). The department also notes with pride that in
the past ten years five ladder faculty members have received campus-wide awards for
distinguished teaching.

There is no denying, however, the significant decline in ladder faculty resources over the
past ten years. In 1998 there were sixty-two ladder faculty, with a ladder faculty/major
ratio of 1/22. In 2007-08 the department had fifty-six ladder faculty, with a
corresponding ratio of 1/25. The current year’s ratio is slightly better (approx. 1/24), but
it remains a matter of some concern that despite the department’s demonstrated
commitment to its teaching mission, faculty resources have been strained by current
enrollment levels. In order to fulfill its mission, the department continues to rely on the
service of lecturers and part-time faculty and virtually all fields now regularly depend on
the support of non-ladder faculty. In addition, course offerings now systematically
include a significant number of large-enrollment upper-division courses with graduate
teaching assistants (see Appendix 9). While the stadium culture of the lecture bowl
format in many ways presents a less than ideal solution to the department’s curricular
demands, this recent innovation carries the collateral benefit of widening the spectrum of
graduate students’ teaching experience. The division of labor benefits undergraduate
students as well: TA-led discussion sections help prepare students for their eventual
seminar experiences, and the small enrollment in each section enables TAs to give more
meticulous attention to the craft of writing than is normally possible in larger classes
taught by lecturers or ladder faculty. The above compensatory mechanisms have enabled
the department to maintain a reasonably diverse array and sufficient number of course
                                                                                        5


offerings over the three terms of each academic year. The supplementary corps of
required courses and electives offered during the two summer sessions continues to
provide students with an important curricular resource, as well as provide a valuable
fiscal resource for the department in a era of heightened budgetary restraint.

Since the last review, the increase of credit units assigned to courses has produced a
discernible impact on students’ learning experience as well as time to degree. The shift
from the four-unit standard of credit per upper-division course (the extant rule at the time
of the last review) to the five-unit standard did not affect the minimum number of courses
(twelve) required for the major, but it does seem to have enabled students to sustain more
reflective encounters with the literature and critical apparatus assigned in each course
than was possible under the previous system. (Three courses per term, as opposed to four
or five, are now considered a normal load.) Nearly 80 percent of first-year admissions
now obtain the B.A. degree through the department in four years, as opposed to the 60
percent average before 2001 (a roughly comparable shift has occurred in the two-year
period for transfers). While there is much to recommend in this trend, it should also be
noted that there has been a corresponding diminution in the number of electives that our
majors take as they advance toward the degree. There is probably room for debate over
the significance of the de facto restriction of many majors’ exposure to the range of
faculty expertise and interests, and it is likely that this issue will be addressed in
departmental conversations over possible curricular reforms in the next few years (see
section F "Comparison to Previous Review" below for further discussion of this point).

The number of lower-division courses offered by the department each year has also
declined in recent years, primarily because of the highly successful restructuring of
General Education requirements at UCLA (inaugurated in 2002-03), which broadened the
array of courses outside the department which satisfy the Foundation Area in Arts and
Humanities. The department continues to serve the Division of Undergraduate Education
by offering its most popular GE courses on an annual basis: English 85 (American
Novel), 95A (Introduction to Poetry) and 95B (Introduction to Drama). In addition, the
Division’s year-long multidisciplinary Freshman Cluster Program has frequently drawn
on departmental resources; ten faculty members have contributed to the Program’s
innovative combination of lectures and seminars since the Program’s inception.

Range of Programs Available to Students

The core programs in the department have not changed significantly since 1998.
Preparatory coursework (common to all departmental concentrations and majors)
provides basic tools for advancement through the major: composition, basic principles of
critical reading and writing, and a survey of the history of primarily English literature
(the “gateway” series). A grade of “C-“ is required in each of these courses for
admission to the major.

       Preparatory coursework:
              English 3: English composition, rhetoric, and language
              English 4: Critical reading and writing
                                                                                       6


               English 10A: English literature to 1660
               English 10B: English literature 1660-1832
               English 10C: English literature 1832-present

       Foreign language prerequisites:
              Five quarters of a foreign language, foreign literature, or foreign literature
              in translation (two courses over the College requirement)

Required upper-division courses in the standard English Major (the most popular
option) preserve the traditional core of canonical author-based requirements (the
Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Milton cluster) coupled with period-based requirements and
an array of electives:

12 courses in the following categories:

       1 Chaucer                              (English 141A or 141B)
       2 Shakespeare                          (English 142A and 142B)
       1 Milton                               (English 143)
       1 British literature pre-1800          (English 150-157)
       1 British literature 1800-1900         (English 160-164)
       1 seminar (any topic)                  (English 180-189)
       3 upper-division electives             (English 140A-M197A)
       2 upper-division electives             (English 100-199)

One of the significant departmental innovations documented at the time of the last review
was the American Literature and Culture Major. Requirements for the major have
not changed since its establishment in 1995; these include the basic preparation for the
major as well as thirteen upper-division courses:

       2 Shakespeare and/or Milton
       6 American literature courses from the English 170-179 series, 2 of which
       must focus on pre-twentieth-century literature
       1 seminar in American literature and culture
       1 course using an interdisciplinary approach to literature (including ethnic and
       American women’s studies courses)
       3 upper-division electives (English 100-199) or 3 non-English upper-division
       courses from another department relating to American culture

As observed in the last review, the expansion of American literature offerings to
accommodate the requirements for this major has helped give greater visibility to the
department’s ethnic specializations. From a high of 350 in 2000-01, the average
enrollment of American Literature and Culture majors has stabilized around 175 per year
since 2002. The average number of degrees granted annually in American Literature and
Culture since 2002 is 86, while the average for the standard English major is 369. In
2006-07, a representative year, 65 degrees in American Literature and Culture were
awarded, corresponding to 15 percent of the total number of degrees awarded (447).
                                                                                        7



The Creative Writing concentration includes the standard preparatory regimen and a
modified version of the upper-division requirements: two courses in Shakespeare, four
electives, three creative-writing workshops in either poetry or fiction, and three literature
courses paralleling the selected genre. Enrollments in the concentration have remained
stable since the last review (around 40 students each year with 294 students graduating
over the last ten years), though student demand is consistently higher than departmental
resources can satisfy. To some extent the discrepancy is unavoidable, particularly in
view of the pedagogic need to cap enrollments in the workshop format. The department
has regularly enlisted highly qualified visiting lecturers to conduct both poetry and fiction
workshops, though the recent retirement of one of the program’s core faculty makes it
likely that dependence on visiting lecturers will become more conspicuous in the next
few years, particularly in view of the fact that one of the recent casualties of the system-
wide budget crisis was the withdrawal of the FTE for a position in creative writing in
2008.

While the two following options do not attract large enrollments, these concentrations
provide an important academic resource at minimal cost.

The World Literature concentration offers perhaps the most interdisciplinary
undergraduate program in the department. Upper-division requirements are fifteen
courses, which includes nine English courses: two Shakespeare courses, Chaucer or
Milton, one British literature pre-1800, four electives from the 140A-M197 range, and an
elective from 100-199. In addition, students in the program must complete six upper-
division courses in foreign literature with at least one conducted in the original language.
There is no formal lower-division language requirement for this program, because
students must complete or test out of the appropriate lower-division language classes
before enrolling in upper-division courses conducted in the language. Since 1998, 302
students have graduated with this concentration.

The “International Students” Program attracts students whose native language is not
English. It requires more lower-division preparation (two ESL courses in addition to the
standard preparatory regimen) and twelve upper-division courses, including three upper-
division ESL courses as well as a choice of 121 (History of the English Language), 122
(Structure of Present-Day English) or TESL C116 (English Grammar for Second/Foreign
Language Education), two Shakespeare courses, and six upper-division courses in
English.

Departmental Honors is an attractive option for the most gifted and academically
ambitious students. The basic requirements have not changed since the last review.
Eligibility is restricted to majors with a 3.5 departmental major GPA and a 3.25 GPA
overall. Prerequisite courses include a minimum of one course in literary criticism
(140A or 140B) and a thesis-preparation seminar (191HA) that helps students identify
viable thesis topics, choose appropriate methodologies, and familiarize themselves with
various research tools. By the end of the seminar each student is expected to have
produced a thesis proposal and bibliography and to have begun consultation with the
                                                                                      8


faculty member who has agreed to supervise the thesis. Theses are generally between
forty and sixty pages and may take the form of literary or cultural criticism, a creative
writing project, or a multi-media project. After the theses have been submitted, advisors
submit evaluations together with recommendations for honors or highest honors
designations. An ad hoc committee chaired by the director of the program certifies the
designations and also selects the recipient(s) of the annual Thompson Prize for
outstanding honors thesis.

In 1998 the pace of the program was significantly altered by the relocation of the
preparatory seminar from fall term of the senior year to spring term of the junior year.
The anticipated merits of the change seem to have been confirmed. Students are now
able to take advantage of the summer months to read more widely in their chosen topic
and in some cases to begin preliminary drafts of the thesis; more time is available in fall
and winter terms for consultation with advisors and revision of the thesis; and in most
cases there is more time at the end of the process for advisors to assess submitted work
and to nominate superior candidates for the annual thesis prize. In fall 2007 a new one-
credit course (190H) was instituted as a fall term elective for thesis students: a weekly
colloquium guided by one of the 191H instructors and designed in part to reanimate the
intellectual stimulus of the 191H esprit de corps and to ensure efficient transition from
the summer’s preparatory reading to a regular writing schedule. One major aim of the
course is to demystify the process of a long-term research project. To this end, students
are asked to read and comment on a relevant thesis submitted to the program in past
years, and at the end of the term students convene for an informal conference, to which
all Honors program advisors are invited, in which each student gives a brief oral
presentation of the work in progress and fields questions. Though the course is still in the
pilot stage, student responses in 2007 were enthusiastic. The course promises to help
raise students’ performance levels in an already rigorous and generally successful
program.

In 1998 the number of students who were admitted to Departmental Honors was close to
sixty (a considerable increase from fifteen in 1990), and the annual admission rate has
remained stable. Twenty-three students graduated from the program in 2008, and the
average number in the last five years was twenty. While higher numbers might be hoped
for, the proportion of honors students in the general major seems defensible in view of
the challenging student/ladder faculty ratio in the department. Some less than optimal
features of the program need to be addressed in coming years. One of the unfortunate
consequences of the relocation of the preparatory seminar (191H) to the spring of the
junior year is the cost to some of our most promising transfer students. With reduced
time to degree, many from this group are unable to meet all the eligibility requirements
for the major and the program by the spring of their first year at UCLA, and there is no
compensatory procedure in place. Currently, the department relies, gratefully, on a small
but dedicated cohort of senior and continuing lecturers to teach the preparatory seminar
(191H), while a larger, but less than optimal, number of both ladder faculty and lecturers
volunteer to direct theses. More frequent participation of ladder faculty in these
important phases of the program would be desirable, but current difficulties in staffing
                                                                                        9


the full range of upper-division courses with ladder faculty militate against significant
inroads being made toward this goal in the near future.

Instituted in 1997-98, the English Minor is an attractive option for students who wish to
supplement their humanities education beyond the GE regimen or disciplinary scope of
their major. Requirements include English 3 and 4, the 10 series, and five upper-division
courses, including one in Shakespeare (142A) and one in pre-1900 literature. The
number of students completing the minor has increased from thirty-three the first year the
minor was offered to a high of ninety-eight in 2004-05. The latest statistics from 2005-06
indicate that eighty-five students completed the minor that academic year. (See Appendix
3.)

Sources of Undergraduate Student Support

The department has fewer funds available for undergraduate support but it does have the
Harold Dee Fox Memorial Scholarship, which awards a competitive $500 scholarship to
an undergraduate each year. We also have several competitive creative writing awards
for undergraduates: the Ruth Brill Scholarship Award in Fiction, the Falling Leaves
Creative Writing Prize, the May Merill Miller Creative Writing Award, and the Shirley
Dorothy Robbins Poetry Contest. In addition to these awards, the department provides as
much support as possible for undergraduate involvement in research activities. For
example, last year the department contributed funds to assist the participation of five
undergraduate students who were invited to present at a panel at the National Association
of Chicana/o Studies Conference in Austin, TX. In addition, the department allocates up
to $1,000 each year to support the activities of Sigma Tau Delta, the undergraduate honor
society for English majors and minors.


Faculty Resources

Ladder faculty resources remain starkly insufficient. As noted above, at the time of the
previous review (1998) there were sixty-two ladder faculty (thirty-two full professors,
twenty-one associate professors, eight assistant professors, and one senior lecturer SOE
[Security of Employment]). As of fall 2008, there are fifty-six ladder faculty (thirty-six
full professors, thirteen associate professors, six assistant professors, one senior lecturer
SOE), two senior continuing lecturers, two continuing lecturers, and three adjunct faculty
(see Appendix 6). Teaching by lecturers and adjunct faculty remains a significant feature
of the undergraduate program, and we continue to rely heavily on temporary lecturers in
both lower- and upper-division courses. Many of our recent Ph.D.s are able to fill these
positions. In view of the chronic vicissitudes of the academic job market, the department
is happy to be able to provide these de facto post-doctoral appointments on a regular
basis. While the department continues to observe the MLA recommendations for the use
of temporary faculty regarding benefits, office space, and occasional funds for research
assistance, recent budgetary constraints have made it unlikely that the department will be
able to offer this population more than one-year terminal appointments.
                                                                                       10


Our cadre of senior and continuing lecturers remains crucial to the core curriculum; their
service in key areas—medieval, early modern, and American literatures—makes it
possible for ladder faculty to teach courses, at all levels, that would otherwise remain
unstaffed. Even with this accommodation, ladder faculty instruction in core upper-
division courses in the last ten years, for example, has rarely risen above 40 percent while
lecturer instruction of all upper-division courses has hovered at an average of 34 percent
(see Appendices 7 and 8). The percentage would be even higher if the decision had not
been made several years ago to add a significant TA component to many of the flagship
upper-division courses in the two majors. This practice has enabled broader and more
consistent coverage of courses otherwise infrequently taught in the 150 range (medieval
through eighteenth-century topics) and it has also helped stave off the possibility that an
American Literature and Culture major may graduate without ever having a ladder
faculty instructor in an upper-division American literature course (a cause for concern in
the last review period). Nonetheless, the recent redistribution of TA resources does not
disguise the fact that faculty resources are spread thin, across all fields.

The department has been able to shore up faculty resources in virtually all of the
department’s fields of study. Of the fourteen new appointments since 1998, four were in
rapidly developing fields (ethnic studies and women’s studies; postcolonial and Afro-
American literatures; postcolonial and Pacific Island literatures); three in American
literature; and one in each of the following areas: creative writing; new media studies;
critical theory; medieval literature; eighteenth-century literature; Romantic literature; and
nineteenth-century British literature (see Appendix 6). It bears noting, however, that
many of the hires have been in areas that remain understaffed or will be so after further
separations take place in the next few years (all of the four traditional period-based areas
mentioned above, from medieval to nineteenth-century British literature, fall into this
category). Even if the two searches conducted this year, in medieval studies and
transatlantic studies, are successful, faculty resources will remain depleted in these
important areas. The well-populated field of Early Modern / Renaissance literature, for
example, now depends on significant support from the department’s cohort of senior
lecturers in order to meet curricular requirements.

As noted in the previous review, parity of teaching load among junior and senior
professors was established in 1995-96, with the assignment of a four-course teaching load
to all ranks of the professoriate. There is general agreement in the department that this
arrangement satisfies many equity issues and allows needed time for the full range of
instruction (e.g., direction of independent studies, senior projects, honors theses, and
dissertations). The corresponding practice of “stacking” courses (which enables faculty
to fulfill their course assignments in two terms rather than distributing them across three
terms) has now been in place for several years and has much to recommend it, insofar as
it further recognizes the time needed to prepare new courses and pursue research that
bears fruit in the classroom.

It has also become clear, however, that the practice exacerbates difficulties in offering a
fair distribution of courses over the academic year, and the burden is borne by students
who struggle to advance toward the degree in a timely way. We do not have statistics to
                                                                                      11


indicate how widespread the problem may be; anecdotally, however, the undergraduate
counseling staff appreciates the impact of the problem. It is likely that in the next few
years the department may have to adjust the stacking mechanism in order to address this
issue. A related issue: thus far the department has been loath to consider mechanisms to
cap enrollment in the major, particularly in view of the likely domino effect such a policy
would have on other humanities departments. Nevertheless, it is likely that as the
department takes stock of its available resources in the next few years it will need to seek
both creative and equitable responses to the difficulties posed by the faculty/student ratio.

Student Culture

Given the size of our undergraduate population, to say nothing of the challenging
commuter culture to which many students and faculty must adapt, it is not easy to
promote and maintain a viable esprit de corps in the department’s academic community.
One major improvement was accomplished in 2006 with the department’s move from
Rolfe Hall to its new home in the Humanities Building. Despite the absence of a
designated common room for undergraduates, state-of-the-art classrooms and informal
gathering spaces have helped foster a sense of belonging and pride in the department.
Apart from projects entailing close supervision (e.g., honors theses and independent
studies), faculty advising of students remains a largely ad hoc process. However, the
significant upgrade in faculty office space has also created a far more inviting ambiance
for faculty-student conversations than was previously possible.

For technical advice regarding requirements, courses, and programs, students continue to
rely primarily on the Undergraduate Counseling Office. Given the size of the student
population, the allotted resources for counselors are meager—one full-time and one half-
time staff member (the latter appointment is shared with the Graduate Counseling
Office)—but they are superbly filled (by Janel Munguia and Danielle Maris,
respectively). Janel Munguia, the principal counselor, has been with the department for
fifteen years, and her contributions to the department’s counseling and advising mission
are indispensable. In addition to maintaining an efficient, centralized mechanism for
dispensing information and guidance to students, the counseling office also organizes
orientation programs several times a year, gives guidance on internship and career
options, and serves as an important outreach agent to local community colleges.

Two student organizations were in place at the time of the last review, the Undergraduate
English Association and the UCLA chapter of Sigma Tau Delta. These groups continue
to provide a significant academic and social resource for our undergraduate population,
by organizing reading groups and trips to local literary and cultural events and providing
a channel for information on graduate and professional schools and career paths. UEA
representatives are also invited to attend the department’s Undergraduate Committee as
well as board meetings of the department’s major support group, the UCLA Friends of
English. Both organizations now have well-designed web sites, which optimize the flow
of information, and the UEA’s blog component helps create a virtual community of
English majors. The departmental website also maintains a repository of information and
links to resources for our students.
                                                                                      12




                                E. GRADUATE PROGRAM

Overview of Program

The department’s graduate program comprises a large faculty and a medium-sized
student body (108), each group representing a broad range of interests and critical
approaches. Roughly three-quarters of the ladder faculty teach graduate courses on a
regular basis (some virtually every year, others every second or third year);
approximately three-fifths of all currently active ladder faculty are directing or have
directed one or more dissertations in the period since 1999. Many of our faculty—and
some in particular, who have rare expertise of one kind or another—contribute
generously to dissertations, in our own department and in other departments as well, of
which they may not be the nominal chair. The tabulation of "dissertations directed" in
Appendix 12 is therefore only a very rough measure of the contributions that our faculty
make to the success of dissertations at UCLA. Although the total number of the
department’s faculty is smaller than it once was, the department schedules an array of
graduate courses during each quarter (and over the course of each year) that covers a
wide range of literature in English from its beginnings to the postmodern and the
postcolonial, including courses in the major traditional historical periods, but also courses
in theory and (especially of late) courses that cross familiar temporal and national
boundaries and include subject matter from various media. The department also offers
courses each year in numerous ethnic and minority literatures of the United States.

In 2005 the department conducted an internal review of its graduate program. An ad hoc
committee was appointed by the chair, Professor Thomas Wortham, to consult broadly
with the faculty and graduate students, to evaluate our current program requirements, and
to deliberate and propose changes if necessary. This ad hoc committee was chaired by
Professor Eric Sundquist, and it consulted widely with faculty colleagues and with
graduate students, preparing a report that was discussed and approved by a vote of the
faculty (see Exhibit D). The changes that were instituted will be described below, under
“Course of Study,” but it is important to mention here that our graduate program has
undergone significant changes during the period under review.

In the previous period of review, the department had deliberately reduced the size of its
graduate student enrollment, going from a high of thirty-two new students enrolled in
1991 to seventeen in 1998. This was in response to the chronic shrinkage of the
academic job market. The number of students completing the program also declined as a
result. Since 1999 the overall size and shape of the graduate program has held relatively
steady. The applicant pool has risen and fallen (from a low of 217 in 2000 to a high of
355 in 2004), but our impression is that the overall quality of the pool has improved over
this time. Entering classes have averaged around fifteen students from 1999 to 2007,
from a high of nineteen in 2003 to a low of eleven in 2004. The 2008 entering class is
somewhat higher again, twenty-one. The size of our entire graduate enrollment has been
                                                                                         13


steady, at just over 100; this fall it is 108. This relatively steady state has contributed to
the ongoing health and success of the program.

The rationale for downsizing the graduate program in the not too distant past was to
concentrate resources on a smaller number of graduate students, and produce a better
correspondence between the number of students earning the doctorate in a given year and
the number who successfully find academic positions. To be sure, it is not always the
newly minted Ph.D. who finds the right position in the year she files her dissertation; our
graduate students, like those elsewhere, often need a second or third year on the job
market before securing satisfactory employment. The overall balance between
candidates and placements has improved since the program’s reduction in size, and in
recent years has taken a strong turn for the better.

Since 1999 our applicant pool has fluctuated, and our Graduate Committee (which serves
as the admissions committee) has exercised its discretion in admitting the best qualified
students in a given year within a fairly narrow range of selectivity (between 8 and 15
percent of applicants from 1999 to 2007). This contrasts markedly with the statistics
recounted in the last eight-year review, which reported that the acceptance rate was 51
percent in 1983, down to 22 percent in 1990, and down again to 17.5 percent in 1998.
The earlier dramatic increase in selectivity reflected the department’s determination to
scale down the program; the more recent increase in selectivity, during a period when the
overall size of the program has been stable, reflects the fact that our program is not only
smaller but more attractive to applicants and more competitive in recruiting the best
among them.

We may have reached a sort of natural limit in this effort to be more competitive and
more selective. A program that is smaller than ours (in terms of the number of enrolled
graduate students) could not offer and fill the number and variety of graduate courses we
usually do; we need to offer this number and variety of courses to fulfill our program’s
intellectual goals, which are minimally indicated by our historical breadth requirement.
On average 40 percent of our admitted applicants choose to enroll in our program
(ranging from a high of 55 percent in 1999 to a low of 33 percent in 2001). We aim in
the years ahead to maintain the size of the program, maintain its selectivity and continue
to enroll a good percentage of our admitted applicants, while allowing our admissions
committee to exercise its judgment from year to year (responding to the size, quality and
makeup of the applicant pool) within prudent bounds so as to enable us to continue our
relatively generous and egalitarian funding.

The long-term reduction in the size of our program might have been expected to affect
adversely our department’s minority enrollment. The last eight-year review report, which
came soon after the dismantling of affirmative action at the University of California,
addressed this question with some care. It was noted then that the percentage of minority
students in the incoming classes had declined, but noted also that the percentage had
varied considerably over time (even before the changes in affirmative action policy), and
that the department was still capable of attracting and enrolling highly qualified minority
applicants. The picture today is not substantially changed from a numerical point of
                                                                                     14


view. We continue to enroll a critical mass of minority students each year (see Appendix
17). We are assisted in doing so by the Cota-Robles fellowships offered through
Graduate Division, which are provided for admitted applicants who belong to
underrepresented groups (which includes certain ethnic and racial minorities but also
those from educationally underserved circumstances and those who have evident
experience and commitment to future professional service to underrepresented groups in
higher education). We have aggressively fought for Cota-Robles fellowships for our
admitted applicants, recruited students of these descriptions enthusiastically, and will
continue to do so.

Sources of Graduate Student Support

The relatively small size of the program means that we have been able, throughout the
period under review, to afford a fully funded cohort of students each year. Until 2002, it
was necessary to offer a small number of our incoming students a teaching assistantship
in the first year, but since 2003 all of our students have enjoyed a non-teaching first year
fellowship (see Appendix 16), and a total financial package that at a minimum promises
them four years of TAship and a second year of non-teaching dissertation fellowship,
usually tenable in the fourth or fifth year depending upon circumstances. The amount of
the stipend offered to incoming students varies within a very narrow range, and recently
Graduate Division and the Dean’s office have undertaken to create new categories of
fellowships that carry significantly higher “recruitment” stipends. These recruitment
incentives seem calculated by the administration to assist other departments that are much
less selective in admissions (and much less successful in recruiting applicants) than we
are; nevertheless, we have not refused to accept these funds. Still, this trend goes against
the egalitarian ethos that has characterized our graduate funding in recent years, and
needs to be watched carefully so that we don’t once again have a conspicuously invidious
two-tier system of funding.

Our students can also apply for various other forms of non-teaching fellowship support
offered competitively by Graduate Division (the full-year Graduate Research Mentorship,
the Graduate Division dissertation fellowship), and many of them have won these awards,
thus splicing an additional year or years of non-teaching support into their total financial
award package. The beneficial effects of this generally improved funding situation have
been several: chiefly high morale and real camaraderie among the graduate student body,
but also greater selectivity in admissions which contributes, years later, to better job
placement. Our task under present straitened budgetary circumstances is to maintain our
commitment to our roughly egalitarian approach to graduate student funding, and
maximize our ability to provide non-teaching fellowship years to every graduate student.
Ongoing efforts to solicit private donations for fellowship purposes, chiefly through the
generosity of the Friends of English, must continue. The size of our graduate student
body must be managed carefully so that our financial resources enable us to provide
roughly equal funding to everyone. More concentrated efforts must be made to assist our
students in competing for external funding (Javits Fellowships, Ford Fellowships,
Charlotte Newcombe dissertation fellowships, predoctoral fellowships at various
residential research centers, etc.).
                                                                                     15



At the time of their admittance to our program, English Department graduate students
receive a commitment of a first-year fellowship, a stipend during their first summer, at
least three years of teaching. and a non-teaching dissertation year fellowship. Fellowship
support is provided from a variety of sources, including the UCLA Graduate Division,
the College Division of Humanities, and increasingly from private donations.

Since the last review, (with the exception of academic years 2003-04 and 2004-05 during
which there were significant campus-wide budget cuts that affected not only the
department's operating budget but also its allocations from Graduate Division and the
College of graduate student funding), support for the graduate program by Graduate
Division and the College had been increasing annually, with our incoming class sizes
holding steady at an average of fourteen to fifteen students. We have been fortunate to be
able to augment graduate student fellowship support with funding from the
departmentally controlled gift funds that include approximately fifteen separate funds and
endowments from private donors. We also had been able to rely on income from
Summer Sessions revenue sharing to provide substantial funding for graduate student
fellowships in all but the past two years. We are concerned that we will not be able to
maintain our usual level of graduate student support for several reasons.

We were encouraged by Graduate Division to increase substantially our class size for
2008-09 and we did so, by 40 percent, admitting twenty-one incoming students for 2008-
09. Yet our allocation of unrestricted fellowship funds from Graduate Division for 2008-
09 was reduced by 15 percent over the previous year and the Quality of Graduate
Education restricted funds (meant for enhancements to graduate education such as
support for enrollment in summer foreign language classes, graduate student research
travel, first year summer stipends) was reduced by 52 percent. At the same time,
Summer Session revenues, which the department used to augment the operating budget
as well as graduate support, decreased by about 57 percent over the last two years and we
have not been able to use these as a source for graduate fellowships since then. It would
be useful to know why Summer Sessions revenues have decreased so precipitously, thus
negatively impacting our program when our resources are already stretched so thin.

There is no little resentment among a large portion of the faculty that the department has
sought to follow the precepts of the Graduate Division and been left feeling unsupported.
There exists the hope that Graduate Division will in the end provide further support for
our large first-year class. This would be a welcome result. However, for the near term,
we have had to cover the extra expense engendered by the increase in class size
beginning 2008-09.

The prospect for graduate study in our program thus looks a bit bleak. The decrease in
funding for graduate fellowship support from the University has left us with one option,
and that is to increase dramatically the allocation of gift funds for graduate fellowships.
These funds have always been utilized for graduate student fellowships, but we were
attempting to use them as conservatively as possible in order to allow the funds to grow.
For example, in 2007-08 we tapped nine of fifteen funds for graduate student support for
                                                                                      16


a total of $186,800. For 2008-09, because of the decrease in support from the Graduate
Division and the increase of our incoming class, we had to utilize all fifteen funds for a
total of $599,222—an increase of 321 percent over the previous year. And this allocation
is for the purpose of covering fellowships only—e.g. it does not include the amount we
allocate for graduate research travel. There will be less money available from these funds
in future years. Although some sources are endowments that generate income each year,
others are funds that do not generate income and whose accumulations were reduced
significantly by the amount we had to use to meet current commitments for graduate
fellowships. Even the endowments with accumulations that were carried forward from
prior years have now been reduced considerably. Thus, we are very concerned about our
continuing ability to meet fellowship commitments to ongoing students and to continue to
offer support packages at current levels to incoming students. To offer less, though,
clearly would have a deleterious effect on our ability to attract the best graduate students
in an already competitive market.

In addition to graduate fellowships, the department offers its graduate students
conference travel and research funds. These are supported in part by a small allocation
from Graduate Division ($3,800 in recent years) but mostly from gift funds, especially
those provided by the Friends of English, the department's support organization, which
typically increase the amount available by at least $5,000. Students apply for these
funds, which support attendance and presentation of papers at conferences as well as
research at libraries and archives, both domestic and foreign. The ability to continue to
offer conference travel and research funds will be limited if we need to use these funds to
meet graduate fellowship commitments.

Scholarship and Teaching

Graduate study in the department has traditionally been organized around the broad
history of the literature and language, with a pronounced emphasis upon historical
periods but with an increasing emphasis on theoretical and methodological approaches
(e.g., postcolonialism, psychoanalysis, feminism, material textuality), new areas of
inquiry (e.g., new media, sexuality studies, disability studies), and inventive
reconfigurations of materials (e.g., courses that link disparate periods, or cross national
boundaries, or deal with comparative ethnicities). All of our courses are equal, so to
speak: we have no reading courses or lecture courses, but only seminars. The vice chair
strives to organize an array of courses during each academic year that more or less covers
all the bases, and even within each quarter to offer courses that represent all of the
traditional historical periods as well as new and emerging fields along with the varieties
of literary theory. (This is of course constrained by the availability of faculty who are
willing and able to teach graduate seminars in a given year or quarter, and also governed
to some degree by the fluctuating populations of graduate students within fields at any
given time.) The previous period of review saw an increase in the diversity of seminar
topics, and this trend has continued. Since 1999 this curricular diversification began to
create a slight mismatch between the topical variety and specificity of our course
offerings and the structure of the field exams, which were still tied to fairly conventional
reading lists prepared by faculty and organized around traditional broad fields. Graduate
                                                                                      17


students found that their coursework preparation had less and less to do with their Part I
(oral field) exam preparation. This was one of the major issues addressed by the
Sundquist committee, and will be detailed below. Essentially, our exam structure has
been revised to correspond better to the less traditional program of course offerings that
has come into being. Even before the changes in program structure, however, our
graduate students were being enabled in our program to produce an impressive array of
dissertations ranging across as wide a variety of topics and approaches as could be
imagined (see Appendix 19). It seems clear that ours is a department that embraces
heterodoxy when it comes to literary scholarship and criticism. This too contributes to
good graduate student morale and camaraderie: there is a healthy respect for the wide
variety of projects that students undertake, from traditional historical scholarship to
theoretically inflected inquiry to politically invested cultural studies.

The scholarship produced by our faculty is among the strongest in the nation, as it has
been for a long time. The great majority of the department’s members are nationally
recognized in their fields; indeed, many have international reputations. They are
routinely honored with competitive grants and fellowships, along with rare honors such
as the Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award (Sundquist), election to the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Colacurcio, Shuger), and decoration as
Commendatore dell’Ordine della Stella della solidarietá italiana (Allen) and the Premio
Galilei per la Storia del Pensiero Italiano (Allen). Since 1999, multiple members of our
faculty have received prestigious national fellow awards: two Guggenheim Fellowships
(Minkova, Watson), five NEH Fellowships (Allmendinger, Goyal, Kipling, Nussbaum,
Reinhard), two ACLS Fellowships (Allmendinger, Ngai), and one Woodrow Wilson
Fellowship (Streeter). Others have received awards from various research libraries and
residential research centers, such as the American Philosophical Society (Bristow), the
Cornell Society for the Humanities (DeLoughrey), the Huntington Library (Makdisi,
Ngai), the Clark Library (Kareem), the Franke Institute for the Humanities at the
University of Chicago (Makdisi), the Library Company of Philadelphia (Looby), the Max
Planck Institute (Kareem, Seltzer), the Stanford Humanities Center (McGurl), and the
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library (Kareem). Three members of the department
faculty have been selected as Clark Library Professors during this period: Nussbaum
(1999-2000), Deutsch (2005-06), and Makdisi (2008-09), and have organized important
series of conferences around a year-long theme. Several faculty have received UC
President’s Research Fellowships (Goyal, McGurl), and one has been a Global Fellow at
the UCLA International Institute (DeLoughrey). Several faculty have been visiting
professors, guest professors, or visiting scholars at universities in this country and abroad
(Allen, Bristow, Cheung), have held offices in scholarly organizations (Nussbaum,
President of ASECS; Allen, President of the Renaissance Society), or have held offices
within the faculty of UCLA (Rowe, Chair of the Faculty; Sharpe, Executive Leadership
Fellow). Several colleagues have received or were finalists for notable book prizes,
among them the Otto Grundler Prize for a distinguished book in Medieval Studies
(Kipling), Best Book in Prose Award from the Association for Asian American Studies
(Louie), the Phyllis Goodhart Gordon Book Prize of the Renaissance Society of America
(Shuger), the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and
                                                                                      18


Letters (Simpson), and the Weinberg Judaic Studies Institute Book Award (Sundquist).
(See Appendix 20 for a comprehensive list.)

Our graduate students likewise have been the recipients of numerous external fellowships
and awards: various Ford Foundation Fellowships (Theresa Delgadillo, Denise Cruz,
Dorothy Kim, Erin Suzuki, Sara Torres, Dennis Tyler), a great many Clark Library
Dissertation Fellowships (Elliott Visconsi, Lisa Kasmer, Debra Bronstein, Wendy
Belcher, Nicole Horejsi, Manushag Powell, Noelle Chao, Beth Goodhue, Dustin
Friedman), three Charlotte Newcombe Dissertation Fellowships (Claire Bancich, Rhoda
Janzen, Emily Russell), two Fulbright Fellowships (Andrea Jones, Tom O’Donnell), as
well as a Mellon-Sawyer Fellowship under the auspices of the UCLA Center for Jewish
Studies (Molly Hiro), three Dickson Fellowships in the History of Art (Darren Howard,
Dorothy Kim, Julian Knox), an Andrew Vincent White Scholarship from the UC
Humanities Research Institute (Anne Stiles), two George Eliot Dissertation Awards from
UCLA’s Center for the Study of Women (Nicole Horejsi, Alison Harvey), a Five College
Fellowship at Mt. Holyoke College (Grace Park), a Center for the Study of Society and
Genetics Fellowship (Olivia Banner), a Pacific Rim Research Program Fellowship (Erin
Suzuki), a UCLA Women’s Club Scholarship (Jennifer Smith), a Paula Stone
Dissertation Research Fellowship from the UCLA Center for the Study of Women
(Courtney Marshall), and a Mayers Fellowship at the Huntington Library as well as an
Albert M. Greenfield Foundation Dissertation Fellowship at the Library Company of
Philadelphia (both Joe Rezek). Lenart Travel Fellowships were awarded to Meg Lamont
(2004), Andrea Jones (2006), and Sam See (2007). Students also won prestigious
postdoctoral research fellowships in the immediate aftermath of their degrees: Meredith
Neuman (2004) and Anthony Galluzzo (2008) each had an Ahmanson-Getty Postdoctoral
Fellowship at the Clark Library, and Leslie Wingard held a Mellon Postdoctoral
Fellowship in English and Africana Studies at Williams College. (See Appendix 23 for a
chronological list of all graduate student awards.)

Our faculty appear frequently, of course, at national and international scholarly
conferences, and as invited lecturers at some of the world’s leading universities. They
serve prominently in national professional organizations; as editors of prestigious series,
such as the Edinburgh University Press English Language Series, the University of
Nebraska Post-western Horizons Series, the University of Oklahoma Press Chicano/a
Visions of the Americas Series and the Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing
and Culture; and important journals, including Renaissance Quarterly, American
Quarterly, Cultural Critique, and UCLA’s own Nineteenth-Century Literature. They
serve as well on the editorial boards of numerous leading scholarly publications (see
Appendix 21), not to mention as manuscript reviewers for countless journals and
university presses, and on fellowship selection committees at UCLA, in the Los Angeles
area, and nationwide. Many of our faculty serve in interdisciplinary centers such as the
Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, the African American Studies Center, and
the Center for the Study of Women. This prominent involvement of our faculty in
interdisciplinary programs speaks loudly of the breadth and diversity of our faculty’s
interests, and of the ongoing development in new directions of their own intellectual
agendas. Also noteworthy are the activities of our graduate students in scholarly
                                                                                       19


enterprises and conversations that enrich the intellectual community at UCLA and in
southern California, and in their involvement in new critical formations that reach well
beyond the campus and the local area and have brought our students into engagement
around the world. Through their sponsorship of the annual Southland Conference at
UCLA, as well as the Athenaeum (a series of conjoint talks by faculty and graduate
students); their participation in such initiatives as the Mellon Seminar on the
Transatlantic Imagination in the Age of Romanticism; through their publications in
leading journals, their active participation in national and international conferences, their
strong showing in creative writing competitions, and their editorial services, they are
contributing avidly and productively to literary and cultural studies today and are,
without a doubt, the strongest evidence of the intellectual ferment and professional
accomplishment that characterize our graduate program.

At the time of the last review, the decline in faculty numbers was noted with some
dismay, and it remains true that our smaller faculty cohort means that we regularly have
some areas that are weaker than others (especially when we cannot immediately replace a
faculty member lost through retirement or departure). Last time, Victorian literature was
noted as an area of weakness that was beginning to be addressed with new hiring that
“promises the beginning of a correction.” In 1998, American literature was noted as an
area weakened by departures and retirements; but American literature is now
undoubtedly one of the strongest areas, with the happy return of some departed faculty,
several new hires at the senior level, the promotion of faculty at the junior and associate
levels, and the recruitment of several talented assistant professors.

British eighteenth-century literature has become one of our strongest areas due to new
hires near the beginning of the review period, strengthened by recent junior hiring; this is
reflected in the popularity of this field among our graduate students and remarkable job
placement success, too. Recent years have given the faculty several opportunities to
discuss hiring needs and debate hiring priorities. Needless to say, there are various views
of the matter. Some fields, like Renaissance literature, are very strong in terms of the
number and quality of faculty, but have not had a new hire in many years. Other fields,
for example Modernism, continue to attract large numbers of highly qualified applicants
and constitute a strong graduate student cohort within the department, but the job market
in this area is dismal. Under straitened budgetary circumstances at present, the only
faculty hiring we are authorized to do is what fits under the rubric of the generous Mellon
Grant, which aims to some degree to reconfigure humanities research and teaching for the
future. Our search at the junior level for someone who specializes in “Transatlantic
Studies prior to 1900” reflects both our budgetary limits and our real interest in new
approaches and new forms of expertise.

The department’s teaching record continues to be among the most honored in the
humanities at UCLA, and this record extends from ladder faculty to graduate students.
Members of the department have won the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award
(Colacurcio), the UCLA Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award (Mellor),
the UCLA Extension Dean’s Distinguished Instructor Award (Batten), and the
Outstanding LGBT Faculty Award (Little) as well as the Students’ Choice Faculty Award
                                                                                      20


of the LGBT Campus Resource Center (Little). In addition, a member of the faculty
received the coveted Gold Shield Faculty Prize, for combined excellence in scholarship
and teaching (Watson). Our graduate teaching apprentices have been recognized for their
outstanding teaching performance as well: in the period under review, the Luckman
Distinguished Teaching Assistant Award has been won by Rhoda Janzen (1999), Debbie
Banner (2000), Andrew Sargent (2001), and Denise Cruz (2006). Several students won
Collegium of University Teaching Fellows Awards: Holly Pickett (2003), Geneva Gano
(2004), Grace Yeh (2005), and Olivia Banner (2007).

This record is a wonderful reflection of the high value placed on teaching within the
department. In the case of the graduate students, it is also the result of a concerted policy
to train excellent teachers and thereby maintain instruction of the highest quality and give
our students the skills and credentials in pedagogy that are necessary in the competitive
academic job market. As stated earlier, none of our graduate students any longer has
teaching duties in the first year. All new teaching apprentices go through a rigorous
program based in English 495A, B, and C: Supervised Teaching Preparation, a
combination of three courses designed to prepare them to enter and perform well in the
classroom. A fourth component of this series, English 495E, teaching with electronic
technology, was added in 1998. New teachers are assigned mentors from among the
more experienced TAs. There is a TA coordinator (Christopher Mott) who, with a TAC
(teaching assistant consultant, chosen from among the most experienced and
accomplished veteran TAs), guides and coordinates the TA program.

The Course of Study

The graduate program aims to prepare its students to take the Ph.D. degree in English and
to become productive scholars and teachers at the college and university level. It does
this through a sequence of requirements including coursework, field exams, and
dissertation. First is the requirement of fourteen letter-graded seminars chosen by the
student (and any number of directed independent studies and additional seminars,
including those graded S/U). Students may have up to three courses taken outside the
department counted toward their fourteen-course requirement; in addition, students
entering the program with an MA from another institution may petition for up to six
courses from the previous program to be credited toward the fourteen-course
requirement. There is a general review of each student’s performance in classes,
conducted by the Graduate Committee at the end of the first year/beginning of the second
year, and the vice chair monitors student progress through coursework on a routine basis.
There is a First Qualifying (Part I) Oral Examination lasting two hours in three fields
designated by the student (including a review of the student’s writing abilities based on
the submission to the exam committee of two seminar papers of the student’s choice); a
Second Qualifying (Part II, or University) Oral Examination of two hours duration
focusing on the candidate’s dissertation prospectus; and finally a doctoral dissertation
supervised by a director (or co-directors), a second reader (or several readers) within the
department, and a third reader outside the department. The defense of the dissertation is
not required, but it remains an option and is occasionally held. In addition, all students
are expected to complete the teaching apprenticeship program and to teach for at least
                                                                                       21


two years, though students may teach for up to four years (twelve quarters) routinely. A
formal request to the Dean of the Graduate Division must be made to teach beyond the
twelve-quarter limit, and the department generally supports petitions for an additional
year (up to fifteen quarters). There is a total limit of six years (eighteen quarters) of TA
appointment, but in the interest of encouraging our students to complete their degrees in a
timely manner it has been our policy to endorse petitions for eighteen quarters only under
very exceptional circumstances.

There is a small set of supplementary requirements. Students must design a course of
study that includes at least three courses in literature prior to 1780 and three courses after
1780. There is no longer a philology requirement, which was abolished in 2000. All
students are also expected to demonstrate basic reading proficiency in two foreign
languages, or advanced proficiency in one foreign language. They can fulfill their
foreign language requirements in several ways, either through translation examinations
administered by the English Department or through upper-division coursework in the
literature of the foreign language. Finally, students must design a Part I oral exam that
has at least two historical fields and no more than one genre or special field (e.g., theory).
Here is where the Sundquist committee devised, and the department faculty approved, a
major change to our program. We used to have set reading lists that corresponded in the
main to historical fields comprising a conventional range of periods; in addition there
were set reading lists for a range of genre and special fields. Previously, the vice chair
for graduate studies assigned three faculty members to conduct the exam; the student
learned two weeks in advance who would be on the exam committee. For several reasons
this system of set reading lists, and assigned examiners, was abolished (although the
requirement that at least two of the three fields for this exam be historical, and no more
than one generic or theoretical, was retained). Under the new system, each graduate
student devises her own three reading lists, under the supervision of three faculty
members chosen by the student herself. Each of the reading lists includes thirty primary
texts (or bodies of work—say, selections of poems—roughly equivalent to a book-length
work) and ten important secondary texts. Once the three lists have been devised in
collaboration between the student and the faculty members, then all three faculty on the
student’s committee must approve the lists as a package. The understanding is that each
list will be prepared in a way that is responsive to the field as it is presently constituted,
and will include a large number of canonical texts; but it is also understood that this
process of devising the lists will itself have a pedagogical function, and the list will
reflect the individual student’s developing interests and goals more than a set list could
do. Finally, the vice chair for graduate studies approves the lists, evaluating them for
rough consistency with departmental norms.

The new system has several important goals: to enable students to form lists that both
include more works from their course syllabi and better reflect their nascent research
agendas, thereby speeding their progress through the program as well as making their
graduate education more coherent. When this new system was proposed, a large majority
of graduate students favored it, and the faculty endorsed it handily too. But it was
acknowledged on all sides that it placed a new onus on us all to engage in the process of
list-formation with scrupulous care and scholarly rigor, and with a sense of mutual
                                                                                       22


responsibility. New students were introduced to the new exam structure immediately;
students already in the program could choose to take their exams under the old system or
opt for the new one (most opted for the new). At present we have seen the last of the
exams under the previous arrangement, and the new system seems to be operating very
successfully. Some faculty have felt that other lists they have seen (and been asked to
approve) were deficient or unduly narrow in one way or another—there was no poetry on
a given list, only prose, for example. Until and unless we have a more extensive set of
parameters for the lists (for example, should there be generic breadth? Or representation
of authors by gender?), or until faculty choose to nix each other’s lists, these matters will
have to be negotiated in an ad hoc manner.

The other main change made as a result of the Sundquist report had to do with
mentorship and advising. These changes were also made in the interest of providing
better intellectual and professional guidance and assisting graduate students in making
timely progress toward the degree. Formerly, the vice chair acted as adviser to all
incoming graduate students. Now, each incoming student has two faculty advisers, the
vice chair and one other member of the Graduate Committee (usually someone closely
aligned with the student’s main field of interest). Each incoming graduate student is also
assigned a mentor by the EGU (English Graduate Union, the departmental organization
of graduate students) from among more advanced students in her or his field. The
Sundquist report provided that each graduate student, after the first year, would choose in
the second year a three-person “Mentoring Committee” from among the faculty; and that
this three-person Mentoring Committee might turn out to be the Part I exam committee,
but need not continue intact (any one, or all three, could be substituted along the way). It
must be said that in practice this multi-stage advising system has proved cumbersome,
and the students have effectively abolished it by declining to enact it. What has come
about is that graduate students wait till they are ready to form their Part I exam committee
(which often is formed incrementally over time, as they choose their fields one by one
and devise their lists sequentially) and they skip the vague intervening stage in the
process. This seems to be working perfectly well, and to be the result of a collective
instinct for just the right amount and kind of advising and mentoring—plenty enough, but
not too much.

Evaluations and Examinations

All students are evaluated by the Graduate Committee in general terms at the end of the
first year/beginning of the second year. It has become more important that there be a
review late in the first year, even if not of all the grades for that year are in, so that the
Graduate Committee can identify students with serious problems (an accumulation of
Incompletes, for instance) and intervene before the next academic year begins, at which
time a low GPA produced by lingering I's turning automatically to F's (due to Grad
Division policy) can be corrected. Students are at risk of disqualification from teaching if
their GPA drops below 3.0. Fortunately this is a rare occurrence in our department, but it
does happen occasionally, and usually can be addressed with some serious advice and
friendly jawboning. Students who are experiencing severe and/or recurrent difficulties
                                                                                       23


may be asked to leave the program. Again, this is fortunately a rare occurrence but it has
happened a few times in recent years.

The Part I examination can be set once the student has completed the fourteen letter-
graded courses and has fulfilled one foreign language requirement, and once the three
examiners and the vice chair have approved the set of three lists (from this point, the
exam date can be as early as six months in the future). The student has been in
consultation with the exam committee during preparation of the lists, and can continue to
confer with them while reading in preparation for the exam. Two weeks before the exam
date, the student provides the examiners with copies of two seminar papers representing
her best work, which the committee will discuss prior to the exam (before the student
enters the room). Students must be judged passing in their written work to proceed with
the examination; they must be judged passing in all three fields to pass the Part I Orals.
A student who fails one field of the examination may be asked to retake that part. A
student who fails more than one component must retake the entire examination. Students
are allowed to retake the Part I Orals only once (see Appendix 24).

The Part II examination is organized by the student. It is expected to take place roughly
three quarters after the Part I. The student prepares a dissertation prospectus in
consultation with his or her advisor(s). Two other examiners are selected from within the
department, and one from without. The examiners are given copies of the prospectus
well in advance of the exam date, and the examination consists of a detailed analysis of
the prospectus, a conversation about its merits, and an evaluation of the project’s value
and feasibility. This examination may also be retaken only once. At least three persons
from this examination committee are selected as certifying readers of the dissertation,
who agree to read it in its final form and sign off on it (one of these three must be the
outside reader, and customarily the dissertation director is also a certifying reader), but if
any other faculty are willing and the student wishes it, there can be more than three
certifying readers. Since the defense of the dissertation is not required by the department,
the candidate completes the program by filing the dissertation once the certifying readers
have approved it.


                  F. COMPARISON TO THE PREVIOUS REVIEW

Graduate Program

The chief recommendations with respect to the graduate program made in the 1998-99
report were closely related to the more general recommendations offered to the
department. It was suggested that the department lacked a robust sense of itself as an
intellectual community; that faculty were invested in centers of inquiry and intellectual
exchange that were admirably interdisciplinary but that took them away from or out of
the department. To the degree that this is true, it is obviously not altogether good for the
graduate program. This has been addressed to some degree in the intervening years. One
suggestion was that we have a departmental lecture series, or a venue in which faculty
present work to one another. There have been occasional departmental lectures, but
                                                                                      24


nothing consistent or programmed. The Athenaeum organized by the EGU, which
periodically pairs a faculty member and a graduate student for brief talks, is perhaps the
nearest approach to such an undertaking, and it is almost always well attended by
graduate students (but dismally attended by faculty). The department has seen a
proliferation of new intradepartmental field colloquia since the last report (e.g., the
Americanist Research Colloquium, the Nineteenth Century Group), and these have
helped to consolidate at least some sectors of the department around shared intellectual
interests. But it would be surprising if this were not again a matter of concern to external
reviewers.

Another general area of concern in the last report had to do with the physical facilities of
the department, and this has been addressed by the renovation of the Humanities Building
and our department’s move across campus. It seems generally agreed that this was
beneficial to most faculty, and certainly the English Reading Room is now a showpiece
and an eminently useful resource for the graduate program as for everyone else. For
graduate students, however, the move has been in some ways a mixed blessing. There
has been a net gain in space afforded to graduate students, but its configuration at first
left much to be desired; the recent reallocation of space on the A level of the Humanities
Building appears to be a significant improvement. We perhaps didn’t fully appreciate, in
the bad old days in Rolfe Hall, that the courtyard functioned as an important space for our
graduate students (and for us too), and the proximity of the Grad Lounge to the
department’s main meeting room and to the pleasant courtyard made for a good deal of
beneficial happenstance social interaction among graduate students, which our new
building’s arrangements conduce less well. There doesn’t appear to be any dramatic
reordering of offices or spaces that can address this, and new social patterns will
doubtless develop—already the coffee machine in the Faculty Lounge has been a site of
informal gatherings and socializing. Nevertheless, social interaction is important when
we think about supporting and developing intradepartmental intellectual exchange: this is
particularly important for graduate students, for whom some measure of informal
intellectual sociability has been lost in the move.

One external reviewer in particular, Professor Greenblatt, linked his comments on the
matter of graduate student job placement to his larger observations about the
department’s intellectual culture. Specifically, he thought that the department’s
traditionalist curriculum, or “conservative profile,” and its relative distance from the
“theoretical ferment that energized literary studies in the 1980s and early 90s” may have
been the cause of “the relative conservatism of the dissertation topics chosen” by
graduate students, and that this may have “dimmed somewhat the visibility of UCLA
Ph.D. candidates in the national competitions” and led them to get jobs that were not as
desirable and prestigious as we might wish them to be. Evidently some outside faculty,
though they recognized that our record had been relatively successful in job placement
over a long period of time, were not satisfied that our students were able “to land the
most prestigious jobs in the country.” There are many debatable assumptions here (that
landing some of the most prestigious jobs is a good measure of our collective success;
that guiding students toward new and emerging fields and approaches would increase
their job market success, in particular with respect to the most prestigious jobs), but by
                                                                                     25


any measure our job placement record, while quite good for a long time, has lately gotten
markedly better by several measures (including the landing of “the most prestigious jobs
in the country”).

Since 1999 we have had graduate students appointed to tenure-track assistant
professorships at several of the Ivies—Princeton, Columbia, and Yale (three). Others
have gotten jobs at other prestigious private universities, including Northwestern,
Georgetown, Notre Dame, and Boston University. Many of the most highly regarded
state universities have chosen to hire our students, too: Indiana University (two), SUNY
(both Stony Brook and New Paltz), Purdue University (two), UT-Austin, the University
of Missouri, the University of Oregon, the University of Nebraska, the University of
Tennessee, Ohio State, the University of Wisconsin, CUNY, the University of New
Mexico, and Rutgers University. Still more have been appointed at very highly regarded
liberal arts colleges, including Grinnell and Oberlin. Some of our students have been
hired by other University of California campuses: Santa Barbara and Davis (two)—as
well as by Cal State-Northridge, and by Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. The wide range of
other institutions at which our students now enjoy tenure-track positions can be
investigated in Appendix 15. The rate and quality of our academic job placements are
certainly now among the best in the nation, and far exceed the records of many, if not all,
of our peer institutions. Some of our graduates have also gone on to choice positions in
higher education or in adjacent fields: consulting, academic administration, journalism,
public policy, high school teaching, law and the ministry.

There are doubtless many reasons for our improved job placement (and surely some good
luck is involved, too). The strenuous efforts of the faculty who have served as job
placement officers (Anne Mellor, Christopher Looby, Helen Deutsch, and now Felicity
Nussbaum) have surely had a good effect, as has the intensive mentoring bestowed upon
job candidates by all faculty involved in their dissertations. From year to year we have
added new features to our ongoing program of job market preparation: not only the hard-
nosed revision and careful vetting of job application materials, but also mock interviews
(to which we have recently added the participation of career counseling professionals
from the UCLA Career Center, as well as the option to videotape the interview for
subsequent study and critique), mock job talks, and numerous workshops and panel
discussions about the job market and its protocols. Department funds have been allocated
to reimburse a significant portion of job market expenses. All of these efforts have had
discernible effects, but the cumulative result of them—together with the intangible
optimism and collective determination that are bred among the graduate students by
seeing their peers succeed on the job market—is perhaps what has had the most impact.
It feels like we have some momentum on the job market (although of course our
department’s job placement will vary from year to year, depending upon the market as a
whole, the relative demand in different fields and how competitive our students are in
those fields, etc.). And our excellent performance on the job market has certainly made
UCLA even more attractive to candidates for admission to our graduate program. There
is a complicated dynamic here that it behooves us to support and maintain in the years
ahead.
                                                                                     26


It is more difficult to see whether this has anything to do with our department’s
movement in the direction of “theoretical ferment” and “the latest developments,” but it
is worth considering this question patiently. Certainly in the last eight years, due to new
hiring as well as the development of faculty interests in new directions, “feminism,
cultural studies, postcolonialism, new historicism, cultural materialism, queer theory,
eco-criticism” (to cite Greenblatt’s list, to which we might add, as prominent
developments in our department, disability studies, new media, and multi-ethnic
American literatures), as well as other new varieties of inquiry and approaches to
scholarship have had a growing presence in our graduate course offerings, and these areas
are reflected in the dissertation topics our students choose. There are at least some
positive suggestions of a relationship between our growth in these areas and our job
market success (although given the small size of the sample, generalizations are a bit
hazardous). Of the five students who got jobs at Ivies in this period, one (now at
Columbia) was working in British eighteenth-century studies, but with a decidedly
feminist bent; another (now at Yale) worked on contemporary electronic literature in
connection with Modernism; a third (now at Princeton) worked in British eighteenth-
century literature, but with a pronounced comparative/trans-national profile. The other
two (one a medievalist, the other working in late Stuart literature, both now teaching at
Yale) are arguably more “traditional,” although we might expect an argument about that
too. Of the group of our students now teaching at other prestigious private universities
(Northwestern, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Boston University), two work in Chicano/a
Studies; another wrote a dissertation that traversed gender, postcoloniality, and race; the
last is a nineteenth-century Americanist (arguably more “traditional”).

Looking at those who have been hired by large state research universities (in the same
order that they were listed above), we can observe that of the two now at Indiana
University, one works on “transpacific femininities,” the other is in college
administration; of the two at SUNY campuses, one (at Stony Brook) works in modern
American literature, the other (New Paltz) works on postmodern American writing; of the
two now at Purdue—a married couple—one works in British eighteenth-century
literature, the other in nineteenth-century American literature, both in a more or less
“traditional” vein. Our assistant professor at the University of Texas, Austin, wrote a
comparative ethnic dissertation (African American/Asian American), while our assistant
professor at Missouri worked in the Renaissance, in a more traditional manner. At the
University of Oregon, our graduate works in postcolonial Irish literature; at the
University of Nebraska, our representative is a Romanticist writing about “Americans in
English literature,” arguably a “transatlantic” dissertation; our former students now at the
University of Tennessee and Ohio State are both Americanists, the former perhaps more
“traditional” and the latter working in lesbian and gay studies. Our former student at
Wisconsin works on African-American women’s writing, and our person now at CUNY-
Baruch College wrote about “Tropes of British Empire and the Caribbean Quest for
Completion.” Our recent graduate now at the University of New Mexico works in Native
American literature, and our former student now at Rutgers (after a stint at Arizona)
works in a relatively more traditional manner in American literature. Of the three
students now at Vassar, Grinnell and Oberlin, respectively, the first works in medieval
women’s expression, the second has an appointment in Asian American writing and
                                                                                     27


creative writing, and the last is perhaps a more “traditional” medievalist. Our students at
other UC campuses work in Asian American literature (Santa Barbara), British
eighteenth-century literature (Davis) and modern poetry from a highly theoretical
perspective involving “technoscience” and “the limits of fabrication” (Davis also)—
arguably, two out of these three reflect “theoretical ferment” or something other than
“relative conservatism.” If we stipulate that these are, roughly speaking, the “best” jobs
our students have earned over the last period of review—Ivies, private research
universities, prominent public research universities, prestigious liberal arts colleges—
then it does seem quite clear that “new areas” (minority literature, comparative ethnic
studies, feminism, queer studies, postcolonial studies, new media, theory) are quite
numerously represented among them.

What follows from this? One conclusion might be that our most successful graduate
students do tend to be those whose dissertations are conspicuously engaged in current
conversations in the discipline—which includes, but is not limited to, the various
approaches and subfields that Greenblatt itemized and that could be extended with further
recognizable current new directions in research and scholarship. There are striking
exceptions, and clearly talented students working in more “traditional” ways have
contributed new knowledge and been rewarded with attractive jobs too. Clearly, above
all else, a student who is smart and knowledgeable and passionately engaged with her
topic, whatever it is and from whichever perspective, is going to do better than a student
who arbitrarily decides to give her dissertation a shallow gloss of “theory” or sticks on
any other critical label. It is finally a matter for careful advising, mentoring, and
professional preparation, and there is no substitute for conscientious research, careful
reflection, original thinking, and good writing. It does appear, however, from the
evidence before us, that over the last period of review our department has evolved
markedly in various new directions, that these new forms of inquiry have been visibly
reflected in our students’ dissertations, and that our graduates have at the same time had
growing success on the job market. Absent any other hypothesis, it seems reasonable to
assume that these trends have something to do with one another.

Undergraduate Program

One measure of the vigor of the department is its willingness to revisit established
operating procedures on a regular basis and to make adjustments where advisable.
Recent innovations in Departmental Honors, noted above, have helped elevate the
academic standard of the program while they have also optimized students’ progress
toward completion of the thesis. The pedagogic value of the Honors program has
acquired timely interest in view of the recent directive issued by the Western Association
of Schools and Colleges to identify the range of learning outcomes achieved through the
undergraduate degree. At UCLA, the College of Letters and Science has proposed that
each department develop pathways toward capstone experiences designed to mobilize
students’ assimilated skill sets in the service of a senior-year independent project.
Departmental Honors offers an exemplary capstone model, though the model is limited
by the fact that the program designedly encompasses a relatively small population of
academically elite students each year.
                                                                                      28



One of the department’s tasks in the next few years will be to identify and implement
pathways toward a broader spectrum of capstone experiences for our majors. Among
current offerings, the required senior seminar takes pride of place as a potential capstone
available to all majors. For many students, the senior seminar often allows for the
possibility of developing research skills and writing a 15-page final paper. Often times,
this is precisely the kind of culminating experience that drives home the many skills
students have developed over the years through the major.

For a variety of reasons, however, many students are obliged to enroll in a seminar for
which they have insufficient preparation; as a result, our majors’ seminar experience
often falls short of the capstone ideal. The problem is particularly pronounced for our
transfer students, whose numbers now account for over 40 percent of the major. (The
average between academic years 2000 and 2006 was 42 percent; during the same period,
48 percent of B.A. degrees in English were granted to transfers.) The senior research
project (English 199) fosters the kind of intensive mentoring in research and critical
thinking implied by the notion of the capstone, but relatively few students pursue this
option, partly because without the guided preparation fostered in the Honors program
students often identify a research topic too late in their undergraduate career to pursue an
extended senior project.

It is possible that the capstone mandate may provide an impetus for the department to
recalibrate curricular requirements for the English major. The rationale for the current
requirements, described in the previous self-review, remains compelling to many
members of the department. There is no denying the appeal of the commitment to a
common grounding in a traditional corpus of canonical authors and the supporting
argument for the overall coherence of period-based requirements, balanced with a
generous number of electives, to fill out the core curriculum. At the same time, many
colleagues believe that the core curriculum, while it has much to recommend it, does not
tap into the full range of research interests represented by the faculty or scholarly
developments that have occurred in the humanities over the past twenty years and that
have become regularized in the core curricula offered by comparable departments
nationwide.

In 2007 an ad hoc committee was assigned the task of reviewing the current curriculum
and proposing possible revisions. The resulting proposal presented several
recommendations, which were reviewed and commented upon by the department’s
Undergraduate and Executive committees. The central recommendation argued for the
merit of instituting a modular mechanism—in effect, a set of topical as well as period-
based pathways toward the major—designed to enhance students’ involvement in a
progressive intellectual journey toward a capstone experience. Such a mechanism would
clarify ways in which the sense of historical period or the prestige of a canonical author
for students of literature is caught up in a tissue of interrelated concerns (social
developments, philosophical questions, transmissions of literary form, and so forth). By
choosing a specific concentration or pathway (proposed examples include “Gender and
Sexuality,” “Colonial and Postcolonial Literatures,” and “Literature and Religion”),
                                                                                      29


students would also be encouraged to make meaningful connections between the core of
upper-division period requirements and the available range of electives. Pursuing a
recommendation made in the 1991 departmental review, the proposal also suggested that
the current gateway series be expanded to include a fourth course (10D). In principle,
such a course would enable more thorough coverage of twentieth- and twenty-first
century American and Anglophone literatures, areas that 10C, as currently constituted, is
unable to present adequately. It would also enable the 10 series to present a more
generous picture of the eventual avenues that prospective majors may choose to follow in
the upper-division courses treating twentieth- and twenty-first-century literary cultures in
English. Both the Undergraduate and Executive committees considered these
suggestions with interest, though discussions also raised a number of logistical as well as
pedagogic complications that such transformations may provoke. Not least of these was
the concern that the department may be unable to stock designated pathways with a
sufficient number of appropriate courses on an annual basis. With respect to the
proposed 10D, it is unclear whether the addition of a fourth gateway course would be
feasible without sacrificing a course from the upper-division requirements. These should
not be insurmountable problems, though it is clear that a good deal of troubleshooting
and candid conversation with respect to these issues needs to be pursued this year. A
revised proposal will be presented to the department for full discussion in winter 2009.

The question of how best to help students navigate through the gateway courses and core
requirements raises a related area of concern. The department’s summer session
offerings are now trending toward a higher than usual number of required courses (e.g.,
the Chaucer/Shakespeare/Milton core as well as the English 10 gateway courses). The
trend seems defensible in practical terms: it accommodates students’ needs and helps
maintain a valuable source of revenues for the department, no small thing in an era of
budgetary crisis. It could be argued, however, that the accelerated pace of Summer
Sessions courses does not constitute the ideal environment for core courses. On balance,
and for the time being, benefits seem to outweigh possible costs.

In a neighboring area of interest, the department’s Summer Travel Abroad programs
remain stable. The program in Stratford-upon-Avon and London, directed by Jonathan
Post, remains very popular and affords students the opportunity to fulfill the two-course
Shakespeare requirement in one summer. The summer Wordsworth conference program
in the Lake District was suspended in 2007, but a new program was instituted in 2005,
“London and the Age of Revolution,” directed by Saree Makdisi. In addition to
introducing students to a rich array of literary and cultural documents (including the
living archive that is London) the new program helps promote a new upper-division
course number, 169A. Instituted in 2004, this course fills a significant lacuna described
in the previous self-review, the absence of a “special topic” lecture course in British
literature. While general use of this course has developed at a cautious pace, student
responses have been favorable and the range of topics taught thus far (magic realism,
Edwardian children’s literature, the cultural politics of Spenser’s literary career) is a
promising index of the flexibility the “special topic” rubric adds to the British literature
listing. Some of the current features of departmental life (e.g., the challenging
faculty/student ratio and the curricular emphasis on period-based core courses) limit
                                                                                     30


significant expansion of 169A offerings. Arguably, development of a pathway or
modular mechanism for the major, as suggested above, would provide wider berth for
theme-based courses. Most likely, this consideration will be on the agenda as the
department considers whether and how to proceed with eventual curricular revision.

Physical Facilities

The one major difference in the department since the previous review is our new
facilities. The poor conditions under which the faculty labored in years past was often
mentioned in the eight-year reviews—not just in the 1998 review, but in the 1990 one as
well. Overall, the move has been a welcome one. As has been noted, the new offices are
more spacious than our previous ones. The benefit of this is both aesthetic and—more
importantly—pedagogic as the greater space allows for interactive work between faculty
members and graduate and undergraduate students to take place. No longer do students
need to dance around piles of papers and boxes of books in offices overly cramped, hot
and dusty. Unfortunately, the new building has its draw-backs as well, particularly in
terms of limited number of offices that the department can draw upon to support its
mission. More on this issue is discussed below.


        G. STAFF, SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS, AND PHYSICAL FACILITIES

Staff

The English Department enjoys the support of a dedicated, hard-working staff. In recent
years, as the University's overall budget has decreased and increasing numbers of central
administrative activities have been decentralized to departments, our departmental staff
has taken on greater responsibilities but with reduced number of staff. During the 2003-
04 budget cuts, the department partially met its mandated permanent budget cuts by
eliminating two staff positions. The departmental Manager at the time retired earlier than
she had originally planned and the Manager's position was filled by the Senior
Administrative Analyst, whose position was one of the two eliminated. For almost two
years, the departmental manager took on the responsibility of managing both the
department and the department's full accounting functions.

Although the Senior Administrative Analyst position was restored when the University's
budget situation improved in 2005-06, the department continues to be understaffed.
When our library assistant, Lynda Tolly, moved to an academic Librarian position, we
lost the staff FTE for her position. We later determined that the English Reading Room
needed at least a half-time library assistant and had to convert an open position that
previously funded work-study students to establish and fund a half-time library assistant
position.

The English Department has 12 staff FTE (see Appendix 25): 7 administrative staff FTE,
including one full-time IT Coordinator; three counselors (1.5 FTE for the undergraduate
office and 1.5 FTE for the graduate office); one editorial assistant employed for a journal;
                                                                                      31


one half-time library assistant for our English Reading Room; and one half-time FTE
devoted to the coordination of our development efforts. In addition, working in our main
office is the former front office manager, now retired but recalled. We no longer have an
FTE for her position but instead use other operating funds to pay her half-time salary.
The front office, as well as the English Reading Room and the Academic Personnel
Office, also depend upon support from several work-study students, funded by our
operating budget. The faculty also receive computing support from a Department
Technical Analyst (DTA), who works for the Center for Digital Humanities but who is
assigned to the department at approximately 80 percent time.

We currently have .75 staff FTE open, but we use the funds associated with this partial
FTE to help fund general supplies and expenses not funded by our operating budget.
Were we able to hire someone to fill this open FTE, there are two areas in which we are
particularly in need of additional staff. One is in the area of undergraduate advising.
With an average undergraduate major of 1,400 and 1.5 FTE in undergraduate advising
staff, the undergraduate advising staff to student ratio is about 1/933 (this excludes the
students who take classes offered by the department or who are considering the English
major and consult with advising staff). This does not allow the undergraduate advisor
sufficient time to focus on areas of her position that call on her capacity to work with the
Vice Chair and the Undergraduate Committee on planning for future developments to the
program (e.g., distance learning pilot courses, formats for the department's capstone
requirement, work on revisions to the curriculum, etc.).

The other area where we lack staff support is for faculty directing seminar series or
putting on conferences. For example, recent funding from the Mellon Foundation has
supported several seminar series directed by department faculty (four at this writing).
Unfortunately, funding has not been provided for staff support, which is expected to be
provided by the department. The tasks associated with seminars and conferences include
advertising, arranging for venues and refreshments, payments to speakers and travel
reimbursement. These responsibilities currently are being assigned to several members
of the staff, who thus far are managing to fit the additional work into their already full
workloads.

Physical Resources and Equipment

The Department of English moved to new space in the Humanities Building in the
summer of 2006. Although in many ways the newly painted and carpeted space was an
improvement over our previous quarters in Rolfe Hall, we continue to lack ideal space
and furnishings. Moreover, the lack of ready handicap accessibility contributed to the
loss of a faculty member, Professor Christopher Baswell, who decided to leave UCLA in
part because of the lack of easy access to his office. He was forced to enter through the
back or side of the building, and he had to rely on only one elevator to reach the floor
where his office sat. His loss has been particularly painful as Professor Baswell is an
esteemed departmental citizen and one of the most respected scholars in Medieval
literature, an area long a source of pride and considerable strength at UCLA.
                                                                                     32


As part of the move, the College provided each ladder faculty member with three new
bookcases, but otherwise we moved the old furniture that in some cases had been in use
since the department occupied its space in Rolfe Hall fifty years prior to the 2006 move.
Unlike most of the department's former space, the new space is air conditioned, though
the system is inconsistent in its ability to meet the cooling/heating needs of many
individuals, despite the thermostats in each office. But the critical problem with the new
space is its inadequacy—there simply are insufficient individual offices for ladder faculty
needed to fill the openings in our program. We currently have one faculty office
available, vacated just recently when our senior medievalist left the department and it will
be used for his successor. All other offices have been assigned. Temporary lecturers
currently share space with emeriti or with faculty on leave. The department has several
emeriti who continue to be active scholars, working on campus every day. Our current
space limitations mean that even the most active emeriti will be forced to share desk
space if we are to expand our ladder faculty beyond its current level.

We also have less space for graduate students than we had in Rolfe Hall. Although we
have two offices with modular workstations shared by TAs, we no longer have a graduate
student lounge suitable for meetings of more than a very few graduate students. The
space problem became so critical that this fall the English Graduate Union, our graduate
student governing body, requested that we remove some computers from the larger of our
two graduate computer labs in order to provide some space in which our students could
meet. They were particularly concerned about our incoming class of twenty-one
students, who have no space on campus as they are not yet eligible to be TAs.

Our new space does provide us with a large faculty common area that now allows the
department to hold faculty meetings without relying on the campus scheduling office to
find a sufficiently sized room. The new space also provided a small conference room that
seats about fifteen people. At its own expense, the department furnished the room and
turned it into a "smart" room, equipped with computer/projector/DVD.

Computing in the department has improved somewhat since the last review. The
Division now allocates a portion of summer session revenues to the Center for Digital
Humanities that, in turn, provides ladder faculty with a new desktop or laptop computer
every four years. (Incoming ladder faculty are provided with funding for a new computer
as part of their standard recruitment package.) To participate in this program, faculty are
expected to turn in their old computer when they receive their upgrade, mostly because
the Center for Digital Humanities, understandably, is concerned about the time and
money required to support outdated computers. However, we rely on the old computers
to "upgrade" the even older ones assigned to the approximately twenty temporary faculty
lecturers who teach undergraduate courses each year and for emeriti, none of whom are
included in the faculty upgrade program. Until the beginning of this academic year, we
also used older "upgrades" to provide computers for the TAs, but we did receive several
this past summer, and we hope that TAs will continue to be included in a divisional
computer upgrade program. There is no budget allocation for computers for
administrative staff and the department must rely on its dwindling operating budget, or
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summer session revenues to provide computers for staff—again, on the average of every
four to five years.

Departmental Operating Budget

The department's operating budget is meant to fund the basics needed for day-to-day life
in the department, including telephones, photocopying, office supplies, equipment, and
non-permanent staff, including course readers. Moreover, the department now also must
pay for University-mandated technology infrastructure fees, ($45,000 in 2008-09), which
represents 27 percent of our current total operating budget. Over the past ten years the
operating budget has fluctuated, with significant cuts experienced during the budget crisis
of 2003-04 that have not yet been fully restored. The resulting operating budget in fiscal
year 2008-09 is 6.3 percent lower than it was at the time of our last departmental review
ten years ago. The department has been able to support its operating expenses by relying
upon augmentation from its summer session revenues that, until two years ago, were
sufficient to mitigate the inadequacy of the operating budget. Summer Sessions
revenues have supported expenses for speakers and events, faculty research and travel,
faculty computing (including the contribution the department makes toward computing
support staff for the faculty), student support, and, increasingly, for faculty compensation.

Faculty recruitment and retention during the past ten years has brought an increase in the
department's commitment of research funds, research travel, and summer ninths for
faculty. These have been funded in great part by Summer Sessions revenues.

The past three years (2006-07 to 2008-09) has seen a dramatic decrease in Summer
Session revenues, with the department now receiving between 25 and 30 percent of the
total Summer Sessions revenues it received in each of the previous five years (2001-02 to
2005-06). We also had been able to depend on carrying forward summer session revenue
balances when our allocations were large but those balances have now been depleted.
Given the reduction in graduate fellowship allocations, the decrease in gift funds to meet
graduate fellowship obligations, and the continuing commitment for faculty recruitment
and retention costs borne by the department, there will be little if any funds available
from summer session revenues to augment the departmental operating budget. At a time
when the department faces almost certain budget cuts, we are unsure whether we will be
able to continue to support operating costs without drastically cutting expenses.

The Friends of English

The UCLA Friends of English, founded in 1986, is the primary support group for the
department. It plays a significant role in supporting the department's programs and
events, and it is considered the ideal of a successful "Friends" group on campus. Its
membership has remained steady for several years due in no small part to the efforts of
the group's president, Judith Linde, who has led the group for the past ten years.

The mission of the Friends is to support departmental programs, with particular emphasis
on graduate fellowships and other student awards, underwrite faculty and student
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research, and sharing the Department's academic programs with the Los Angeles
community. It offers its members an opportunity to be involved with classic and modern
literature through participation in a variety of departmental events featuring departmental
faculty, visiting lecturers and special guest speakers. In addition, the Friends presents its
own programs and salons featuring readings, lectures, and discussions presented by
departmental faculty, prominent authors and actors, and graduate students. Students are
invited and encouraged to attend all such events.

The organization also brings the community into contact with the university, allowing its
members to share the resources of the department and allowing greater interaction
between the Friends and the faculty. The good will and intellectual interchange the
Friends group fosters has engendered a very productive relationship between the Friends
and the department. Moreover, the organization helps draw attention to the prestige of
the department and helps make its efforts and aspirations public.

The Friends of English has been a consistent source of supplemental funding in support
of our research and teaching missions. The organization generates about $40,000 a year
in membership dues alone, but many of its members also make individual contributions
to the department beyond their annual dues. The Friends of English fund regularly
contributes to the support of student and faculty conference and research travel, the
annual graduate student Southland Conference, distinguished teaching awards for TAs,
and graduate fellowships. The Friends also raises money for specific projects, and its
appeal to members to help fund the furnishing of the department's Grace M. Hunt
Memorial English Reading Room once it moved to its new quarters yielded $46,000.
The group's next goal is to raise sufficient funds permanently to endow the graduate
student Southland Conference, an annual event that showcases not only our own graduate
students but several from all over the country, who engage in a full day of presentations
and faculty keynote addresses upon a theme selected by our graduate students.

The support of the Friends of English is particularly essential in times of shrinking
budgets and increasingly limited resources.

The English Reading Room

The Grace M. Hunt Memorial English Reading Room continues to be a valuable asset to
the students and faculty members of the Department of English. This departmental
library offers user-focused services and resources in support of the teaching and research
mission of the department. The most significant changes undergone by the Reading
Room since the previous review include the relocation to a new facility located in the
Humanities Building and the renaming of the English Reading Room in honor of a
bequest received from Grace M. Hunt.

Through a combination of the Hunt bequest and a fund-raising campaign by the Friends
of English, the library was able to update the furnishings and décor, making the new
Reading Room as inviting as it is functional. The upgraded furnishings and space
provide a pleasant and comfortable atmosphere in which department constituents can
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utilize the English Reading Room resources. The new reading tables are equipped with
electrical outlets for laptops, and wireless internet access is available anywhere within the
Reading Room. The Katia Newman Conference Room, a small enclosed group-study
room, provides library users with a space for interaction, while the reading areas provide
library users with a quiet space, a sometimes hard-to-find commodity in today’s campus
environment.

Under the stewardship of the English Reading Room Librarian, Lynda Tolly, and the
faculty advisors of the English Library Committee, the English Reading Room continues
to maintain a strong collection supporting scholarship in the core curriculum of the
department, including standard editions as well as important and influential critical
works, while also building the collection in emerging areas of scholarship. In the
previous facility the book stacks were filled to capacity, thus the Reading Room
collection remained at a constant level of approximately 30,000 volumes by routing some
material to a remote storage library on campus. Though the new facility provides a
comparable amount of linear shelving capacity, trends in electronic access to journal
content and reference resources have provided an opportunity to allocate a small
additional amount of linear shelf space toward the book stacks in the new facility. Based
upon continued input from faculty and other departmental constituents, the English
Reading Room remains committed to acquiring important core journals in the discipline
to complement campus access to online journal content.

The English Reading Room has been fully operational in the new location since March
2007. Since moving to the new location, Reading Room usage has been robust and
feedback concerning resources and services has been overwhelmingly positive. In
addition to traditional reference and instructional support services such as course reserves
and bibliographic instruction, the English Reading Room Librarian also offers discipline-
focused information literacy instruction. In today’s environment where students
sometime reach college with incorrect assumptions about the quality of information
found on the internet, these types of services complement the instruction received in the
classroom. The English Reading Room staff, including a Librarian and Library
Assistant, remains committed to providing the resources and services that will best serve
both the needs of the student and faculty members who use this library and the mission of
the Department of English.


                                       H. SUMMARY

In the short term, the department will need to weather the confluence of a budget crisis
and consistent retirements. We must try to figure out creative ways of continuing to hire
faculty even as we are losing so many (seven separations will have occurred between last
year and this). The Mellon Transforming the Humanities initiative is one way we can
fund these budget-neutral hires for the short term. In the long term, our goals will be not
so much to transform the department, but to continue to build on existing strengths. Our
current hope to search for a medievalist is just such an example. The funding resources
to meet these goals are a bit more tenuous at the moment, but with an upturn in the
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economy the budgetary constraints we foresee for the near term should loosen. Our
appointments in the recent past have both sought to move in new directions—our hires in
Pacific island postcolonial literature and in new media are good examples—and sought to
replenish areas that have suffered losses: eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British
literature, Chicana/o literature, medieval literature, African American literature.

In order for the department to maintain the excellence of its programs, we must be able to
hire more faculty and be funded more fully. It is clear that we are being asked to do more
(much more) with less. At the moment, we are pushed to the limit in terms of staffing
our courses and funding our graduate program, not to mention the dearth of resources for
faculty retention and recruitment.

Our recent hires (and retentions) have ensured the immediate excellence of the
department and its national reputation. Yet the department is seriously constrained from
building into new areas or, even, from maintaining traditional strengths. Nevertheless,
the attitude in the department is generally positive and certainly productive. At the level
of teaching, publications and service, our faculty is second to none. The members of the
department continue to provide excellent teaching experiences to our students, majors
and non-majors alike. Teaching has always been a priority in the department, and the
excellence of its teachers is undoubtedly one of the main reasons that we enjoy such
strong numbers in our major. The publication record of the faculty is equally strong,
ensuring that many of our faculty are stars in their respective areas of expertise. Finally,
our faculty members are diligent in their service to the profession, the university
community, and the department. The number of committees on which the faculty sit is
impressive. All of this suggests that faculty members are deeply committed to their work
in all three areas of their professional lives.

In order to improve the department, it is necessary that we be granted the resources to be
able to recruit and hire in the face of mounting retirements. We have been exceptionally
fortunate in being able to hold our own with graduate student funding, one key area of
strength in the department. Yet it is getting more and more difficult to feel assured that
the administration will be able to provide the adequate number of FTE to maintain the
department's strength, let alone envision new hires that will further bolster the
department's national profile.

				
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