• VP Public Affairs

Town Hall 2019

Updated: Mar 18, 2019

As a new semester began at Penn, graduate students in the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) gathered together in Houston Hall to attend the Spring 2019 Town Hall. With our plates piled with chana masala, kadai lamb, and samosa, conversations about support, advocacy, and wellbeing for graduate students were underway. We were joined by Ralph Rosen (Interim Associate Dean for Graduate Studies) who spoke to us about his role as a liaison and advocate for graduate students in SAS. The audience chimed in with questions about compulsory mental health training for faculty, career diversity in the ever-changing field of academia, and the challenges of instituting sixth-year funding. After a quick think-pair-share, we generated a list of indisputable qualities and requirements we thought the next dean should have, given that Dean Rosen will be serving only during the 2018-19 academic year. Some of these included emphasizing the importance of the Dean’s advocacy for students, commitment to actively listening to graduate students’ suggestions or concerns, interdisciplinary and/or intersectional knowledge to better serve the diverse programs in SAS, and transparency between the Dean’s Office and the SAS grad student body. Before wrapping things up, we heard from members of the policy committee (Mimi Hacking, Max Dugan, & Rawad Wehbe) about financial management, updates regarding unionization, and dissertation fees. With the information gathered, the SASgov policy committee plans to translate these conversations into initiatives to make resources more accessible, and to maintain a productive relationship with the office of the Graduate Dean. We hope to see you at our next Town Hall!

Photos by Brianna Reed.

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