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Section IV-I:  Departmental Internal Report






1. A Status Report on Faculty Recruitment


In the Fall Quarter, the Department announced a search for a candidate in Russian literature with specialization in either nineteenth-century Russian prose or twentieth century postwar Russian literature and culture. Seventy applications were received and reviewed by all members of the Department. At the recommendation of an ad hoc committee, appointed by the Chair, the faculty selected twelve candidates to be interviewed at a national convention. Of these, five (three men and two women) were invited to UCLA; one withdrew. After hearing the four candidates' presentations, interviewing them extensively, and polling the students, the Department voted to hire David MacFadyen, who specializes in postwar twentieth-century Russian literature, at the rank of associate professor. While the appointment is under review according to University procedure, Professor MacFadyen is teaching in the Department as a Visiting Associate Professor.


The Department is continuing to lobby with the Dean for two FTEs it considers vital to supporting its academic mission and maintaining its pre-eminence in the field: a position in South Slavic and a position in nineteenth-century Russian prose.


2. Procedures for Admissions and Graduate Student support allocations


The Department has created a mechanism for enhancing graduate student recruitment. It consists of two officers, one representing literature and the other representing linguistics. Their mandate is to contact major departments for promising undergraduates, to review application requests and respond personally to the most interesting of them, and to hold telephone interviews with the best applicants.


The Department has committed itself to a policy of offering newly admitted students four-year packages, contingent upon timely progress. Such support will be equivalent in monetary terms to a 50% teaching assistantship (TAship) on the assistant level. This package may consist of fellowships, grants, unrestricted aid, research assistantships, teaching assistantships or any combination of the above. Most favorable consideration for funding beyond four years will be given to students who maintain normative progress beyond advancement to candidacy.


Both admissions and graduate support are decided by a committee of the whole: all faculty members review all applications and vote on admission. Continuing students are ranked at a faculty meeting, where the results are tallied to form a ranking list and the list is fine-tuned on the basis of an open discussion.


The department has two Graduate Student Support Coordinators, one representing literature, the other representing linguistics. They perform the technical function of implementing the faculty's decisions, that is, dealing with programmatic concerns (for example, the suitability of students for specific TAships and RAships) and making the necessary adjustments as circumstances change (for example, if students learn that they have been awarded TAships or other kinds of funding outside the Department). The Graduate Student Support Coordinators work closely with the SAO, the MSO, and the Chair in determining such adjustments.


The Department allocates support in two ways. First, it nominates candidates for certain awards that originate outside the department. These include NDEA fellowships from CERS, FLAS fellowships for summer language study from CERS, CERS RAships, the Chancellor's Fellowship, divisional RAships and GSRships, research mentorships, and dissertation year fellowships. Second, the department has direct control over certain resources it receives from the Graduate Division, the Humanities Division and philanthropic sources. These include TAships, GSRships, summer mentorships, restricted funds (for example, monies restricted to recruitment of incoming students, or multiple year grants) and unrestricted funds.  Nominations, rankings and primary allocations are made by the entire faculty as descried above except in the case of research mentorships and disse4rtation year fellowship, where the Chair, in accordance with Graduate Division directives, ranks applications after consulting with students' advisors.


Students who wish to apply for departmentally nominated funding are required to turn in a Self­Evaluation statement with the following information:


1. a list of all courses taken in graduate school and grades received

2. a) a statement of progress to degree to date, and b) information on circumstances aversely affecting. that progress

3. a) a list of the TAships and RAships the student wishes to apply for, and b) any special qualifications for the positions the student may have

4. a) a statement of academic plans for the coming year, b) an outline of projected progress to degree, and c) a brief statement of long-term professional goals

5. a list of talks given, papers published, awards or honors received


The department has two Graduate Student Support Coordinators, one representing literature and the other linguistics. They perform the technical function of implementing the faculty's decisions, that is, dealing with programmatic concerns (for example, the suitability of students for specific TAships and RAships) and making the necessary adjustments as circumstances change (for example, if students learn that they have been awarded TAships or other kinds of funding outside the Department). The Graduate Student Support Coordinators work closely with the SAO and the Chair in determining such adjustments. The department will make every effort to inform students of final decisions on funding by May 15. However, in some cases this may be too early for the department to know exactly what funds will be available (for example, if funds offered as part of a recruitment package are not accepted and revert to the Department for distribution to other students). For that reason, additional announcements about aid may come after May 15.


Each spring the Graduate Students and Support Coordinators shall calculate and make public to faculty and students the kinds and amounts of student funding it has or recommends for distribution, and each fall they shall calculate and make public the number of students supported in category of aid, while observing the demands of confidentiality.


Criteria for funding include:


• Level of academic performance. This will be evaluated on the basis of the student's successful completion of department course offerings as indicated by grades, as well as on the basis of opinions of faculty members familiar with the student's work. Because of the narrow range of grades for graduate students, the GPA alone is not compelling evidence of academic success. The number and variety of courses completed are at least as important as the GPA.


• Timely progress to the degree. This is measured by successful completion of course requirements, language examinations (Russian and French/German), and the MA and PhD examinations. Normative progress is defined as follows: six academic quarters from the onset of graduate study to the awarding of the MA degree; six academic quarters from the awarding of the MA degree to advancement to candidacy; that is, to passing the PhD qualifying examinations, and six academic quarters from advancement to candidacy, to the completion of the dissertation. The PhD qualifying examinations must be taken within two years of admission to the Doctoral program, and the dissertation must be completed within three calendar years of the date when the qualifying examinations are passed. Study abroad or certain circumstances of a personal nature may require leaves of absence and extend normative time to degree, and will not affect decisions concerning support.


• Support history. It is departmental policy to provide support for the first four years of a student's graduate career and to make certain that all students have the opportunity to teach. These are our first priorities. Students in good standing who have received this guaranteed support have second priority and are encouraged to take advantage of what seems to be an increasing number of opportunities for TAships and GSRships outside the department.


Funds for teaching assistantships are provided to the department by the Dean of Humanities and may vary from year to year depending on enrollments. Although teaching assistantships constitute a major form of student support, their primary function is to provide relevant training experience for academic and academic-related careers in teaching and research. It is the policy of the department to offer all students the opportunity to teach for one full year.


Graduate students who are recipients of teaching assistantships must meet all registration and enrollment criteria established by the department and must also maintain satisfactory progress throughout their appointments. Students become eligible for teaching assistantships when they are awarded the M.A. degree. Exceptions are made only in cases of extraordinary departmental need or in cases where a student has already had considerable teaching experience and/ has exceptional language skills.


The selection process for teaching assistantships follows the basic procedures outlined above for all forms of support assigned by the department. However, two other criteria are also relevant and will play an important role. These are 1) a student's degree of mastery of the target language and or subject to be taught, and 2) a student's ability to communicate effectively in English with undergraduate students.


While taking into account all these criteria, the Department is also governed by a number of other important considerations. The first of these is the ideal of providing every qualified student with the opportunity to teach. The second is to give all students exposure to language teaching, and where possible to give literature and linguistic students teaching experience in their respective disciplines. Finally, the Department must also take into consideration the needs of the Undergraduate program served by teaching assistants.


3. Structure and Procedures for Appointment and Supervision of Master's and Doctoral Committees


After a student's application to take the master's examination has been approved, the Chair appoints.a committee consisting of three members of the faculty. The masters oral examination is open to observation by faculty members other than those constituting the examination committee should the examinee so desire.


The doctoral examination committee consists of a minimum of four UCLA faculty in the professorial ranks, three of whom must hold appointments in the Slavic Department and one of whom must be from outside the Department. Two of the four committee members must hold the rank of professor or associate professor. The chair of the committee must be from the Slavic Department. For further details on exceptions-for example the inclusion of non-UCLA professors-see the Graduate Division's Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA.


Students should consult with the Department Chair about the prospective membership of the committee and the choice of the committee chair, who in all likelihood will be the dissertation advisor. With the Chair's approval the student secures the agreement of the prospective committee members to serve. The Chair then nominates the examination committee for approval by the Dean of the Graduate Division. Once the committee has been approved, students work closely with the chair of the examination committee to prepare for the qualifying examinations in their areas of specialization.


4. Modifications of the Academic Programs


Modifications Affecting the Programs in Literature and Linguistics


a) An optional sub-specialty at the PhD level has been instituted. It consists of at least four courses selected by the student and approved by the student's chosen advisor. The courses will come from graduate offerings in one or more UCLA departments or programs (see the Handbook for a detailed list) and including courses from within the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures (students in linguistics choosing from courses in literature and students in literature choosing from courses in linguistics).


b) A proseminar consisting of 2-4 units has been reinstated as a required course for the MA.


c) Proficiency in either French or German shall be required for the MA. Proficiency must be demonstrated by passing a departmental proficiency examination. Although the examination may be deferred until after the MA examinations, the degree will not be awarded until it has been passed.  Students are therefore urged to demonstrate proficiency as soon as possible after matriculation.


d) Proficiency in both French and German are required for the PhD. Proficiency in one of these languages will have been formally tested prior to the awarding of the MA degree; proficiency in the second language is to demonstrated by the inclusion of texts in that language on the bibliographies prepared for the PhD examinations. Familiarity with said texts is to be attested to by the chair of the doctoral committee, who must submit a language examination report to the Graduate Division concurrent with the nomination of the doctoral committee. With departmental consent students specializing in linguistics may substitute a language important to the study of Slavic linguistics (Finnish, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Romanian, or a Turkic language).


e) Students will be given written notice of the results of the MA and PhD examination one hour after the conclusion of the oral portion of the examination and a written evaluation of their performance within one week.


f) Students may request MA or PhD examinations at the beginning of the academic year as well as at the end of each academic quarter.


g) The qualifying paper has been abolished.


Modifications Affecting the Program in Linguistics


The areas covered in the two three-hour written examinations are redefined as follows: in the first of the exams the student is examined in the general area of the proposed dissertation research, in the other in comparative Slavic linguistics, the history of Russian and the history and structure of a second Slavic language.


Modifications Affecting the Program in Literature


a) Russian 215 (Contemporary Russian Literature) has been made an MA requirement.


b) Russian 220A (Structure of Modern Russian: Phonology and Morphology) and Russian 204 (Introduction to the History of Modem Russian) and Russian 219 (Movements and Genres in Russian Literature) have been eliminated as MA requirements for students specializing in Russian literature; Russian 220A and Russian 204 have been added to the PhD requirements.


c) The MA written examination for literature now consists of three 2-hour examinations, spaced one day apart over the course of a week, the first devoted to medieval and eighteenth- century Russian literature, the second to nineteenth-century Russian literature, and the third to twentieth-century Russian literature.


d) The number of seminars required for the PhD in literature has been reduced from 4 to 3.


e) The PhD written examinations for literature consist of seven 1-hour examinations spaced over the course of two weeks devoted to topics distributed as follows: 1) the medieval period; 2) the eighteenth century; 3) the nineteenth century; 4) the twentieth century; 5) literary theory; 6) a second Slavic literature; 7) the provisional dissertation topic.  The specific topics and the accompanying bibliographies are to be developed by the student in consultation with and the approval of the members of the examination committee.


f) A course is currently under development in which students at the dissertation stage will give regular reports on the progress of their research. The course may be conflated with regular meetings of the faculty devoted to the discussion of ongoing faculty research.


5. Student Welfare and Internal Resolution Policies


The Department has adopted a number of measures in response to student concerns:


A Graduate Student Handbook setting forth departmental academic policies and procedures in detail has been compiled. It has been vetted by faculty and students. The Handbook addresses the issues listed below in detail and should be referred to for more information.


• Reading lists for the MA and PhD programs in literature and linguists have been updated and distributed to all students. The lists will be reviewed and updated, if necessary, every two years.


• Students now choose their own advisors beginning in their second year (see the Handbook for details).


• All faculty members now teach undergraduate courses.


• All students have been issued keys to the Department Reading Room.


• Faculty have been directed to provide timely responses on dissertation chapters, generally within one month of submission.


• Specific grievance procedures have been set up and tested over the course of the past three quarters. Students believing they have a grievance involving a faculty member, another student or administrator are advised to attempt to resolve the matter with the other party involved. If the grievance remains unresolved or if students feel hesitant about confronting the other party, they should bring the matter to the attention of the Chair and request the Chair's mediation. Students, faculty and administrators may at any point avail themselves of the services of the Campus Ombuds Office. Acting impartially, ombuds officers may investigate unresolved conflicts or facilitate the resolution of problems for which there may be no established guidelines, and may also, where possible and when requested, assist iii resolving an issue through mediation. The Ombuds Office is also a designated Sexual Harassment Information Center for students, faculty and staff, as well as a campus Harassment Information Center (HIC) available to all UCLA students. The Ombuds Office is in the Strathmore Building. For further details, see their web site at http://www.saonet.ucla.edu (tel. 310-825-7627).


• Other options include the Graduate Division and the Office of the Dean of Humanities. In cases of grievances involving a potential violation of the faculty code of conduct, students may consult with a member of the Academic Senate Grievance and Discipline Procedures Committee (3125 Murphy Hall, tel. 310-825-3891) for help in deciding on an appropriate course of action. For further details see the UCLA General Catalogue, appendix A: "Charges of Violation."


6. Staff Participation in Departmental Meetings


The Department voted to invite the MSO of the Kinsey Humanities Group and the Student Affairs Officer to faculty meetings. They have attended and participated actively since the Winter Quarter 2000.


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Section 1 | Section 2 | Section 3 | Section 4a | Section 4b | Section 4c | Section 4d | Section 4e | Section 4f | Section 4g | Section 4h | Section 4i | Section 4j |Section 5 | Section 6 | Section 7 | Section 8