Notes from CT Hall - FASS December 17, 2020 Meeting

January 5, 2021

Dear FAS Colleagues,

Happy New Year to you. I hope you are safe and well, and that you are having a great break despite the world’s continuing travails. Below are our Notes from Connecticut Hall, summarizing the FAS Senate meeting of December 17th. 

Matthew Jacobson

Chair, FAS Senate

Notes from Connecticut Hall
Child/Elder Care—Advisory Committee on Social Justice—Covid Update

Following a closed Senate session from 3:30 PM – 4:00 PM, the Chair called the open session to order at 4:00 PM.

The marquee issue of the open session was a presentation from the Yale Childcare Consultative Committee (YCCC), a coalition representing members of the Women Faculty Forum (WFF), the Working Women Network, the FAS Senate, the Committee for the Status of Women in Medicine (SWIM), and Local 34.  In her opening remarks, Naomi Rogers, the Chair of the WFF, stressed the need not only for maximum flexibility for faculty and staff in carrying out the university’s work, but also for clear guidance for Chairs and other program officers about what it means to be “flexible.” She noted the need for guidance from the Dean’s office about how review and promotion committees might view “productivity” during this extraordinary timeValerie Horsley, Co-Chair of the FASS Diversity Committee, offered further remarks on the burdens carried by parents during the pandemic.  Nina Stachenfeld, Co-Chair of Status of Women in Medicine (SWIM), discussed the unique burdens on clinical staff and physician scientist faculty at the medical school, as subject studies and other laboratory work have been disrupted.  Nandi Cummings and Stacey Bonet, Co-Chairs of the Working Women’s Network, discussed the burdens on Yale staff and advocated for the implementation of Covid Days, best practices for the remote university, workplace flexibility, and a cost of living increase for part-time M&Ps.  Krishna Mudumbi, representing the Yale Postdoctoral Association, spoke about the financial strains on postdocs, and the need for extended contracts and enhanced childcare allowances.  Finally, in summing up, Rene Almeling, Associate Professor of Sociology & WFF Council Member, directed FAS members to the YCCC Childcare Briefand urged faculty members to share information on how best to support staff and junior faculty, to name and address any discipline-specific concerns, to think creatively about how best to support working parents and other caregivers, and to establish firm principles going forward, with special reference to future evaluation processes.  Asked what the FAS Senate might do by way of support for the YCCC, Professor Almeling requested aid in winning recognition and regular status for the YCCC as a university committee at the Provostial level.

Dr. Stephanie Spangler, Vice Provost for Health Affairs & Academic Integrity, and Dr. Jenna McCarthy, Yale Health Chief Medical Officer, presented an update on the Covid crisis and the coming vaccine.  

Frank Snowden, Professor Emeritus of History presented a brief report on the Advisory Committee on Social Justice at the Koerner Center, a group of eminent emeriti professors devoted to the promotion of antiracism and social justice within Yale and the city of New Haven. The group is focusing first upon leveraging Yale resources for the benefit of local public schools.  Interested faculty can reach the Advisory Committee through its spokesman:  

The Chair also made the following announcements:

As a result of efforts by Larry Gladney and the Provost’s Office, Yale now has an institutional membership in the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity.All faculty, postdocs, and graduate students have access to its resources, which include discussion forums for peer-mentoring, problem-solving, and moderated writing challenges; core curriculum webinars; guest expert webinars; dissertation success curricula; and a member library that houses a range of on-line mentoring materials and readings.  

The Chair reminded faculty of the Poorvu Center Survey on Yale faculty’s experience with distance teaching this term.  The survey closed on Dec. 22, 2020.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season and a restful break, the Chair adjourned the meeting at 5:40 PM.