Department of Film and Television Studies PG SSLC MINUTES 1 pm, 10th June 2015, A1.24 Chair: Barbara Ottmann Minutes: Zoë Shacklock Present: Alastair Phillips (AP), Barbara Ottmann (BO), Catherine Lester (CL), Elliot Nosworthy (EN), James Taylor (JT), Stephen Gundle (SG), Zoë Shacklock (ZS). Apologies: Richard Perkins, Ross Pearce 1. Minutes of Last Meeting a) In relation to 3a), SG announces that the lunch for the MA cohort will be known as the ‘MA Summer Lunch’. ZS and Claire Jesson will be organising the event. b) In relation to 1d), the group agrees that the Millburn House Symposium was a success. JT notes that the committee is currently collecting feedback from attendees on how the conversation between the various Millburn departments might continue. CL suggests that the Millburn House seminars need to be more widely promoted across the university. BO draws attention to a joint Millburn SSLC meeting running concurrently with this meeting, which plans to meet once a term in the coming academic year. SG is meeting with the other Millburn House departments to discuss the Symposium and other interdisciplinary events, such as the potential return of the Millburn Reception series. ZS explains that Cultural Policy was not well represented at the Symposium, and asks if SG can gauge their interest. SG asks if there is a network: BO and JT explain that there is interest from attendees, but nothing official at present. c) In relation to 4a), AP clarifies the teaching appointments: Ivan Girina will be teaching TOMI in the Autumn and Karl Schoonover in the Spring; Louis Bayman’s position is currently being advertised, and should be appointed in July. AP will assign teaching assistant roles shortly and circulate this information to staff and students. d) In relation to 4b), AP notes that TeachHigher has been officially disbanded. The university remains committed to improving the quality of the teaching experience, and will be undertaking different trial schemes with departments across the university, but Film and Television is not part of this scheme. He states that the situation will need to be carefully monitored to ensure that the department’s teaching goals are protected – that conditions aren’t downgraded under the guise of ‘fairness’. On behalf of the PG community, CL expresses gratitude for the department’s decision to vote against the scheme, and asks if the reasoning behind this decision can be outlined. AP explains the department’s position: decisions about teaching allocations should remain within the department, because staff best understand the needs and requirements of the their own students and colleagues. AP stresses that the PG community should always feel free to raise any concerns about teaching. BO reports on the follow up TeachHigher meeting held on the 4th of June, which focused on encouraging conversations within departments about teaching conditions. BO asks whether central University administration has contacted the department about TeachHigher: AP confirms that it has not beyond the official press release. JT asks about the timeline for teaching reform: AP reiterates that he knows little beyond the Insite press release, which suggests a year’s worth of trial schemes. e) With regard to 4c), AP seeks feedback on the definition of teaching duties. AP notes that teaching in Film and Television has always referred to contact time and additional duties (preparation, marking, office hours), and the pay rates include all of these duties. He states that if the teaching trial schemes supported a more itemised form of renumeration, then the department would respond in like, stressing that the department would not abide by tradition solely for tradition’s sake. CL is still concerned that pay rates do not properly reflect the high time commitment of the various additional duties. AP asks whether guidelines were circulated for time investment in additional duties; CL confirms that in her personal experience, there were no guidelines. AP will follow up with Helen Wheatley about establishing such a framework. JT adds that while marking and preparation vary between individuals, ‘additional duties’ also include more standardised time commitments, such as attending lectures and screenings, and meetings with module leaders. AP reiterates that the current pay system does seek to recognise the scale of these commitments, but he is aware that it is demanding. He will consult with other Heads of Departments on their practice. ZS raises Charlotte Stevens’ proposal to include teaching guidelines and expectations in the PG Handbook; AP agrees that this is necessary, and will follow up. f) In relation to 1a) and 1b), CL asks for a progress report. BO reports on 1b), the ongoing locker situation: Tracey has contacted Estates to get replacement keys, but the problem will not be resolved until the summer. As for 1a), BO will check the operational and software status of each of the computers in A1.07, including the computers in the PG offices. AP will collect the list and contact IT, but queries how regularly the computers are used and by which students. ZS confirms that students beyond the Film and Television department use the computers in the space. As an issue affecting the shared space, SG will raise the matter in his meeting with the other Millburn House departments. g) In relation to 1e), ZS wants the record to state that James MacDowell is doing an excellent job at running the Twitter account. JT asks about the Twitter policy and the process for contributing to the account. AP will ensure these are circulated. 2. Matters Arising None. 3. MA Matters None. 4. PhD Matters a) JT seeks clarification on the policies surrounding MIRC, in terms of accessing the catalogue, and loan periods and restrictions. SG believes that this was formalised and that there should be an official document detailing the MIRC policy. CL reads from the email she was initially sent on the topic, which was relatively vague. AP asks whether the concern is with the system’s fairness and function, or the communication. JT confirms it is the latter, and the issue is establishing clearer and more consistent guidelines for use. ZS adds that MIRC was not part of the 2014 orientation for first year students, and suggests that it should be included. AP stresses that the system is about self-responsibility, and that it is a waste of time to police it. However, he notes that he is pleased to see it being valued by the postgraduate community. SG and AP will consult with Adam Gallimore on what guidelines should be added to the handbook. b) SG outlines a proposal from Karl Schoonover to offer advice to PhD students on the academic job market. This will take the form of a yearly workshop, probably in the spring term, and will involve advice on CVs and letters of application, mock interviews, and other related information. BO, JT, CL and ZS are unanimous in their praise for this proposal. c) SG will be meeting with Zara Hooley from CADRE, and seeks feedback on how the institute has operated this year. JT describes the relationship between Arts and CADRE as very positive and productive, noting the Millburn House Symposium would not have taken place without he support of CADRE. However, he notes that the publicity surrounding the funding and training opportunities could be improved. ZS echoes this point, but clarifies that the centre has been consistently excellent when she has made use of it. AP suggests including CADRE in the induction for PhD students. 5. Postdoc Matters None. 6. PG Teaching Duties AP states that these have been sufficiently covered in this meeting – see 1c) and 1d). 7. Library Matters None – apologies from Richard Perkins, who is attending the concurrent joint Millburn House SSLC. 8. Other Business a) BO: The Students’ Union has published a code of conduct for SSLCs, which was circulated to her, but is also accessible on the SU website. She states that the department has been meeting most of these guidelines already, with the exception of uploading the minutes to the Students’ Union portal page. She has directed them to the departmental website – where the minutes are accessible – but the union representative is yet to reply. She notes that there is no distinction in the guidelines between PG and UG SSLCs. SG asks for this document to be circulated to him. Close: 2:05 pm.