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Faculty Meeting

Tuesday, April 6, 2021 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
via Zoom


  1. Call to Order
  2. Chair's Remarks
  3. Announcements
    • Graduate student contract negotiations - Amzi Jeffs
  4. Committee Reports
    • Graduate Program Committee - Lieblich
  5. New Business
  6. Executive Session
  7. Adjournment


The regular meeting of the faculty of the Department of Mathematics was held via Zoom at 3:30pm PST, April 6, 2021. John Palmieri, Chair, presided at the meeting. Rose Choi was recording secretary.

The meeting began with approval of the previous meeting’s minutes.

Chair's Remarks

Despite improvements in vaccination rates, there are no plans to shift departmental operations from their current on-line format. Hopefully, in-person operations will safely be in effect this Fall.

Faculty-chair conferences will be scheduled for those who are due this year. John will contact individual faculty to arrange these.

The Personnel Committee will begin merit reviews this week so please be sure to send your record updates to Rose if you have not yet done so.

Teaching preference forms have been sent out to faculty and will be due back soon. A reminder that next year’s teaching load will be higher than years past (around 3.6 rather than the usual 3.3) primarily due to the influx of new faculty who are given teaching releases in their first year.

Committee Reports

Current graduate student and Math’s head union steward, Amzi Jeffs, gave an update on the upcoming graduate student contract negotiations which are negotiated every three years and will expire on April 30, 2021. The other stewards for the department are Nico Courts, Tejas Devanur, and Camila Vasquez. Per the wage comparison data among UW’s peer institutions aka “Global Challenge States,” the UW falls below the average especially when cost of living is taken into account. To be equitable employers and become competitive recruiters the UW should work towards meeting the minimum wage standards for TAs on par with the leading peer institutions such as Rutgers and the University of Connecticut. For instance, to meet the same level as Rutgers, the UW would need to increase TA wages by 55%. The summary of the opening proposals are as follows:

  • Increase wages to top of peer institutions (approx. 55% / $11,500).
  • Waive all student fees.
  • Maintain $0 health insurance premiums while providing 100% coverage for mental health costs and include gender-affirming care to in-network levels.
  • Establish paid Equity Teams, increase the number of paid positions, and offer mandatory training.
  • Employ ASE-driven individual development plans, offer secondary mentors and career development resources.
  • Remove caps for total caregiving funds, increase quarterly stipends, and increase paid leave eligibility.
  • Provide relocation funds for international students and funding for tax/legal assistance, as well as, UndocuAlly training.

Faculty are also reminded that they are permitted, and encouraged, to discuss these issues with students. Feedback and support is always appreciated.

The Graduate Program Committee needs faculty feedback on the following suggestions to the structural change to the current preliminary exams in preparation for the Fall:

  • At least half the exam questions will be derived from past prelims with the student being provided with a copy in advance to help prepare over the summer.
  • Allow two course passes of 3.8 or higher in lieu of the prelims.
  • If the student has published extensively and/or is advanced in their research they may be exempt from the prelim per the recommendation of one or more faculty advisors.

    The Executive Committee has approved the draft of the hiring plan for the next five years. A vote was held, passed, and approved. The plan will now be forwarded on to the Dean.


    There being no new business, the meeting passed into executive session at 4:10pm.

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