There are many questions that still need to be resolved about the current proposal for continuous enrollment that has been passed by the Rackham Executive Board, but the issue raised in your editorial (Rackham’s mistake, 02/12/2009) is not one of them.
Class sizes will not increase by requiring continuous enrollment. The people who are affected by this measure are overwhelmingly Ph.D. candidates who are not taking classes. As a Rackham professor, I meet with my Ph.D. students whether they are enrolled or not, so this will not really mean any difference in my workload.
The proposal aims to ensure that departments have a financial incentive to ensure that students receive the proper attention from faculty mentors and that they have an active University affiliation upon which to draw if they need to. However, the questions the GEO raises in Thursday’s news article (Ph.D.s in uproar over new policy, 2/12/2009) are pertinent, especially in areas where the demands of cutting-edge research have tended to mean that it takes longer to graduate.
The letter-writer is chair of the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs and a Professor of Greek and Latin.