In Sunday's Outlook section a typographical error gave the University of the District of Columbia 100,000 extra students. The correct figure is 13,000 students. CAPTION: (NEW-LINE)Picture, Beverly Cassara, 56, is dean of graduate studies at the University of the District of Columbia, where she has taught since 1970. Born in Massachusetts, she went to Colby College and has a doctorate in education from Boston University.
I KNOW people think graduate deans are a little crusty, inaccessible and maybe even irrelevant, but that's OK with me because I love my job. As I see it, it revolves around two functions: helping people get something they want to enhance their lives; and helping create the high-quality educational institution that can provide those services.
The university is a beehive these days, as the early days of a new university must be. We are admitting and registering about 113,000 students a semester, providing them with academic programs in six colleges, graduate studies and continuing education, plus all the support services and community services. We are putting the finishing touches on the complicated process that created the University of the District of Columbia out of the District of Columbia Teachers Collge, the Federal City College and the Washington Technical Institute.We are also working on a self-study to help us prepare for the Middle States Accreditation Team that comes in the fall. All the former institutions were accredited. We are preparing the first university catalogue, the first faculty handbook, the first student handbook. Union negotiations are under way, and our personnel policies are before the mayor and council for approval.
Additionally, we are working on short and longer-range planning. This is crucial, since the 1981 graduate studies budget request is already in, and it won't be long before we start on the one for fiscal 1982.
Monday is one of the nights my husband, a professor at George Mason University, teaches until 10, and we have dinner when he returns. Not home until 7 myself tonight, I took a short nap before starting to cook so I could enjoy the rest of the evening. It may sound strange to have dinner so late, but we like it-a couple of hours to relax together at the very end of the day.
All my pens have given out at the same moment! Scrounging in my desk drawer, I found one I inadvertently "borrowed" from Amerika Haus in West Berlin three years ago. God knows whose teeth marks are on it.
This has been German reminiscence day. Took the subway to Dupont Circle this morning. I love the subway. The moment I enter the turnstile, I fantasize my way back to Germany, where I depended on the spanking new subway in Munich and the old but modernized one in Berlin. It's the quiet newness that gets me, there and here. Our subway seems to bring out the best in its riders, polite and friendly as they share a common living room for a while. The subway may be very costly and still have some bugs, but it is one of the greatest things that has happened to D.C.!
Dupont Circle and Counsil of Graduate Schools. Attended a meeting of a committee that develops relationships with other higher education associations in our concern for education legislation at all levels. There are only a handful of female graduate deans among the 360 institutions in our membership, so I found myself, as usual, in a definite minority. We have a long long way to go to achieve equality in graduate deanships.
Back to the university for more meetings. Ended this day as it began, with German reminiscences. Had dinner with the former director of Amerika Haus, who was entertaining friends from West Berlin.
Driving past the Iwo Jima Memorial on my way to work, I always experience secret pride. During World War II, as a college student, I took a year off to work for Edward S. Steichen in the old Navy Building, which has now given way to grass and trees and a miniature lake. I remember the day the flag-planting photo came in from the Pacific. One of hundreds that crossed our desks, it immediately caught Capt. Steichen's eye, and he ear marked it for future attention.
Any day that provides a few hours for desk work is remarkable, and today is one. I answered letters, addressed a student grievance problem, organized meetings and arranged travel to Princeton next week for a meeting of the Minority Student Committee of the Graduate Record Examination Board.
In the late afternoon, I attended a State Department meeting where the U.S. representative to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, Koryne Horbal, was making a report, especially concerning the World Conference of the U.N. Decade for Women to be held in denmark next spring. I wonder if this conference is not one of our better kept secrets. Does the ordinary woman have any notion that American women are being represented or what will be discussed or acted upon? I am confident that our delegates give-and-take on the subjects to be covered is vital.
In the evening, my weekly 2 1/2-hour German class at Marshall High at Tysons Corner. I should be in a more advanced class, but the county doesn't have one. At least it gives me a chance to use the language.
People are always asking where our university is located. The short answer is that we are all over northwest Washington, mostly in rented office buildings that are less than optimal for university purposes. We have some new buildings up and more coming on our Van Ness Campus on Connecticut Avenue. For almost a decade, our several blocks of cleared land on Mount Vernon Square have just sat there while campus after campus has come up out of the ground in Northern Virginia. When the Mount Vernon campus is finally realized, a whole new spirit will be engendered in our people.
My staff is calling each department to bring in material for our various publications efforts. The poor chairpersons feel harassed. My staff is also arranging publicity photos. We're just opened a new admissions office for graduate students and are training personnel. We've finally organized a graduate student council, and they are planning a graduate student convocation for May 8, during graduation week.
Finally left at 6 and headed for home, where I spent the evening baking rolls and cookies and making chicken salad for an office lunch on Friday in honor of our CETA employe, who has found a permanent job in another office in the university. Glad for her, but it's tough on us to lose her.
Left home at 6:30 to take advantage of those quiete hours in the office before the phone starts to ring. I have such a bad conscience driving my car all by myself everyday. But my hours are odd, the places I have to go are widely separated, and I often have to be out in the late evening. I know it's naive even to wish we had a scheme for sharing our rides beyond the present system of car pools. So the best I can do is try to cooperate with the president and drive 15 miles less a week.
Spent an hour or two doing some editing for a journal called Lifelong Learning: The Adult Years, for the Adult Education Assocation. Since we have an excellent production editor, I only have to do the part of the work I love-making editorial decisions.
Our earlier than usual for the inauguration of the new president at George Mason University, a fine affair with just the right mix of pomp and ceremony and humor. Some cogent remarks delivered by the president of the student body, who suggested that higher education is in danger of becoming higher training, if students view "education as a commodity they can fold up and put it their wallets."
Went directly from George Mason to pick up my beautiful 91-year-old mother, who spends Saturdays with me. In the afternoon my husband and I picked up the mulch and fertilizer for our handerchief-sized garden, which provides us vegetables during the long Virginia growing season.
On Saturday I squeezed in one new experience: For the first time ever, I made my own spaghetti. Not the sauce, the spaghetti itself!