Back to Poppleton! 1

March 26, 2004

Laurie Taylor's view of York University sociology department is misleading ("Farewell to 'cuddly' ethos of yesteryear", March 19).

Taylor implies that younger staff are on fixed-term contracts and thus give short shrift to teaching. This is simply false. Since 1995, we have made many appointments. Only one of our teaching staff is on a short-term contract. All other young faculty were hired on permanent contracts, based on their intellectual promise. Their commitment to teaching is second to none. It is they, not older staff, who make the biggest contribution to first-year seminar teaching.

Collegiality has unquestionably improved. We have more joint research, better Christmas parties and nearly as many trips to the pub.

Steven Yearley
Head of sociology
York University

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