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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, June 24, 2024

Political science department to move to Packard Hall

Feeling cramped in its Eaton Hall offices, the Department of Political Science faculty has voted unanimously to relocate to Packard Hall this summer.

The department, which has a steadily increasing lineup of full- and part-time professors, now suffers from shared offices and littered cubicles, rendering it an uninviting environment for students to meet with professors.

Department Chair Robert Devigne said the worsening working conditions in Eaton Hall had caused recent lapses in professorial research and student involvement. "[Students] have to sit in crowded hallways to wait for professors," Devigne said.

He also mentioned the growing trend of office sharing.

"A lot of our part-time professors have had to share offices ... making them less available to students," he said. In some instances, offices are assigned to four part-time professors at once. This makes it difficult for professors to schedule meeting times with students, Devigne said.

Political Science Lecturer Barton Edgerton often prefers to give up his office rather than share it with two other teachers. "I end up going to the Tower Café to meet with students," Edgerton said. "If you have to schedule meetings outside your office hours, things start to overlap."

His office hours start immediately after another professor's time ends. As a result, Edgerton often has to prepare lectures and class work on his own time because he cannot come in earlier to get ready. "It'd be nice for that work setting not to be at your home," he said.

Edgerton praised the planned move from Eaton to Packard Hall. "Any kind of relief in the numbers of people in the office makes it that much easier," Edgerton said.

Devigne echoed these sentiments, noting Packard's relatively large meeting rooms and wide hallways. "Students will be able to wait for professors in a more relaxed setting," he said. "I think it's great that Tufts made more space for us to teach and research."

Packard Hall is undergoing massive renovations this school year. Construction is scheduled to wrap up in July. It "has yet to be determined" who will occupy the vacant office space in Eaton once the political science department has moved, Dean of Arts and Sciences Robert Sternberg said in an e-mail.

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