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Case 06. Off Campus time and teaching responsibilities


Professor Oliver York is a nationally known scholar in his area and attracts many graduate students to the department in the hopes that they may work for him. Each year, Professor York travels exten-sively in the period between Thanksgiving and winter break for research purposes. In order to accomplish this, he assigns his graduate students to the classes "just to keep the students enter-tained" and often gives them library projects to work on during this period. He rewards his graduate students with perks that include sharing a room at the annual ASA meetings which is paid for with departmental funds.


  1. Is it ethical to cover classes in such a manner? Are graduate students in a position to refuse such requests from faculty?
  2. Are the perks that Professor York uses adequate compensation and are they appropriate?
  3. What is the responsibility of Professor York's colleagues to call attention to these practices? If they have a responsibility to proceed, how could this be done?
  4. What if these graduate students were TAs in his course? Would that make any difference?

Reflect on the above questions and form your own answers before clicking the discussion key to review the commentary provided with this case.