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Invite Professor Stephen Harris back to teach part-time

This petition had 93 supporters


Please read and sign the petition if:

Levels 1 and 2: If you would like to have the opportunity to be taught by Professor Stephen Harris in the future.

Levels 3 and 4: If you have benefited from the teaching of Prof Harris and think others should have the opportunity to study his courses. i.e. if you studied Mammalian Ecology and Sociobiology, and would pick it again.

Please leave comments to support the case. 

It has been recently announced that Professor Stephen Harris will retire at the end of February. In light of this recent news, there is concern amongst students over removal of Professor Harris’s Level 2 ‘Conservation’ and Level 3 ‘Mammalian Ecology and Sociobiology’ units. If Professor Harris retires it is highly likely that these specific units will no longer be available, and will be replaced by new lecture series that are yet to be decided.  

I have written to the Level 3 Co-ordinator, Professor Innes Cuthill, asking whether the School would consider inviting Steve back to fill a part-time teaching position, enabling him to continue the Level 3 unit, and whether the University would support him with this: “Inviting Steve back to give his unit next year would only ever be an interim solution of course – everyone retires in the end – but it is one we are considering.” 

I, and many others on the course, have a passionate interest in the subject matter of Professor Harris’s lectures, and would like the opportunity to attend his Mammalian Ecology and Sociobiology lecture series in the third year. If you share this sentiment, and think Prof Harris’s lectures would interest you, then I ask for your support in contributing to a petition that will persuade the School to invite him to return in a part-time capacity.

It should be noted that Professor Innes points out that: “In Year 3, there is no "curriculum" and the overriding principle (as with all the top universities) is that the units are driven by the research strengths of the school and are taught by research active members of staff.” Although Professor Harris may not be “research active”, he certainly has years of experience, knowledge, perspective and useful advice to share with his students. In addition, his unique lecturing style introduces ideas and arguments that I believe add to the diversity of our teaching experience, and will be sorely missed if the School decides to withhold a part-time position.

Please sign here in support of asking the School to invite Steve back in a part-time teaching position.

Freya Cohen, Level 2 MSci.

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