Yale Humanities Program

A student-organized petition seeks to reverse the decision to not renew Glauco Schettini’s contract for the 2024-25 academic year. 

Schettini, a postdoctoral associate who teaches philosophy in the Directed Studies program, informed students of the decision in a post-class discussion on March 27 after being asked of his plans for the following academic year. Following the discussion, students began collecting testimonials and signatories in a document submitted to the FAS last week in support of renewing his contract. 

“Dr. Schettini is always there for his students so now we’re here for him,” Zach Pan ’27, one of the petition’s organizers, told the News. “I’m aware that contracts for Yale faculty, especially for lecturers, are very tenuous. But here we have an extraordinary professor that’s really distinguished himself in his passion and commitment to students, and I believe that should count for something.”

Thirty-eight of the petition’s 41 signatories were first-year students, representing nearly the entirety of the 43 first-year students enrolled across Schettini’s courses this year. 21 students also wrote lengthy testimonials praising Schettini’s in-class discussions, extensive feedback on papers and availability in office hours. 

On Thursday, Dean of Faculty Affairs John Mangan wrote to acknowledge receipt of the petition and confirmed that he would “be in touch shortly,” in an email obtained by the News. 

FAS Dean of Humanities Kathryn Lofton did not directly address the question of whether the FAS is currently conducting any internal review of Schettini’s contract status but wrote Monday morning that “the position for which Dr. Schettini applied – and to which he was appointed – was a postdoctoral associate without an option to renew.”

“We are disappointed by the outcome,” Pan said of Lofton’s statement. He added that he hopes Schettini will be able to return to Yale to teach in the future.

Schettini, who specializes in the history of early modern and modern Europe, is the only professor in the Directed Studies program teaching two separate philosophy seminars this semester, Pan pointed out. The course – an examination of major figures in Western philosophy – has a 4.7/5.0 rating on CourseTable, the highest of any Directed Studies course offered this spring. Schettini’s professor rating of 4.5/5.0 is also the third-highest of all DS professors this spring.

“I have truly enjoyed teaching in the Directed Studies program for the past two years,” Schettini wrote. “What makes Directed Studies so special is the incredible dedication of the students, and I am immensely grateful to my students for organizing this petition on my behalf.”

Several students highlighted Schettini’s availability in office hours and that he commuted from his home in Delaware to be available to speak with students in-person in addition to commuting in for class.

William Mahoney ’27, who signed and wrote a testimonial on the petition, said that while he hopes the effort makes an impact on the administration, he also appreciates the symbolic meaning of the petition.

“We hope that this petition does have some real tangible impact on whatever decision the administration makes,” Mahoney said. “But really it’s just a form of giving back to someone who’s been the most available, the most kind and most supportive.” 

The Directed Studies program was first proposed in 1946.

Ben Raab covers faculty and academics at Yale and writes about the Yale men's basketball team. Originally from New York City, Ben is a sophomore in Pierson college pursuing a double major in history and political science.