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Town Hall Meeting Remarks

Hi All,

Below you’ll find remarks I made to the Vice Chancellors at the Town Hall meeting last Thursday. The VC’s began with a half-hour of slides, which they said they would share.  After their half-hour presentations, our students asked questions for the next hour. They were very engaging and mostly respectfully listened to by the VCs.  Finally, faculty had a one-half hour block to ask questions. I encourage others to post on their experience at this event. I know Dave has already solicited comments.

Approximation of remarks made:

Congratulations to you all for overseeing the death of liberal arts at the City Colleges of Chicago. You have determined that our students only need specific courses and majors to succeed and you have arranged it to your satisfaction that only those courses and majors will be offered. Within three years we expect that courses which do not propel our students to jobs of economic value will be gone. You have determined that our students don’t need courses on art history to learn about great works of art, our students don’t need courses in training of the speaking voice to learn better diction and pronunciation, our students don’t need courses in acting to learn how to better present themselves. Music, philosophy, religion are all in jeopardy because of the actions you are taking. You have decided that those courses belong to the more entitled students at four-year colleges, that learning is for the elite, and that our students don’t need, can’t handle and don’t deserve a fully rounded education. What you don’t seem to understand is that our students deserve all that we can offer them.

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Economic Livelihood and Willful Blindness, Industry and Information

UnofficialFactChecker:

Light reading on public and private discourse and the difficulty of determining bias when one’s job or lifestyle dictates that s/he not determine bias.

Originally posted on UnofficialFactChecker:

 An Old Report that is Nonetheless Instructive

In 1978, the Office of Consumer Education commissioned a report to find out exactly how advertising and marketing were affecting US society. The result was a study entitled Impact of Advertising: Implications for Consumer Education by Zena Cook et al, and the report was interesting because of what it found but also in how it framed the discussion in terms of “consumer sovereignty,” or the rights of consumers to have their wants and needs respected by the market.  The intention was, in fitting with the economic theory of supply and demand, that consumer needs and wants would determine what the market produced, instead of the other way around.  Implicit in this idea, as a theme running through the report, is that consumers need to be accurately informed about the choices confronting them.  The study’s authors note frankly, “Consumers are today faced with…

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CAST Leadership Election This Week

Another week, another opportunity to voice your vote about an important leadership position at the college. This coming week (Monday to Wednesday, anyway) you’ll find another ballot in your mailbox, but this time for the election of a Chair for CAST (a.k.a., Center for the Art and Science of Teaching). HWFC’s Jess Bader (Art) asked me to post the following statements from the two worthy candidates, and so, with no further ado:

Megan Ritt

 

I am honored to be nominated to serve as CAST Coordinator for a second term, as CAST has always been near and dear to my heart. I’ve been an active member since I was hired full-time, and I have served as co-coordinator for 2014. In that role, I performed duties including planning and organizing meetings, coordinating with presenters, organizing the Make It Stick book club, maintaining the calendar for room 1046, and planning and organizing HW Faculty Development Week and TiE Day.

 

The best part of it all for me has been getting to know more of my colleagues in different departments while hearing about their own areas of expertise. I’ve also enjoyed the chance to introduce new programming ideas, like the bake-off and the many tours we were able to offer at FDW. Outside of CAST, I am a faculty member in the English Department, a member of the Developmental Education Committee and the Student Success Council, and co-chair of the Developmental English Committee. I also take part in mentoring new full-time faculty and reading student placement exams, and have participated in my department’s DEC and Rank & Promotion Committees.

 

If I am chosen to continue as co-coordinator in 2015, my goals for the committee are to increase the number of hands-on workshops offered and to offer more sessions that appeal to STEM faculty and adjunct faculty. Thank you for your consideration.

 

 

 

Kamran Swanson

 

I believe that the best way to facilitate professional development for faculty is to stimulate curiosity and the joy of learning by providing opportunities for stimulating and educational inter-disciplinary discussions on learning, teaching, and thinking. I plan to bring this to CAST by instituting a series of discussions, once every two weeks at a convenient time, centered on quality short essays in a seminar format, which discuss learning, teaching, and thinking in and from the humanities, sciences, math, and arts.  I am very much in support of Megan Ritt’s Spring 2015 Make it Stick book club, and I would like to see more of this in CAST’s future. My concern for a long time is that too much of our faculties’ non-teaching time is devoted to administrative-centered committees and task forces, and that there is insufficient support for bringing together faculty from across the disciplines to talk about the essence and highest goal of our occupation: education. I wish to place less focus on the various tools we use to accomplish that and more focus on the ideas and modes of thought themselves. There is great potential for us to learn about teaching from one another, and I do not think we have tapped it as substantially as we could. With this position and the dedicated release time, I would like to facilitate this. ​

Collegial Consent for Spirit Lifting Only

Michael Heathfield, the one and only Michael Heathfield, sent  the following to me with a request to post it in order to gather input from anyone willing to offer some, and I am only too happy to, belatedly, oblige in the hopes of seeing a good old-fashioned, English style cod-walloping gobsmack of a rant with a bunch of words I’ve never seen in that particular order (or at all)! And so, here you go. Help the man out:

My birthday has passed and my delusion that I was going to gracefully glide towards retirement has gone. I have a stack of grading at my side, some of the best students ever, a poor old dog who will not be with us much longer, and a fast approaching publisher deadline. I have long subscribed to the belief that humor in the face of adversity is a much-needed skill. So I am going to practice it…

My survival strategy (meaning avoidance) is to ask my unbelievably stellar HWC compadres which distracting activity would lift our communal spirits more? I have the urge to write a small piece for the Harold Lounge but I am not sure quite where to start or where to go. Those of you who know me will understand this is why I don’t drive.

I have a tempting palate of posting possibilities but have been told by colleagues, too many times, to cut the words and focus. So I want to enlist your support and guidance as to which one should actually exist (cue catalogue floating out of view). Dave is brilliant at handling the technology of electronic voting, so I trust he can help in this respect. Here are my imaginary posting headlines as I seek democratic community consent as to which one should exist in our realities:

I invented seven to symbolically represent the individually accredited institutions that make up our system and then added one for District. I never said I wasn’t clever! Molly Turner will no doubt explore with me my overuse of the exclamation mark when I try to slip into journalistic mode!

Please join me in my spiritually uplifting task and take a little time to vote. Let’s hope we can have a turnout over 35%! I promise to get Dave to post the winning article before the end of the year when, regardless of the consequences, a Mexican margarita has my name on it. Again. Again.

Mike Heathfield

Faculty Council Candidates: Personal Statements

Per request from Michal Eskayo, here are the candidates for HW Faculty Council. Voting is open all week–watch your mailbox for your ballot.

Hello faculty,

We are excited to present the three candidates who have been nominated for the Harold Washington College Faculty Council. Check out their bios, and be sure to vote next week. The polls will be open from Monday through Friday.

 

Luke Belz

I am writing to seek your support for my nomination as a Faculty Council member at Harold Washington College. Since the Fall semester of 2011, I have been a full time faculty member of the Mathematics and CIS Department and, as of Spring 2014, I was awarded tenure. I have taught a variety of classes ranging from Beginning Algebra up to and including Calculus. Also, I have participated on college wide committees such as the CAST and Curriculum Committees along with departmental committees such as the Developmental Education Math Committee and the Calculus Committee. Currently, I am on the District Wide Faculty Council. Each day I look forward to and enjoy working with my students and all my colleagues throughout the college. If given the opportunity to be a Faculty Council member, I would do my best to be the voice of all faculty members and address their concerns so that we can continue to maintain the high standard of education for our students.

 

Stephanie Burke

I am a photography instructor in the Department of Art and Architecture here at Harold Washington College. As a newly tenured faculty member at HWC, I am very interested in being an active member of our school community. I am the co-founder of the Fine Arts Integration Committee, the faculty advisor for the Council Of The Arts, HWC’s art club, and co-organize student programming on an ongoing basis, including the annual off campus student exhibition and the Arts Transfer Fair. I am looking forward to contributing to and learning from Faculty Council.

 

Phillip Vargas

My name is Phillip Vargas, and I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Sciences. I teach both general education courses and program level physics courses. I have been teaching at HWC since Fall 2010, and believe I have worked on many projects that have positively contributed to the college. What I have enjoyed most in working on these projects has been meeting and collaborating with other dedicated faculty members. I believe Faculty Council will offer additional opportunities to work with a committed group of faculty members toward improving the college and I would be honored if elected.

Special Event for Great Women’s Colleges

This Thursday! Per our Transfer Magician, Ellen Goldberg:

I invited 4300 rock star women with GPAs of 3.4 or higher in the district to attend Information Sessions (at HWC and Wright College too) for Smith College or Mount Holyoke College.  The one at HWC will be on Thursday, October 30, 2014 in room 102 from 3-4:30 p.m. Smith and Holyoke are two amazing liberal arts schools for women in Massachusetts who love our students and typically give them full-ride scholarships. I went back to the data from the information session last year in October of 2013, and out of the 10 women that attended, two are at Mount Holyoke, and one is at Smith. That’s so awesome that 3 out of 10 actually transferred to New England! Dulce Mora Flores (our Jack Kent Cooke Winner) went to Smith College. Janelle Thorson from HWC went to Mount Holyoke and Kimberly Neil from Malcolm X College went to Mount Holyoke. Check out the link with photos of the women at HWC, Malcolm X, and Wright that transferred this fall! http://bit.ly/Smith-HolyokeCCCTumblr We owe are thanks to the amazing Professor Emeritus, Betty Harris, who established the relationship with Smith and Holyoke! It has really grown over the last decade!

Please remind any great students to go and check it out–they love our students and take good care of them. It’s  a great opportunity for non-traditional, women students. In the last two years, two of the students who received full rides were great students who got the email about the event, didn’t read it, and only went because someone told them about it, which led to them finding, in their words, their “dream school” and getting full rides.

Tell someone to go. Even if she doesn’t love these schools, she may get the message that she can dream big.