Think, Know, Prove

Think, Know, Prove is a regular Saturday feature, where a topic with both mystery and importance is posted for community discussion. The title is a shortened version of the Investigative Mantra: What do we think, what do we know, what can we prove? and everything from wild speculation to resource referencing fact is welcome here.

Today’s, TKP is a sort of Meta assignment–an assignment about the Harold Lounge. So far, so good, I think. But that’s easy for me to say. I’d like to know what we need more of here, and how to get it. I’ve got my own ideas, but if this is ever to be a real, vital community for the entire faculty, then it will have to get a bit more out of my own head. I assume that if you’re still coming here regularly, then you think it has some value, so I’m not fishing for compliments here. I’m looking for ideas about how to spread the word, or make it better, more relevant, more useful so that others will come here, too, share their knowledge, and benefit all of us.

Would a workshop on how to do a blog post at the Harold be a good idea? An open invite to anyone and everyone to post whatever they want, whenever they want? Should we control for the posters and postings by forming a committee (yikes!) with members? Should we just keep plugging away and continue to have faith that since we have built it, they will come?

What do you know, what do you think, what can you prove?

(PS: I am going to be reducing the number of posts–taking a weeklong hiatus of sorts–that I write this week, so as to encourage all of us to get a little space and a little fresh air for the final push. All of the regular features will return a week from Sunday, starting with “Next Up!”)

Comparative Education–Access to College in India

I don’t know a lot about systems of higher education in other places, particularly in regard to access, except a general impression that they tend to involve High Stakes Testing and extremely limited access. Reading about it though, makes me, again, grateful to be a part of a system that functions in a manner that is the polar opposite (or, I guess, more clearly, I’m excited to be working in the part of the system that serves as a sort of safety net for those who get shut out by the exclusionary aspects of American higher education. India needs some community colleges!

This last part of the article would be hilarious if it weren’t so horrifying:

She is so busy with test prep that there is one thing she almost never does.

“People hardly go to school,” she said. “They rely on their tutorials mainly.”

Fat-Cat Teachers and Public Servants Forced to Stop Stealing the State’s Money

Maybe this was discussed at yesterday’s Union meeting (I don’t know because I was teaching). We all know, of course, what a burden our luxurious and opulent remuneration has been to the State of Illinois for years now. Fifteen hours of work (less for administrators–meeting isn’t working!!), summers off, inefficient–one might even say ancient–methods and topics. It’s a wonder that the “host” has taken this long to recognize us for the bloodsucking parasites we are…

It should be noted, though, that the existing pension situation was not sustainable (without train-wrecking the state) and that the changes made in this new law (regarding maximum salary for pension benefit, retirement age, etc.) do not apply to those already in the system. If nothing else, I guess that will mean that in 25 years or so, HW won’t have its entire faculty (just about) turn over in a five year period. So maybe that’s a silver lining of sorts…

What Up?

The weekend, nay, SPRING BREAK, is nearly upon us.

What are you doing? Where are you going? Will you take the rest of us?

If you’re having a stay-cation and looking for something to do on Saturday Night, consider this show–it’s a benefit for Haiti Relief Organizations, and it promises to be HOT. I’ve seen Funkadesi (the headliners) a few times, and they are spectacular live. Like this:

I hope to see Isa there, too. I know she’ll go if she can.

Highlights from the Board Report–March

Highlights from the Board Report is a monthly regular feature that highlights what one person finds to be important from the most recent Board Report. We read it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

Highlights from the meeting dated March 4, 1010.

1. I think they may be onto us. This report was rather skimpy. There were none of the usual links to Human Resources and Academic Affairs reports and the like. All they have up there is a link to a notice about raising tuition and the resolution to hire our new Chancellor (and then the usual hirings, overtime assignments, etc.). I don’t know whether to be pleased at the brevity required for researching this post or troubled. I shall temporarily adopt the former position. Mostly because I’m all jacked up on Nyquil and in no condition to do any thinking.

2. Tuition is going up. Current tuition is $79 a credit hour. Next fiscal year, starting Summer 2010, the number will be $87 per credit hour, going up to $89 per credit hour the following year. The prices go up for precredit (half the credit rates) and continuing and vocational education as well (same as credit).  Fees are up, too: Registration goes up $5 (to $30), Activity fee goes up $20 (to $170) for ft regular term starting this fall, and in 2011 the summer activity fee goes up $10 (to $85). No change for PT students. CDL fees go up $5 to $45 per course this summer, and another $5 to $50 per course starting in the summer of 2011. I’m personally quite amazed that the activity fee is going up another $20. I haven’t heard any students complain that the SGA or clubs are short of money. $20 per student per semester is an awful lot of scratch when my understanding is that most of it goes to SGA and clubs who have a hard time spending what they’ve got now. I’m no accountant, but I don’t know how that helps. Maybe somebody out there does?

2. Cheryl Hyman is our new Chancellor. Welcome aboard (stifles yawn…old news).

3. HR News: Inggrid Yonata of the President’s Office was hired to a position of “Coordinator,” promoting her from Temporary Support Staff. I don’ t know what it means, but she’s great and I’m sure whatever it is she’s coordinating will be more than adequately coordinated. Love to see great people get gigs here.

4. No resignations or terminations. Not really anything else to report. There is something about a change to the Policy Manual in regard to Graduation Gradepoint, but there’s no link so I don’ t know what it is. Maybe you know?

5. The meeting was mercifully adjourned.

Braggin’ Rights Bracket–UPDATE

“Hey,” you might be saying to yourself, “I wonder who’s winning the Harold Lounge Braggin’ Rights Bracket contest.”

Well if you guessed Jashed Fakhrid-Deen, you’d be wrong. In fact, he’s in last place. AND his pick to win the championship? Out. He should be mocked with regularity and vigor.

Perhaps you guessed Ed Fians; he’s tall. Maybe he knows something about hoops. Wrong again. Second place and desperate.

If, however, you guessed Dave Richardson, then you, my friend, owe yourself a high five. In a commanding lead, having picked 32 of the first 48 games correctly, with 7 of 8 elite eight teams still alive and all four final four teams just a few wins away, the philosopher is, once again, making his case for Kingship.

And if you’re wondering about how everyone else is doing, well you’ll have to ask them, because the three of us were the only ones to sign up. Gotta be in it to win it people.

Next year.