Highlights from the Faculty Council Meeting

Here’s something that I bet you didn’t know: we’re going to have a lockdown drill, and it is going to be soon. David Rozelle, the director of security visited Faculty Council yesterday and mentioned that we would be having a drill in the near future. A plan is currently in development for what the drill procedure will be, but the skeletal version is this:

  • There will be two drills–one during the day and one during the evening.
  • All of the instructors (who have an HWC I.D.*) teaching at the time of the drill will be issued a key that will enable them to lock their doors from the inside and a placard of some sort to post in the window of their classroom indicating that the room is safe. The key for the inside of the classroom is different than that for the outside, and they are universal (i.e., the same key locks all classrooms from the inside).
  • The goal of the drill will be to eliminate exposure of students, faculty and staff AND eliminate movement in the college (and learn from the experience to improve the procedures). There are six tactical squads in Chicago, and in the case of an event like an “active shooter” they would all respond here along with regular police. The CPD estimate is that there would be a 5 minute or less response time, and upon response, the tactical squads would treat anything or anyone moving as a potential threat (hence the goal of eliminating movement and exposure.
  • The drill would begin with the flashing of the strobe lights on the fire alarm (but without the siren); after a 20 second period (the PA requires  that period of silence before activating), an announcement would be made with directives for action (e.g. clear the halls and lock the doors, etc.); the script is still in development, but it would be made clear that it is a drill.
  • Eventually, all instructors will get keys, but there are not enough currently available to pass them out to everyone.
  • The drill and plan development is required by Illinois law, and so we should expect it to happen this semester.
  • (This is my favorite) It had been scheduled for LAST Tuesday 3/9, but was put off due to a possible visit from our new Chancellor and Board Chair.

How about that? More in the minutes once they are approved. Speaking of which, here are the approved minutes from the February meeting.

We also had a visit from Michael Russell, Director of the Wellness Center who dazzled us with a status update of their progress. I suppose it isn’t surprising, given our enrollment, but they’ve had a huge increase in the number of students served (240% increase in non-duplicate clients from SP09 to FA09,  despite a decrease in interns from 6 to 4); in other words they were doing a lot more with a lot less. They had 765 client contacts with 256 clients just in the fall of 2009, and the issues were multiple and significant:

  • Anxiety and stress: 59%
  • Mood Disorder: 34%
  • Poor Academic Performance: 26%
  • Dating/Relationship Issues: 24%
  • Substance Abuse: 18%
  • Sexual Assault/History Sexual Abuse: 9%
  • Loss of Job and/or Housing: 7%
  • Anger Issues/Management: 6%
  • Domestic and Other Relationship Violence: 6%

Interestingly, the clients learned about the Wellness Center most frequently (24%) through class presentations, and another 21% through brochures and flyers. 14% heard about it from an academic advisor and 13% were referred by a faculty member. Michael asked for all of us to brainstorm ways that the Wellness Center can get the word to students and, equally important, help educate faculty about (delicate) topics like “how to refer students to the center” and “how to de-escalate volatile situations” and more. Pass us your ideas, and we will pass them along to him.

Mike Davis also dropped in to discuss some developments with his department and a CDL course that they’ve found to be a problem. The department’s review of Phy Sci 111 (WW) showed it to be far below the standards of the department and so they have requested that the course be not offered as an HW section. Mike suggested that the rest of the departments engage in similar reviews of the CDL courses offered as equivalents of our f2f classes, to make sure that they are up to the standards of the college. These sorts of reviews have been the purview of CDL for years, but Mike made the point that it is the responsibility of the College to protect and verify the integrity of our classes. Lots of interesting history (and power) is at play in this situation, and it will be interesting to see how it develops.

There’s more, but you’ll have to wait for the rest until the minutes get approved. Keep your eye out for an electronic survey on the security of the campus as you’ve experienced it, and for a paper and pencil survey (Mike! you won the day!) about electronic grade submission.

Oh! and congratulations to Allan Wilson for shepherding five new Physical Science courses through the local process. Hopefully they will fly through Committee A, District, the VPs and IBHE/ICCB, and be on the books for fall. Well done, Allan!

*So be sure to get your ID if you don’t have one, and have your ID on you if you do have one…

4 thoughts on “Highlights from the Faculty Council Meeting

  1. Thank you for posting this!
    I can’t always make it to all of the meetings we have and for some reason I don’t read the minutes when they are sent via e-mail but I am now in the habit of reading things in the Lounge format and I feel like I’m getting more information, regularly, and in a format I can process to some degree – kudos!

    I’ve been asking for and waiting to hear about our official procedure in the event of a shooting. I’m glad something is being worked out…better get a new ID.

    The Wellness Center is a very good resource for our students and I’m glad to have it. I usually pass out brochures in my classes around midterm and I post the information on my Blackboard sites. I make the announcement to everyone and suggest that everyone needs support sometimes.

    Finally, I really appreciate hearing about how Mike has handled the divide between courses offered in CDL and the same courses offered in the departments. We have had a similar experience and have tried to make changes from within the system, but it is difficult. I speak with many faculty from around the country and none of them have a system like ours. Typically, all courses offered online are under the academic control of the faculty/department in terms of content, assessment, and staffing. We have hesitated to create more online courses in our program because of this issue which holds us back from all other community colleges in the country! I’m glad this is on the table and look forward to more conversations about it.

    Have a great day everyone!

  2. I hope that a drill does not take place UNTIL:
    1. Keys are provided
    2. An email or formal announcement has been provided to students, faculty and staff.
    3. Protocol for students, faculty, and staff has been communicated.

    I hate to sound militant, and it is not my nature, but if we are going to do something as required by law, let’s do it right.
    This is the first I am hearing about a drill and it is also one of the first times so much direct information has trickled down at one time.
    Keep the information coming.

    • Thanks for the info! I’m very interested in the CDL revision but I don’t know who is in charged in our school or knows if there is some procedure in place (is it department initiative? dean of instruction? can any instructor write some kind of proposal?)

      • Mike Davis can tell you the most about it, but for them, it took the chair actively pursuing access to the most recent version of the course for review. He didn’t get to “observe” the course live and see the student-instructor interaction, but the review of the course was enough. There were all sorts of problems with it.

        I’ll try to get his permission to post the letter he wrote to CDL outlining them (and giving his reasons for requesting the course being pulled from HW’s schedule.

        There is no CDL person at HW, so you (or the Chair) will have to go through the Dean of CDL (Marcia Turner, I believe–cdl.ccc.edu–or maybe you can get the courses through Metoyer.

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