As you may already know, on Tuesday, May 4th, our CAST coordinator, Chris Sabino, received notice from the district that three days later, May 7th, a District Wide Faculty Development Week (DWFDW) Task Force would be meeting at Malcolm X to discuss plans for fall faculty development programs. Given that Chris and numerous CAST members had already done significant work in planning HW’s annual Faculty Development Week program, the news was both surprising and a little disconcerting. Three CAST contributors–Myra Cox, Ephrem Rabin, and Jeff Swigart–were able to attend the DWFDW Task Force meeting, and Jeff agreed to share his notes from the meeting with the faculty.
The faculty in attendance received this proposal (which I will allow to speak for itself–however with strong encouragement that you read it; it is full of (perhaps unintentional) delights, and I mean that both literally and ironically). There will certainly be more posts on this topic in the weeks to come, but it is urgent that we, Faculty Council, get some feedback on this topic if we are going to have any chance to influence anything about it, and I will limit my editorializing here in this post to saying that we believe (I’m pretty sure that I can speak for the whole council on this) that faculty should have the primary influence on Faculty Development activities, whether they are local or district wide. Please take a look at the proposal and Jeff’s notes from the meeting and post your initial responses in the comments. Also, please be sure to vote and encourage your colleagues to do the same. Arguments are easier to make with numbers. Special thanks to Myra, Ephrem, and Jeff for their attendance and reporting of these developments.
District-Wide Faculty Development Week Task Force
Meeting #1, 5/7/2010, Malcolm X College
Facilitated by President Ghingo Brooks and Vice Chancellor Angela Henderson.
HWC Representatives in Attendance: Myra Cox, Ephrem Rabin, Jeffrey Swigart
Jeffrey Swigart’s Notes of the Meeting
Pres. Brooks shared that he proposed idea of district-wide FDW earlier this year. VC Henderson shared that this fits with Chancellor Hyman’s vision of better connecting the city colleges. The implementation date was originally planned for August 2011, but Chancellor Hyman likes the idea so much she would like it implemented this coming August of 2010. The purpose of this meeting was to allow about 2 faculty members to represent each college as a task force.
The purpose of district-wide FDW is to share best practices and other ideas district-wide. More details are on attached handout that was given out at meeting. Here is the rough proposed schedule:
Monday: District-Wide Convocation
Tuesday: Universal Teaching Strategies
Thursday: Best Practices in Academic Disciplines
Friday: City Colleges of Chicago Showcase
*Discussion of Each College’s FDW Schedules:
Faculty from each college shared what they had planned so far for their individual FDW’s. The goal was to try to incorporate the best ideas from each college into the district-wide schedule. Some colleges were very far in their planning, even having already booked outside speakers for specific times, while other colleges just had rough ideas. I shared the list provided to me by Chris Sabino of talks that CAST had planned so far, enough to fill 3 days.
*Discussion of Concerns:
Faculty shared two primary concerns regarding the proposal. First, some expressed concern that their individual colleges’ FDW 2010 has already been planned so far that it would be better to implement the district-wide FDW in 2011. Second, some expressed concern that much individual college business is taken care of during the individual
FDW’s. VC Henderson replied that district-wide FDW is important to Chancellor Hyman’s vision and asked that everyone present get on board. She also suggested that faculty find ways throughout the semester to take care of business that may have in the past been taken care of during individual FDW’s.
*Topic Ideas for District-Wide FDW:
President Brooks expressed that there seems to be much overlap in topics at colleges’ individual FDW’s, and so it will be beneficial to share resources and use these topics at the district-wide FDW. He also shared that district-wide FDW could have time set aside for individual college business. Many potential topics were discussed, including the following: technology across the curriculum, reducing remediation, changes in foundational studies, data-driven decisions in the classroom, increasing graduation rates, academic advising, *PeopleSoft, educating future teachers, SLO’s, syllabus-writing, service learning, HLC and its upcoming changes, careers, academic freedom (potential well-known speaker from AAUP), panel discussions with faculty and/or students, purpose of education
(potential big name speaker such as Oprah or Maya Angelou). Many faculty expressed that it is important to pick topics that are broad enough to apply to everyone, in order to make district-wide FDW helpful and significant to everyone.
*Specific Contributions by HWC Representatives:
Myra Cox shared detailed ideas of talks regarding educating future teachers and the many district-wide issues related to this. Ephrem Rabin made many suggestions regarding topics related to technology, and Pres. Brooks specifically asked Ephrem to consider being a speaker. I (Jeffrey Swigart) shared the idea John Hader gave me of having Dr. Pamela Proulx-Curry speak about service learning as part of a program that SENCER and CPS are willing to help fund.
The steering committee of the chancellor and the college presidents will meet discuss the suggestions of the task force. Ephrem Rabin will set up a Blackboard site. Follow up meetings of the task force will take place in June or July.