A Letter about DWFDW

So far 28/33=85% agree that DWFDW should not occur Fall 2010.  3/33=9% are  on the fence about it or are on the fence.  There’s been a lot of traffic to yesterday’s post about the district proposal for DWFDW.  I know PhiloDave was going to post something tomorrow about what we’re going to do next, but I’m going to jump the gun slightly.

First of all, if you haven’t voted in the poll, please do so and check out some of the replies/reply to the post. The more input we have, the better.

In terms of moving forward, Theresa Carlton, Math faculty, has drafted a letter for Chancellor Hyman and V.C Henderson.  If we decide to express our concern in written form, this is definitely a good start.  Here’s the link to the letter in Google docs (my new best friend).  If you’d like to add to this letter, please reply to this post and I can give you access (I’d just need your e-mail address).  I thought this would be better than giving access to anyone with the link in case we have other visitors to the site.

This letter came as a result of conversations that Theresa and I have had over the past day, though she’s the author and deserves the credit for it.  Is there anything we should add (other than a conclusion)?  Is the tone suitable?  If we send it, when should we?  Who should sign it?  (Theresa? FC? CAST? HWC faculty?, etc.)  Do we want faculty from across the district involved in expressing our concerns to district?  Should we act or wait to see what happens since nothing is set in stone with respect to DWFDW?

5 thoughts on “A Letter about DWFDW

  1. If we send it, I think it should be signed by Faculty Council, since you guys represent us as faculty.

  2. I like the letter.
    It is a reasonable, thoughtful, and proactive step befitting of a professional faculty.

    1. A brief conclusion would be good. Including citations about the importance of faculty driven professional development would be good too. I’ll try to look for some.

    2. The tone is suitable.

    3. I think it should be sent very soon as an immediate response District’s proposed plans.

    4. It would be great if the major committees signed it including AC, CAST, FC, the Curriculum Committee, Dean of Instruction?

    5. I think the letter should be submitted to the District Faculty Council for review and signing although I would hope that this step would not delay the response too much. If it looked like there would be a delay, my vote would be to take the lead and submit the letter from HWC alone. It might encourage other institutions to follow suit.

    6. I don’t think we should wait. They called the meeting to present their plans to representatives from the colleges. This is our response.

    Thank you for taking the time to put this together – time is so short these days!

  3. Overall, I like the letter too. But why does the letter begin, “We see this as an excellent way to kick off the 100th anniversary of the City Colleges of Chicago for the 2011-2012 academic year.”

    After all, our poll shows 26 of 42 voting for “An altogether terrible idea; Faculty Development Weeks should be local,” and only 7 for “A great idea for Fall 2011.” If we submit the letter as is, we are almost ensuring an annual DWFDC beginning, at the latest, next year. From the conversation at Faculty Council last week, and from many of the posts on these threads, I think we should take a stronger stance against DWFDC permanently.

    • Kamran,

      I agree that this is not something that we want to occur at all, yet, since this is the first big thing that the new Chancellor is pushing for, it will happen whether we want it to or not. Taking a direct opposition approach is not a good move because all it does is put us in a position of opposing not just a District-Wide faculty development week, but in opposition of the chancellor herself. That is not the kind of statement that we want to make, or the kind of position we want to put ourselves in. We don’t want to attack. A DWFDW could be a good thing, but only if it is run by faculty and not an administrative mandate. That’s what I think the letter is getting at – this could be good, but let us handle it since we know what we need. Though, in my opinion, the family picnic day with the tents for registration and placement testing is an all together bad idea.

  4. This is really minor, but it jumped out at me: if we are indeed to use this – or any – letter, we should avoid using “campuses” rather than “colleges.” In our minds I think this is a non-issue, but since we are independently accredited – and it could be that we might need to work to uphold this independent accreditation – we are actually not a campus of one college but an individual college in a system, with, in some regards, its own autonomy. (In others, obviously, not so much.)

    I’ll hold my other more serious responses until we have had more of a discussion, but I like the tone and intent of the letter quite a bit – if it turns out to be what the majority of faculty want us to do.

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