UPDATE: Bumped up for 24 hours of any final discussion on the subject before it goes to Faculty Council for action. Please note: regular features like “Tuesday Teaching Question” and “Website Wednesday” will be on hiatus over the summer break. Watch for a post on “Summer in the Lounge” later this week.
Ok, so 72ish hours later, I guess it’s time for some discussion of the action plan. Options discussed at the May Faculty Council meeting included the following:
A) Do nothing. The benefits of this approach are that we do not immediately jump off on the wrong foot with our new Chancellor. She has a vision for the city colleges, and apparently something of a mandate (did you see this?) to impose her vision. It might be wise to wait and see, picking our ground for a fight, should one come, over a non-negotiable, rather than over an unfortunate inconvenience whose damage is (likely to be, if there is any) contained to lost opportunities to learn and wasted time, which while bad enough, is not the same as devastating harm to students. The fact is, we’re contractually not working starting on Saturday, and we’re off until August when their operation would welcome us back. Perhaps by doing nothing we cost ourselves some annoyance, but avoid a lot more.
B) State our objections in the hopes of negotiating out a better outcome than we’d get by doing nothing. The risk is obvious, I suppose. No administrator is going to be willing to step out, I suspect (except maybe John or Chuck Guengerich–the other Presidents are too new, and the rest of the Deans and VPs are probably not that interested in the Chancellor’s dog house), and say no to something Chancellor Hyman wants. Still, maybe there is room for reasoned argumentation. There’s a ton of literature that says for PD to be effective it has to be data driven (justified by data showing need and qualified by data showing impact) and it has to respond to faculty needs, not be imposed from above. The topics proposed are topics, as it says in the draft letter, that have been covered before. Either the old training was worthless or the new training is redundant. The admins haven’t made a case either way–maybe by letting them know that they should (according to best practices), we can help drive them toward doing what they expect us to do, namely making data driven, outcome oriented decisions that positively impact student learning. The letter would be the means for doing this. Discussion of the drafting process (ongoing) is here.
3) Non cooperation and non participation: this is going a little beyond “doing nothing.” By not cooperating, faculty would be sending the message that we will not simply go along with or even bother engaging with decisions that are not learning driven, student focused, and professionally useful. There would be no letter, no objections, no stink–just a clear message of inaction. The DWFDW is not yet mandated, and even if it were, they still can’t make us talk or learn. Even if we have to show up, we need not cooperate.
4) Active opposition and organization all summer long. Ever see Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. These could, theoretically, be our playbook. Perhaps the best strategy to adopt is one aggressive opposition.
What’s your vote?
P.S. Here are the official meetings from last week FDW task force meeting.FDW Task Force – Meeting 1 – Official Minutes