Think, Know, Prove–Reinvention Invitation (Official Version): Are You Gonna?

UPDATED: Now with a poll!

So you saw the email from President Metoyer yesterday (if you are HW faculty, that is) explaining that the previously announced deadline (of Monday) was a deadline that HE gave (one of those soft-academy-deadlines-that-isn’t-really-a-deadline-but-is-meant-as-encouragement-to-all-of-us-faculty-who-let’s face-it-never-met-a-deadline-we-didn’t-miss ( those are my words not his)) that was meant to simply encourage us to get applications done and submitted as soon as possible and give all those people who really, really, really want a deadline a deadline to work with. Sent with good intentions, it, nonetheless created some confusion, which he quickly and thoroughly clarified to our collective appreciation.

And so we turned, with high hopes, to our Inbox watch to await the official invitation from District, which we hoped would answer any lingering questions. It came today. And when I finished reading it, this was the sound I made: Grrrrrrrrrrr…..(New information: 7th task force on adult ed, and deadline of October 15th; Information Not Included: Answers to every other question about how these task forces will work asked at the original presentation, the follow up forum, and the various postings on the topic since this Plan was announced. Rather disappointing. Also, aggravating.) This is what it says, in case you missed it:


October 8, 2010

Faculty, Staff and Students:

We were excited to see so many of you at the Case for Change presentation held at all seven colleges on Friday, October 1, 2010.  Many people expressed a sincere desire to help in the effort to reinvent the City Colleges. It’s going to take a real commitment from all of us to make this transformation a success.

Here’s how you can get involved:

For those ready to be a part of the Reinvention initiative and able to commit to dedicating about the next nine months to joining one of the task forces, either full-time or part-time, we are requesting that you email us at by Friday, October 15th. We encourage applying sooner if possible; there has been a great deal of interest to date already. (If you can’t make that significant of a commitment at this time, additional options are outlined below.)

Below is a recap of the task force choices. These task forces will form the core of the reinvention effort, focused on reinventing CCC to drive student success:

1. Program Portfolio Design

  • Revamp program offerings to increase the economic value of credentials earned at CCC by aligning with the needs of the marketplace
  • Increase the number of transfers by better understanding the requirements of 4-year institutions

2. Student Support and Pathways

  • Improve advising, tutoring, job placement, transfer support, and other supports
  • Ensure each and every student has the best chance to succeed at CCC

3. Remediation

  • Drastically improve outcomes for students requiring remediation
  • Develop approaches to more quickly move all students needing remediation into credit programs
  • Partner with Chicago Public Schools and others

4. Faculty & Staff Development

  • Improve the supports and developmental opportunities to enable faculty and staff to serve our students

5. Operational Excellence and Optimization

  • Improve the return on investment of non-instructional funds invested across the colleges
  • Build an investment strategy fully aligned to driving student success
  • Develop a clear capital investment strategy for the future of CCC

6. Technology

  • Build the technological capabilities and systems to drive significant improvement in CCC data integrity, instructional technology, and non-instructional/support technology

7. Adult Education

  • Focus on increasing both the absolute number and proportion of ABE/GED/ESL students who advance to and succeed in college-level courses

Being a team member will not only be of great benefit to CCC and our students, it will also be an exciting challenge for you, one that promises to stretch and develop you professionally, expose you to new topics and techniques, and work hand-in-hand with District leadership to accomplish something truly transformational.

How do you get involved in a Task Force?

  • Be willing and able to dedicate about the next nine months to participate on one of the task forces, either full-time or part-time
  • Email us at by Friday, October 15th. We encourage applying sooner if possible; there has been a great deal of interest to date already!
  • Let us know:

o   Preference of task force

o   Brief biography, including skill set as pertains to the task force

o   5 of your ideas to address the challenges within your preferred task force’s focus area

  • · We will review these ideas and select the teams
    (Whether faculty, staff or students, we will work with you to find solutions to allow you to join the task forces, including substitutions for class coverage and coverage of duties at the college. If we cannot find satisfactory solutions to these challenges, we will find ways to get your input through the other options listed below.)
  • Get involved as a Frequent Collaborator, with a medium time commitment to contribute in areas of your interest and expertise

What if you want to be involved outside of a Task Force?

o   Participate on ad hoc committees that will have regular contact with the task forces

o   Participate in focus groups that we will be convening on topics of interest to you

  • Get involved as a Valued Contributor, with a lesser time commitment and a willingness to contribute in one-off ways

o   Participate in surveys to help the task forces understand how we can face these pressing challenges

o   Email us at with suggestions, comments, and thoughts about how we can reinvent CCC

o   Interact on the upcoming website (URL coming soon!) which will keep you informed and aware of all efforts related to reinvention

  • We encourage creativity—tell us how you want to get involved and we will make it happen!

Have an impact on student success at CCC –

Join the Reinvention initiative!

So, with a week to go until the deadline and no answers to the various questions we’ve asked along the way, what are you thinking?

I know of one department (not mine) that has had extensive discussion about who will participate and what it will look like for the department, and I’ve had a few conversations over the last 48 hours with people who were considering it, but had some dissonance about it (for different reasons in each case). Tempis fugit, nonetheless, and as the time is flying, the deadline nears. Perhaps they’re waiting to see what they get before making decisions about the where and how of it. Maybe they’ll let faculty decide those things. Maybe a god will come down from the sky in a giant machine and fix all of the plot problems thus far unresolved. Maybe we will just have to fly blind for awhile.

Given all of that, what do you think? Assume for the moment, that we’ve got what we’re going to find out until at least they know who has applied and how many–are you planning to do it? Do you think the rest of us faculty should?

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

One thought on “Think, Know, Prove–Reinvention Invitation (Official Version): Are You Gonna?

  1. This sounds so good. BUT, if you are old as I ma, this is the same stuff heard every 10-20 years in various institutions. They already know what they are going to do. This was evidenced by 10/1/10, at which one of the District officers stated that they had been meeting with each for a good while, with no input from faculty or staff. It is important to participate, if only to voice concerns, issues, disappointments, etc. Grab this opportunity, but be aware that the deal is already done. Perhaps by working together, we can change some of the stuff that has already been decided. My 2 cents, oh and is this thing monitored by the powers that be. 🙂

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