As headlines, no less.
Here’s the version in The Chronicle.
Here’s the version from Inside Higher Ed (in which it is confirmed that our incoming President was hired under the new expectations and insisted that “No one was fired.” They also managed to wrest a comment from our Union leadership (“Hey-yo! A Perry sighting!!”). You can read it here.
The comments section of both should be interesting to watch…
Oh, and as a bonus (who doesn’t love bonus reading?) here’s a little piece from the Tribune on the Civic Consulting Alliance and what they’re doing for our new Mayor-elect. I found this paragraph particularly interesting in light of ALL of the events of the past week:
The author is the influential but low-profile Civic Consulting Alliance, the pro bono government consulting arm of the Commercial Club of Chicago, which is waging a public campaign for pension cutbacks for state workers under the mantra “Illinois Is Broke.”
No mention in either paper (that I could find) of the President’s thing, though. Not yet, anyway.
7 thoughts on “Yesterday’s News Made The News”
I was just about to post this. I like how it says that when asked, the current presidents had “not much of a reaction at all”. If only I could get back the hours spent thinking about, reading about, talking about, stressing about our current political situation here at HWC. What could I have done with those hours? How much better of a teacher could I have been without investing this number of hours in meetings and online conversations? I think we all need to ask ourselves these questions. Maybe it will be Tuesday’s question. The classroom is my sanctuary. I know that all of the rest comes with teaching, but the rest seems like far too much these days.
Thanks for reading my morning ramble. Now it’s time for work.
I struggle with this issue all the time, Mathissexy. How involved do I want to be in things outside of the classroom? How much should I even care? Yes, I realize some of these political/administrative issues have directly affected my classroom (and certainly will continue to do so), but I have to say, nothing so far in my ten years of teaching at HWC has drastically impacted, at least in a negative sense, what I do in the classroom–or how much I enjoy it. “Sanctuary” is the perfect word for the classroom, which means there’s a natural temptation for faculty to keep low profiles, teach classes to the best of their abilities, hold office hours as required, give a friendly “hello” now and again to colleagues, and then go home and get on with the rest of their lives. Forget committees, department meetings, professional development gatherings, Faculty Council surveys, The Lounge, the Union, Board reports, and the rest. I’m not saying that that attitude is a good one–or that insulating ourselves in our teaching makes us better teachers–but I certainly recognize its appeal and understand why many adopt it.
I realized after I posted that it may be interpreted in a way that implies the temptation you mention. My intent, and it’s worth voicing explicitly, is that I wish the time spent in committees, department meetings, professional development gatherings, Faculty Council surveys, The Lounge, the Union, Board reports, and the rest was more about teaching and less about issues that often feel like they’re out of our reach. There will always be issue, but it is discouraging to think that the conversation at CAST meetings, for instance, will center on reinvention related talk rather than, say, the scholarship of teaching and learning. BTW: I agree that the term “sanctuary” has that connotation, but when every meeting (with some exceptions) involves the same discussion about administration and politics and not teaching and learning, it can be a bit taxing and make me feel disconnected from our mission. BTW: Has our (HWC) mission statement changed? It looks different to me on the HW website.
The brief background given for Laackman said that he previously worked for Accenture, but if you look further it turns out that he was a big shot at Arthur Andersen, the corrupt auditing company that cooked the books for ENRON. Accenture was lucky enough to have spun off from Andersen before the ENRON debacle.
The new job description makes the critical mistake of valuing things that are measurable rather than valuing things that are useful to measure. It is a lot harder to measure an increase in reasoning ability than to count heads, and employers want people who can think. They know that a degree or certificate is not evidence of ability to think (unfortunately!). By putting the focus on graduation and transfer numbers, it will be easy to judge “success” but that will not translate into a better trained workforce.
It would have been bold, and much better, to have a president’s job description require reconnection between graduation requirements and reasoning ability (i.e. improve standards). That is harder to measure with numbers, and might require administrators to evaluate presidents by reading narratives rather than looking at graphs. Asking administrators themselves to have that kind of reasoning ability might just be too difficult!
The new description will do the opposite of increasing reasoning ability of graduates, because it is easy to get higher graduation rates if you just lower the standards! Perhaps that will now be the pressure on faculty from our presidents.
From The Chronicle:
“I have an obligation to ensure to all of City Colleges’ stakeholders I did everything I can to ensure we have the absolute best leadership in place,” Cheryl L. Hyman, the system’s chancellor, told The Chronicle on Wednesday.”
WHO ARE THE ‘STAKEHOLDERS’????
Per the Oxford English Dictionary:
1. An independent person or organization with whom money is deposited, esp. when a number of people make a bet or other financial transaction.
2. A person, company, etc., with a concern or (esp. financial) interest in ensuring the success of an organization, business, system, etc.
Both definitions concern me when used in our academic environment.
If you do not want to read between the lines then the stakeholders would be the taxpayers right? So that means US so were we in the loop? Are we pleased with this? Was there a townhall?
Were students in on this they are stakeholders too.