First off, let me say that I love the fact that their list goes to 11. Awesome.
Next, though I have no answers about who wrote it, my guess is that it is one of their “Internal Communications” people who drafted the initial version (after discussions about what was covered and most likely some review of the faculty questions and assertions in the comments to the post here), which was then run up the chain for review and approval by the powers that be. At least that’s how it used to go when I was at the CTA (often doing the drafting). It happened fast enough that they were likely already working on it when the announcement was made (reviews and revisions for stuff like this take some time), but it could have happened between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning when it went out.
I give credit to the District Office people for recognizing the need to provide some explanation for such a drastic move, and being willing to go on the record. Whether you agree with that or not, I think we’d all agree that these questions and answers deserve some discussion, so I’ve broken them out into chunks, which I’ll be posting through the weekend for consideration and commentary. Here’s the first bunch:
1. How did the decision to expand the college presidents’ job description and undertake a national search for candidates come about?
The Board believes that we must all be held accountable to the primary goal of our institution, which is ensuring student success. The Board made itself accountable for student outcomes and passed a resolution to that effect at the January board meeting. The decision to expand the Presidents’ job description to include student success goals is an effort to align the entire institution around these same goals.
In the previous version of the Presidents’ job description, there was no mention of academic objectives. This decision expands the job description to incorporate the following: 1) increasing the number of students earning credentials of economic value, 2) increasing the rate of transfer to bachelor’s degree programs, 3) improving outcomes for students requiring remediation, and 4) increasing the number and share of ABE/GED/ESL students who advance to and succeed in college-level courses.
The decision to hold a nation-wide search for candidates will ensure CCC has made every attempt to find the best leadership to oversee academic and operational aspects of the colleges. Current presidents are encouraged to apply for the expanded position.
2. How is this tied to the Reinvention process?
This decision was an administrative decision, and did not come from a taskforce workstream. It is part of an ongoing effort to align the entire institution around the primary Reinvention goal of ensuring student success.
3. Do you think CCC gave the current Presidents ample time and a fair chance to succeed?
Our students, our city, our nation has no time for us to wait to improve. City Colleges must be in a position to prepare our students for the jobs of today and tomorrow. By 2018, 63% of the jobs in this country will be held by someone with a post secondary education. We have a great deal of work to do to prepare our students to succeed in this new global economy.
4. Are the presidents being held accountable for low graduation rates?
This is not just about completion rates, though we very much need to improve from the current level of 7%. The fact of the matter is that our institution is not serving our students as it should be. Our entire team – from the Board on down – is going to be held accountable for student success.
Open for discussion.