Department Chairs Meeting – February 2012

The purpose of this post is to let HWC faculty know what was discussed at the Chairs Meeting. You should contact or meet with your department chair for details and the full report.

February 3, 2012 – This was our first meeting of the semester and it was led by our new Dean of Instruction, Armen Sarrafian. Several invited guests were in attendance and the two-hour exchange of words and ideas went rather fast. I will not get into all the details in hopes that faculty will seek dialogue with their department chairs. Here then is a brief summary of the morning in the President’s conference room:

  1. Don Laackman shared a few words with the Chairs. As he approaches his first full year at the college, Don stated his appreciation for all the Chairs do at HWC. He also thanked Armen for all he has done to date. He also stated that District is focused on graduation rates and if I remember correctly, he stated that we currently have approximately 1600 students with 45 credits or more attending this semester.
    Don told the Chairs that we should start thinking about our budgets for the 2012-2013 academic year. He asked that we think big while considering our economy.
    Don mentioned that the new chair of our Board of Trustees, Paula Wolff, is one of his former professors.
    Don shared a few words about College to Careers and how OH and MX have a focus on careers. I’ll save you the details and ask that you read about it here.
  2.  Irene Castañeda introduced herself to the Chairs. Her title is Director, Career Planning and Economic Development. For more information go here.
  3. Ephrem had a few words to share regarding Blackboard training and CAST. I’ll let the emails from him and CAST speak for themselves.
  4. Brandon Pendelton told us that special assignments will need justifications and the approvals will be given by Craig Lynch. All special assignment justifications should be tied to Reinvention Goals and should have measurable outcomes. Armen (or was it John Metoyer) mentioned that most of our justifications fall under Goal 2. Go here to see the 4 Goals.
  5. Will Edwards, our Assistant Director, Research and Planning let us know that we can (and should) work with him to seek any and all kinds of data. Sorry, he doesn’t have a web page yet. Therefore, no link. (Sorry Will, I tried.)
  6. Last but not least, John Metoyer, our tireless VP, told us to check our webpages and report any errors to him via email. (I would recommend that you copy your Chair on these emails. I say this because just this week I received an email to participate in an online training session related to our website. I believe that after this training session, Chairs might have some control over the content of their respective department pages. More to follow as needed. Check with your Chair.)
    John also mentioned that vetting of faculty will now happen at the local level.
    Credentialing of faculty will be provisional for one semester on a course-by-course basis. The way I understood it, if Chairs want a faculty member (full-time or adjunct) to teach a course that they know the faculty member is capable of teaching, then they will be granted an opportunity to teach it for that one semester. During that semester, evaluations will take place to confirm that said faulty member is in fact credentialed to teach the course.
    Regarding linked classes, we were told that PeopleSoft is not able to do this. (My mind wandered to the talented individuals that walk among us; those individuals that have a knack for programing and how they could easily solve this problem. I just recently saw The Social Network so forgive the transgression of the mind.)
    John also brought to our attention that a handful of faculty piloted a new registration system of calling students. Long story short, the program was well recieved by faculty and it will roll-out for all faculty in the Fall. Expect to sit at your desks calling students during open registration. There will be documentation to complete so that we can keep track of our success with this new system. (For the long story, see your department chair or ask a member from your department that was part of this pilot program to share their experience with you.)

Those were the invited guests and their items of information. Here then are the informational items from our Dean of Instruction:

  1. Assistant Dean, George Bickford informed us that Adjunct Assignment paperwork is due February 15th. I believe this is the sheet the adjuncts sign to indicate their availability for the upcoming semester. This year instead of two sheets, one with instructions and the other with the form, there will be one double-sided sheet.
  2. Our Dean creatively solved the need to meet with Chairs twice a month. We will continue to meet on the first Friday of every month as a group. (I’ll do my best to post summaries on The Lounge.) For the second meeting, he will meet with each Chair individually to discuss specific department issues.
  3. Regarding registration information, there is new adjunct access to for final grade input. I’m not sure what this means, so I’ll let another Chair elaborate on this.
    The Day One class list is no more.
    There will no longer be notifications regarding final grades. This means you will not receive an email from PeopleSoft letting you know that a class list has been generated. You will be expected to know that final grades are due on your own. (I’ll rely on Dave’s Sunday night postings to remind me of this deadline.)
  4. Lobby security. It’s coming. Armen showed us a brochure of what these devices may look like. Radar will detect our ID’s as we pass between the devices. The technology and device may change, but we are moving to have this level of security installed in the near future.
  5. Budget talk. We were asked to submit all purchases by April 15th. Yes, the fiscal year ends in June, but we only have until mid-April to get what we need for the remainder of the Spring semester and the start of the Summer session.
    We were told that our college is looking into giving Chairs a monthly budget report.
  6. Tenure. There are changes pending and updates will be coming soon from our Dean of Instruction and our VP. For those of you non-tenured faculty members reading this, I wish I had more information. I know it is a nervous and stressful time for you, but I am confident that our Dean and VP will guide you towards the tenure track safely.
  7. Summer schedules were due last week and we are now moving to schedule classes for the Fall. Check with your Chairs.
  8. New copiers are here and the old copiers should be gone at some point. It appears there is only one new copier per floor and this presents a problem where there are two departments per floor. Apparently there was a lack of communication between parties that led us to this problem. Unfortunately, District is not ordering any new copiers.

That was about it. We ran out of time to discuss rotation points and smart classroom completion as stated on the agenda. The meeting was productive. If any Chairs care to revise or append, feel free to leave comments. Thanks in advance.

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