STATE OF THE COLLEGE October 26, 2012

I had promised a couple of friends to take notes because one was teaching a class and the other was taking a class.  I didn’t see Dave there so I’ll post. If he or the Realist would like to bump me or whatever, have at it. Also, I may have missed things or misheard things so anyone can correct me; I am not emotionally attached to my meeting notes.

I arrived 5 minutes late so I missed the very beginning. Personal observation: I miss when the SOTC always started 10 minutes late so we could visit with each other a bit. Some of us never get to see each other except at this event and when it is over; people are running for the door. I may be alone in wishing President Laackman was not quite so prompt in starting the meeting, anybody else have an opinion?

Anyway, when I arrived President Don Laackman (PDL) was reading from a student handbook? from the original Loop College. It is the 50th anniversary of our school. There were some amusing instructions/directions. It was entertaining.

Once this part was over PDL stated that 80% of conflict was caused by role confusion. His role was to provide direction, serve HWC community and thank us. He then thanked us.

He identified 4 recent outstanding examples of HWC which included 1) Castactivities and identified Andrew Kutcher and his workshop on Teaching in Web 2.0 (no applause here); 2) Transformation- Ellen Goldberg (lots of applause); 3) Assessment committee- Mike Heathfield (no applause); 4) Career pathways- Donyel Williams (applause). Editorial note: I’m sure we all meant to applaud Castactivities but he had just started the list and I’m sure we meant to applaud Assessment but he mentioned District personnel which might have thrown some of us off. So applause applause!

PDL then talked about some of the changes in the last 8 months. He began by identifying all those who had retired. Congrats to those fine people. He then introduced the 18 new hires most in student services.  I admit I didn’t listen very closely here. I looked around the crowd and noted the number of people texting, reading from their IPADs and in at least on case, GRADING PAPERS. Got to admire that person’s dedication.. Big applause for the new hires. PDL stated that he interviews ALL those for full-time positions. He then identified the promotions.

PDL mentioned other changes to HWC. He noted that the Taxi Program has been transferred to Olive Harvey. He then mentioned that their graduation rates are up. Editorial Note: I thought this was weird, was there supposed to be a causal link there? Did the transfer of the program make for a more successful graduating class? I decided that unless you lived near OH, if you travelled that far for the program you were probably motivated to complete it, thus the increased graduation rate.

The Wellness center is now in the taxi space. The other campuses initiatives were then mentioned.

Then next part was about stats. Enrollment is flat across the district but up at HWC. I heard 8.4% and 9%. I also heard that we graduated 522 last year up from 425 in 2011 and 382 in 2010.

PDL continued with some other changes. The business faculty met at 7:30am with business leaders to talk about business. There is a registration re-think with the goal to improve services such as having registration go late on Thursday and be open on Saturday so students can go through the whole process in one day. 2 years ago, 30% of students were highly dissatisfied with registration, today only 11%.

Also, somewhere there will be a fitness center in the basement for students but faculty/staff may be allowed to use as well.  Editorial Note: I did not see this recommendation in the HWC space committee report but I applaud fitness. I would also like to request a SAFE place to lock up our bikes. Currently those of us who ride our bikes have to bring them into our offices for safety given previous thefts at the outside bike racks.

The next discussion was of PDL’s Theory of Action: Great people working towards the mission. He then discussed how in the recent survey someone seemed to confuse the goals of reinvention with the mission. He read the mission and stated that we are not walking away from our commitment to the liberal arts. Applause!! He also stated that we have the highest transfer rate of all City Colleges.  No specific numbers provided. Editorial Note: I remember hearing this at all Pre-PDL SOTC meetings. It was good to hear that reiterated because I’m sure many of us never thought we were failures based on our graduation rates, we thought our students were going to University and this reminds us of that.

The next part lasted far shorter than I thought it would- over 20 depts. had representatives read their mission statements. Those departments included: HR, Academic Affairs, Building and Maintenance, Student Services, Registrar, Wellness center, Academic Advising, Transfer, DAC, Admission, Testing, Financial Aid, Security, OIT, Business Office (kudos for Kent Lusk for including the idea of service with a smile), College careers , Legal dept. (shout out to Caroline for grace under pressure), Art and Architecture (Ivan used the whole stage to break up some of the monotony), English Dept., Library and ESL had a video which was playing as we walked out (a bummer seeing Marta in the video and knowing she wasn’t here..we miss you Marta!)  PDL had stated there would be 20 mission statements, including HWC’s and his I counted 24. Whew, that was a lot of mission statements!

PDL should post his mission statement, perhaps on his blog. He ended at 10:45 by stating he was humble and grateful and he thanked us again.

Questions: Adriana! Sorry Adriana, I missed your first question. Post and remind me.

Maceo mentioned students request for a basketball team. PDL asked him to have the students show us the plan.

Can’t remember who asked this but it was about submitting midterm grades online. Big applause! Margie said she would look into this and was supportive of this initiative.

A plea for a meaningful graduation ceremony which would celebrate our students’ success, be respectful to their families and put the community back in community college was made and …. shot down:::((((

Brian Hill made an excellent point about the hospitality program at HWC which is accredited and what KK’s taking over of the program will mean. I remember when Brian first started working on this program. It made so much sense to have this program in the heart of the loop where there were so many opportunities for our students to work/intern in this field. PDL had little to say, had emailed the KK president.

And Kathryn Nash reminded us all the the Loop Players production of Electra is currently playing! Everyone should go out and see it!

Somehow Ephrem missed an opportunity to remind us all of the Blackboard conference on Nov. 9th so I’ll do it. Please guys, RSVP and go to the conference. If he gets over a 100 people he will quit sending out emails!

So, that’s it! Sorry if I left out anything. The President had his remarks written and I’m sure if anyone is interested he would happily share. He laughingly mentioned that he expected to be reviewed on the Lounge so go ahead and post away!

5 thoughts on “STATE OF THE COLLEGE October 26, 2012

  1. Nice set of notes, speechfromtheblock. Couldn’t of done better myself.
    I am surprised that you kept track of all the departments giving missions statements. Good for you. I wonder how many of them had to draft these statements for this presentation? I didn’t know security had a mission statement! A couple were wordy, but overall decent.
    Not only would I like to see PDL’s (BTW, I like the abbreviation/acronym. Hope you don’t mind if I borrow itin the future), mission statement, but I’d also like to see every single one that was read and those that were not read to make up for not being able to hear them all due to bad acoustics and microphovia; perhaps PDL could post ’em on his blog or, dare I request, on our official HWC website?

    I’m not surprised the chancellor wants to continue the all-ccc graduation romp and circus, err, I mean, pomp and circumstance. To do otherwise means she’d have to accept the past two have been failures. Don’t know how they plan to right a sinking ship? Unfortunately PDL is left with having to support the decision. What to do? Maybe give all the students ipads if they stay until the end?? Could always ask Rahm’s political and business partners to cover the cost. Who knows that may triple graduation rates too. (I’m not serious, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this half-cooked and insanely stoopid idea was actually bounced around at district meetings.)

    You’re funny with the comment about Ephrem and Bb. And you’re right. He’s a good guy. Must mean we’ve graduated from beginners to advanced users and don’t need as much hand-holding, right? If so, does that make me a scholar? (Sorry, couldn’t pass it up after hearing a mention of the 10K small business thingamajiggy. Are we anywhere near the 10K mark yet?)

    I’ll pass on my review of PDL. Save that for another date. For now, I’ll just say I miss hearing the famous words of past presidents when they would start to wrap up their speeches by saying, “Well, what is the state of the college? [pause for dramatic effect] The state of the college is…”
    I’m not sayin’ I want to hear it, I’m just reminiscing.

    Thanks again, speechfromtheblock. Ya done good.

  2. Yeah, great summary, sftb! Thanks. I was on the other side of a column for you (center, back right (from the stage), but my plans were to post an open thread for comments.

    One change: that was Brian Hill, not Brian Nix, with the question about the Hospitality Program.

    Great work, though. I especially enjoyed the personal commentary.

  3. D’OH. I fixed it. Thank you both and sorry if I stepped on any editorial toes, I can’t believe I missed seeing you PhiloDave. I hope anyone with comments still feels free to comment, share your personal observations and otherwise contribute!

    Interesting Bears/Carolina game:)

  4. Did someone mention Blackboard? I had every intention of promoting the Blackboard Conference on Friday Nov. 9 at HWC. I rushed down after my class to enlighten everyone about the stellar event, but the State of the College meeting ended before I could give my spiel.

    Here are the details. Blackboard, along with our own CAST, is flying in four experts to present a variety of topics. There will be not only a variety of topic, but they will be spread over three levels of difficulty. The levels are Blackboard Basic, Growth, and Deep. Blackboard integration and Collaborate will also be presented. Finally, we will get a sneak peak at new feature that we will have available this spring.
    A continental breakfast, lunch, and raffle prizes will make the day complete.

    I am very excited about this event and hope it will be a regular fall occurrence.
    All we need is you. Sign up today.

    Check 411, your email, and the Harold Lounge to register.

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