“I miss Cecilia Lopez because she really encouraged and supported professional development”

This statement was recently made to me by a colleague bemoaning the perceived lack of support for professional development. I was startled by this statement and then thought back to my own attendance at conferences when Cecelia was VP. I am sure that our current VP and President are very supportive of our attending conferences and other Professional Development events. But, it is true, I attended more conferences back then. However, I don’t think the fault is with local admin but with the process to get funding for those conferences. The process seems to change weekly (although probably only yearly) and the instructions on the updated changes seem to be incomplete.

For instance, now the process is all online. Scan in the documents and off it goes. But it isn’t really. First you have to get your Union person to sign off on it. They are not in the computerized work flow system. You have to fill out the old form for them and then, and here’s where I’m not sure because it is so unbelievably and unnecessarily complicated when all they need to do is add the union person into the work flow process. And if you would advise me to attend the FDW workshop on this topic, I did..twice. I have the powerpoint. It is wrong.  Anyway, I’ve not yet successfully negotiated the current process so I can’t really speak to it. I know this is a personal failing but I do wish the process was a bit more..transparent? I also know many of my colleagues are more tenacious than I and have succeeded in getting their professional development funded.  Well done!

Conspiracy theorist  would say that this process has been complicated to reduce faculty travel/convention attendance so that District/Union can keep the allocated money. Pollyannas might say this is the best that can be done for such a large community college system. Realists and …the “Realist” might say that the bulky checks and balance system imposed on City Colleges because of misallocation of funds by prior administrations is necessary.  I don’t know what is truth. If Chao Lu or the Business Department or those who have successfully negotiated the process would like to hold a workshop for those, like me, who are organizationally challenged, I would attend. I would attend, take notes and follow the directions. I would have little hope for success but I would try.

3 thoughts on ““I miss Cecilia Lopez because she really encouraged and supported professional development”

  1. I spoke at a conference on October 21st. I cannot get my reimbursement. It is incrediblly frustrating. This system definitely makes it more and more unlikely that I will go/speak/attend anything that requires reimbursement. It is a shame because HWC faculty used to regularly go and speak at national conferences as representatives of our institution and the great things we are doing. I am not a conspiracy theorist by any means, and I definitely think this system is designed to inhibit faculty from using it. 100 page manual to learn how to fill out the form beforehand and another 100 page manual to learn how to fill out the form when you’ve come back. In what world is this acceptable? I remember Don telling us that he was going to address the problem of “250 hours of work to get $1.00 reimbursed.” It has gotten worse and worse.
    Sorry- don’t know if you can tell, but I am incredibly annoyed. Armen is trying to help, but I don’t even know if he can get my reimbursement through this system.

  2. Shout out to Margie for adding a training session after the State of the College.

    “Executive Director Kent Lusk will facilitate an informative workshop on February 20, 2015 (same day as the State of the College) from 1:00-2:00 in room 407. The session will be in the lab so there will be an opportunity to logon to the system and learn with “hands on” how to use the system. Please join us!” Thanks Margie!

    I have received some helpful emails from District about the process. Still unsure if the union signs the old form or the new form. Hopefully all will be revealed at the training session!

  3. I’m shocked. I put in a reimbursement for my Fall tuition and already got it back! Mind you, I submitted the paperwork only a few weeks ago. I think it took one pay period for it to go through. Is this an indication of changes for the better? Is it dumb luck? Or did someone see my name (Mathissexy) and realize that I meant business?

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