Julie Andrews Joins CCC Board

The following post is written by Professor Michael Heathfield


Apparently at the February 4th Trustees meeting faculty and press were presented with an all singing and dancing performance of Chicago style political theatre.  It was tragically evident many six-figure salary executives had toiled long and hard to pull this performance off.  A note to the scriptwriters – too many mentions of the word “confidence” betray sloppy writing and weak direction.


If the wonderful Dr. Cecilia Lopez had been there, she would have surely provided the performers with an exact word count for “confidence”.  Many years ago she did this to me with an over-used phrase when she observed my teaching.  After her precise note on my limited vocabulary, with the support of my students, we implemented a successful six-week program to wean me off of my rhetorical over use of, “Does that make sense?”.


So I won’t use it now while I comment on the tawdry performance orchestrated by a group of unelected, politically connected, knowledge-deprived cast of characters. OK, I admit Julie Andrews was not there, but for the rosy and effusive beautification ceremony of Chancellor Hyman, she should have been.


Can we please inject some facts into this hyperbolic exaltation of Chancellor Hyman’s heroic ride on her chariot to save CCC from the unbridled mess we had made of public education before she arrived to bless us with her corporate gifts?

The Wellness Center originated from HWC’s Women’s Committee and the formidable Distinguished Professor Dr. Sammie Dortch.  Chancellor Hyman had nothing to do with it.  She claims it now as one of her many successes, much like Rahm tried to claim the work of numerous community activist during his re-election campaign. This chariot rides roughshod over faculty creativity that now services of all our students.


The Star Scholarship Program has been around for years and was not a Hyman or Rahm idea.  Our Chancellor has re-made it into a tuition re-distribution program that creams money from part-time and international students and gives it stronger performing CPS students.  ‘Cos those little ponies ding the one and only metric bell on the way to Bonusland.


Each of the seven real campuses has had numerous strong community partnerships for years.  This savior’s chariot is not blazing a new trail of community relationships at all. Try this little practical HWC history test – yes, you can do it too, Campus Zero!


Go to the faculty tab in your lovely new myCCC.edu and search for the class Soc Ser 248 at Harold Washington College, from 2003 through 2016. Read the system section code that this class has – CAP1. Not a standard CCC section code, in fact it isn’t one.  It’s a history marker.


It stands for the Chicago Area Project – a venerable eighty-five year old not for profit that actually reinvented this long dead course as the first in a sequence that eventually led to the youth work degree – in partnership with HWC. So, Campus Zero can erase the program but they can’t take community partnership evidence out of our CCC system history.  The Chancellor’s chariot had not rolled one wheel when this collaboration began.


Let’s just mention the ecstatic higher education of waves of joy presented at this meeting from our very important academic partners in Chicago. Does the Board not know of the “cease and desist” letter from UIC demanding that they be removed from any CCC materials relating to the euphemistically labeled “consolidation” of all Child Development programs? Clomp, clomp, clatter.


And shame on you, Representative Rush, for reading from a script not written by you and short on any factual knowledge of the subject. “(Faculty) fight change with everything they have” – Washington and Chicago political trash talk.  All faculty I know face change every single time they walk into a classroom.  The Representative needs to know that Campus Zero is a really, really slow bloated bureaucracy bursting with the well paid and the privileged – something all in Congress are very knowledgeable about. Yet Campus Zero can move like the wind when it is politically and professionally expedient to do so.  That would be when the Chancellor’s whip lashes in front of your face.


In my Saturday January 30th post I mentioned that Campus Zero did not have any system in place to get PAC approved changes into any CCC materials despite numerous attempts.  Boy was I wrong! You know, as a supportive and flexible faculty member eager to move my students to graduation – I made some program changes; really ho hum Reinvention stuff from positive faculty.  Well ride over both my legs with that chariot!  I got an email on Wednesday (February 3rd) from Campus Zero informing me my prerequisite changes were now in all catalogues and materials for students and advisors.  Four days!


Chancellor Hyman cracks a mean whip.  Only two minor problems for her speedy change agents, they were responding to my email from 2013, and I guess no one told them that the program had been closed. Crack, crack, clunk.


Grace and warmth in the presence of challenge is a really useful workplace quality.  So, all together now (English accent mandated):


“I have confidence, in confidence alone.  Besides which, you see, I have confidence in….”

One thought on “Julie Andrews Joins CCC Board

  1. Michael, thank you for “injecting” the facts and for providing us with an example of maintaining warmth and grace in the presence of challenge. Your exceptional inclusion of onomatopoeia made this information lighter to bear. I’ll begin to practice the mantra you suggested (and work on my English accent!) immediately in hopes that it will suppress my regurgitation reflex ((releases hair from clenched fists and stops head from shaking)).

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