First CASTivity for Spring 2017

It’s about the P-word:



We are inviting all interested faculty to join us for a CAST Lunchtime chat on

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


CASTle (Rm. 1046).

Our English and math placement coordinators as well as our dedicated testing center staff will be present to talk about the new placement process and its impact.

See you there!


Upcoming Conferences


Over the last few weeks, Grace and I have received conference announcements from a few disciplines. Please keep sending those that you’d like to share.  Below are some conferences that are happening soon.


Upcoming Conferences

Chicago SNCC History Project (Black History Month Conference):  “From Civil Rights to Black Power”: Tracing the African American Freedom Struggle” (Fri, Feb 17, 2017 – Sat, Feb 18, 2017)

Roosevelt University

Theme: This is 50 years after the, very controversial, shout, “Black Power”, rang out, on a Mississippi highway, as part of the Meredith March Against Fear. It signaled challenges to the early integrationist, non-violent and leadership of the southern civil rights movement and the beginnings of demands for equity rather than integration, an end to old alliances and the creation of new alliances, tactics, leadership and a change in locus to a northern / national Black Power/ Black Liberation movement.

The Chicago SNCC History Project in cooperation with the SNCC Legacy Project and others will use this year’s Black History Month Conference to revisit this, understudied an often misunderstood but crucial, part of the on-going African American fight for freedom, social justice, and humanity.

At this historic two-day conference, through discussion, film and music, we will begin the study of such important period. A usual, this will be an intergenerational arena where we will count on the participation of those who were there in earlier days as well as those younger people who have now taken up the on-going fight for freedom, justice, and humanity.

21st Annual Illinois Community College Assessment Fair (February 24, 2017)

Prairie State College

Theme: Assessment: Just and Fair

The keynote speaker will be Norbert Elliot, Professor Emeritus at New Jersey Institute of Technology. The title of his presentation is “Ethical Theory, Writing Performance, and Assessment of Student Learning: Foundational Principles” and will address fairness in assessment and its relation to validity and reliability.

Proposal deadline: Friday, February 10

Submission and registration details are available at the conference website:

For questions, please contact Carolyn Ciesla (; 708-709-2949).

29th International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Math (March 9-12, 2017)

Chicago, IL

Oakton Women’s and Gender Studies Program 2017 Conference (Friday, March 24, 2017)

Oakton Community College, Des Plaines, IL

Theme: “In Challenging Times:  Women, Activism and Leadership”

Keynote: Barbara Ransby, the new NWSA President Proposal Deadline: February 15, 2017 Full details of the conference, including possible topic areas, and guidelines for submission of proposals, can be found in the attachment to this message.  For more information, please contact Kathleen Carot, coordinator of Women’s and Gender Studies, at or 847-376-7061.
Excellence in Teaching Math and Science Research and Practice (April 13, 2017)  

Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

53rd Allerton English Articulation Conference (April 19-20, 2017)

Allerton Park and Retreat Center in Monticello, Illinois

Theme: Addressing the Moment: Resistance and Resilience

This year’s theme, Addressing the Moment: Resistance and Resilience, invites us to consider challenges we and our campuses face in light of budgetary exigencies and changing political tides. With budgets slashed, MAP grants in jeopardy, and resources for higher education more fragile than ever, how do we find the spirit and equanimity to support our students and colleagues through our work in English Studies? Since our theme is suggestive, meant to invigorate rather than limit our discussions, proposals need not adhere strictly to our thematic invitation. As always, suggested proposal topics include but are not limited to composition, cultural studies, diversity, English education, first-year experience, English language learning, film, genre, literature, developmental writing, reading, cognition, collaboration, technology, placement, assessment, and Writing Across the Curriculum.

Proposal deadline: February 15, 2017

Please email a title and one-paragraph abstract of your individual, group, or poster presentation proposal to by February 15, 2017. Those accepted will be notified by March 1, 2017.

Introducing the HW Faculty Council nominees

Hey everyone!

HW Faculty Council is in the midst of elections for three new faculty council members since Domenico Ferri, Dave Richardson, and I will not be seeking re-election to the council.

We have four outstanding nominees for the three open seats: Jess Bader, Kristin Bivens, Theresa Carlton, and Molly Turner.  Per previous requests, we have asked that each nominee introduce herself.

We hope that these introductions will provide you with the information you need to make a more informed decision in this election process. The ballots should be in the boxes of all full-time faculty members by tomorrow morning.

So, without further ado:

Jessica (Jess) Bader

Hello! My name is Jess Bader.  I am an assistant professor and coordinator in the 3D area of the art and architecture department (AAD). I have been at Harold Washington for thirteen years. In those years we have seen the helm change in regards to chancellors and presidents. Because we have a tenacious faculty, our academic voice has remained strong. I would like to be part of this tradition. I have been a very active member in AAD. On the department level I serve on the AAD strategic planning committee. I was one of two sub chairs on the Space Committee, and I was a year-long substitute for FC4 replacing Theresa Carlton. Thank you for your consideration.

Kristin Bivens

I am Kristin Bivens of the English Department (since 2006), where I teach ENG 101, primarily, but I have also taught ENG 102, ENG 102 for science majors, and literature and film.  I am nearing completion for my PhD coursework in Technical Communication and Rhetoric.  As a rhetorician, I have found that my training has prepared me to closely and rhetorically examine writing.  This is a contribution I can make as a member of HWCFC.  I also serve on the Conference on College Composition and Communication’s Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession (since 2007); on this committee, I have researched and presented on contrapower harassment (i.e., students harassing teachers).  Additionally, with this committee work, I have established a network of colleagues across the country who have similar experiences that we as college faculty might encounter.  As a member of HWCFC, I see myself serving my colleagues as a committed member and advocating for our important roles at HW.  If you have any questions, please contact me at

Theresa Carlton

I have been a full-time math faculty member at HWC since January 2006.  Throughout my time here I have always been an active participant in department, college and district activities.  I served as a department representative on the local Curriculum Committee for four years.  I was then elected to serve as Chair of the Curriculum Committee.  As chair, I led the committee in writing a document laying out the responsibilities, membership requirements, job descriptions, and procedures the committee should follow when making decisions regarding new or revised courses for HWC.  I also served as HWC’s FC4 representative, attending the district-wide faculty council meetings and being a voice for HWC in academic matters.  As a member of HWC Faculty Council, I will work diligently to maintain the high academic standards that HWC has always achieved, and stand up for the rights of faculty, while always considering what is best for all of our students.

Theresa Carlton

Molly Turner

I believe our strong Faculty Council is the linchpin in effective self-governance supporting the highest quality academic and pedagogical standards in our dual-purpose institution.  I can’t think of a more important way to serve HWC and its liberal arts legacy than by actively participating in HWCFC to continue building and insisting on an environment of enthusiasm and cooperation among faculty, staff and administration. I have worked closely with the Placement Center for the last four years, evaluating essays and improving processes and in this effort worked with the Placement Testing Committee to reintroduce human-read essays to better serve our students. On the college level, I have worked diligently to develop our journalism program and advise the school newspaper. Also, I am currently on the core team of faculty and librarians from across the district to develop a news literacy course with a McCormick Foundation grant.  I have been on faculty since 2002 and served on Faculty Council from 2007 to 2008.

I have a friend who teaches at College of DuPage, and this troubles me. This seems like a situation worth following. . .

Silicon & Silver

The faculty at College of DuPage is under attack. After 13 months of stagnant negotiations, the full-time faculty at COD do not have a contract. Moreover, the administration has started a very public smear campaign (primarily on the COD website that is paid for with public tax dollars)  that is designed to create negative impressions of what faculty do and what they are compensated for. The administration has a whole office full of “spin-doctors” who are trying to paint a picture of faculty that simply isn’t true. Many of the “facts” that they are publishing are either blatant falsehoods or are only part of the story.

Photography faculty member Glenn Hansen is the president of the COD faculty association and is doing his best to put the basic facts out there in a clear and undistorted way. What’s interesting is that the administration keeps saying “The College” in reference to…

View original post 519 more words

FC4 President’s Address to the Board

FCCCC Presidents Address

CCC Board of Trustees Meeting

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Chairman Cabrera, Chancellor Hyman, members of the Board, Officers of the District, faculty, staff and all others present, good morning.

For this board report, I had prepared a nuanced and thoughtful discussion of remediation, of the City Colleges various attempts to address remediation and of a comparison with Mayor Bloombergs Start program in New York City, but that will be another time. Instead, I want to discuss the corrosive campaign initiated by the Inspector Generals Office and, in particular, the new posters that are displayed around the colleges.

This poster has in large red letters the word

Report and then lists the words Waste, Fraud, and Misconduct. It then lists all the ways an individual can submit this report to the Inspector Generals Office and reminds the audience that this report can be confidential and anonymous. Moreover, the webpage associated with the office says nothing about specifics of waste, fraud, or misconduct, just more verbiage about reporting incidents.

Please note a couple of things. The language is vague and legalistic; it doesnt tell the reader what constitutes waste, fraud or misconduct. Note, too, that the linguistic vagary allows anything to be reported, particularly under the cloak of anonymity: any rumor, any salacious story, any anger-driven narrative. Moreover, the language seems to be purposefully accusatory and assumes an adversarial position; it seemingly targets behavior that the accuser can claim as wasteful or fraudulent, but who can assess that? Only the Inspector Generals Office and only in secret: the Office can interrogate anyone it deems appropriate without revealing who made the report or about what activity is being investigated. It s intentionally secret, because, as the head of the department said to us in his presentation, you wouldnt tell the truth if you knew the reason why. This is a slippery slope, and one weve seen before.

The House Un-American Activities Committee and its Senate counterpart began just this way, by asking for information about activities, initially in a special committee on pro-German influence on the liquor distribution, and it bloomed into the fiasco of the 1950s in which fear and uncertainty ruled. Its the same language and the same techniques, and its divisive, destructive and detrimental to what, I believe, were trying to build at the City Colleges: colleges that encourage and support our students in their academic journey. And reporting on each other is not the way to do this.

In contrast, for example, the University of Illinois on its webpage for the Universitys Ethics Office, says,The Universitys Code of Conduct establishes guidelines for professional conduct and indicates those acting on behalf of the University have a general duty to conduct themselves in a manner that will maintain and strengthen the publics trust and confidence in the integrity of the University and take no actions incompatible with their obligations to the University.

Moreover, the University makes it clear what that process is:

Management employees [and it lists exactly who those individuals are later in the text] are responsible for detecting fraudulent activities or misconduct in their areas of responsibility. Each manager should be familiar with the types of improprieties that might occur in his/her area and be alert for any indication that improper or dishonest activity is or was in existence in his/her area. When dishonest or improper activity is detected or suspected, management should determine whether an error or misunderstanding has occurred or whether possible fraud exists. Management is responsible for taking appropriate corrective actions to ensure adequate controls exist to prevent the recurrence of fraud. It then goes on to list the rules and authority of the Inspector Generals Office, and it lists definitions and examples of fraud, which, and again Im quoting, Fraud generally involves intentional misuse or conversion of University property or resources for personal non-University uses.

This site assumes that there are areas of possible misconduct associated with particular positions, which ones supervisor can detect and correct, and that part of the supervision is the recognition of the difference between intentional and unintentional activity. Finally, the assumption is that the apparent fraud may have been perpetrated through error or misunderstanding, not that misconduct is rampant at the University. It is also noteworthy that there is nothing on this page about waste. (See

for the full report. Accessed November 2, 2011)

When we look at the Federal Governments Office of the Inspector General under the auspices of the Department of Health and Human Resources, it deals primarily with health care fraud, such as improper billing for closed or nonexistent health care or nursing home facilities, and it is clear about what does not fal l under its purview. It does not investigate, for instance, discrimination (race, sexual orientation, disability and so on) at the workplace; that is handled by the EEO officer. This webpage, similarly to the University of Illinois webpage, is a very explicit and detailed site that includes various compliance training resources and lists of examples of fraud and misconduct. Moreover, similar to the University of Illinois site, it assumes that no one wants to commit fraud or mishandle resources. The Office trusts its employees and assumes compliance. (See

for the full page. Accessed November 2, 2011)

Let me be clear. No one supports waste, fraud and misconduct. No one wants a whistle blower to be punished.

But this poster is different: This encourages an atmosphere of distrust among us all; it divides departments and colleges; and it focuses on absolutely the wrong thing, not on what were doing, how we should act to strengthen our mission and uphold the integrity of our institution, but on reporting what someone else is doing.

This is make-work, and its particularly pernicious make-work. Indeed, if the Inspector Generals Office needs to advertise for work, then we have too many individuals in that office.

We are unequivocal about this. This kind of campaign is absolutely reprehensible

and wasteful and smacks of overweening arrogance and misconduct. The posters need to be removed NOW.

Respectfully submitted,

Polly Hoover

President of FC4

FC4 President’s Address to the Board


FCCCC Presidents Address

CCC Board of Trustees Meeting

Thursday, October 6th, 2011






Chairman Cabrera, Chancellor Hyman, members of the Board, Officers of the District, faculty, staff and all others present, good morning.


For this board report, I want to focus on the process by which information is communicated among the faculty and the role that the various committees, including FC4, contribute to shared governance.


Let me first outline some of the various committees. Each college has a curriculum committee, made up of faculty and administrators, who review curriculum initiatives including changes to syllabi and the introduction of new courses and new programs. Most recently, some colleges have reconstituted other committees, which focus on shared governance and institutional integrity. The recommendations from these committees then funnel into the local faculty council, which oversees all issues either deemed academic or with some impact on the academic life of the college. I

m purposely vague here, because sometimes we discuss issues that are not strictly speaking academic, but we want to encourage a robust discussion with our colleagues on these issues or point faculty to the appropriate place for help.

Curriculum issues that have been vetted, discussed, and approved then go to the district-wide curriculum committee, and, in turn, are vetted, discussed and approved by the members of all of the colleges. As with the local subcommittees, the FC4 has also recently reconstituted a number of other district-wide committees, including one on tenure policies, another on shared governance, a third on procurements, and a fourth on administrative oversight. All of these committee recommendations and concerns are presented to the district-wide faculty council, of which I am the president.


One of the most important aspects of these committees isn

t what we do or dont do (though that is important) but what we communicate to each other. We do not have any role in contractual issues such as the size of the class or fac ulty load, but we may point people toward the appropriate person for answers to contractual questions. Each committee is, in essence, a monthly faculty development meeting in which we are upholding the institutional integrity and integrating the faculty into that process.

Who are the faculty who comprise these faculty councils, both local and district-wide? Full-time faculty vote at each college on full-time faculty colleagues to represent them on the various committees, and each committee then votes on its leadership.


And this is an important point. The full-time faculty decide on who their representatives should be, whom they feel they can trust to present their positions, whom they allow to vote on their behalf. But the committees do not always include adult educators and adjunct faculty as voting members; indeed, their inclusion as voting members has been a topic of heated discussion. (These are open meetings, so anyone is invited to attend and to contribute, but only the members may vote on the issues.) Moreover, faculty members are not univocal; these committee meetings can be lively events with faculty clearly disagreeing with each other. And the debate can slow down the implementation of recommendations.


This may seem like an unwieldy system, and we get complaints from administrators and faculty about the slowness of the process. Yet, although it may be imperfect, it does work to facilitate communication among faculty and to allow robust debate about policy issues that have profound impact on our students.


But one of the weaknesses of this system, which we are addressing, is the lack of engagement with the administration on these policy issues. We began in the summer with monthly meetings with the acting provost, Mike Davis, and we will continue with the new provost, Kojo Quartey. These meetings include our expanded executive committee and are extremely important to the institutional effectiveness of the City Colleges. Institutional effectiveness is really the driving force behind faculty participation on the committees.


Another positive collaboration between faculty (full-time, part-time, and adult educators) and administrators is the work on the performance funding review committees. As vice chancellor Antonio Gutierrez pointed out in his introduction to the committees, this is the first time in his twenty-three years at City Colleges that faculty and administrators have sat down together and addressed an issue to produce a document that affects us all, students, administrators, faculty and staff. We need more collaboration on this model.


Finally, all of this is predicated on trust and knowledge among and between faculty, staff and administration. The faculty is exhausted by trying to implement policies about which faculty and staff have had little or no input or which make little sense for our respective colleges. We need local control and oversight, not general edicts that work well for no one. This includes policies about tenure decisions, the question s about hiring and credentials, and the elimination or changing of programs without faculty input. Faculty have a process by which we discuss, vet and communicate policies and that process should be respected and not ignored. We may not be univocal on all things, but we absolutely agree on one thing: we are professionals, we know what we are doing, we need to be trusted.




Respectfully submitted,


Polly Hoover


President of FC4

Highlights of KPI Steering and Subcommittee meetings 9 28 11

Highlights of KPI (Key Performance Indicator) Steering Committee Meeting

September 28, 2011, 2-4pm

After a quick review of the project, we were given a timeline with deadlines.  Each subcommittee was charged with developing key performance indicators relevant to subcommittee.  Developing the kpis is mostly conceptual; it does not involve going out and gathering the data.

The next upcoming deadline is October 14th.  Each subcommittee will have submitted a first draft of their proposed kpis, and the steering committee will meet on that day to review(?).  The final draft of the proposed kpis for all subcommittees is October 24th.

Afterward, we broke into subcommittees.  Here are the highlights of those subcommittees as shared with me. Any questions about particular subcommittees should be addressed to those attending.

Remedial Education – Todd Heldt attending

The subcommittee discussed what is driving the KPI initiative: district’s strategic plan, the upcoming City Data Portal, state legislative activity around performance based funding.

Concern was expressed about kpis being used to evaluate individual teachers. It was reiterated that “individual teachers will not be evaluated, and that KPIs are not punitive in nature.”

The subcommittee discussed how district-wide kpis would be applied.  Namely, “individual colleges will get to decide how they want to meet that KPI.  Moreover, we can sort our student population and build kpis around different subsets of population, the idea being that if we know some of our students only come here for one semester, we can filter them. The process should be: Step 1) Figure out how to sort the students; step 2) Figure out how to measure “success” among those students (in the broadest possible sense); and Step 3) Show improvement.”

Their next meeting is October 5, 2011.

Transfer – Tom Higgins, Farahnaz Movahedzadeh, and John Metoyer attending

I don’t have notes from their meeting yet, but a tool has been developed by John Metoyer to solicit feedback regarding appropriate objectives and kpis (tools to measure objectives).  This tool –  a survey – is being distributed amongst the subcommittee and is being shared here to solicit feedback from the general HWC community.

Please take some time to complete the survey.  Here’s the link:

Their next meeting will be scheduled shortly, but they plan to communicate more regularly via Blackboard.

Student Services – Rosie Banks and Wendell Blair attending

(This is a shorter version of the minutes graciously sent by Janice Dantes)

Our meeting was dedicated to identifying objectives and discussing the broad role of student services in academic life, including challenges at the intersection of student services and academic life.

Student services has a very detailed annual plan, which we used to guide our process.

The objectives that we identified were as follows:

Increase four-year transfer

Enhance online student services

Build more partnerships and create more job placements

Improve student engagement and campus life utilization

Track services and student participation

Improve and provide access to technology

Improve access to financial aid/scholarships (financial resources)

Accurately capture student goals/intent

Intrusive/targeted advising

Effective communication processes across the CCC district

Our assignment moving forward is to review listed objectives and add any that are relevant to student services to the list.  Then, we will rank the objectives so that our next meeting will be dedicated to aligning our ranking of the objectives and developing appropriate kpis.

Our next meeting is October 12, 2011 from 9-10:30am

Again, please send all questions, comments, and concerns to the person(s) attending the relevant subcommittee and/or complete the survey.  We’d love to hear from you.