I thought I’d provide this update to all of our faculty members for following reasons:
1. We did not have a department chairs meeting this month, so this post takes the place of that post.
2. I attended and I don’t mind sharing my observations. That’s what The Lounge is all about.
3. I believe transparency is critical.
What follows is my take on yesterday’s event: The big Reinvention Reveal (the title is per PhiloDave’s Reinquestion post) at MX. These are my facts mixed in with my reinquestions and other remarks. They are in chronological order, as best as I remember, with exception to the hour-long Q&A where there was a lively discussion (and comments are certainly out of order, but the general ideas are present). Corrections by those who were present are welcomed (and encouraged).
- We met in the cafeteria on the 2nd floor at 9:00am.
- The agenda was presented to us by Alvin Bisarya and it stated the same as this earlier post.
- One faculty member raised the question/concern, prior to dispersing for the Gallery Walk, that we would not be coming back to meet as a group to discuss the task force findings and recommendations. The answer was that this was the only time we would be together, so thanks to this faculty member, an impromptu hour-long informal discussion ensued regarding the following topics:
- What will happen with these recommendations? How do we (CCC faculty) know the means by which they will be presented to the District and then be accepted or rejected? What will the justification be for accepting or rejecting recommendations?
- How do we know that our voice is being heard in ALL reinvention matters?
- How will we know that reinvention is a process that does take all “stakeholders” into consideration and NOT end up like the school color decision in which faculty were not considered before making choices. [At this point Alvin clearly stated that Reinvention had nothing to do with color selections and that he needs us to make sure we spread the word.]
- We were told by Alvin that all of the recommendations would not and could not be implemented immediately and that decisions had to be made as to how the recommendations would be prioritized. Because Reinvention was an ongoing process, this matter was still open and no definitive answer was available yet. Alvin mentioned that some recommendations could be made district-wide, others were more suited to individual campuses, but how they would be implemented was still not clear. We were told that this is why we had been invited to the day’s events so that we could provide feedback.
- Other faculty members wanted to know if the PowerPoint slides (from the opening remarks) could be made available on CCC’s website. [Alvin said he’d look into the matter.]
- There was concern that District would still do what District wanted to do regardless of our feedback.
- One faculty member mentioned that there was a lack of trust and communication between District and faculty and that these were the contributing factors to all of the above comments.
- I spoke up and asked if it were possible to vote on certain recommendations IF the District was unsure on how to proceed. The matter went back and forth and I mentioned that if District was unsure of what should be prioritized, then a vote could be helpful. [Alvin considered the matter, but was not willing to fully accept the idea. With that said, I do want to personally thank Alvin for giving me a good 45 minutes of his time during the Gallery Walk to further discuss the idea of the vote. I respect him for listening and understanding what I meant by a vote and how, if done the right way, about certain matters, it would empower the faculty, staff, and students of CCC AND it would give us a measured voice in the Reinvention process; more so than with what is happening now with the Reinvention blog. My apologies to a couple of faculty members who waited patiently while I spoke with Alvin.]
- A question was asked about what would happen to the Task Forces over the summer. There was an indication that some members would stay on, but there was a push to get new members. The follow-up question was how the new members would build on what the old members had accomplished. The answer was that all of the Task Force members were creating binders of information and leaving paper trails behind.
- The invitation to apply (once again) for the upcoming semester was made by Alvin and Scott.
- There was more back and forth discussion but I’ll let other participants fill in the void.
- I counted about 75 people in the cafeteria while we were in the midst of the discussion. A handful of HWC folks were present.
- I was, and still am, unclear as to why we were providing feedback. The task force members did their work. They made findings and recommendations. We provide feedback at the 11th hour. It was my understanding that the task forces would be making presentations to the District/Chancellor this coming week. How can our recommendations be fully included at this late stage? I didn’t have time to ask, but I am concerned.
- The same faculty member who started the informal discussion, asked that we proceed to the Gallery Walk to see the hard work of the rask Force members.
- I did not have an opportunity to visit all the Task Force tables due to my talk with Alvin. The boards looked informative. [Personally, I questioned if this was the best way to transmit task force findings, but given the short amount of time task force members had to prepare for the event AND given that Reinvention leaders were not going to have this event until a later date, I left the question alone. I was both glad and concerned that this meeting was made possible by the efforts of faculty councils and that Reinvention had not considered this a priority before the Spring semester came to an end.]
- We were asked by Scott (?) and Alvin to leave Sticky Note comments on the boards as part of our feedback.
- It was good to see the interactions of faculty and task force members during this Gallery Walk.
- Break-out sessions
- I attended two sessions, per the agenda.
- Session one was related to Faculty Development. A draft related to PAL (Principal Advocate in Learning) and TAP (Tenure Assistance Program) Seminars was made available. Stop by my office if you want to see it. [I told Franklin that I was concerned with the fact that per the draft, non-tenured/newly hired faculty were still being burdened with too many portfolio requirements AND a 15 hour teaching load.]
- Another faculty member raised the concern about one single solution for all new hires especially in the area of the 15 grad hours of courses needed. The point was that some faculty already come with terminal degrees and it would help to have track options.
- The question was asked as to who, according to the draft would mentor new faculty? Would they receive a stipend or release time?
- Session two was related to technology. Not as many faculty were present since we had exceeded the allotted time.
- The task force members spoke of using technology to assist all students.
- They thought of perhaps finding a way to provide laptops, or tables, or other technology to students since some may not have computers at home.
- My concern was that this would become the new i-pass of the future and that we should increase open lab hours instead of subsidizing an electronic device for students.
- Scott came around to inform us that time was up. Poster boards were gathered and that was that.
- The task Force members were glad to see us. I heard more than once that we are always welcome to stop by the 6th floor offices if we wanted to know more. That was encouraging.
- I also heard more than once from faculty how they had no idea how much Task Force members had done over the past 15 weeks. Task Force members were somewhat shocked that we didn’t know how much they were doing on the 6th floor. As one faculty member stated, ‘we have a void in communication’. I couldn’t agree with him more after the day’s events ended.
- Faculty consistently asked, “How come this information isn’t up on CCC’s website?”
- I was left feeling ambivalent as to where we go from here. I was also left with the impression that this event needed more time to be planned out better. The idea was good. The execution was not; but that is just ONE faculty member’s opinion. I’ll let others weigh in.
- As I write this today, I’m still wondering: How will our verbal and written comments affect the final recommendations? If anything amazing or remarkably insightful was said or written, would I, as a Task Force member, go back to the drawing board and reinvent my final recommendation that will be made to the District in a matter of days?
A BIG THANK YOU to our local administration, specifically our Dean of Instruction for recognizing the importance of this meeting and canceling our scheduled May Chairs meeting. Thanks Donyel!
A BIG THANK YOU to all of the Task Force members who approached their task force responsibilities with such dedication and responsibility. Proof was in the pudding. If only ALL faculty, staff and students could see your work via CCC’s website.