Upcoming Conferences

conference

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.

Rosie

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: http://prairiestate.edu/academics/assessment-fair.aspx

For questions, please contact Carolyn Ciesla (cciesla@prairiestate.edu; 708-709-2949).

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

Chicago, IL

https://pearson.cvent.com/events/ictcm-2017/registration-d92237f82db14378aaa394e2c0a5d7a1.aspx?utm_medium=email&utm_source=HED_Math_ICTCM17_Registration_Oct10_SOC&utm_campaign=701b00000006Kt9&cmpid=701b00000006Kt9

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 kcarot@oakton.edu or 847-376-7061.
Excellence in Teaching Math and Science Research and Practice (April 13, 2017)  

Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

https://www.math.uic.edu/chicagosymposium

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 AllertonConference@niu.edu by February 15, 2017. Those accepted will be notified by March 1, 2017.

Check It Out

TONIGHT (and beyond)!

We’re sending you this email because we…thought you would be interested in Project&’s new initiative, Working in America.

One part photography exhibition, one part radio series, and one part public forum, Working in America chronicles the everyday challenges, triumphs and realities of working (and not working).

Working in America opens to the public tonight, Wednesday, September 14 at 6pm at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago–and we hope you will join us.

The free event will begin with a panel discussion led by Alex Kotlowitz, the author of several books including There Are No Children Here. Confirmed panelists include:

Ai-Jen Poo, Executive Director, Domestic Workers Alliance & MacArthur Fellow

Lynsey Addario, Pulitzer Prize-winning MacArthur Fellow, Project& Fellow, & Working in America photographer

Lucia McBath, individual featured in the exhibit, Mother, Gun Policy Advocate & Activist

Roque Sanchez, individual featured in the exhibit, Custodial Worker & Student

Jeffrey McGee, individual featured in the exhibit ,Facilities Manager & formerly incarcerated Drug Dealer.

Gary Bryner, individual featured in the exhibit, Retired General Motors Worker & Union Member, and subject in Studs Terkel’s book, Working.

Guests will then be invited to view the exhibit, which features the photography of Lynsey Addario, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and MacArthur Fellow. The exhibit was designed by Jeanne Gang, also a MacArthur Fellow and Architectural Review’s 2016 Architect of the Year, and curated by Jane M. Saks, the president and artistic director of Project&.

While viewing the exhibit, guests will be invited to share their own “Working Stories,” which will then be featured on our public archive at Working.org. To see a preview of submissions, please visit us on Instagram at @WorkinginAmerica.

Working in America is ultimately inspired by, celebrates, and brings forward the tradition of Studs Terkel and his influential book, Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do (1974).

Therefore, we invite you to tune into NPR on September 25 for our radio series, produced in collaboration with Radio Diaries. The series, which will air on both Morning Edition and All Things Considered, will feature both the unpublished field recordings of Terkel collected for the book and new content collected for Working in America.

To receive the latest updates and exclusive content about Working in America, subscribe to our newsletter. Please be sure to check your email and confirm your opt-in.

We hope that you will join us tonight at the Harold Washington Library!

Sincerely,

Jane M. Saks and the Project& team

Project& collaborates with artists to create new models of cultural participation with social impact. We amplify artistic voices that risk, engage, investigate and inspire, highlighting issues at the forefront of our time including: race, justice, access and equity, identity, gender, cultures of violence, human rights, and economic inequality. As we seed chance through artist collaboration, we spark chain reactions and consequences that set cultural participation in motion in ways we cannot anticipate or predict.

[www.working.org]

Is This Seat Taken: A Clarification and UPDATE

In my last post, I suggested that the District Office had not included faculty in their process for consolidating and revising the Policy Manuals and that neglecting to do so had led to substantive problems in the proposed revisions. That is not, however, entirely and strictly true, and so I am writing this in order to correct some factual omissions in my previous post.

Last week, I learned that our District-Wide Faculty Council (FC4) has been aware of and involved in the project to revise and consolidate the policy manuals. Rasmus told me that back in July, in his first meeting with the new FC4 leadership, he told them of the project and invited them to work with him on it. FC4 put together a committee of faculty from around the district, which they expect to make a standing committee, and the committee reviewed the draft revisions and provided extensive feedback. Rasmus referred to the faculty involvement in the policy revision/development as “unprecedented,” which is certainly true with respect to policy changes of the last fifteen years or so under Chancellors Watson and Hyman until now, anyway.

(DIGRESSION: Perhaps some of our friends with longer institutional memories than mine can say whether or not faculty involvement in policy changes has always occurred from the outside looking in. I can remember various policies being championed by individual faculty members–I think it was Bill Muzillo (HWC English) who proposed and shepherded through the historic change to benefits recognition for same-sex partners back around 2001 or so? I’m sure there were others; I know that the union has had considerable influence on academic policy over the years, too, though I recognize the differences between those situations and this project. So, maybe its “unprecedented” because there hasn’t been a project like this until the last 15 years or so? Anybody know more? END)

So, I was wrong to suggest that faculty had been left out of the process of this revision; what’s worse is that I could have probably accessed that information without too much difficulty and I should have. Apologies to our district colleagues for the misrepresentation and factual error.

With that said, you might be wondering, like I did, about the faculty input and the response to it. I was told by both Rasmus and Charles Ansell that faculty “had tons of feedback incorporated into [the] policy manual.” So I asked.

The FC4 leadership was kind enough to share with me their original report on the policy draft which featured concerns or questions (or both) about 14 different policies (some of which had multiple concerns/questions). At the top of the document is a statement that reads,

District officers, When the discussion first began regarding the creation of a combined policy manual for all stakeholders of the district, it was this committee’s understanding that this revision was not to include any substantive changes. The items listed below are of concern to this committee and the concern has been indicated. As a standing committee of FC4, we would be happy to work to vet changes to these items in the future, but do not believe that the changes should be put forth without the appropriate conversations that include faculty. Let us know what next steps we can expect.

To which the district officers responded,

Noted. We look forward to working collaboratively. We may not always agree on what constitutes a substantive change. We very much appreciate the time and effort the FC4 team has put into reviewing the draft documents and preparing this feedback.

The FC4 Committee’s document then identifies questions or concerns about 14 different policies,  (some with multiple questions/concerns). Various district officers then responded with answers to questions and agreement with/rejection of revision suggestions, with explanations for the latter.

Of the original 20 or so questions/concerns noted, five suggestions were incorporated without qualification; they were:

~A change on the cover page about the office from which the policy is issued;

~The removal of a table from the document deemed unnecessary;

~Moving a paragraph about grade changes from the policy manual to the procedures manual

~Adding “Fellowship” to PTK criteria;

~Clarifying and updating procedures for program sunsetting.

As you can see, these are almost all format or language issues–important, for sure–but NONE of them entail making actual changes to the proposed policies.

Of the other 15 or so concerns, one proposed policy change related to graduate credit for hours awarded for Tenure Process requirements was changed back, pending “further vetting of this issue.” The proposed policy was to offer 2 graduate credit hours toward lane change, rather than the current 4 hours, for participation in the Orientation and first year seminar “because it more accurately reflects the Carnegie unit (credit hour).”  Two other concerns and suggested revisions were rejected with explanations that were accepted by the FC4 Committee, and one other (about summer office hours) was tabled because they “are looking into this question.” Some of remaining questions became moot points on account of the above.

That leaves five major issues. They are:

~Policy 2.04: The use of ACT and SAT scores for placement into classes other than English 101; District stated that CCC currently uses these scores for placement, and “we anticipate continuing this process;” FC4 responded by reiterating that “This is NOT a valid use of this tool, as the tests’ own websites attest…Using ACT and SAT scores to place students into developmental classes is not a valid use of these tools. This practice does a grave disservice to our students. Do we really need to keep having this argument?”

~Policy 2.09 & 2.10: The awarding of credit for CLEP, ACTFL, AP, and IB scores: in response to questions about the determination of the guidelines and alignment with other institutions, district responded that there is no change to the CLEP, ACTFL or AP policy and that faculty had two months to review/provide feedback on the IB scores and faculty input was incorporated. FC4 did not recognize this answer as being a valid one. (I can attest, though, that this effort was made by the DO. On August 28th, Autym Henderson (Coordinator of Academic Processes) sent an email to Department Chairs saying, “The City Colleges of Chicago will be establishing a policy regarding the acceptance of IB credit. A SharePoint site with a wealth of information on various IB coursework has been created – we encourage you to visit the site, review the information and provide feedback specific to your discipline by Friday, October 23rd. We will review all feedback and incorporate your input where possible.” My chair forwarded that to our department and we reviewed and responded with feedback (or, at least, I did). Obviously not all Chairs did the same. Perhaps a different method could be used in the future.)

~Policy 4.10: Regarding the Consortium Agreement: FC4 asked whether HLC has approved the agreement. DO responded that HLC has “seen a draft” and that “informal conversations have been held” and that “HLC seems open to the type of agreement we seek, but more details are to be worked out.” The committee’s response was as follows:

“HLC requires that such a consortial arrangement (one in which the consortial partners may award more than 50% of the credits for the home college’s degree) receive prior approval from HLC before implementing any such arrangement. This consortial agreement has been illegitimately included in Board policy for some time, and it must be removed until HLC has granted approval. The Commission makes clear that the substantive change  desired by District Office requires a “formal approval…by a Commission decision-making body” and “in no case will such approval be retroactive.” In addition to removing Policy 4.10 pending formal approval, we ask that District please inform FC4 with whom they’ve held “informal discussions,” supply FC4 with a copy of the draft Agreement, and apprise FC4 of the “details…yet to be worked out.” Such a monumental change (as is recognized by HLC) necessitates careful, thoughtful review prior to implementation; certainly CCC Faculty Council must be involved.”

~Policy 10.23: Regarding faculty participation in future changes to the Tenure Process: the new manual removes a sentence from the current policy. Current policy states, “Changes to the Talents of Teaching, the Tenure Assistance Program, tenure rubrics or other changes to the tenure process will be a collaborative process with the mutual agreement of District Academic Affairs and the district-wide Faculty Council.” The removal of this sentence was noted by FC4, but not addressed at all by the District Officers. Consequently, FC4 reiterated, “We find it completely unacceptable that DO has removed the line stating that changes to the tenure process will be determined collaboratively with FC4 and the Policy Committee feels we must push back on that.” They even include a proposal that “Perhaps we could have an understanding that the TAP Team (TAP Leaders and coordinator) are delegated by FC4 to approve changes on FC4’s behalf, but something has to be in place to ensure faculty approval of major changes.”

~Policy 10.32: Mandating participation in the Early Alert Attendance and Early Alert Progress Report Campaigns (i.e., Grades First Use). FC4 asked when this was vetted through FC4, noting that this policy constitutes an addition to current policy. DO responded, writing:

The early alert process (GradesFirst campaigns) serves to identify students early in the term who may be struggling or need support. Alerts and the resulting support are key components toward our shared goal of maximizing positive student outcomes. This new policy was vetted by VPs and Deans, and it was patterned after the existing learning management system (Blackboard) policy. The addition of this new policy is considered a high priority.

So, in other words, it was NOT vetted through FC4 and (arguably) constitutes a change/imposition in working conditions. FC4’s response was right on the money, I think; they write,

Many concerns have been raised and this committee respectfully requests that this policy not be included at this time until it is vetted through FC4 with a good faith effort toward shared governance.  This committee would like to see data supporting the usefulness and effectiveness for student retention versus a control for multiple courses. DO is saying it is of high importance but who has determined that?

The week 1 requirement is a problem. If the student is not showing up they will be assigned NSW and the early alert then becomes irrelevant. The instructor does not have to reinstate the student.

Additionally, ordering faculty to use a particular software tool and requiring “at a minimum” faculty to submit feedback each semester is top-down management at its worst. Not only were faculty not included in any discussion, but the vagueness of the dictate is careless at best  (“at a minimum” and “faculty will be notified if college requirements exceed minimum expectations”). This is not only disrespectful treatment of faculty, but it is likely a CBA/Union issue. We ask that you remove this section or make it fully optional.

So, if you’re keeping score, that’s five suggestions incorporated (all minor format/language related) a handful that were delayed or resolved, and five that were rejected and continue to concern FC4, including mandatory use of Grades First, which is “a high priority” and, apparently, NOT a “substantive revision.”

So, I’ll leave you with the question: is this what “shared governance” looks like?

President Martyn Responds to (Negative Articles) in Crain’s and Sun-Times

In your email is an interesting response to this article in Crain’s and this article in the Sun-Times (also sent out over the Google list-serv on Sunday morning (thanks, Carrie!).

The response begins:

Colleagues:

I wanted to share this message regarding some recent media coverage of City Colleges and am happy to help answer any further questions you may have.

City Colleges of Chicago has been the subject of some negative media coverage in recent days, and I want to provide context for these stories, which make false accusations, mischaracterize our record and do a disservice to the efforts of everyone at CCC to empower our students for success.

And it ends with this gem, a point with which I whole-heartedly agree (and which seems to be offered without irony):

When others paint a biased and incomplete portrait of all of our contributions, it is critical to state the facts clearly so that everyone at CCC and all of Chicago can continue to rightfully take pride in the great endeavor in which we are involved.

I’ll leave you to do your own analysis and evaluation of the response in relation to the original articles. My question is a different one–did all seven President’s send out the same response? Anybody out there know if the other President’s sent out the same text?

The Chancellor’s Address (Yesterday) to the City Club of Chicago

In which, the Mayor reminds everyone of what a terrible job we were doing educating a student he met in 2011 (based on pretty much nothing other than his own sense of things and our graduation rate) before announcing the new Start Scholarship partnerships with 4-year schools and offering an easy, but fallacious, equivocation between improved completion rates and “improved educational quality,” before introducing the Chancellor who announces our “preliminary” (but impressive) numbers for 2015, explains the strategies of reinvention, and engages with various criticisms of Reinvention and ‘Consolidation’ using textbook examples of various fallacies including:

~”Straw Person” (26:00–has anyone made the claim that “students don’t travel out of their neighborhoods to attend one of the City Colleges”? I don’t think that’s the point that’s been made in various critiques of consolidation. That’s obviously false. The question/doubt is about whether Child Development students will travel to Truman, which is a very different question);

~”False Dichotomy” (at one point the Chancellor says that to help students out of poverty, we must choose to provide “quality over proximity” as if the two were suddenly mutually exclusive? Can’t we provide both? If not, somebody should tell Starbucks that their business model is deeply flawed);

~and more (How many can you find?) before building to a final argument that  manages to take credit for student success on account of changes and supports that have resulted from Reinvention while deriding critics for their calls for various forms of student support. Because students need to learn the lessons of tough love. They have to want it, be hungry and make it work. So, people who provide things for students that they need are “innovative” while people who criticize those plans or ask for other kinds of supports are excuse-makers. I should try this with my classes. “I have provided you with everything you need. If you say you need more than or other than what I have provided you, I will know you are a whining excuse maker. Toughen up! It’s true that I have provided you with no textbook, but I needed no textbook and so it can be done. Make it work.”

Amazing.

My favorite quote? Speaking of Mayor Emanuel, the Chancellor says, “Neither of us have time for complicated deliberations when decisive action is required.” (13:55). That made me laugh out loud. In truth, this Chancellor and her Reinvention have accomplished many good things; our Student Services were a MESS for years after decades of neglect and administrative impairment, and they are much improved (or at least much expanded and much more attended to). They have some significant evidence of achievement, it’s true. It is, perhaps, too much to ask that a little intellectual honesty be invited along for the ride down victory lane. Anyway, you should watch this:

College Night at The Goodman: Disgraced

Sam the Intern writes with the following information:Disgrace Flier

My name is Sam S., the marketing intern at the Goodman Theatre. With our season starting up, the Goodman would like to invite you to attend our upcoming College Night for our show Disgraced on Tuesday September 29th starting at 6PM. Join us for pizza, a discussion with actor Behzad Dabu, and a performance of this straight from Broadway play all for $10!

Click here for a PDF version of the flier if you’d like to hang one in your class or office.

Otherwise, help spread the word!