FC4 moves to file complaint

Posted on behalf of FC4 President, Jennifer Alexander

June 17, 2016

Official Statement: The Faculty Council of the City Colleges of Chicago (FC4) Calls for an Investigation

Over the past two weeks, in an apparent attempt to justify their decision to consolidate six Child Development Programs to Truman College, the District Office of the City Colleges of Chicago has disseminated the following documents to stakeholders including Aldermen, media contacts, and the Mayor’s Office: 1) a PowerPoint Presentation, 2) a document entitled “The Facts About Child Development Programs at City Colleges”, and 3) a document entitled “Child Development Programs Information”.

Faculty researched the data presented within the documents listed above and have found them to contain misleading and erroneous information. In addition, faculty have discovered that over the past two years at least 120 Child Development Basic Certificates were awarded from Truman College to Child Development students who have not taken any courses at Truman.

The Faculty Council of the City Colleges of Chicago (FC4) is the elected representative body of all full-time City Colleges of Chicago faculty members. The charge of FC4 is to “represent and be responsible to the faculty in all matters of general academic policy such as curriculum, program development, academic freedom, and professional development in an advisory, consultative, and planning capacity to the Chancellor and to the Board of Community College District No. 508” (Constitution of the Faculty Council City Colleges of Chicago).

On June 15, 2016 FC4 held an emergency meeting and the following motion was passed:

FC4 will file a formal complaint with the Office of the Inspector General, the Board of Trustees, PACC, the Illinois Community College Board, the Higher Learning Commission, the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and the Department of Education seeking an investigation of the City Colleges of Chicago’s reporting on the number of completions for all Child Development Programs across the district, including all reports that have been submitted to ICCB, HLC, DOE and any other external agencies over the past two years.

This letter serves as a formal complaint.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the Faculty Council of the City Colleges of Chicago

Jennifer Alexander, FC4 President

A call for an investigation

Over the past two years over 100 Child Development Basic Certificates were awarded from Truman College to Child Development students who have not taken any courses at Truman.
Based on this information, the District-wide Child Development faculty team is calling for an investigation of CCC’s reporting on completion rates for all Child Development programs.  Completion rates are used for a variety of purposes for internal decision-making, but also for external accountability so it’s important that they are accurate.
The Child Development faculty team urges FC4 and any other faculty groups to act now and call for a full investigation.

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?

HWCFC’s 411;)

Hi All,

I have some items of interest to report, gleaned from communications from District, the 11th floor and from other faculty and staff. There are many things being discussed but these are some highlights. If you know something which should be highlighted, let me know!

  • Reinvention 7
  • Federal Financial Aid Restrictions
  • New Hires for Fall 2013
  • Class time Audit
  • Copier/printer issues

For specifics, read on!


Faculty Council Corner

Faculty Council Corner is a regular Thursday morning-ish feature (that sometimes shows up later) , presenting an open thread for you to bother your HWFC members with pressing questions (or for us to post the pressing questions that you have). Also, you can expect this to be the forum where we post regular updates about what is happening with Faculty Council and when.

This Week’s Updates: Nothing much new this week. We are, however, semi-desperate to find some faculty who are willing to serve on the District Wide Faculty Council (FC4). They meet on the last Wednesday of every month at 3pm (I think), usually at Malcolm X, and HW is supposed to have three elected members and one appointed by HWFC. As of right now, one of our elected members (unfortunately for us, but due to good things for her) had to resign and has been replaced by appointee (and awesome person) Jess Bader. Another of our elected members is on Sabbatical this spring and still needs a substitute for the rest of the semester. A third of our elected members notified us this week that she won’t be able to continue serving on FC4, given her duties with Reinvention and so also needs to be replaced. Rosie is our HWFC appointee.

In other words, we have two of four possible votes on the District wide council accounted for and two that need appointing. Any and all interested parties are encouraged to contact one of your HWFC reps. Appointees must be full time faculty but need not be tenured. Let us know if you’re interested.

Last “Week’s” Pressing Questions: Nary a one. Nothing, that is, except for what the Mayor’s speech means for our colleges. I guess that one counts. Nothing else, though.

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: http://www.tfaforms.com/219509

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.

For Reference: FC4 Resolution on Academic Freedom

REPOSTED from April 7, 2011:

There was discussion about this resolution and its contents at both the Humanities Discipline meeting and yesterday’s Local FC meeting; to make it easier to find for everyone, I’ve just reposted the original announcement here:

Speaking of Academic Freedom, your District Wide Faculty Council Executive Committee (expanded at the last FC4 meeting to include–along with the FC4 President, Vice President, Secretary and Committee A Chair–the seven local FC Presidents) met with the administration yesterday to present them with a request to enact by board rule a resolution about academic freedom, to demonstrate in action the kind of support for academic freedom that the Chancellor suggested in words at her last meeting with the Executive Committee, and to which the Chair of the Board did not object.

The resolution was originally drafted and adapted from the AAUP statement(s) on academic freedom, and then reworked over the course of an hour’s discussion by the District Wide Faculty Council, shepherded expertly by Truman FC President Joy Walker and a few others whose names I didn’t record (alas!–sorry!!). It reads as follows:

The College curriculum, including entrance and exit tests, text book and instructional resources, student grading, the content of syllabi for credit courses, developmental courses and library instruction, departmental polices and all modes of course content and delivery, is the responsibility of the faculty. The faculty must give approval to all academic policies prior to their implementation.

The faculty pledge in good faith to work with the administration, and with colleagues across the district, on academic policies under the agreement that individual faculty members and departments have the final say on all of the aforementioned curricular decisions.

The resolution was presented to the Board this morning, in the hopes that they agree to concretize in Board Rule the stated beliefs of the Chancellor and Board Chair. I will have updates on any action taken when any action is taken on it.

Polly Hoover’s Address to the Board – 8/4/11

In case you missed it. . .


FCCCC President’s Address

CCC Board of Trustee’s Meeting

Thursday, August 4th, 2011



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


My name is Rosie Banks, and I will be reading Polly Hoover’s address to the Board of Trustees. Polly is out of the country and has asked me as the Harold Washington Faculty Council President to give this address.  Any comments or criticisms should be addressed to Polly.


Indeed, most faculty grab at this short window of opportunity between the end of the summer semester and the beginning of the fall session, this very week, to take a deep breath and to cut the technological tethers and to get out of town. I have graciously stepped in to represent FC4.


This is just a brief update. Coming in September, Polly will address in detail the idea of community and its ramifications for our community college students. Later in the fall, she will examine remediation challenges, initiatives to improve communications across the colleges and with District Office, the roles of Faculty Council both at the local and at the district levels, and the complexities of alignment with the Chicago Public Schools and with our four-year feeder institutions.


Until then, these issues are in the Faculty Council’s current playlist: we are in the process of scheduling a meeting with our new provost, Kojo Quartey, completing arrangements for Faculty Development week, and preparing for the Faculty Council retreat in mid-August. This is in addition to the work on course development and curriculum, on hiring new faculty, on establishing new committees, on advising for the new year and, in general, on anticipatory work for the new semester.


We have much to do and many things to consider; let’s all prepare for an instructive and collaborative partnership.


Respectfully submitted,

Polly Hoover via Rosie Banks,

President of FC4

FC4 President’s Address to the Board

FCCCC President’s Address

CCC Board of Trustee’s Meeting

Thursday, July 14th, 2011



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


My name is Suzanne Sanders-Betzold, and I will be reading Polly Hoover’s address to the Board of Trustees. She is at a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar on integrating the arts into the liberal arts curriculum. Any comments or criticisms should be addressed to Polly.


For this board report, I want to focus on shared governance and what the faculty sees, on the one hand, as a lost opportunity and, on the other, encouraging changes.


In teaching, one of the most powerful answers to any question is: “We don’t know. Some scholars argue for this answer for these reasons; some scholars argue for that answer for these other reasons.” Such a nuanced response both astonishes students who may wrongly believe that disciplines are monolithic and unchanging, and it also allows intellectual space for the students to engage in informed debate on the subject. If done correctly, this isn’t an admission of scholarly weakness, but a model of academic informed debate. This exercise allows students to participate in the acquisition of disciplinary knowledge, to learn through modeling the process of disciplinary debate, and to challenge their own assumptions about the discipline. The ensuing discussion isn’t just about the answers; consensus isn’t the main goal; and disagreement may be more fertile than agreement. In the process, we all deepen our understanding and ensure engagement.


This is also the paradigm informing the theory of shared governance: that trustees, administrators, faculty, staff and students have a shared desire to ensure the integrity of the institution, but may disagree on the mission of the institution, the goals of the curriculum and the means to attain them, and even how to encourage informed debate, transparency in governance, and dialogue across the disparate parties. The principle of shared governance is not about the power of one or another individual, or a particular position, but the collective power of the institution; it assumes that we are a much stronger institution if all the parties participate in a robust manner in the debate and contribute to the discussion (whatever it may be). And please note that the board meetings reflect this configuration of power, though some of us are less well represented than others.


First, the lost opportunity. The faculty is concerned by the limited representation in the process that brought us our new presidents and the new provost. We depend on these administrators to support the academic policies, to maintain fiscal responsibilities, and to strengthen our colleges; we are partners in this endeavor, not adversaries. And so, the process by which we saw new leadership could have been an opportunity for robust collaboration; instead, particularly with the decision for a new provost, the process seemed opaque and exclusionary. We, and by that I mean the institution, the City Colleges of Chicago, need the faculty in this discussion in more than a nominal manner.


But let me talk about the successes of the past few months. We have seen encouraging changes in faculty representation in important areas. At Faculty Council of the City Colleges of Chicago (FC4), we have expanded the governing body from the president, vice-president, secretary and curriculum chair to include the presidents of the local faculty councils. We are re-examining shared governance and our contribution to the debate; indeed, we are re-activating the various subcommittees, which had become dormant, to ensure our participation. Moreover, we are articulating the process by which academic decisions are made and debating our role in the process. We are a re-energized group.


In addition, this group of about a dozen individuals who represent all of the colleges have begun meeting with Associate Vice Chancellor Mike Davis (acting as provost) to discuss such issues of academic importance as textbook adoption, grading policies, transfer alignment, and procurement and preliminary budgets, and we have contributed to the Faculty Development Week schedule decisions. Our agenda and his agenda have become the agenda in the meetings, and we want this collaborative agenda to continue under the new provost.


And we have begun a productive dialogue with Vice Chancellor Alvin Bisarya and his team members. Since February, both individually and as a group, Vice Chancellor Bisarya and representatives have informed us about the task force recommendations and have encouraged faculty input about those recommendations. Indeed, the Task Force committees are scheduled to present the recommendations to the entire faculty during Faculty Development Week, and we commend the effort coming from his group.


In sum, we cannot become a more successful institution without robust debate and strong engagement from all of the partners in this enterprise. It may be slow; it may be sloppy; it may be contentious. But, in the end, the institution is stronger for it.



Respectfully submitted,

Polly Hoover via Suzanne Sanders-Betzold

President of FC4



Your Faculty Council at Work: FC4 and Academic Affairs Meeting notes

Notes from Executive Committee/Academic Affairs meeting – July 6, 2011, 4-6pm


Guests: Diane Minor, Associate Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services, John Sugrue, Director of Facilities Management, and Sheila Johnson, Director of Procurement Services


Diane Minor discussed the basics of her area.

There are four functions of her office

Capital Planning and Development

Facilities Management and Administration

Procurement – Minority and Women’s Business Development

Off Shoot facilities (Auxiliary Services)

Each college has a facilities manager

They just completed a five-year capital assessment to determine needed upgrades or additions.

This capital assessment was developed through meetings with the president, vice-president, and chief engineers at each college.

The capital plan will be posted online this week for each school

There are currently more projects than funds

The plan does not identify funded vs. unfunded projects; however, the plan is prioritized in terms of safety and security (fire alarms/hazmat, etc), the building envelope, technology with academics, and Security (security desks and parking lots, etc)

Supervision of engineers and janitors will transition from chief engineer to the facilities manager

Her office will be looking at sustainability and compliance with ADA requirements.

Auxiliary services will already work on reducing paper: what can be scanned, stored, thrown away

They will also look at beefing up the reprographics centers at all colleges so that they can be more efficiently utilized by faculty, staff, and students.


What are we doing to support current services at the various colleges? Reprographics machines are constantly breaking down, etc.

We are currently out for bid for new reprographics machines.  We’ve received five responses and a team is reviewing the bids.

Are we considering increasing bandwidth in addition to the technology?

It is on the capital projects list. We need to increase bandwidth, upgrade wiring, and upgrade desktop units throughout District.

When the five year capital assessment plan was developed, did you meet with faculty?

We did not meet with faculty directly; we got directly with academic affairs who we assumed were working with faculty.

We would like a more direct inclusion of faculty on the capital assessment; we have a facilities committee, and they should be included in this plan.

That’s a great idea.  There was a general discussion of ideas around modes of formal inclusion of faculty

One of the challenges is that as we move toward greater centralization, the processes by which we include faculty also are changing.  When the schools were mostly autonomous, this was less of an issue.  With increased centralization the plan is to meet with each college every other month to get a sense of what’s needed in terms of upgrades and procurements.

We would encourage a much more holistic approach as opposed to a segmented approach in procurements. Having greater inclusion of faculty – a committee process – would make it easier to develop a holistic approach to facilities management.

There was a request for more scanners.

Can you print or make available a succinct list of current approved vendors and services for faculty?


A list of approved vendors is already on the intranet – in the procurements area. There’s also a list of current approved MWBd on the city’s website.

We are piloting a shuttle bus service in Fall 2011.

This service is primarily for students who are taking classes at more than one of the sister colleges.

However, it will also replace the need for excessive use of courier services.

There was some discussion of whether students are taking classes at multiple colleges because of cancelled classes. Local administration determines which classes run and which don’t.

We may be moving toward tobacco-free campuses; this is still in discussion.

Sheila Johnson welcomed contact if there’s a need for materials for say lab experiments or other predictable needs for teaching and learning.

Faculty Development week

There will be an opportunity to meet with disciplines. After the breakout sessions are in place, they will be looking for faculty in the various disciplines to set the agenda for the discipline meetings.

FC4 had an opportunity to participate in the selection of the break out sessions.

Search for Provost

There was great concern because there was no faculty and no academic affairs input; no one seemed to know anything.

The announcement will be made on July 14th at the board meeting.

Course/Catalog Issues

Political Science 201 and Sociology 202:  The prerequisites for these classes are being reviewed as part of a thorough Prerequisite audit in the catalogs and in Peoplesoft.

Catalog errors are being corrected automatically.

Other revisions will need to go through the PAC process (FC4)

There was assurance that the current options for development education students would not decrease.

We discussed Quick Enroll and there was a question of why most people can no longer use it.

There was some assurance that someone would look into why we can no longer use Quick Enroll

Some wanted to use Quick Enroll to offer more efficient chair approvals.

Review of Math 120, 165, 214, 216, and 225

The recommendation is to remove 120 (Modern Math), 165 (Computer Math), and 225 (Honors Math Survey 1)

There was no comment on 214 (Advanced Calculus for Business)

They were holding 216 (Statistics for Business Students) for further review

Textbook Issues

As usual, there is strong interest in reducing textbook costs for our students.

We were presented with some means by which other colleges and universities have reduced textbook costs, including the following:

Open Course Library Project for Washington State (http://opencourselibrary.wikispaces.com); Chronicle of Higher Ed End of the Textbook as We Know it (course fee model) (http://chronicle.com/article/The-End-of-the-Textbook-as-We/125044); Chronicle of Higher Ed- Mandatory <$30 text book prices in community college courses (http://chronicle.com/article/State-of-Washington-to-Offer/125887); MIT – Free online Course material (notes, homework, etc) (http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm); Carnegie Mellon Open Learning (http://oli.web.cmu.edu/openlearning/)

There was mention of student organizations, such as PTK, that are already working on this issues and a suggestion that faculty leadership collaborate with student leadership on this issue.

There was also a question of getting JSTOR as part of our library resources; a request has been made to have JSTOR.

Foreign Language requirement

The requirement has been reviewed by Foreign Language faculty from all colleges.

Some recommendations have been made to address how this requirement works for heritage and native speakers

When will these recommendations be posted or shared?

Reactivating FC4 District-level Committees

These will be formally reactivated on August 19th at our next meeting/FC retreat.

The committees are as follows:

Committee A

Committee on Academic Standards, Admissions, Curriculum and Educational Policies.

Committee DL

Committee for working with the Center for Distance Learning and related issues (activated as required for conducting FCCCC business).

Committee F

Committee on Fiscal and Physical Facilities (activated as required for conducting FCCCC business).

Committee M

Committee on Major Administrative Appointments Procedures and Evaluation (activated as required for conducting FCCCC business).

Committee R

Committee on Rank Criteria and Promotion Procedures (activated as required for conducting FCCCC business).

Committee T

Committee on the use of Technology in Education (activated as required for conducting FCCCC business).

Potential guest speakers are Craig Lynch and Valerie Davis.


Quiet as it’s kept: new provost candidate to be announced at next board meeting

Well, that’s the news as I heard it via an email exchange between FC4 and District HR.

Apparently, a provost search was conducted and completed, and a candidate for the position will be recommended to the board at their July meeting.

Given that the provost’s purview will encompass all academic/curricular activity at CCC as CCC’s putative academic leader and given that shared governance has been on the discussion table between faculty leadership and District this past academic year, it seems odd to learn about a new provost candidate and a concluded search in a random email.  Of course, it also seems sad (to me) that this happened over the summer after all the talk of transparency and trust-building, but I digress. . .

So, I ask the following questions and welcome any answers:

1) When did the search begin? How long did the process take?

2) Were faculty included in the search process?

3) Were District faculty council, local faculty councils, and appropriate union leadership included in the search or notified about the search?

4) Regarding the search itself, how many applications were read and how many candidates were interviewed?

5) If neither faculty at large nor faculty leaders were notified or included, who was included on the search team?

6)What board rules or by-laws governed the selection and search process for this relatively new position?

Again, any answers to these questions are welcome.

Your Faculty Council at work – notes from Executive Committee meeting 6 8 11

On June 8th, the Executive Committee of District Faculty Council and several of the local faculty council presidents met with Academic Affairs representatives led by Acting Provost Mike Davis.  Below are the notes from that meeting, incorporating revisions from Mike Davis, Polly Hoover, and Daniel Borzutsky.  Hope you’re enjoying your summer!

FC4/Academic Affairs Executive Committee Meeting
Acting Provost Mike Davis
June 8th, 4 – 6pm
Room 641

Budget with Ken Gotsch, Vice Chancellor of Finance and Alvin Bisarya VC Office of Strategy       

Ken reviewed State budget issues and why we – like most community colleges- needed to raise tuition

Ken discussed legislative activity in the Illinois General Assembly

There was some discussion of talk on the State level about improved performance funding.  They were looking at an Ohio model and an Oregon model.

Ken discussed relation among the Strategic Plan, Annual Plan, and Budget

The budget (discussing mostly the Operational budget) will be published ( 5 copies in board offices and one posted to the District’s website) sometime next week (by June 17th ideally).

Thereafter, there will be public budget hearings (July 7-9) at Daley, Malcolm X, and Wright

From the time of posting (June 17th) to July 14th (date of Board approval and last public hearing), District will receive feedback regarding the proposed budget and make revisions as needed

If faculty members cannot attend the public budget hearings, they can make comments by emailing Dolores Javier (djavier@ccc.edu)

There was some discussion of budget alignment to performance and health goals; performance goals were primarily the reinvention goals related to instructional and student outcomes.  Health goals are as follows :

  • Excellence in teaching and learning
  • Much greater degree of customer focus.
  • Excellent financial management at every level of the organization.
  • Operational discipline with focus on clear and high behavioral and performance standards.
  • Create excellent strategic clarity and alignment.
  • Targeted innovation.
  • Ensure a safe learning environment.

Joy Walker (Truman) asked whether they had been thinking of ways to prevent bottleneck in processes like procurement, etc.

Both Ken Gotsch and Alvin Bisarya shared some ways in which they and others had been thinking about that very issue.

There was also some discussion of changing practices and policies involving petty cash, agency accounts, conference reimbursement and the like which have negatively impacted faculty. We were assured us that these issues will be reviewed and hopefully resolved.

Ken Gotsch also stated that faculty members who are having trouble receiving reimbursements for expenditures can contact Dolores Javier to help expedite the process.

Ken Gotsch also stated that the petty cash accounts are being explored.

FC4 issues (Erosion of shared governance & Nursing issues)

Executive Director of Nursing, Dr. Debra Gurney, was present to answer our questions about the nursing programs.

She is more than willing to talk with faculty and has assured us that we can call her with questions at any time.

She has worked with an admissions committee, which included 1-2 nursing faculty from each college with a nursing program, and hopes to continue to work in a spirit of consensus and inclusion with all stakeholders.

She is also working with an all-District assessment committee which will be looking at the nursing curriculum, testing, best practices in accord with the NALNC (League of Nursing) and the State Board. Representatives of both groups (NALNC and the State Board) are supportive of these activities so long as we continue to abide by the Nurse Practice Act.

There was a bit of confusion about discussions to have one nursing program (one curriculum) at different colleges.  Dr. Gurney suggested that there was one curriculum across district, but upon discussion, it wasn’t clear if this was actually true or in discussion as a possible initiative to be implemented.  It also wasn’t clear whether or not nursing faculty were behind such an initiative.  It would follow Miami-Dade’s healthcare program. Dr. Gurney was asked whether or not faculty members have been involved in the discussions regarding the move to one nursing program across the district.  She stated that faculty members had not been involved in these discussions.  We requested that Nursing Faculty be brought into these discussions. Academic Affairs will make a request for faculty inclusion in this discussion.

Maria Jaskot-Inclan stated clearly the desire that Dr. Gurney bring all curricular issues to the appropriate local faculty council bodies and to Committee A/District Faculty Council per our current processes.

Discussion of specific issues that happened prior to Dr. Gurney’s tenure with CCC led to more general discussion of the following shared governance issues:

Need for improved Blackboard training for the new Blackboard particularly with the running total feature in grades and grading in general.

Concerns about new scrutiny of grades which seems to violate each faculty’s right to assign grades for their classes as s/he sees fit (academic freedom)

Need for union and fc representatives with individual faculty when facing administrative/district scrutiny to ensure that neither contractual nor academic freedoms are being violated

Call for development of a clear process of shared governance and communication to be articulated and practiced as soon as feasible.  There was general agreement about this with the understanding that developing a clear process would take some time.

Faculty Development Week (Session solicitation and selection)

Mike Davis offered tentative dates (August 8th and 9th at Malcolm X College).  On Day 1, there would be presentations from our Chancellor, Board Chair, and someone who would provide a State perspective.  Followed by a breakout session. On Day 2, there would be discipline meetings. Then, there would be two sets of concurrent sessions developed and presented by faculty whose proposed presentations were selected. An RFP will be sent soon (this week or next) and the proposals will be reviewed by college vps, academic affairs, and 1 or 2 members of FC4.

Polly Hoover volunteered to serve as one of the faculty members reviewing the proposals.

Rosie Banks requested that the agenda for the discipline meetings be set by faculty and that the meetings be run by faculty.  There was some discussion about whether the department chairs for the respective disciplines would set the agenda and run the meetings or whether there might be some part of the discipline meetings devoted to sharing assessment data.

Joy Walker asked why we would have college breakouts when we have three days of faculty development to communicate as a college.  She suggested that that time be spent allowing individuals from different colleges to interact. Mike Davis said he would look into that aspect of the schedule.

Future meetings planning  (Meeting dates and times)

Our next executive committee meeting will be July 6, 2011 from 3-5pm. We would like to invite someone from procurement to come and speak. We would also like to set aside some time to beginning the discussion about shared governance.

I’m not sure that this is finalized, but it was mentioned that we had agreed upon Friday, August 19th as the Faculty Council Retreat.

FC4 Elections

Just in case you missed it, the FC4 Election results came in on the Friday before break. From HWFC President Rosie Banks’ email:

Thank you for your participation in our election of HWC representatives to FC4!  With 62% of the Full-Time Faculty participating, the vote total is:

Tom Higgins – 50

Ellen Eason-Montgomery – 48

Kennette Crockett – 27

Congratulations to Tom and Ellen!  According to the FC4 Constitution, they will serve two year terms, alongside Theresa Carlton.   Their terms will begin in September, 2011.

And thanks to our outgoing FC4 Representative, Nicole Smith (Business) for her two years of service.