End of the Semester Get-together this coming Thurs.

There’s one week to go.  In keeping with tradition, this coming Thursday faculty (and anyone else for that matter) are invited to meet at Emerald Loop (right around the corner on Wabash) at 4 to celebrate the end of another semester.  This event is co-sponsored by Faculty Council and CAST.  With any luck, our distinguished professor will make an appearance, at which point we can raise a glass in his honor.

See you all there.  Have a great final week of the semester.

Chris, Gitte and Jenny

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: Since the last update, the 8th annual Meet and Greet happened, which (I hear) was a great success; special thanks goes to Jennifer Armendarez and Rachel Iannantuoni for organizing and hosting!

The other big news is that the April HWFC meeting will be Tuesday, April 18th at 4pm in room 1046. All are welcome and invited. See you there!

Last Week’s Questions: None.

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: Lots of stuff to report this week (which is why it’s late!)

1.8th Annual Meet and Greet: Social Co-Chairs and awesome people Jenny Armendarez and Rachel Iannantuoni (pronounced: Yan-a-TOE-ni) have decided to revive a tradition started by the late great Isabelle Belance to get the school’s faculty (full-time and part-time alike) in a room together for a little frivolity and grousing and morale boosting and music and convo. I’ll let Rachel and Jenny give you the details:

[This year’s HWC Faculty Meet & Greet will be on]Wednesday, March 28th, 2-5pm in room 1115. As usual, we look forward to meeting any new faculty and encourage everyone to stop by! Music will be provided by the first one who gets to the audio jack with their IPOD/MP3 Playlist.

Some games will be available and if there is enough interest, a Words With Friends competition! Potential topics of conversation for the event: March Madness, Spring Break Destinations and the usual investigatory conversations about who is the Realist!

Food, like paper, is no longer provided for College activities, so we are asking those who are interested to bring their specialty dishes or contribute to a fund for cheese/fruit platters.

Please RSVP to Rachel by Mon, March 26th regarding whether you would like to bring a dish to share or contribute to our cash food fund–contact new faculty member Rachel Iannantouni:  RIannantouni@ccc.edu, ext. 5616.

For more general information please contact Jenny Armendarez at jarmendarez@ccc.edu, ext. 5898.

2. Budget Request: At our last HWFC meeting, we discussed whether to ask for any Budget lines though the office of instruction and, after some discussion, came to a consensus (of sorts) on three:

A) Release time for the President of Faculty Council (every President does a TON of work, meeting attendance, communication, and more; plus we figured that this would be a way for the administration to formally recognize the value and importance of Faculty Leadership);

B) A Chunk of Money for Funding Annual, Faculty-Driven, Curriculum Related Events and Festivals (a few years ago, some of us kicked around the idea of a kind of ad-hoc Arts Council that could disperse money to groups and faculty who want to do special events (i.e. Latino Heritage Month, Black History Month, Women’s History Month, etc.). In the past, Faculty have had to choose between unsavory options like: 1) raiding/begging for scraps from a department budget; or 2) going through Student Government (putting some of us in the weird position of asking students we were teaching to fund our special projects and also led to difficulty for fall events given that SGA usually takes a few months to get settled and funded and going (by the time they held a meeting, it was often too late for some of the events); or 3) pleading with and administrator to release the hounds, as it were, which put the groups asking for money in the spring at an advantage relative to those who asked in the fall (unless it was all spent, in which case the people in the spring went begging elsewhere). So the hope is to set up a mechanism/application process whereby faculty would apply to Faculty Council for the funding for these types of events and FC would approve/recommend approval (not exactly sure how it will work yet).)

C. Some Cash for Hosting Faculty Wide Speakers/Events Related to Curriculum (e.g., ICCB, IAI, Programs), Academic Issues, etc.

We are happy to report that all three requests made it into the draft budget anyway. We’ll see if they make it from the draft into the approved budget sometime soon.

3. Joint Union-Faculty Council Meeting: Next Tuesday, March 27th, from 3:30 to 5pm somewhere (assume room 1046 unless you hear otherwise) there will be a joint faculty council/union meeting to discuss the proposal to change the tenure process AND the work that the same team has done on a proposal to change the Post-Tenure Review Process (which is contractual). Watch your email for more information on this as it develops.

4. Emergency Plan: I’m sure you were all as pleased as I was to see that, in response to the Tribune investigation kerfuffle, the district”s emergency plan, which includes the college specific emergency plans, has been submitted to the state, per state law, as of March 19th (as reported in your email on March 19th). Unfortunately, they are about the only ones who know what it says…I mean, am I crazy to think that the biggest threat to our college is the fact that, by their own admission, most of our faculty don’t know what to do in emergencies and don’t know how to access the information? The gates are going to be “great” and all, but unless they have magic powers, they’re not going to be very helpful. Raise your hand if you have a safe key and an index card in your classroom when you’re teaching (you know, those two things that you’ll need for a lockdown in the case of an active shooter or something awful like that). Better yet, ask that question at your next meeting (departmental or otherwise). I believe it was three years ago, or so, that Faculty Council asked for LARGE PRINT signs with the security number on it to be posted in each classroom. Still waiting. (sigh).

Last “Week’s” Pressing Questions: Anonymous asked: Does anyone know are CCC classes being taught at Chicago high schools? I have no new information on this besides what I wrote in the comments last time. Anyone else?
Everything else, especially the stuff I got wrong or missed, in the comments please

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: We’re still working on a date for a joint Union/FC meeting, but it should happen in early March sometime. Of more urgency is this from HWFC Rep and Grievance Chair Anthony Escuadro:

With one more week to go until the contract survey is closed on March 7, there have been only 8 responses to the survey questionnaire. Of those 8 people who responded, six are from full-time faculty, one is from a full-time professional, and one is from a part-time professional. In other words, this small group of eight people will have an immense say in what concerns and suggestions get relayed to the Union leadership about the upcoming contract.

There’s still time to make your voice heard at [Dave here: the survey is hosted on a Google site which anyone with access would be happy to send you or give you–you do NOT need to sign up with Google for anything in order to fill out the survey! I do not want to post it here, though, so as to control for takers and fakers.]. The survey should take around 15-20 minutes to complete.

If you are one of those eight people who have completed the survey, thank you [you’re welcome!]. If you have been waiting to voice your thoughts on the upcoming contract, now is the time. And if you have some ideas or opinions on the upcoming contract, but for whatever reason you don’t want to complete the survey, let us know why so that we can make improvements to the way we get feedback from the Union members.

So, just in case it is helpful to see an example, my own answers when I did it were as follows:

Areas that I’d like to see addressed:

1.Increased funding for professional development (higher levels of tuition and conference reimbursements)

2. Distance Learning/CDL sections, especially the section on Intellectual Property Rights

3. Gender neutral language

4. Other stuff that I’d be happy to see addressed:
~An improved statement on Academic Freedom
~Faculty Evaluations (Post Tenure Review)
~A solution for Team Teaching
~Department Chair Duties (Stipend/more release time? The departments are huge relative to their past on account of the adjunct explosion. Combine that with turnover and tons of new administrative duties and the chair job has become nearly impossible for most of them)
~Fix the academic calendar so spring M/W classes don’t meet only 30 times, compared to 32 for T/Th in spring and 31 for M/W and T/H in the fall.

I’m sure that there are many of you who have even better ideas. I hope that you’ll share them with our union leadership who in just offering this survey has already done more to solicit information from the membership about contract negotiations than I’ve seen since 2003. Let’s show them that their efforts are appreciated…

Last “Week’s” Pressing Questions: None.

More next week, I’m sure.

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: There was an HWFC meeting between today and the last Faculty Council Corner, but I missed it so I don’t have a ton of updates for you except that:

~The Council met with Michael Maltenfort and Charles Ansell to discuss the proposal for revising the Tenure Process and various aspects of it. The Reinvention team, which includes our Jeni Meresman, will be gathering feedback on the proposal and working out the forms and details over the next three months. Go HERE to check out the proposal and see the schedule for feedback meetings, and if you see something, please go to one of their meetings (see below) and SAY something. At the meeting they asked us to share this:

To all CCC full-time faculty members,
A new tenure process is coming, and those of us leading this effort are interested in getting feedback on the new materials as they are created.  All full-time CCC faculty members are invited to join in this process.
At minimum, everyone is welcome to look at the documents which are well on their way to being finalized.  They will always be available at http://faculty.ccc.edu/mmaltenfort/REI/ (this Web site will be periodically updated with new materials) and if you have any comments on these, you are always welcome to contact Michael Maltenfort (mmaltenfort@ccc.edu) and Jeni Meresman (jmeresman@ccc.edu).
If you wish to be more involved, we would like to get feedback about our recommendations and new documents as they are created.  Our work this semester is to create all rubrics and models that will be used to measure faculty effectiveness, revise observation forms and student feedback forms, and design the curricula for the all-college orientation and the Tenure Assistance Program seminar.  If this sounds like something you would like to help with, please join our Review Team.
We especially encourage stakeholder organizations (FC4, college faculty councils, union leaders) to send a representative to the Review Team.
Much of the work of the Review Team will be done through Blackboard, but we also ask that you attend our meetings, which are Friday mornings, 10:00 to 12:00, at the District Office (Room 641) on the following dates:
February 24
March 16
March 30
April 27
May 11 (or possibly May 4)
If necessary, you may join us instead by phone.
If you would like to join the Review Team, please contact Michael Maltenfort (mmaltenfort@ccc.edu).
Thanks!
—Michael (and Jeni)

~In other Meresman-related news, Jeni Meresman volunteered to serve as an FC4 representative for the remainder of Ellen Eason Montgomery’s term, and she was approved by the Council.

~In other English Department news, the department is building (and circulating) a draft about the new copier situation for other departments to consider signing onto. More on that when we have it.

~The council is working on coordinating with the Union leadership (through our shared leader, Anthony Escuadro) to schedule a joint meeting to share and work on issues that relate to both. More on that when we have it.

~The State of the College happened in a new format. Reviews seem generally positive (as you saw here and here)

~GradesFirst is coming. FC4 met with Anne Brennan about it and THIS is what they saw.

Last “Week’s” Pressing Questions:

~Kamran asks:  “What are the details of Malcolm X being converted to specialize in Health Care services? Specifically, what kind of degrees will Malcolm X now be offering? Does this mean the school will no longer provide an AA? Will departments/programs not directly related to Health Care services (history, philosophy, arts, astronomy, business, etc) be eliminated, relocated, reduced, or unchanged? On a related topic, if one school per year is converted to a particular industry, shouldn’t we be receiving information on what these will be? Don’t know; don’t know; don’t think so; don’t think so, but maybe eventually; they’d probably say no, since ‘ours is not to wonder why’ etc. Should be interesting though.  Still and all, while poking around yesterday, I found this (scroll down to read the comments) and was gratified to see so many voices of former students sticking up for what we do. I think if the Mayor and company drift toward the more radical possibilities of what they’ve proposed they may end up with a sh*t storm of pushback from the hundreds of thousands of students we’ve successfully served over the years. I mean, if they really believe that 7% number, they’re going to be in for quite a surprise.

There was also this about the building of a new Malcolm X college in the current MX parking lot–just announced this week, with this tidbit:  “He will make upcoming announcements about the focuses at other campuses, the mayor said.” The same announcement here also includes this:  “Other colleges will focus on information technology, hospitality, high-tech manufacturing and business.”  So, counting Health care and logistics, that makes six. Sounds like a great contest/pool opportunity. 2 variables, with five sub-variables each–that makes for hundreds of possibilities (more than a thousand? who knows the formula for that; help me out) for complete sets doesn’t it? I guess if we have to wait, we might as well play…

Post any additional questions (and responses) in the comments please.