Cognitive Dissonance: Offensive Team Names Edition

Cognitive Dissonance is a regular Monday feature in which a post is presented that, if read, may provoke “a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth.” I hope these pieces will provoke thought, if not conversation.

Given that it’s the Monday after the Super Bowl and there are still lingering football conversations to be had and this one has a history of some controversy on this site, I thought I might toss this one out there today:

Did you see it? Do you care? Do you have any interest in the team’s activities to preserve the name? Or in the origins of the name?

Would you like to see a nuanced explanation of one somewhat-ambivalent Native American man’s analysis of the term and the controversy that makes connections to African-American culture and history?

I thought you might.

Tragic News: HWC Student Shot Yesterday

UPDATE: Kevin Baker died early this morning. He wanted to be a veterinarian.

Awful. From the Tribune article:

A 19-year-old college freshman handed over his cell phone to an armed robber and was still shot in the head as he walked home in the Chicago lawn neighborhood, according to police and a relative.

The robbery happened about 4:15 p.m. Thursday in the 6200 block of South Campbell Avenue, police said…

The 19-year-old, described by the relative as a studious freshman at Harold Washington College, was hit in the head and the assailants fled.

The teen was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center and listed in critical condition.

Think hopeful thoughts.

No Need for Term Limits: And then there were 3

In case you’re keeping score at home, since the “Presidential Shake-up” of 2011, and the mass hiring that June (except for the KK President who was hired in November of that year), the lineup card of CCC Presidents looks like this:

HW: Don Laackman (2011-2013); search underway shortly;

DA: Jose Aybar (2009-Current);

KK: Joyce Ester (2011-2013); Arshelle Stevens (2013-Current–who has her critics);

MX: Anthony Munroe (2011-Current);

OH: Craig Follins (2011-2014); search underway;

TR: Reagan Romali (2011-Current–though she almost left last year);

WR: Jim Palos (2011-2012); Don Laackman (interim); David Potash (2013-Current);

At the press conference announcing their hiring, the Mayor said, ““With this leadership, CCC will be ready to realize its potential as the economic engine of our region and ensure Chicagoans are prepared with the skills to succeed in today’s competitive global economy.” I guess the job was one that didn’t take very long?

Big HWC News: President’s Office Now Hiring

Don has a new gig.

Congratulations to Don–it looks like a great fit.

And as for us, it’s on to our fourth president in five years; we’re going to need a bigger library if this keeps up!

UPDATE: More from around the web…

~From the Burlington Free Press (with video)

~From Crain’s (with some oddly personal details)

~From a Champlain faculty member’s blog

~From the other coast (well, the AP, but picked up in San Fran)

 

In The News

You may have missed it amid the finals hoo-hah, but Hector Reyes (Physical Science), Rochelle Robinson-Dukes (VP, CCC faculty and professionals union), Dolores Withers (President,  clericals’ union), and Floyd Bednarz (President, adjuncts’ union) wrote a letter that garnered some national news coverage. The comments section of the latter is particularly interesting, I thought. There’s even a cool image on the HWC union website that you can print out and put up somewhere if you’re of a mind to do so.

In other news near and dear to Hector’s heart, AAUP investigators issued a report condemning the President of Northeastern Illinois for retaliation against a professor there (coverage here and here).

The Bloom Is Off the MOOC

The big news this week is that Sebastian Thrune seems to have backtracked a bit from his early zeal about their potential. Why is that news? Well, he is one of the original Prophets of MOOC–maybe the best known proselytizer of them who quit Stanford to found a company dedicated to higher-ed disruption–seems to have discovered the limits that Juan Nunez (English) mentions in his comment on the Don’s Desk post.

Surely you’ve heard of MOOCs by now, perhaps vis-a-vis this April Don’s Desk post or coverage in The Chronicle. No doubt the conversation (and innovation) is far from over (nor should it be, as this writer states), but there are some important critical conversations to be had and lessons to be learned about experimenting on students educational reforms.