This statement was recently made to me by a colleague bemoaning the perceived lack of support for professional development. I was startled by this statement and then thought back to my own attendance at conferences when Cecelia was VP. I am sure that our current VP and President are very supportive of our attending conferences and other Professional Development events. But, it is true, I attended more conferences back then. However, I don’t think the fault is with local admin but with the process to get funding for those conferences. The process seems to change weekly (although probably only yearly) and the instructions on the updated changes seem to be incomplete.
For instance, now the process is all online. Scan in the documents and off it goes. But it isn’t really. First you have to get your Union person to sign off on it. They are not in the computerized work flow system. You have to fill out the old form for them and then, and here’s where I’m not sure because it is so unbelievably and unnecessarily complicated when all they need to do is add the union person into the work flow process. And if you would advise me to attend the FDW workshop on this topic, I did..twice. I have the powerpoint. It is wrong. Anyway, I’ve not yet successfully negotiated the current process so I can’t really speak to it. I know this is a personal failing but I do wish the process was a bit more..transparent? I also know many of my colleagues are more tenacious than I and have succeeded in getting their professional development funded. Well done!
Conspiracy theorist would say that this process has been complicated to reduce faculty travel/convention attendance so that District/Union can keep the allocated money. Pollyannas might say this is the best that can be done for such a large community college system. Realists and …the “Realist” might say that the bulky checks and balance system imposed on City Colleges because of misallocation of funds by prior administrations is necessary. I don’t know what is truth. If Chao Lu or the Business Department or those who have successfully negotiated the process would like to hold a workshop for those, like me, who are organizationally challenged, I would attend. I would attend, take notes and follow the directions. I would have little hope for success but I would try.