“I miss Cecilia Lopez because she really encouraged and supported professional development”

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.

Conference on the EU in April

From our Truman colleague, Rudra Dundzila:

Dear Colleague:
We would like to invite you to join us for a regional working
conference on European Union studies, *Current Issues in EU
Governance,* to be held at the Chicago Loop Campus of DePaul
University on Saturday, April 9, 2011 from 9:00 am – 3:30 pm, with a
welcome dinner the preceding evening on April 8. We plan to bring
together a group of scholars and college instructors from Illinois and
the Midwest to talk about the European Union, taking advantage of the
scope and quality of research and teaching on EU topics among area
colleges and universities.

We expect a lively discussion on area content and teaching strategies
from different disciplines that teach the European Union. We are
inviting participants to present an example of their current research or
to participate in a *Strategies for Teaching the EU* Roundtable.
Whether you are presenting a research paper or participating in the
roundtable, we would be grateful for a copy of your syllabus for any
courses that you teach on the European Union, or any course with at
least 25 percent EU content, to be shared with the group.

If you or a colleague has only a nascent academic interest in the
European Union, we invite you to join us without being obliged to
present any materials. We can also consider participation by graduate

The welcome dinner on Friday, April 8 at the conference venue will
provide an opportunity for informal networking. Research presentation
panel sessions will start the following morning, Saturday, April 9 at
9:00 am. A block of rooms is being held for out-of-town guests at the
Club Quarters Central Loop Hotel (a short distance from the conference
location) for the night of April 8. The costs of lodging will be covered
by the European Union Center. Travel reimbursement grants of up to $150
are also available to participating faculty.

You can find more details about the conference at the following web
address: http://www.euc.illinois.edu/facultyworkshop2011/

The online registration form is accessible from this page. We are
asking all participants to register online by March 21, 2011. In
addition to requesting your contact information, the form invites you to
submit a title and short abstract for your paper presentation (if
applicable), and includes instructions for how to submit a syllabus via
email to us. We will communicate further details about accommodations
and travel grants after you have registered.

Feel free to call the European Union Center at the University of
Illinois at (217) 265-7515 if you have any questions.

h/t to Rudra

Shared Governance Back in the Spotlight

Apparently it is a topic of interest and discussion in many places.

A few years ago, organizers at the American Association of University Professors had to cancel a conference on shared governance for lack of interest. This year, they gave it another shot and were pleasantly surprised, to say the least: applications flooded in and they ultimately had to turn people away….

Attendees found solidarity among others who are fed up with similar experiences. A common theme of the workshops and panels was the loss of faculty consultation during financial crises, with panelists drawing on their institutions’ experiences to offer advice and strategies to preserve shared governance. Audience members frequently chimed in with questions, and articulated their feelings of exclusion from administrative budgetary and academic decisions.

While the us vs. them mentality was certainly expressed by many attendees, it wasn’t omnipresent. A handful of panelists took the opposite approach, pairing educators with administrators to demonstrate that it is indeed possible to work in harmony — and echoing the conference theme that it’s wrong to do anything but.

The rest is available HERE.

Conference Advice

I saw some of the Philosophy of Ed conference that I mentioned last week, and while I didn’t see any of the negative behaviors discussed in this piece, I have to admit that I was thinking about it throughout each of the presentations I saw.

It’s good advice, I think. Worth reading for anyone who is thinking about presenting at a conference, I’d say. This is how the author describes the piece:

I hope these reflections contribute toward making academic conferences a more rewarding experience for first-time presenters. These are key venues in the professionalization process, but it doesn’t have to entail an exercise in conformity. At the same time, these are formalized rituals with norms and conventions, and these guidelines are meant to encourage one to envision ways to express inventiveness and brio within the bounds of those tacit rules.

Check out the rest when you get the chance.

Philosophy of Education Conference

Are you without plans for next Friday and Saturday?

Consider checking out the program for a Philosophy of Ed conference put on by the Society for the Philosophical Study of Education. It’s an exceptionally inexpensive conference and typically has a nice mix of the practical and the theoretical.

The registration fee is $65 and includes a year membership, but I wrote to them and asked if they could wiggle on that and they generously agreed to let HWC (and CCC) adjuncts register for $20. It’s a great opportunity for adjuncts to see some papers (and network a bit) and get an inexpensive professional development opportunity (as well as another line on the CV). PLEASE share this with the adjuncts in your department. Back when I was one, I would have jumped at the chance to feel and be academic in any sense other than just in front of my students.

As it says on the program, the conference is taking place in Film Row Cinema Center, which is part of Columbia College, located in the South Loop.

If you have any questions you can write me or go right to the horse’s mouth; Allen Johnston from DePaul is the President of the SPSE and the guy who coordinated the rate negotiation for the adjuncts. His email is AJOHNST2@depaul.edu. Please keep in mind though, that he has a large role in putting together a conference that starts six days from now, so try not to overwhelm him with things that you might be able to figure out by other means.

You can register the morning of the conference, but if my memory serves me right, they could not process credit cards for the registration, so please bring cash or a personal check.

Theresa and Jen’s Excellent Adventure

From Harold Lounge field reporter, Jen Armendarez (via email):

Per the suggestion from Philodave on The Harold Lounge, Theresa and I decided to make the trek to the suburbs to attend the annual fall CCCTU 2010 Conference on Saturday, October 23 at 8:00 am. I won’t waste many words about the journey but it was very exciting. The facility for the meeting was beautiful and after I found a HUGE mall. I also noted a great bike path which would have been cool to explore. But I digress…

So about the meeting,

Before I get to the three main subjects covered in the training workshop, I wanted to share some statistics which were discussed in the conference. In light of the 26 firings that occurred on Friday (including some faculty), these statistics are certainly egregious.

From May to October approximately 46 new administrators have been hired, 32 at district. Total salary for these created positions, approximately 2.5 million dollars. BTW- in that same time frame- there have been 6 new faculty members hired (none at HWC).

The folks at the training meeting were presented with a book from the Illinois Community College Board with Data and Characteristics of Illinois Community Colleges. Much exciting information can be found in this book. For instance, in 2009 HWC had the largest average class size of all Community Colleges in ILLINOIS. Also, in 2009 the average salary for CCC faculty was 67,962 and the average salary for administrators was 112,036. It will be interesting to see how that number changes given the incredible increase in administrators and their very large salaries! I haven’t reviewed the student data but everyone can view this information at http://www.iccb.org/reports.general.html Data & Characteristics of the Public Community College System.

Three Workshops
I    Grievance Procedure
An on-line form for grievances is being developed. It is an information gathering tool which can be shared with the correct union officials. A grievance handbook is also being developed. This is excellent news for HWC since our current Grievance person is retiring.

II.    Contract Negotiation & Maintenance
This workshop discussed the steps and strategies for negotiating a contract. Of particular note for CCC is that only the Chapter Chair is a member of the negotiating committee. Experts may be called in for specific issues and 1600 will assist if problems arise. One of the steps was to have an updated membership list. This seems like something very necessary for HWC. We should definitely have an updated email/mailing list, especially since so many of our administrators are probably on the former email list. The second step would then be to survey all Union members to find out what issues they would like addressed/fixed in the next contract. The next step is to clear up any ambiguous language in the contract, and make it such that both the Union and the administration can agree on it.  If there is no agreement, then it can go to the negotiating table, but this could save lots of time and wasted energy prior to dealing with the bigger issues.  There were more suggestions but these were some of the highlights.

III.    CCCTU Future Planning & Training
The three main points which came out of this workshop were recruitment, mentoring and training support. Manuals for grievance, chapter chair and negotiations would be most beneficial, especially if there is a tense transition of leadership.

If you have specific questions please feel free to email me. I encourage others to go to training or other Union functions. Not only was it very educational but we got breakfast, lunch and a stipend for gas (which I promptly turned over at the VERY LARGE MALL down the street).  Thanks for the suggestion and information Philodave and thanks to Phil Stucky for arranging our participation.

Upcoming Conference on Race

Last spring, I was approached by Daisy Zamora to let faculty know about a Conference that will be going on here in Chicago this September, called Facing Race 2010 (here’s a link to their web site), which seemed like a long ways away back then–yet, here we are!

I’ll let Daisy explain:

I’m excited to tell you that here at the Applied Research Center (ARC) where I work, we’re gearing up for our biennial conference, Facing Race and I’d love for you to attend. The conference will be held in Chicago from September 23-25, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. Our Early Bird Registration rate has kicked in at $250 per person. We also have student and group rates available. Our current student rate is $150 and group rates are at $250 for groups of three or more people.

We also have special rates for folks who attended the USSF in Detroit.

We’re expecting this conference to be our largest ever, with an audience topping 1000. Facing Race has become a vibrant hub for leading racial justice activists, thinkers, writers and artists to meet, learn together, and share innovative strategies and celebrate successes. The conference will feature a variety of provocative plenary discussions, dozens of interactive workshops, our Race Flix film series and several networking and cultural activities.

I hope you’ll consider being part of the dynamism of Facing Race 2010, so I’ll follow up with you to see how we can count on you to attend.

Daisy Zamora
Applied Research Center
(773) 653-9267

There! Now I’ve told you–please tell your students if you think they’ll be interested, and go! Looks like they’ve got a great Keynote Speaker

Psychology in the City Conference at HW–Friday

Per Psych Prof. Les White, here is the info for the upcoming Psych conference. Check out the full schedule details here.

Hopefully our Psych in the City conference won’t get in the way of your Human-oh Fest!  Attached please find an advance copy of the Psych in City conference brochure!

Les asks that we please tell  their students “that “student walk ins” are fine; however, those who have not pre-registered before March 26, 2010 will not get a ticket for lunch and, if we run out of brochures, may not get one.”


Harold Washington College  Friday, April 16, 2010 – 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Keynote!  60+ presentations on psychological topics such as personality theories, psychological disorders, psychotherapy, research, assessment, careers in psychology, resiliency, stress management, and changing your personal goals!


9:00 a.m. –   9:30 a.m.           Student Registration
9:30 a.m. –   9:45 a.m.           Welcome and Announcements
9:45 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.           Keynote Speaker
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.           Professional Speaker Presentations
12:10 p.m. – 12:50 p.m.           City Colleges of Chicago student presentations
1:00 p.m. –   1:45 p.m.           Student Poster Presentations and Transfer Fair
1:50 p.m. –   2:50 p.m.           Panel Discussion with students and professional presenters
1:50 p.m. –   2:50 p.m.           Professional Presentations

See us at YouTube City Colleges of Chicago: Psychology in the City

Psychology in the City is hosted by the City Colleges of Chicago social science and psychology departments