Gettin’ ready for State o’ the College Spring 2013

State o’ the college is days away. This post is goin’ up to ask y’all if y’all gots any questions for our President, Don.

It appears we get micro-phono-anxiety-inis when it comes to askin’ questions at this thingy. Last I checked, we all have questions (and concerns) about the state of our college.

Sure, there are a handful of folks that take their anxiety medication and are able to hold that mike in their hand and ask away. But what about you? Me thinks you sit there with a plethora of questions and curiosities but hesitate for one reason or an other to ask that all important question.

Sure, I understand that when Don says, “any questions?” we look at our watches and smart phones wondering if the questions and answers will be worth the time.
Hmmm, if we all stay silent a few moments, then we can leave real soon and I can get back to doin’ x or y… or maybe do z…

And for reasons beknownst and unbeknownst to me, we sometimes stay and sometimes go.

To resolve the dilemma (I use the word dilemma here to mean neither good n/or bad), here’s what I propose: Lay out the questions via a reply to this post ahead of time. Give Don some time to ponder the question(s) and then have him incorporate the answers into the speech/presentation.

Wouldn’t that be a more efficient use of our time?

I recommend asking questions anonymously. No micro-phono-anxiety-inis to worry about. Your identity remains protected AND you’ll never need medication! (This means you won’t get drowsy, won’t get nausea, and won’t experience sudden vision loss!)

This post is not endorsed by our President and there are no guarantees he will answer. However, you have nothing to lose and a bit to gain if you have a question or concern about your college. A good dose of Q&A can only help to strengthen our community. And get you back to doin’ x or y and maybe z…

Reinvention Update Meeting–Today@ 2:30 pm in President’s Conference Room

Hi, everyone and sorry for the late notice. Here’s the story.

About a week and a half ago, Amanda Loos and Mike Heathfield, as leaders of the Faculty Council and Assessment Committee, respectively, got an email from our VP (John Hader) saying that they were invited to a meeting to have a discussion about Reinvention with some reps from District to have a “Reinvention Conversation.” The invite went on to say, “The purpose of this session is to obtain feedback from staff about the Reinvention Initiative and areas which may not have been addressed yet.  This will be a great opportunity to listen to specific recommendations from the HWC community.”

Discussion ensued among HWFC members (and between HWFC and the Assessment Committee) about a number of issues, with the primary one being whether we should attend at all. Finally, at this week’s HWFC meeting, we reached consensus that we should probably go, if only to pose our lingering unanswered questions as raised on the Lounge and in the Reinvention Faculty Forum that we hosted. We also decided to ask for clarification about why the update was not a faculty wide event and limited (again) to a narrow and obscurely selected range of faculty.

Basically the response was that the District Reps wanted to limit the number of people present “to allow for a conversation” to occur. With that said, I’m pretty sure that any and all interested faculty members (up to 15 to 20, anyway–which I am now told includes 7 already, leaving 8 to 13 spots) who either RSVP to Hader or just show up at 2:30 upstairs will be able to participate. For those who are not able to attend for various and sundry reasons, below you will find the tentative list of questions that I’ll be bringing to the meeting on behalf of Faculty Council. Please make any suggestions for revisions, deletions, or additions in the comments. You can expect an update here sometime tomorrow, at the latest.

LEFTOVER QUESTIONS:

~How, where, and when FT Task Force members will work?

~What will a PT role on a Task Force will entail (in terms of hours, location, load, etc.)?

~Faculty are concerned that the definition of student success being utilized and so institutionalized by the Reinvention Process is too narrow and not indicative of what it actually means to Succeed at the City Colleges. Will there be opportunity within or in conjunction with the Reinvention process to consider (and recognize) other forms of success, or alternatively make clear that the the established goals are some of and not the only forms of success realized by students?

~Can you clarify the administrative understanding of (and commitment to) the role of faculty in curriculum decisions with respect to standardization across the colleges and decision making (e.g., mandatory use of e-write, elimination of Chemistry 100, de-integration of English 100 and Reading 125)?

~What is the administrative perception of the weight of student responsibility and motivation with respect to our success with our students, and what are the plans for getting students educated and involved in the pursuit of the Reinvention goals?

~Who has responsibility for capturing data on jobs and job placement and how does the responsible party plan to go about doing it?

~What are the plans for closing the hole in our knowledge about the students who leave (and transfer) without degrees? Might this data be gathered by doing follow-up surveys of random samples, tracking transcripts, etc.?

~Faculty are very concerned about the temptation/attempt to try to quantify the human experience and/or learning and measure an educational institutions success by “output” of credentials when the credential is a symbol of institutional recognition of student success (and not of institutional success). Has administration considered undertaking qualitative research about student experiences to more validly investigate the institutional success in fulfilling its mission?

~Can faculty be confident in the administrations continued support for established and soon to be established partnerships with various groups and entities?