Fun Stuff

~Armen sent this link to an artist’s Web site featuring Underwater Sculpture. Very cool stuff.

~Farrokh Asadi (Biology) has a new project going with his theatre company (The Epic Players)–he’s adapting and directing Bertolt Brecht’s Fear and Misery of the Third Reich. The show will run in the last weekend of September and first weekend in October. I’m sure he’d take any help you can offer in spreading the word on Facebook or elsewhere.

~My sister sent this to me a while ago: the history of rock and roll in 100 guitar riffs played in one take.

(Here’s the back story. He’s from Chicago!)

~McKayla is not impressed, though.

~But she would be if she went to Andy’s on any of the next three Tuesday nights (including tonight!) to see Matt Shevitz blow his horn from 5 to 8:30 for a mere finsky ($5). Check him out. It’s a short walk from the college, just across the river…


Faculty Council Corner

This Week’s Updates: There’s a lot of stuff flowing downhill from FC4 this week, but I’m not yet ready to post it here. Suffice it to say, though that we remain semi-desperate to find some faculty who are willing to serve on the District Wide Faculty Council (FC4). They meet on the last Wednesday of every month at 3pm (I think), usually at Malcolm X, and HW is supposed to have three elected members and one appointed by HWFC. As of right now, one of our elected members (unfortunately for us, but due to good things for her) had to resign and has been replaced by appointee (and awesome person) Jess Bader. Another of our elected members is on Sabbatical this spring and still needs a substitute for the rest of the semester. A third of our elected members notified us this week that she won’t be able to continue serving on FC4, given her duties with Reinvention and so also needs to be replaced. Rosie is our HWFC appointee.

In other words, we have two of four possible votes on the District wide council accounted for and two that need appointing. Any and all interested parties are encouraged to contact one of your HWFC reps. Appointees must be full time faculty but need not be tenured. Let us know if you’re interested.

As for the rest more info will be flowing through the Curriculum Committee and your email in the coming days, I’m sure.

Last “Week’s” Pressing Questions:

~Realist asked: “What should we do about all the talk from Rahm regarding City Colleges? Is my faculty council talking about this at meetings?” In regard to the former, I think that is a question that we’ll be taking up over the next few months in conversations at Faculty Council meetings, at and after the State of the College address, at department meetings and beyond. In regard to the latter, I can say that “Yes” we are talking about it, but we haven’t had a meeting yet (first meeting, 2/14 in room 1046 at 4pm). I’m sure it will be a point of discussion. We might even have some crucial information by then so we can discuss it knowledgeably.

~Mathissexy asked: “Did you have a problem this semester with the textbooks for the class and our bookstore? In particular, were the correct books there for the student and, more importantly, were there enough of them?” My answer (affirmative) was the only one. Anyone else want to weigh in? After the public beatd0wn that Hector received at the Beck’s sponsored luncheon (and subsequent meetings, etc.), I presume that people who are satisfied (or not) would want to post an answer. No?

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

Faculty Council Corner

Faculty Council Corner is a regular Thursday morning feature, 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.

Last Week’s Pressing Questions:

This one from the Realist:

~Can y’all ask the Provost ’bout electronic submission of mid-term grades? Yes. (Would that they were all so easy.) Thanks for the suggestion

This Week’s Updates:

~My high hopes to have lots of information to share about our meeting with the Provost were dashed on Tuesday when we learned, gathered together 15 minutes after the meeting was to have begun, that the Provost was unable to attend, having been called into another meeting. Ahem.

Thus, I have less to update you on this week than I’d hoped.

~Jess Bader (Art) has graciously agreed to serve out Theresa Carlton’s  (Math) term as HW’s FC4 rep starting in November through the rest of the year. Welcome aboard, Jess–it’ll be great to have you there as a voice for faculty. My understanding is that Jane Regan (Art) was also willing, but may have schedule conflicts in the spring. I’ll let you know more as I know more.

~If anyone knows of anything else, please post it in the comments.

Faculty Council Corner (A Day Late, and A Dollar Short)

Faculty Council Corner is a regular Thursday morning feature, 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.

Last Week’s Pressing Questions:

Well, I suppose that technically speaking there were none, since I didn’t get the update posted two weeks ago and there wasn’t one last week, but still, back in September there was this from Anonymous:

~How about letting us part time peeps see our “qualifications” too? And the answer is that we’re checking on the possibility. We may (hopefully) have more after next week’s meeting with the Provost (see below).

This Week’s Updates:

~Election Results: As you already know, we had a great ballot for HWFC elections this year featuring five dazzling faculty members, and, as you may have seen in your email, when the ballots were counted up, it was Jen Armendarez (Speech) and Chao Lu (Math) on top. Their three year sentence term will begin on November 8th, when we will say good bye and THANK YOU to Kamilah Sanders and Chris Sabino for their efforts over the last few years. They’ve both been delightful and effective advocates for faculty concerns, and, speaking for myself, while I’m excited to work with our new electees, I’ll definitely miss them both on the second Tuesday of the month. And we are hoping that the non-victorious will consider taking up the cause by serving for a year or a semester on FC4, since we had no nominees for those important roles. We really don’t want to be short votes on the district wide Council…

~HWFC Provost Meeting: We have one. Coming up! Next Tuesday, as a matter of fact. We’ll be building the agenda over the weekend, most likely, so if you have any suggestions, let ’em fly in the comments.

~October HWFC Meeting: There was one, it happened, a few weeks ago. And at it, we approved some courses (Street Law I and II, sponsored by Brian Nix), and had some discussion about things, things I can’t quite recollect off the top of my head as I rush to get this posted a day late…um….important things, as I recall….um….dang! I know there was talk about Ferri’s comb…also, the meeting was remarkably efficient. Anybody else?

Faculty Council Corner

Faculty Council Corner is a regular Thursday morning feature, 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.

Last Week’s Pressing Questions:

~Once the nominations for FC and FC4 are made official, can FC, via The Lounge, ask the nominated faculty members to introduce themselves and state why they want to be a member of FC? I don’t see why not. We can at least invite them to do so and ask them to maybe explain why they want to be on Faculty Council and then publish any answers received. The question has been put to the other HWFC members, but they haven’t responded yet. Once they have, I’ll update this post with further information on this.

~For your meeting with the prez, would you please include faculty concern about the purchasing/procurement crisis that has not been resolved? Ask your fellow faculty members to tell you their horror stories–Physical Chemistry, Library, and other departments around the District. At our meeting, we raised this issue and Don told us (paraphrasing here) that he’d just raised the issue (again) at the Officers of the District meeting, where he was told (Don tactfully used the passive voice) that the necessary changes have been made and the problems are fixed, a statement which Don and a few of the other Presidents suggested was not the case. It sounds like just about everyone is frustrated with all of it, and the sense I got was that it is a high priority issue for the Chancellor, the Presidents, especially Don, and the District Office as a whole. I know that doesn’t help pay for any pianos to be tuned or databases to be turned back on, but it sounds, at least, like the Presidents are very aware of the problem and pressing for solutions while definitely NOT taking “it’s all fixed now” as an answer on faith.  I’m sure we’ll be hearing more soon. Thanks, again, for the suggestion. We’ll keep following up for more info whenever we can.

This Week’s Updates:
~We’re still looking for people to stand up to fill a pair of temporary FC4 positions. Anybody…anybody?:

A) A one-year term of service on FC4 (District Wide Faculty Council), representing HW; and

B) A one-semester gig on FC4 (this Spring), serving as a substitute for Tom Higgins while he is on sabbatical.

~The first KPI subcommittee meetings took place yesterday just before the September FC4 meeting. I haven’t heard anything about them, but if and when I do, you will too.

~Discussion at the HWFC meeting with the President ranged over a number of issues, including: 1) the schedule, 2) timelines (such as for the schedule), 3) prerequisites, 4) procurement (see above), 5) the state of the college, 6) the new college (and department) website(s), 7) PeopleSoft, 8. an Activity Period, and 9) Reinvention Updates. We spent the most time, though (it seemed to me) talking about the recent 10) Reinvention Roundtable and clarifying why the event was not permitted to take place on campus and hwo the rationale expressed might affect meetings or events going forward.

#10 is too much for me to cover here except in brief, but the short version is that (I think I can speak for the general HWFC consensus) we left satisfied that we can expect administrative support and respect for a very broad range of academic events, even if controversial, but that as the expectation of controversy goes up, so, too, does the responsibility to inform and work with the administration to alleviate any concerns they may have ahead of time (and I encourage any HWFC members to clarify, restate, edit or otherwise deny the formulation I developed if you think it to be inaccurate).

As for the rest, 1) we get our own schedule, but not quite our own 3) prerequisites (yet–hopefully that will change soon; Metoyer is working on that). 2) Our admins successfully lobbied for a change in the Tenure Portfolio timeline (from October 1st for new hires (can you imagine turning in your first portfolio in Week 6 of your first semester?) to December), and they will try to win a similar victory for the schedule timelines.

5) I told Don that I appreciated and have only heard positive things about his State of the College address, and he thanked us and informed us about some of the more negative feedback he’s received about it from administrators and staff in particular, some of whom felt attacked, some of whom felt that Don was suggesting that employees be servile rather than civil, and some of whom suggested that denied that there is any such problem. Don said that he’s had some valuable conversations as a result and (hopefully) been able to clarify that he expects civility from EVERYONE, and not just staff (i.e., students have no right to be abusive or demeaning either). I’m sure Don will take up the rest in a future post or address, so I won’t cover it all, but it was an enlightening part of the meeting.

6) The new website(s) are scheduled to go live on November 17th. Hopefully we’ll learn something about something before then.

7) Adjuncts will (do?) now (or very soon) have access to PeopleSoft so they’ll be able to look up student histories and test scores and the rest, as needed and helpful to doing their jobs. Special thanks to Matt Usner for leading the change on this one on behalf of the adjuncts in his care and across the college. Also, full time faculty will have access to the listing of their teaching credentials so we’ll be able to see and verify what we are allowed to teach, which is the first step toward making sure it is right and fixing it if it is not.

8. I missed the discussion, if there was one about the activity period. Maybe someone else has that?

9) For the Reinvention Update, Don provided us with a handout showing the areas of focus for the coming semester. The Student Support and Services team will focus on Advising Process Design and Registration. The Process, Operations, and Governance team will work on Human Resources, Governance, and Procurement. The Teaching and Learning team will focus on Faculty Development (especially the tenure process), Adult Education, and Developmental Ed, and the Career and Academic Program Pathways team will work on Occupational Reviews (Education, Distribution/Logistics, Transportation,  Law and public safety, Business, and Healthcare support (IT)), Articulation, Adult and vocational education bridges, and “Return on Educational Investment” (puke). If you want more information on any of those areas, post your question in the comments and I’ll give you what I have.

Meanwhile, implementation teams will be working on proposing, revising, and otherwise implementing the initial proposals that they can as they can (I guess).

If I missed anything, I hope you’ll ask or someone will say.