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.