Faculty I

Sunday, June 24, 2001

 

Facilitator: Dennis Gilbert

Recorder: Pamela Haney

 

Overview of Session

The Faculty I session identified issues surrounding faculty and the critical problems and issues addressed in Part I of the morning session.  Specifically, a discussion was facilitated around these four questions:

1.      What issues arising in earlier sessions have importance in relation to faculty?

2.      What strategies can be used to address such issues?

3.      How are we doing in our roles as faculty?

4.      What are some needed changes in our roles as faculty?

 

Key and Priority Issues

·         Education involves designing, instructing, and assessing. As faculty, we have a need to look at the reallocation of workload and where we put our resources. In any redesign of faculty work, keeping or enhancing the wholeness of faculty work is a key faculty concern.

·         In order to progress in our institutions, there should be change in the basic architecture of our institutions regarding the structure of our organizations as well as the students’ immediate learning environment.

·         Faculty need more time. Time is a critical indicator of whether educational expectations are working or not, and it is critical in forcing change. There may be satisfying effective ways to support some learning without the faculty member present.

·         Faculty should begin thinking more about learning outcomes and how we assess our students. Especially, we need to focus more on identifying the ultimate outcomes for our students.

·         Learning outcomes should be defined for teaching for an educationwide process, not just for specific courses.

·         In the use of technology, access and currency is important.

·         Faculty should encourage other faculty to use technology, in some cases use more technology, and assist others in feeling comfortable using technology.

·         The criteria of why and how faculty are hired is important.

·         Authentic assessment of applicant skills, knowledge, teaching experience and the processes instituted at different colleges is worthy of review.

·         Consider hiring for the future. What are skills you are looking for in the future and are you hiring faculty with these skills?

·         Regarding building a framework for the Learning-Centered Organizational Culture, faculty should look at the entire educational system as a unit, revise curriculum as a college, and address the issue of underprepared students.

·         We need to address the following questions:

§         What is the role of the community college?

§         What is our status in relation to other teaching institutions?

§         Answers should provide a framework for faculty responsibilities and activities and for the students’ responsibilities.

 

Strategies

·         Share resources with one another. Find ways to partner among Vanguard Learning Colleges.

·         Serve as advocates for educational culture. Recognize that we, especially our unions, mediate between the education and commodity cultures. Superficial use of outcomes tends to support the students as customer/commodity culture model.

·         Break down barriers between institutions. Make use of the fact that our disciplines span institutions.

·         Take the strengths of our learning outcomes and focus on these strengths.

·         Make learning (what’s happening in the classroom) part of the classroom discussion. Develop strategies where students can learn to interact with one another. Develop ways to use this as criteria to assess if faculty members are embracing the diversity of the classroom.

·         Develop strategies that can be used to embrace the needs of students.

·         Don’t make your colleagues your enemies.

·         Focus on building the capacity in your institutions to change.

·         Develop strong assessment systems that look at student needs.

·         As faculty, don’t become enablers of students. Don’t do for students what students can do for themselves.

·         Include skills on your syllabus and explain to students why they need these skills.

·         Make ongoing contacts with students throughout their education career. 

·         Promote supplemental instruction in which students learn from each other a part of the learning experience.

·         Focus on reforming gatekeeper classes to raise student success rates.

·         Develop strategies that assist students in making the transition from the classroom to the workplace.

·         Use active learning strategies. Students with this experience will be better prepared for transfer to places not engaged in active learning.

·         Build into the curriculum how you will maintain and assess courses.

·         Put student learning first as the context for resolving disputes and moving ahead.

·         Move away from the customer service model of education. It has the benefit of looking at the student as a person with specific needs; however, the customer-seller relationship is far less rich than the student-teacher relationship. If an economic label is needed, student as producer is more accurate and more useful.

·         Work for more full-time positions to consolidate existing part-time positions.

 

Progress in our Roles as Faculty

·         Many institutions are doing more to look at all employees of the organization and how they make the organization work for the student.

·         Reward systems are put in place for faculty such as recognition for completed projects.

·         Students are being engaged in skills in the classroom.

·         The scope of bargaining is being expanded at many colleges.

·         Part-time faculty members are being included as colleagues.

·         More consideration is being taken in the hiring process of part-time faculty.

·         More adjuncts are being put on professional tracks that have the potential to advance them to full-time faculty positions.

 

Needed Changes in our Roles as Faculty

·         Faculty should exercise their power as faculty. Faculty unity can be built by understanding our commonality, by recognizing our diversity, and by recognizing what we can accomplish by working together.

·         Embrace working collectively to accomplish goals.

 

Conclusion

As faculty, we should take responsibility for successful and unsuccessful efforts. As faculty, we should focus on active learning and our goals for our students. Faculty members have power and we should positively and constructively exercise our power more in our institutions.      

 

Faculty I

Monday, June 25, 2001

 

Facilitator: Dennis Gilbert

Recorder: Pamela Haney

 

Overview of Session

The Faculty I session identified issues surrounding faculty and the critical problems and issues addressed in Part I of the morning session.  Specifically, a discussion was facilitated around these four questions:

1.  What issues discussed in earlier sessions are important in relation to faculty?

2.  What strategies can be used to address such issues?

3.  How are we doing in our roles as faculty?

4.  What are some needed changes in our roles as faculty?

 

Key Issues

·         If we want the Vanguard Initiative to work we need to help others in meeting the standards of the initiative.

·         There should be some structure of incentive and support for faculty to promote the Vanguard Initiative.

·         Prevent faculty burn-out.

·         In the area of technology, the issue of intellectual property rights is important.

·         On our campuses, address the question: How do we deal with resistance to changing the culture of the college?

·         Faculty should engage in collaborative efforts and communicate with each other for the purpose of sharing and framing information and working on initiatives.

·         Eliminate duplication of services to provide more time for faculty.

·         Clearly define the terms assessment and evaluation, and what it means to be involved in both activities. Separate developmental and corrective evaluation processes.

·         Make a distinction between measurement and assessment.

·         Union and collective bargaining issues are important.

·         There are not enough sabbaticals.

 

Strategies

·         The greatest reward you can give faculty is time (release time).

·         Care for your instructors.

·         Bring to the forefront issues of partnership, rewards, and incentives as a less threatening way of dealing with power, privilege, and distribution of resources.

·         Imagine working in different roles to better understand what it means to work in someone else's role.

·         Don’t take off your hats in meetings or have discussions without your titles.  If this is suggested to show respect to people, the issue of respect needs to be addressed directly. If the decisions are arrived at without hats and titles, where does the authority, responsibility, and representation come from?

·         Implement banking hours or load banking into institutional structures.

·         Provide adequate sabbaticals for faculty.

·         Identify difficult cultures at your college and work with these cultures. Recognize that it is important for faculty to have identification as faculty.  Many people obtain cultural identification from the work places where their students are being prepared for.

·         Faculty leaders should be aware of the college system and structure of privilege that goes with it. While we may not need to confront faculty who are slow to take up new ideas, we will have to deal with faculty who are privileged under the system we hope to change.

·         Avoid segregating faculty members by discipline; place faculty from multiple disciplines in the same area to ensure interaction.    

·         A promising option is modularizing courses in terms of learning environment; parts are students with instructor, parts are students with peers, and parts are students working alone.

·         Use of web-based resources is an effective bridge for faculty toward online

classes in whole or part.

·         A four-day student week, as used in some places, can provide a day for faculty development and governance meetings.

·         Use the faculty’s commitment to a culture of evidence to support effective assessment, and the idea that assessment is different than just measurement.

·         Include employees, other than faculty, in promoting active learning.

·         Faculty should mentor each other to avoid the misuse of power.

·         To prevent burn-out, as you bring in new leaders build a structure where new employees are given meaningful responsibilities and tasks. Don't overload them with responsibilities.

·         As faculty in a collective bargaining environment, advocate for a wide scope of bargaining that includes transforming the learning environment.

·         Make sure contract language is clear.

·         For a first contract, to address fears of long-time faculty, everything that is a practice at a college should be put into a contract.

·         When entering into bargaining, enter as equals to engage issues fundamental to the life of the college.

·         Faculty should volunteer to be part of and to select an effective union leadership.

·         A useful analogy: Faculty are in the same position as doctors a while back. 

With the rise of new technology and rising costs out of their control, doctors did little other than want hospitals to provide them with patients and a place to work. HMOs resulted, leading to a decline in health care and significant loss of professional satisfaction in the doctors’ work. Faculty need to take effective action or something similar will happen in education.

 

Conclusion

To fundamentally change the student learning environment in colleges, faculty working conditions must also fundamentally change. Faculty must take active part in this effort to ensure that it takes place and to ensure that it takes place well. Institutions must provide time and structure for faculty to lead and move forward in initiatives that advance student learning. It is crucial that institutions are structured to care about their faculty.