The Word - 2009/08/03

 

 

The Word from CSEA

Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of August 3, 2009

UNITED WAY COMMUNITY CARE DAY - HELP US HELP OTHERS!

On Tuesday, September 15, Columbus State will participate in the United Way's "Community Care Day", which is central Ohio's largest one-day volunteer outreach event. Members of Columbus State's team will have an opportunity to partner with LifeCare Alliance, which administers Meals On Wheels, Project Open Hand, Carrie's Cafe, and other programs.

Volunteers are needed for Meals on Wheels to deliver nutritious meals to those who are elderly, homebound, disabled, frail, or otherwise at risk. Training for volunteers will be provided that morning.

Project Open Hand is dedicated to meeting the nutritional needs of men, women, and children living with HIV and AIDS, and is in need of volunteers to prepare food boxes on that day.

Carrie's Cafe is a restaurant on Harmon Avenue that offers meals to those over age 60 for a suggested contribution of $1.50. In addition to its dining area, Carrie's Cafe offers wireless computer access and an exercise area, and coordinates programs like Wii exercise games, line dancing, and exercise classes. Volunteers are needed to serve seniors their meals and to assist with some of their Wii activities.

The time commitment for serving as part of Columbus State's team would be either all day (8:00 - 4:30), or half day (8:00 - 12:00 or 12:00 - 4:30). To join Columbus State's Community Care Day team, contact Barbara Smith-Allen in Institutional Advancement at ballen02@cscc.edu or at x5433 no later than this Friday, August 7.

After volunteering with United Way during the day, many of you may be interested in wrapping up a day of volunteering by helping with Columbus State's 21st annual Taste the Future fundraiser, held that evening from 5:30 - 9:00.

HIGHER EDUCATION FUNDING IN STATE BUDGET

Once again, the funding of higher education in Ohio has remained a priority for the governor and the state legislature. The recently-passed state budget includes a generous projected increase in state funding for Columbus State of 9.5% for fiscal year 2010 over fiscal year 2009, and allows the college to increase tuition by as much as 3.5%. The state subsidy is projected to decrease the following year (fiscal year 2011), but still represents an increase of approximately 2.8% over fiscal year 2009. Again, tuition may be raised by as much as 3.5% that year.

Importantly, the budget implements the state's new performance-based funding formula. Rather than being based strictly on enrollments ("access"), the new funding formula begins to recognize and reward completion of degrees and courses ("success"), as well as other initiatives (such as STEM incentives) in meaningful ways.

PANDEMIC FLU CONCERNS & PREPARATIONS

Health experts continue to warn us about the possibility of a pandemic flu outbreak in the near future. The College Safety Committee has been developing processes to put into action should a widespread outbreak of flu affect students and/or employees of the College.

Faculty should be aware that in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak that forces the closing of campus during a quarter, the College will likely try to continue running courses to the greatest extent possible, allowing students to complete their courses for that quarter. Faculty are encouraged to consider ways that they would be able to finish a course should in-class meetings be suspended.

As one example, in the event of an emergency closing of campus, use of BlackBoard to communicate course content to the students may be necessary. All faculty should know how to post announcements, attach their syllabus and other relevant course materials, etc., to the BlackBoard site for their courses. Faculty who have not used BlackBoard in the past should become familiar with how to do this in order to enable students to access materials in a worst-case scenario.

CSEA still has copies of a DVD from the Ohio Department of Health titled "Pandemic Flu: What You Can Do" that are free for the asking. The short (approximately 12 minutes) video gives some practical steps that individuals and families can be taking to protect themselves in the event of a pandemic flu. You can obtain a copy of this DVD from John Nedel, faculty representative on the College Safety Committee. He can be contacted at jnedel@cscc.edu, or at x3857.

DELAWARE CAMPUS PLANS CONTINUE TO PROGRESS

As the opening of the new Delaware campus in Autumn 2010 approaches, plans for providing necessary services and staffing the Delaware Campus continue to progress. The original plan for the Delaware campus was to offer courses for academic programs including the Associate of Arts, the Associate of Science, and the Associate of Applied Science in Business Management. Based on a review of the economic development plans and workforce needs of Delaware County, the plans now also include offering a degree program in Computer Information Technology and a Software Development Certificate.

The plans currently include providing additional science labs during the second building phase that will be capable of supporting advanced science courses offered by the College. In the interim, required advanced science courses and/or labs will continue to be provided at existing College locations.

The initial plan also calls for 10 fulltime faculty positions for the Delaware campus (six in the Arts and Sciences Division and four in the Career and Technical Division). The College and CSEA have worked collaboratively on a model for staffing the Delaware campus, which is outlined in Article 6 of the faculty contract.

Specifically, assignment of faculty to the Delaware campus shall be voluntary whenever possible. Each department shall develop a process to determine the assignment of individual current full-time faculty to the Delaware campus. This development of a process is to be a collaborative effort between the faculty and the department chairpersons, and not one that is controlled/dictated by the department chairpersons. As those departments that will have full-time faculty located at the Delaware campus develop a process that works for that department, CSEA representatives are available to assist faculty if it appears that the department is having difficulty developing a fair process or the department chairperson is trying to dictate the process in ways contrary to the contractual agreement.

CONVERSION TO SEMESTERS

There are an incredible number of factors affecting faculty working conditions that need to be considered as the College prepares to convert from quarters to semesters. It seems to many faculty that the College has gotten off to a slow start in preparing for this conversion, and CSEA hopes that the College administration, under the academic leadership of Provost Dr. Scherer, will show a willingness and an intent to work collaboratively with faculty during this process. For the conversion to be successful, it will be important that efforts between departments and divisions be well-coordinated, that faculty (who ultimately have responsibility for the curriculum) not participate in piece-meal departmental efforts simply in order to get moving on this initiative, and that guidelines coordinating such efforts be agreed upon by the College and the Association before faculty begin working on the conversion.

One glaring issue to be addressed is what the full-time faculty teaching load will be under a semester system. Currently, faculty have a 16-hour teaching obligation. This could consist, for example, of teaching four sections of 4-credit hour classes. If each class has 25 students enrolled, then that amounts to 100 students that a faculty member is responsible for: 100 papers to grade each week; 100 tests to grade each time a test is given; 100 students making use of office hours each week; etc.

Under a semester system, the credit hours for many courses will be reduced, perhaps (in the example above) from 4-credit hour classes to 3-credit hour or even 2-credit hour classes. Thus, a 16-hour teaching load is no longer practical: that would mean six or more sections of classes, each with 25 students enrolled; i.e., 150 papers to grade each week; 150 tests to grade each time a test is given; 150 students making use of office hours each week; etc.

Unfortunately, early indications from the College administration are that some do not think the teaching load will need to change; that "16 hours is 16 hours". Yet teaching four classes a week is not the same as teaching between 6-8 classes a week, and the additional planning, assessment, advising, etc., responsibilities would obviously be significant.

It is for this reason that CSEA is hoping and expecting the College administration to come to an agreement (soon) with CSEA regarding the issues related to a semester system, including both teaching under a semester system and the work necessary to undertake a conversion to a semester system. Because this type of work is subject to collective bargaining and an appropriate process for this important work has not been determined, faculty should avoid agreeing to ANY work on semester conversion at this time. Requests by administrators for faculty to begin work on this project would be considered as direct dealing, a recognized unfair labor practice. If you are approached by an administrator requesting that you begin work on the conversion to semesters, you should contact your Association Representative immediately.


The Word is produced by the Communications Committee of the Columbus State Education Association. We welcome your comments, news, and insights.

Darrell Minor, President/ x5310
Amy Brubaker, Vice-President / x5068
Judy Anderson, Secretary / x5453
Phil MacLean, Treasurer / x5308
Kevin James, Parliamentarian-elect / x5008

Steve Abbott, Senior Association Representative / x5096
Gil Feiertag, Senior Association Representative / x5861
Beth Barnett, Association Representative / x2593
Liz Betzel, Association Representative / x5329
Dave Busch, Association Representative / x5079
Dr. Bill Cook, Association Representative / x5364
T.J. Duda, Association Representative / x5309
Cindy Evans, Association Representative / x2435
Dr. Charlie Gallucci, Association Representative / x5499
Dr. Mort Javadi, Association Representative / x5635
Dr. Sue Longenbaker, Association Representative / x2430
Jackie Miller, Association Representative / x2601
Mark Mitchell, Association Representative / x3612
Eric Nuebauer, Association Representative / x5698
Keith Sanders, Association Representative / x2588
Gilberto Serrano, Association Representative / x3863
Leslie Smith, Association Representative / x5302


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