The Word - 2010/02/15

 

 

The Word from CSEA

Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of February 15, 2010

CSEA MEMBERS MEETING

CSEA’s Winter Quarter member meeting will be held Wednesday, February 24, from 3:00-4:30 PM in a location to be announced. The agenda will include a discussion of the upward evaluation form and process, the emerging issue of "faculty credentials", and continued discussion about the necessary qualities for the college's next president to possess.

TAX-DEDUCTION FOR CSEA DUES

Of the total OEA/Uniserv/NEA dues from last year ($636), members may deduct $604.27. On top of this, all $54 of local CSEA dues are deductible. Therefore members can deduct a total of $658.27 from their 2009 taxes. Note: this qualifies as a miscellaneous deduction (on Form 1040, Schedule A), the total of which must equal at least 2% of adjusted gross income in order to be deductible.

BOARD MEMBERS: “CAN WE MOVE THE GOALPOSTS?”

At the January 28 Board of Trustees meeting, the Board was presented with the college’s progress on the various goals that CSCC has set and worked toward in areas of access, sustainability, human capacity development, academic quality improvement, and student success. The milestones related to student success continue to not be achieved, and unfortunately the current administration and at least some members of the board clearly lack the understanding and insights needed to turn this around.

Student success comes in many ways, and last year the Board allocated $1.5 million for a Student Success Initiative. The current administration has come to rely on a perilously disproportionate number of adjunct faculty over the years, requiring increasingly more support and oversight from full-time faculty. Most of the Student Success money was to fund initiatives for full-time faculty to train & mentor adjunct faculty. The chairman of the Board made it a point to remind the other Board members of the $1.5 million allocation that they had agreed to, and offered kudos to himself and the rest of the Board for having the foresight to fund such an initiative. What he utterly fails to realize is that now, more than six months later, the money remains sitting in a Columbus State account somewhere, with the administration refusing to release the funds, in spite of the fact that faculty have offered a number of initiatives to improve student success rates at the college.

Probably even more disturbing than watching the chairman of the Board wallow in narcissistic adulation was that two members of the Board essentially asked whether the goals in the area of student success could be lowered in order to achieve them. That’s right. Trustees of a college suggested that the way to achieve “success” is by re-defining a goal/standard downward.

Perhaps as faculty, we should all do likewise in our classes. 90% should no longer be the benchmark to earn an "A", but let's lower that standard to 75%. Instead of 70% being the standard for a passing grade, let's lower it to 40%. That way, the "success" rates of our students would look good for this administration, and difficult decisions about how to address the challenges of improving student success can be avoided. Just don't drive over any bridges designed by a student who took his/her calculus at Columbus State.

IMPROVING THE PROFESSIONAL STANDING OF ADJUNCTS

Recently, Ohio House Bill 365 (HB 365) and Ohio Senate Bill 129 (SB 129) have each been introduced in the state legislature on behalf of the more than 13,000 part-time higher education faculty in the state. The bills would allow these faculty (adjuncts and graduate assistants) at public institutions of higher education in Ohio to have the same collective bargaining rights as full-time faculty. Currently, part-time higher education faculty are exempted from "public employee" status under Ohio's collective bargaining law.

Providing part-time faculty collective bargaining rights would allow them to choose to join an employee organization that would represent them in negotiations with employers on issues such as wages, hours, terms and conditions of employment, grievances, and other labor disputes.

The role of part-time faculty continues to grow nationwide, with part-time faculty now teaching more than 40% of undergraduate courses nationally. At Columbus State, faculty teaching on adjunct contracts teach approximately 75% of our courses; only about 25% of courses at Columbus State are taught by full-time faculty as part of their regular teaching load. The college's administration reports a better ratio to the Ohio Board of Regents (closer to 40% being taught by full-time faculty, and 60% by part-time faculty), only because they choose to include overloads, reassigned time, and even vacant full-time positions as part of the "full-time hours", even though - at least in the case of reassigned time and vacant full-time positions - the hours counted are not even being taught by full-time faculty.

Nationally, as at Columbus State, part-time faculty are paid substantially less than full-time faculty, do not receive benefits such as health insurance or life insurance, and often teach for several different institutions to earn a living. The availability of this "cheap labor" gives the college's administration less reason to want to address student success issues and hire an adequate number of full-time faculty.

Please contact your State Representative and State Senator, urging them to support HB 365 and SB 129, respectively. A sample letter follows:

Date

Subject: Please support HB 365/SB 129

Dear _______,

As an educator, I urge you to support HB 365 and SB 129, which allow over 13,000 part-time faculty, also known as adjuncts and graduate assistants, at public institutions of higher education across Ohio to have the same collective bargaining rights as full-time faculty.

Providing part-time faculty at Ohio's public colleges and universities with the same collective bargaining rights as full-time faculty will allow them to negotiate fair wages and benefits that reflect their increasingly significant role in delivering education services. It will also help Ohio compete for the best part-time faculty by putting the state on par with other states in the region that already provide these educators collective bargaining rights, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Wisconsin. By supporting HB 365 and SB 129, you will also support students by helping to ensure that part-time faculty members receive the financial and professional support they need to do their best work.

Thank you for your consideration in supporting HB 365 and SB 129.

Sincerely,

PROGRESS TOWARD UPWARD EVALUATION

In the last issue of The Word, we reported CSEA’s intent to again conduct upward evaluation of department chairs by full-time faculty. CSEA believes that both operational excellence and fairness dictate that supervisors receive feedback from those they supervise.

The Executive Committee appreciates your feedback, which offered suggestions for revising the previous upward evaluation questionnaire. Many of these recommendations are being incorporated into a new evaluation form.

Later this quarter, CSEA will provide full-time faculty with the forms to rate the performance of their supervisors. The results of these evaluations will not be publicized but will be shared with each department chair and his/her respective dean.

As a special incentive, every CSEA member who participates in this evaluation process will be eligible to win a drawing for one of two $50 gift certificates from Dine Originals Columbus, an association of 39 locally-owned fine restaurants.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS—OATYC CONFERENCE

The Ohio Association of Two-Year Colleges (OATYC) Conference 2010 will be held Friday, October 22, 2010, at Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) in Newark. This year's theme is "Teaching and Learning in a Social Media Age", and proposals for presentations along this theme are now being solicited.

NEW CSCC BOARD MEMBERS

Gov. Strickland has named three individuals to serve six-year terms on the Columbus State Board of Trustees. CSEA welcomes the new appointees: Lynne Bowman (Executive Director, Equality Ohio); Anne Lopez-Walton (Financial Analyst, Rumpke Consolidated Companies); and Richard Rosen (Senior Vice-President of Education and Philanthropy, Battelle Memorial Institute).

We are hopeful that as new Board members participate in the process of leading Columbus State into the future, they will be able to avoid simply following the failed leadership provided by past and current board chairs, who time and again demonstrate that they are more interested in supporting the president of the college than in supporting the college itself - and instead put forth a serious effort to make sometimes-difficult decisions that will result in improving the experience our students have at Columbus State.

Issues that have been neglected by the current administration, such as the need for a long-term academic plan, the importance of providing and maintaining adequate facilities at our downtown urban campus, and the necessity of employing enough full-time faculty to ensure quality and successful programs, will need strong leadership by the Board in the future, and by the next president.

PROMOTION AND TENURE WORKSHOP

In case you missed it, there will be a promotion and tenure workshop for faculty currently developing portfolios, offered through the Innovation Center. Experienced faculty from both the Career & Technical Division and the Arts & Sciences Division will be available to discuss the putting together of portfolios, respond to questions, and provide their expert insights into the process.

The workshops will be held this Wednesday, February 17, from 2:00 – 3:30 PM and again on Wednesday, March 3, from 3:00 – 3:30 PM.

REMINDER: SURVEY PLANNED FOR LATER THIS MONTH

CSEA commends faculty who have adjusted their classroom work to assist the College in conducting the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE). This instrument is designed to assess institutional practices and student behaviors that are highly correlated with student learning and student retention. The survey will be conducted over the next three weeks and will require responses by students enrolled in courses in both Career & Technical and Arts & Sciences courses, drawn from a random sampling of course sections.


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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