The Word - 2010/04/07

 

 

The Word from CSEA

Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of April 7, 2010

CSEA WELCOMES NEW PRESIDENT DR. DAVID HARRISON

CSEA joins the rest of campus in welcoming Dr. David Harrison as the next president of Columbus State. Dr. Harrison will be visiting campus occasionally between now and the end of June, and will begin serving as president on July 1, 2010. We look forward to having a collegial working relationship with Dr. Harrison and are hopeful that he will bring with him an understanding and a respect for the role that faculty should play in the governance of a college, an ability to engage in long-term academic and facilities planning in ways that will allow the college to move toward a culture focused on student success, and a recognition of the strong correlation that exists between student success and having an adequate number of full-time faculty to engage in the many activities that contribute to student success.

We realize that, like an ocean liner that cannot change direction immediately, it will take some time to make measurable progress in some important areas of concern. But there are many small steps that can be quickly taken to begin establishing an ethos in which student success is recognized as a high priority and faculty have made clear that they are looking forward to collaborating in any such endeavors.

CSEA would like to thank all the faculty who shared their feedback on the final two presidential candidates. We also want to offer our sincere gratitude to the faculty who served on the Presidential Search Committee—Steve Abbott (English), Antoinette Perkins (Massage Therapy), and Ann Ziegel (English)—for giving of their time and energy to participate in many hours of meetings, interviews, reviewing documents, etc. Your dedication to the college is greatly appreciated!

BOARD OF REGENTS DATA CONFIRM THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING AN ADEQUATE NUMBER OF FULL-TIME FACULTY

There have been a multitude of studies done nationally that have demonstrated the strong positive correlation that exists between the number of full-time faculty and various measures of student success, including retention rates, graduation rates, transfer rates, and course completion rates.

Now, data recently released by the Ohio Board of Regents (OBOR, October 2009) confirm that the same holds true for Ohio's 23 community colleges. For example, in comparing student to full-time faculty ratios at Ohio's community colleges to their student degree/certificate completion rates, one finds exactly what one would suspect: that the higher (i.e., worse) the student to full-time faculty ratio is, the lower the student degree/certificate completion rates are. In fact, the four community colleges that have the best student to full-time faculty ratio are all among the five colleges with the best degree/certificate completion rates. Conversely, the five colleges with the worst degree/certificate completion rates (including Columbus State) include four of the colleges with the worst student to full-time faculty ratios (including Columbus State).

Moreover, some basic regression analysis of the OBOR data shows that fully 59% of the variation in degree/certificate completion rates can be attributed to variation in the student to full-time faculty ratios. So while our current administration sets aside millions of dollars to try to establish programs to have full-time faculty spend additional time mentoring adjunct faculty in an effort to improve student success, this effort will, at best, address only a small fraction of the disparity in student success that Columbus State experiences compared to Ohio's other community colleges. That money would be far better spent hiring dozens of our proven, best-qualified adjunct faculty on a full-time basis, thus improving the abysmal student-to-full-time-faculty ratio that currently exists at the college and providing students with additional access to faculty resources that are essential to student success.

It is worth noting that the many studies that have been conducted on the correlation of full-time faculty ratios to student success do not come to the conclusion that the correlation is a result of poor instruction by adjunct faculty. To leap to such a conclusion is to ignore the many factors that contribute to student success, including faculty-student interactions outside of the classroom, advisement of students, engagement in curriculum planning and development, and professional development opportunities afforded to full-time faculty.

Finally, in addition to hiring more full-time faculty, one strategic practice that the college could adopt would be to pay adjunct faculty to hold office hours. Such a practice could go a long way toward providing students with the opportunities to engage in some of the out-of-class activities that contribute to student success in ways that, in the past, have been dismissed by the current administration as unimportant, evidently because paying adjuncts to hold office hours doesn't contribute to the bottom line on a balance sheet in the Business Office.

UPWARD EVALUATION

CSEA will be sending out the upward evaluation forms to all full-time faculty in the next few days. We ask that you please take 10 minutes or so to complete the survey and return it to us. Individual evaluations will not be shared. Only aggregate data will be compiled and forwarded to department chairs and their respective deans; results will not be publicized. Our hope is that the chairpersons will find the feedback informative and helpful, and be able to continue to build on their strengths and address those areas that the surveys indicate can be improved upon.

ACCESSING GROUPWISE FROM HOME

Are you still accessing your GroupWise email from home by going through the Columbus State homepage? You can download the GroupWise client directly to your home computer by visitinghttp://gwgate.cscc.edu/, enabling you to access your email immediately, including all the features that you have from your on-campus computer.

KOMEN COLUMBUS RACE FOR THE CURE

Once again this year, CSEA will be joining forces with others from the College to raise funds for breast cancer research and treatment programs as part of the Komen Race for the Cure on Saturday, May 15. Registration must be completed online by Friday, April 23, 2010 OR with a Team Member Registration form and returned with fee money by Friday, April 23, 2010.

To register online, follow the directions below:

 

To get a Team Member Registration from, please contact one of the following people:

  1. Kevin James (kjames1@cscc.edu or x5008)
  2. Beth Barnett (bbarnett@cscc.edu or x2593)
  3. Deborah Bertsch (dbertsch@cscc.edu or x5860)
  4. Dawn Skedell (dskedell@cscc.edu or x3843)
  5. Cathy Treyens (ctreyens@cscc.edu or x5047)

 

If you would like to see who is on Columbus State’s team and how much we have raised so far or you want to make a donation to the team, click on “Columbus State Community College.” To make a donation, click on the “Donate to this Team!” button above the team thermometer.

5k begins at 8:15am for competitors with a race chip ($5 extra). All other runners will begin at 8:30am.

Race packet includes a race t-shirt, bib number, race day materials and special offers.

All funds from the Komen Race for the Cure go to research, education, screening, and treatment programs of Breast Cancer.

TEACHERS PERSONAL INFORMATION TO REMAIN PRIVATE

In an important decision for teachers and educational professionals in Ohio that could have wide ramifications, Judge Dan Hogan of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas issued an order on March 31, 2010 in favor of the Ohio Education Association (OEA) stating that the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and its agents and employees shall not, pursuant to any public records request, release or publish the residential (home) addresses, home telephone numbers, and personal email addresses of individuals licensed by the ODE. Judge Hogan found that the disclosure of such information would cause irreparable harm since the information could never be returned to its current level of privacy once released.

The information had been sought by two individuals late last year, presumably for the purpose of distributing political literature and/or soliciting for political causes. The initial opinion from the Attorney General’s office to ODE was that such records are considered public records, and it was ODE’s intent to release the information. OEA requested and was granted a Temporary Restraining Order on November 13, 2009, preventing the release of such records until a decision could be made. The permanent injunction granted to OEA by Judge Hogan last week makes permanent the earlier Temporary Restraining Order.

POSSIBLE CHANGES TO HEALTH INSURANCE

The College Health Care Committee has been reviewing bids from vendors, possible changes to the health insurance plans, and potential increases in premiums in preparation for new coverage and premiums to begin July 1, 2010. Currently, two options are being seriously considered. One option would maintain the current coverage in each of the two plans (the Core plan, and the Health Savings Account plan) and result in a modest increase in premiums. The other option would make moderate changes to each of the two plans, and result in no increase in premiums for next year.

PMore details on the possible changes will be sent in the next day or two. We would like your feedback on the two options being considered. Once you receive the summary of the two options, please forward any feedback to one of the CSEA representatives on the College Health Care Committee: Dr. Greg Goodhart or Dr. Amine Kidane.

SWITCH TO SEMESTERS (S2S)

The college has presented CSEA with a proposal regarding moving forward on the work necessary to convert from quarters to semesters. CSEA was sent the proposal during the last week of winter quarter, and we met with college administrators during final exam week to discuss the proposal.

The proposal calls for 5 hours of reassigned time per department, per quarter, for four quarters. These 5 hours would be offered to one faculty member per department to serve as a "Curriculum Project Coordinator", and originally was not going to begin until Autumn Quarter 2010. It now appears that C&T will be allocating the reassigned hours beginning Spring Quarter 2010 (although at least one chairperson has indicated that she does not intend to allocate reassigned time for this work), and A&S will be allocating the reassigned hours beginning Summer Quarter 2010.

In the Career & Technical Division, the project coordinator's duties would include coordinating all of the curriculum submissions for that department; coordinating the development of new curriculum plans of study for each program in the department; serving as a department liaison to the Arts & Sciences Division for interaction regarding basic related courses; submitting all initial course syllabi and accompanying documents to the Division Curriculum Committee and to the College Curriculum Office; completing the crosswalk guide for all courses; completing accreditation checklists for all programs that must follow accreditation guidelines; following through with the submission of each course outline to the Dean's office and the College Curriculum Office; aligning all documents in coordination with the College Curriculum Office for presentation through shared governance; and working with the College Curriculum Office to prepare TAG and CTAG courses for submission to OBOR.

In the Arts & Sciences Division, the project coordinator's duties would include coordinating, assembling, and submitting both initial course syllabi and advanced documentation, including clear statements and examples related to the impact of semester conversion on course goals and outcomes; include rubrics that would be clear about the relationship of course goals and outcomes to levels of performance; serving as the liaison to the Career & Technical Division, and other departments within the A&S Division, to ensure that the course content and alignment fills all program and accreditation needs of the C&T Division; completing crosswalk guides for all courses, including alignment with all TAGs, articulation agreements and pre-major concentrations; overseeing the submission of all proposals through the Division Curriculum Committee, the Division Dean, and the College Curriculum Office; and working with the College Curriculum Office to ensure proper submission to relevant shared governance committees and Ohio Board of Regents.

CSEA has expressed its concerns about the multiple programs that are included in some C&T departments, noting that in those departments it may not be practical for one faculty member to serve as a "Curriculum Project Manager" over programs in which they have no expertise. The Dean responded that it was her intent to offer an additional 3 hours of reassigned time (for a total of 8 hours) for the largest and most diverse department in the division, and to allow faculty members within the same department to share the reassigned hours during spring quarter.

CSEA is cautiously moving forward with the college in this direction for spring quarter, but we wish to remind all faculty that reassigned time is VOLUNTARY, and no faculty member is required to accept this role. If you do wish to accept the reassigned time to serve as Curriculum Project Coordinator for your department, be aware that for every hour of reassigned time, you are expected to put in two hours of work (thus, 5 hours of reassigned time would carry with it an expectation of doing 10 hours of work per week, for each of 11 weeks during the quarter). [Note: the 2 clock hours of work per 1 hour of reassigned time is due to the fact that each hour of reassigned time reduces your teaching load by 1 hour, your office hour commitment by 1/2 hour, and your Mission and Learning Support time by 1/2 hour]. If no faculty member in a department accepts this role, then the college may need to reconsider the wisdom of limiting the resources being allocated to faculty to perform the necessary work in the way that it so far has. The conversion to semesters will be the most significant change in curriculum and structure that the college has ever seen, and will require the college to allocate significant resources in order to complete the conversion by Autumn Quarter 2012.

Furthermore, per an agreement between CSEA and the college, "Any work toward preparing for such a conversion will, to the greatest extent possible, leave unchanged overall faculty workload and not result in an expansion of the mission and learning support requirements." Thus, no faculty member is obligated to put in many hours of work on the conversion to semesters without some measurable offset in other time commitments that would be comparable to the hours spent on conversion work. If you are currently a coordinator or lead teacher, additional work necessary for semester conversion should only come with a measurable offset of other duties that is comparable to the hours spent on conversion work. If you are not a coordinator or lead teacher, then you are not expected to complete additional work for conversion without receiving some reassigned time or agreeing to an overload contract specific to the task to be performed.

Note that the actual conversion of courses to the semester format will likely not begin until Summer or Autumn Quarter. This work will be done by a variety of faculty, and the college's stated intent is to consider three categories of classes: (1) those that can be considered as new or totally redesigned courses, which the college is proposing be done using reassigned time (and indicates that there will be very few of these); (2) those course conversions that involve a "significant change in course content and requires the development of over 50% new teaching tools and assessments", which the college is proposing be paid only as part of an overload contract; and (3) those courses that are converted "with very little new content addition, such as those that are adapted from other colleges or statewide TAGs", and which the college is proposing will be done without any form of pay. The college proposed that the decisions regarding which of the three categories a course conversion would fall under would be made by the division dean and the department chairperson, but CSEA has indicated that the classification of a course conversion would need to include input from content experts (i.e., faculty) who would be doing the actual conversion, and without such input this portion of the college's proposal is unacceptable.

We wish to work cooperatively in this endeavor, but CSEA leadership continues to question whether the college administration is recognizing the significant amount of work that needs to occur by the faculty in this conversion, and whether the amount of resources being made available to complete this work is sufficient. CSEA strongly believes that the administration is using its own lack of foresight in starting work on conversion to semesters to now suggest that faculty take on additional “emergency” work to meet conversion deadlines. In fact, meeting conversion deadlines should require the administration to commit more resources in the form of more reassigned time to make up for lost time. The next few weeks of spring quarter may determine if faculty are willing to do this work for the amount of reassigned time being offered.


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
Kevin James, Vice-President / x5008
Judy Anderson, Secretary / x5453
Phil MacLean, Treasurer / x5308
Ingrid Emch, Parliamentarian / x5824

Steve Abbott, Senior Association Representative / x5096
Gil Feiertag, Senior Association Representative / x5861
Beth Barnett / x2593
Dr. Bill Cook / x5364
T.J. Duda / x5309
Cindy Evans / x2435
Dr. Mort Javadi / x5635
Dr. Sue Longenbaker / x2430
Jackie Miller / x2601
Mark Mitchell / x3612
Eric Nuebauer / x5698
Keith Sanders / x2588
Mike Schumacher / x5482
Gilberto Serrano / x3863


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