What's Really Happening - 2005/01/25



What's Really Happening

Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of January 25, 2005


Staff across the college are working tirelessly to overcome the flaws of Datatel, but no one knows better than faculty that Datatel has also hurt students academically. Faculty are spending more and more time at the beginning of each quarter assisting students with their Datatel problems and less time teaching.

But this doesn't mean that great teaching isn't still taking place at Columbus State. Even though most of us have more Datatel horror stories than we can count, we are still making a difference in the classroom every day. Is there a better feeling than when a student tells you that you are doing a great job?

For instance, one faculty member told about a student in her first quarter of college whose bad experience in high school had made her doubt that she was college material. At the end of the quarter, she gave her instructor a holiday coffee mug filled with chocolates. The student explained that because of the encouragement she received from the instructor, she now wants to finish her college degree. The student could not tell that her little gesture also encouraged her instructor!

WRH wants to hear your happy teaching stories. Don't worry-no story is too cheesy to be considered for publication. We know that the small actions that we engage in as teachers pay large dividends in surprising ways.


CSEA dues are deductible from your federal income taxes except the portion that is spent to help political campaigns. Therefore, $20.82 of your dues cannot be deducted from your taxes. The $20.82 represents 3% of your dues.

And get this SPECIAL OFFER, just for those faculty whose excuse for not joining CSEA is that they don't want their dues to support certain political candidates backed by the National Education Association: an anonymous faculty member has offered to reimburse that $20.82 to each of the first 10 faculty who join CSEA and either pay dues in full or sign up for continuing payroll deduction. No more excuses. Join CSEA.


The buyout of your unused personal days from 2004 should appear in the Jan. 31 paycheck. By contract, the College will buy back up to 16 hours of your unused personal leave.



The results of the Upward Evaluation forms that were completed at the end of Autumn Quarter have been forwarded to the chairpersons. The results are not for public release unless chairs decide on their own to share the information with others.

CSEA was pleased-but not surprised-that the overwhelming majority of responding faculty offered praise for their department chairs. CSEA hopes that the responses offer confirmation of department chairs' best practices as well as insights into possible improvements in management.

One of the most frequent complaints among both faculty and staff is the College's to adequately train and support its managers. Most of the personnel problems that have emerged over the past 10 years have been directly linked to inadequate training and oversight of lower- and middle-level managers, with a corresponding decline in faculty and staff morale. During our initial negotiations, the College strongly resisted any form of faculty evaluation of department chairs. As the most frequently evaluated employees in the College, faculty are aware of how feedback provides opportunities to adapt and improve in their jobs. We hope that this feedback to department chairs will provide similar improvements in management.


And Spring is the time of year when most prospective home buyers begin looking for homes. This makes sense since we get as energized by the warmer weather and increased sunshine as the plants and flowers do. And the new plant growth only increases the curb appeal of many homes. If you are considering becoming a homeowner (or perhaps you already own a home and are looking to refinance), did you know that NEA Member Benefits has a Home Financing Program designed just for you?

The NEA Home Financing Program, provided by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, offers great rates, an easy application process, and superior service as demonstrated by the 97 percent satisfaction rate given by NEA members already using the program. With a variety of options including low down payment or even no down payment loans, and with home mortgage rates remaining lower than they have been in years, many newer members are finding that they are able to buy a home and begin building equity earlier than previous generations, as well as getting more home for the money.

As an OEA member, using the NEA Home Financing Program provides two other great perks. After closing, members will get a vacation package certificate good for 12 months at one of more than 300 locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. And if you request participation in the Community Sharing Program for NEA Members, a $150 contribution will be made in your name to the non-profit organization of your choice. Your gift could benefit the OEA Education Foundation, your school, or your favorite charity (with certain restrictions) - all a part of OEA's commitment to you!

With interest rates near historic lows, and special programs like Teacher Next Door, it may be more affordable than ever for you to get into a new home. For more information about the NEA Home Financing Program, go to www.neamb.com or call the NEA Member Benefits Member Service Center at 1-800-637-4636.


Association Representative Leslie Smith has returned from leave and resumed her position on behalf of faculty in the Mathematics and Developmental Education departments. We appreciate Elizabeth Betzel's work while Leslie was on leave.

What's Really Happening is produced by the Communications Committee of the Columbus State Education Association. We welcome your comments, news, and insights.

Steve Abbott, President / x5096
Karl Rieppel, Vice President / x2500
Amy Brubaker, Secretary and Association Representative / x5068
Greg Goodhart, Treasurer / x5431
Darrell Minor, Parliamentarian / x5310
Bill Mundy, Association Representative / x5176
Dr. Jane McDowell, Association Representative / x2656 
Dave Busch, Association Representative / x5079
Dr. Charlie Gallucci, Association Representative / x5499
Leslie Smith, Association Representative / x5302
Dr. Wendy McCullen-Vermillion, Association Representative / x2693
Lisa Schneider, Association Representative / x5124

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