What's Really Happening - 2005/07/18



What's Really Happening

Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of July 18, 2005


The meeting to review the fact finder's report will be July 28 at 2 PM in Delaware 121. Please mark your calendar for this important event.

This critical member meeting will include a review of the fact finder's recommendations and a vote on whether to accept the fact finder's report, which will propose a settlement to our months-long contract negotiations. The report must be accepted by at least 60% of the membership. Failure to vote is assumed to be a vote to accept the report.

There's no way to tell what the fact finder will propose, so it's important that every member attend the meeting to hear and discuss the Negotiating Team's recommendations.

Even if you can't attend the meeting-which we hope you can-there will be additional voting times on Friday, July 29, from 10 AM-2 PM, and Monday, August 1, from 10 AM-4 PM. Voting on those days will be in Nestor Seminar Room B.


When is a problem not a problem? Apparently, it's when some administrators dictate what words can be used during meetings at an institution of higher education.

A strange form of corporate political correctness seems to be taking over the College. Several staff supervisors and department chairs have remarked recently that, in discussions of Datatel and its related problems, they have had their language corrected by upper management.

In discussions of problems with online registration, or the mysterious tendency of Datatel to drop from class rosters students who have paid fees and are already attending classes, or increased administration pressure to monitor faculty more closely, supervisors and chairs have been told that they may not refer to these situations as "problems," even though not even our skilled technical support people can explain why Datatel routinely drops so many paid students early each quarter.

According to administrative protectors of political correctness, such incidents, which generate ill will among students and bad PR for the College, must be referred to as "challenges." Managers who use the word "problem" are pointedly corrected for their inappropriate use of approved terminology in the increasingly corporate culture here at Columbus State.

In the past, the College has met the challenges posed by problems through freewheeling dialogue that involved all levels of the campus community without a politically correct speech code. Enough with the corporate psycho-babble. It's impossible to address a problem until you acknowledge that it exists.


Would anyone who can decode the following global email sent out last Friday by the College explain it to the rest of us?

"Total preliminary headcount for Summer 2005 stood at 12,762 as of the close of business July 11, 2005.  This compares to an estimated headcount of 12,019 for Summer 2004.  These figures represent a 6.1% increase." [Emphasis in original]

As best we can translate this, the College is saying there has been an increase in enrollment this summer based on an estimate of last summer's enrollment. The level of concern on campus about enrollment figures demands clear and accurate information, and reporting an increase in enrollment based on past estimates is, intentionally or not, misleading.

What are the actual enrollment figures for last summer? Why are they still being estimated 9 months after the reporting deadline for such figures? Will we see a clarifying memo soon?


The State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) reported Friday (July 9) that preliminary results for the fiscal year just ended indicate that its pension fund assets now exceed $59 billion, a record high.

STRS said in a release that preliminary figures indicate a total fund return of about 12% for the period of July 1, 2004 through June 30, 2005, with much of the gains attributed to returns generated by international equity investments and real estate investments. Together, the two investments returned more than 21% over the year. The total fund performance beat its passive fund benchmark by 0.8%, showing that active management added about $375 million to the fund's net value.

STRS serves more than 430,000 active, inactive and retired Ohio public educators, paying more than $3.1 billion in service retirement, disability and survivors benefits and about $426 million for health care coverage.

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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