Thursday, April 24, 2008

Why I Will Attend the Special Faculty Meeting Tomorrow

(For those that don't know--BCTC's administration has decided that the faculty "must" raise their course caps by 5 student and if they can't because of limitations--room, tech, etc--they will take on a 6th course!!! Faculty had no input in the decision-making process and there has been no discussion of how this will save money or if there are other options.)

Yesterday I replied to the reminder that the faculty was called to a special meeting on Friday … I received multiple emails and some phone messages asking me to elaborate.

My reply was a spontaneous passionate plea to my colleagues to show up to demonstrate their full concern with and responsibility for the learning environment of BCTC. I kept it short and sweet. I simply said “please” show up and if you want to know why I will discuss it with you. The “please” was a plea straight from the heart and the offer to discuss it was an offer of friendly engagement.

The reason why I will show up and why I hope my colleagues will also show up:

BCTC and Lexington are very important to me.

1) BCTC has been my home for the last three years. I give everything I can for this college. I promote it everywhere I go. I push myself to exhaustion.

2) I am a transplant, but I have come to truly love Lexington. My desire is to be a productive and positive citizen in this city and to expand the learning environment of BCTC into the broader community. I have begun to take root and I care about this place. I even considered that this may be the place I will live for the rest of my life.

This is why I care. My heart is overwhelmed at the thought of ever having to leave this place.

No matter what we are faced with and no matter what decisions we make and no matter what concessions we may make… In the interest of the college, collegiality, and citizenship, I believe, that all of us, no matter what our positions are, must, at least, show up on Friday to show that the faculty “does care” about BCTC and that we deserve a voice in the budget-making process.


Susannity said...

Help me understand this as I am not very familiar with academia business processes.
They want you all to add another class or add 5 more to each class. Is the school having to turn away headcount or ?

Thivai Abhor said...

They want first:

To raise the course cap (maximum capacity) five students for every class on campus


for those that are unable to increase the amount of students they will then assign an extra course every semester.

The reason is the administration/system has mismanaged and miscalculated the college finances the last three years and they are in debt.

This decision is untenable because it will severely damage the learning environment. It is nigh impossible to effectively teach five courses at the current cap.

Keeping in mind that we are "required" (checked twice a year to see if we are doing it) to also do advising, internal service, external service, leadership activities and professional development along with our developing, teaching and maintaining our heavy course load.

They also froze our wages this year at the same time we received the increase.

The president of our college system is the highest paid in the nation while the professors are some of the lowest paid in the nation and the tuition for students is 26% higher than the national average

Susannity said...

Wow. Sounds like typical scenario where some 'overhead' is eating budget. My husband sees this all the time at work and what is so frustrating is that it could be fixed. But the problem is some of the even higher overhead likes the insulation of lots of overhead and overhead has nothing to do but burn budget, create issues, and propose issue resolutions that don't resolve anything but give them the delusional belief that they are creating value.

I'm not bitter. =P