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Buzzin' By

SO: I think that the term lecturer implies the individual is teaching and thus is a member of the teaching faculty. Many colleges assign titles such as Sr. Lecturer. Case in point, our former VPAA now at Kean.I am not disagreeing about what the job has morphed into and how the VPAA might be using it in a divisive way, but we're sort of mincing words here. Also, they are teaching full time I agree but they also have a SUBSTANTIAL number of hours doing admin crap. Can't wait till they begin observing our classes.

Cornelius Nepos Hears a Bassoon, Albeit Dimly

There is an open forum tomorrow, Get Up, but there was an invitation-only "focus group" today. And I'm thinking SO's posting the link isn't about being unsympathetic. There is no mention of how one should feel about individuals in a bad situation. As I read it, there is some(re)table-turning being urged. I can follow the metaphor: these lecturers may be nice people, but the admin has them drunk on themselves. The admin is using them to further erode the morale and self-esteem of what has been a highly qualified, engaged faculty. Counteract, counteract, counteract. Am I wrong?

Get Up Stand Up

I believe all faculty were invited to the "Open Forum" tomorrow.

Regarding the Lecturer II positions, remember, we're all in this together. I too have serious concerns about the selection of the department chairs and about the hiring of the Lecturers. But this concern is leavened with the knowledge that full time teaching positions are hard to come by. I'm assuming that most of the non-tenured faculty do not want to teach 7 classes per semester (plus most of them teach overloads) and then perform "administrative duties" in their "free time." They deserve, at least, our understanding of the situation they find themselves in.

Unsurprisingly, the Troll doesn't have a good read on the support staff. While it’s been hard for everyone on this campus, I, like many others, have been impressed by the willingness of the support staff to speak out.

Swamp Ophelia

Do.not.feed.the.troll.

Buzzin', I would submit that lecturers are not at all part time. Their minimum teaching load is seven courses per term; most are up to eight or nine with Quick Term. "Contingent lecturer" is fine, too. I simply enjoy the fact that even the VPAA slips up and calls them "faculty." But they are faculty manqués. Contingent program chair also has a nice ring to it.

Troll 5.0 (complete with fabulous grammar)

Hi to all,

This website is only good for the faculty but not the supportive staff. Not helpful info only negative remarks. When you all going to learn fighting each other doesn't help anyone. Also look at that Union we belong to. Who are they really helping? They tell you who to vote for, no pay raise is a good thing but seriously who's side are they really on? We lost our jobs weaken the union even more and still nobody cares. Take a look in the mirror soon it may be your jobs on the self. Unemployment is a big threat to us all.

Buzzin' By

Actually they are part time lecturers and part time administrators which makes them full time what? At any rate they are considered contingent employees as are the adjuncts both subject to rehire at the discretion of the college. As to who is invited by the VPAA to attend the focus group, it is mostly, from what I heard, these contingent lecturers who are also (how can we forget) department chairs and sometimes interim deans.

Swamp Ophelia

WTF: excellent briefing on SI. So, has anyone been invited to the (VPAA-selected) focus group today? We need a report.

Meanwhile, someone should deliver this to every adjunct and lecturer mailbox: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/91-off-track-adjuncts-are-addicts

They need to understand their own condition. We, on the other hand, need to articulate some crucial distinctions for them. Lecturers should be referred to as "full time contingent faculty, " not "twelve month faculty," as the VPAA is apparently fond of calling them. Let's not fight that even the VPAA acknowledges that they are, indeed, faculty, and not the faux (and very weakly credentialed) uber-"professionals" they are told they are, little spoonfuls of absinthe to keep them deluded. Try it: "contingent lecturer;" "contingent full time faculty." Use the word tenured to refer to yourselves, people. Say professor. We have words. We can make good use of them.

Bebop

WTF:

Your intelligence work and briefing on SI, INC, is priceless! The writers for Letterman and O'Brien had better tighten the grip on their jobs.

Buzzin' By:

Can't attend the open forum, without taking a class of students with me. After reading WTF's toxicity report, I'd rather take my students to learn botany at a Superfund site.

Buzzin' By

Could not agree more, Bebop. But it's all so predictable. Larson's memo said nothing informative as to what this latest consulting group/initiative du jour is doing; however, I am sure they will be speaking at the next colloquium joining the other grandiose endeavors that fail. Maybe they're trying to figure out how to resurrect the China debacle that apparently no one figured out was already in place from Kean. Spin the globe: Where are we off to next? I do believe we should attend the open forum though.

WTF

Bebop,

Thanks for the cue to conduct some research.

The outfit is called “Strategic Initiatives, Inc.”

From what I can tell after a quick read, it’s the usual pap and charlantry from the world of management consulting. Lots of buzzwords and, I’m sure, spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides painting a glorious path of growth if only the neat and tidy plan of ___ (fill in method being promoted) was followed.

The two links below will get you started.

http://www.strategicinitiatives.com/home
The “About Us” tab is a primer on the use of high faluitin’ words (“dyads,” “thought leader”) to impress those interested in the appearance of deep thinking. The company is interested in – get ready for it – “leading and navigating change.”

http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/PUB9012.pdf
58 page look at their version of analytics. Hold on to your seats: it’s deadening and filled with jargon from the world of business management. In other words, it is designed for dim witted overlords to keep their minions busy.

Seems to me that somebody went to a conference, heard a speech by a person good at self promotion, and there goes Ocean County tax dollars. If our administration is so good, how come they have hired a succession of consultants to determine the correct what to do?

The solution is obvious: get rid of those pesky tenured faculty with their ideas, experience, talent, ethics, dedication, ability, and independence.

Bebop

Know the feeling all too well, WTF.

The research results I want to see lie in the data generated by the Chronicle of Higher Education's Best Places to Work survey a couple of years back, the one that earned OCC the distinction of being among those joints "not yielding the highest rate of satisfaction" (or some such euphemism).

How do we get at the raw data? I'll put together the comparative bar graph, if one doesn't exist. Oh, a bar graph says a thousand words!

I can make little sense of the Strategic Initiatives duo hosting the open forum later in the month, according to a college e-mail today. The obvious one is not necessarily the best explanation: Larson wants either to spend a bundle of money or implement some wacky, grandiose scheme and the easiest way to lend it some legitimacy is to hire some buddies to write a report indicating we need an expensive and wacky initiative.

What happened to the Haig Group (or was it The Hague?), hired to conduct some organizational efficiency analysis? Anyone acquainted with 20th Century industrial efficiency practices can see Taylorism heading our way.

Heck, it could well be at OCC already, for the hand and other tissue stocking the rest rooms has but one utility: making sure staff avoid entering them. Welcome to Taylorism, folks, the science of designing workplace movements to maximize productivity.

WTF

Bebop,

I think the administration knows what we think of them. What can they do to us? Hold our raises?

Any chance to let someone else know what I think of the administration of the college it is a chance I'll take.

Bebop

Who would pay money for insightful, sage guidance from a consulting group which adopts as its business name a term generating 2.85 million results in a Google search? Those, we might suspect, who could not get a callback from Acme Investigative Services.

Sorry, Nepos, not leaving my digital tracks in that neighborhood, neither in a completed survey from my office nor with a perfunctory peek from home.

WTF

Hi Cornelius,

Agreed about the survey. And we need the results: in other words, what our tax dollars bought.

Cornelius Nepos Hears A Bassoon

Tried posting this earlier. I think we should all take the survey. How much is OCC paying Strategic Initiatives? Does anyone know? The links are to two pages of the survey questions.
"Solution Providers" sounds particularly ominous.


https://www.dropbox.com/s/8xqd1r5xivsmww4/Survey%20One.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ly1cjlb3ur2bidu/Survey%20Two.jpg

WTF

Rumors, rumors, rumors.

Any institution of higher education has them. The problem at OCC is there always exists an undercurrent of machinations that we are powerless to stop yet will have real consequences (usually negative) on our professional lives and students. This kind of behind the scenes maneuvering is the mark of dysfunction in senior management.

Buzzin' By

OCC is really becoming the garbage dump for community college administrators no one else wants. Heard certain former dean was seen on campus and is begging for employment. This seems to be the new policy over the past year or so. Earlier post by a blogger called OCC a cesspool. Guess so given what we're filling the ranks with while firing good people. Makes me sick from the toxicity of it all.

The Truth Will Out (Eventually)

The college – and the larger administrative and political (note I did not say academic) forces around us – believe that retention and successful completion is all.

The problem for faculty is where does the line between ensuring high retention and successful completion become lowered standards? I know one person with a doctorate in philosophy who had to retake English I several times. She wasn’t stupid: she just wasn’t accustomed to the rigors of college level writing.

So was that college a failure because it took that student many times (three if I remember correctly) to complete the course, or was it a success because it gave her the chance to learn and eventually reach college level proficiency in writing, and then continue to grow and earn a doctorate?

WTF

"Succession"?

For a position that should never have been created?

It seems that some will not go gentle into that good night. They must rage, rage against -- anyone who points out logical errors in the college's policies. You know, the people that take their job seriously enough to look past boot licking to what is really best for students and the college.

“Illegitimum”/ “Bastards”?

I wonder if the new head of "civility" will refer to the people that "grind" him or her down (aka those with a conscience and willing to speak out) as "bastards."

Only at OCC would the head of the "civility" committee get away with signing off all her messages with this. It's like Mary Poppins with a whip.

And of course, it can only increase the "quality" of the college to have the person in charge of ensuring it include the word "bastard" in their signature. What kind of a message does this send? And forget our own cesspool: I cringe to think how those outside our dysfunction who get a message with such a quote judge MY college.

And finally, Ms. "Illegitimum non carborundum," I wonder who's being ground and who are the bastards?

Buzzin' By (the original)

You are both correct, Bebop and WM. And that is exploitation at its worst. I trust you are referring to the Lecturer IIs who are also chairs now, but the tenured faculty is allegedly getting release time, or so I heard. But I would have to question that we are hearing Larson's voice here and that he is the puppet master. My sense is that he has entirely removed himself from the day to day operation of Academic Affairs and is just allowing the VPAA to go rogue and do whatever she wants. And she's a master at boasting of her achievements and new programs and initiatives but most, if nothing are not in place or approved. It's all BS if you ask me. But that is my opinion. What I am sure of is that she is leading the college into even more of a downward spiral. This does not bring me joy.

Bebop

In the e-mail succession announcement this morning, the college makes official the retirement of its civility slogan:

"Illegitimum non carborundum"

[Don't let the bastards grind you down.]

Webmaster

Agreed, BeBop. The new VPAA is a shiny, new face to put on Larson's spin of beating down the faculty until he can replace us all with Lecturers and adjuncts. She speaks with a smile and may truly believe that she is giving us a voice. The only voice that we have is King Jon's. When he asks for an opinion he will also give one to us.

Bebop

The program chairs for the department with the largest number of full-time faculty and highest number of course sections shall take on the responsibilities of overseeing curriculum development and course assessment without any load reduction--from their current teaching schedules of 27 and 28 credits.

GMO not only threatens our food supply, folks. We now witness the introduction of a new strain of educator, the Genetically Modified Organizer, resistant to fatigue, family responsibility, and any professional standard with a contraindication to Student Completion Rates.

These changes should bring not shivers of hope but spasms of conscience.

Buzzin' By (the original)

Am I delusional or is there a glimmer of hope here? Based on the latest communicate, our VPAA seems to be rethinking faculty concerns about technology she had brushed off in the all schools meeting. Unless it's just a strategy to lead us to believe our voices are being heard and surprise surprise... IT can't accommodate our wishes. "But I really tried."As to the issue of chairs, sure they will be one year appointments but we can bet that the lecturer IIs will be ongoing chairs. At least the tenured faculty is being offered release time. It was nice to hear though that Professor Mittelberg found some solace in his meeting.

The Truth Will Out (Eventually)

And Bebop,

You're ever the teacher.

Nice job of illustrating the logical fallacies of the Troll's post.

It's obvious that the Troll doesn't have a background in science or math because those majors stress logical thinking. If he/she does have such a degree, than it's just sad. In fact, now I’m wondering if he/she has any higher education. It seems impossible that a person suffering from such a profound deficit in critical thinking could possess a degree.

Yet I shouldn’t be so surprised, since a quick glance at recent headlines from the Capitol shows that an advanced degree doesn’t always lead to advanced thinking. This is another way the administration at OCC mimics the dysfunction in congress. Can’t reach a budget due to irrational demands; can’t settle a contract due to the same. And in both cases, it’s the intransigence of one side that’s causing the problem.

Sigh.

Wish we could vote them out of office.

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