11th BOT Speech 24 February 2015
Good evening. The WCCEA Board held our third annual retreat with the WCC Department Chairs on Friday, February 13, and we had a wide-ranging discussion which included multiple perspectives. The three past presidents of the WCCEA, Jennifer Baker, Ruth Hatcher, and Dennis Bila, had long been chairs in their respective departments, and I think that brought a great deal of strength to their tenures. Elected by their departments, chairs are ideally placed to advocate for students, faculty, programs and initiatives. For myself, I was struck anew at how much the 28 Department Chairs at WCC do for our students, for one another, and for the institution at large. I heard many stories of chairs working hard to ensure that students’ scheduling and instructional needs get met. We continue to have an incredibly strong and committed faculty here, who are deeply invested in the success of our students, and the future of the school.
I don’t know if you are aware yet that the WCCEA Board has authorized our team for the upcoming negotiations. David Fitzpatrick, Julie Kissel, Jason Withrow, Justin Carter and Mike King each come from different areas of the college, and bring a strong commitment to the school to this endeavor. I am very thankful for their service.
I hope you are aware that the WCCEA agreed to put our SOQ grievance with the college into abeyance, and that there is an Evaluation group currently working together to discuss what the next Faculty evaluation system will include, and how it will be implemented. I have great trust that this group will come up with a win-win outcome. The administrative members of that group are interim VPI Abernethy, Dean Kim Hurns and Dean Dena Blair, and the faculty members are Michael Duff, David Wooten and Bonnie Tew. I want to extend my thanks to all of them for the time and energy (just about every Friday!) they are devoting to this project.
I also want to thank interim VPI Abernethy for resurrecting the Developmental Task Force, which will again focus on our most challenged students. Faculty member Julie Kissel and Dean Kris Good will be heading up that endeavor, which I’m sure will mean good things for our developmental curriculum.
I am happy to report that we also recently had our third annual Three Union Leader Lunch, with members from the governing boards of the other two unionized groups on campus, the MEA-OPT group, along with AFSCME Local 1921, joining my board for a dialogue and exchange of ideas. I’ve also been meeting weekly with interim VPI
Abernethy. David Fitzpatrick, Bill Abernethy and I recently collaborated on putting department chair election language into an LOA. I am working to improve channels of communication where and how I can. I’d remind you that we have not had Liaison meetings for over a year now (as you may recall, these meetings used to be monthly exchanges between the WCC President and her VPI and the WCCEA President and her Chief Negotiator, where we had the opportunity to discuss issues facing the college, and to be a part of the decision making process). I wish it was otherwise.