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2013-08-20

Faculty Association:  
 
Meeting Date:            08/20/2013
  
Agenda Items:
I.    New Business
A.   Ed McGee
1)  Ed McGee, new instructional technologist, introduced himself to the faculty association.  He discussed his background in IT and as a writing instructor at Patrick Henry Community College.  He expressed his special interest in cooperative learning, particularly in online classes.  He asked the faculty to share their needs and interests so that he could serve the faculty and college.
 
      2) Several faculty members mentioned future and current projects and concerns.
  • The Panopto pilot classroom is missing the necessary microphone. 
  • The iPad project from last semester could be continued with the goals of introducing iPads in classrooms, finding useful software and providing training for faculty members, making sure that the hardware/IT installations in classrooms support the technology, making iPads available for classes, and finding interchangeable apps for iPhones and other tablets, and using iPads as e-clickers.
  • Some of the faculty are interested in the Coursera/MOOC model and would like to create video lectures for courses, mini lectures, and video demonstrations incorporating multiple components.  (Ed McGee has a strong background in video production.)
  • Many of the faculty are interested in training sessions on new technology.
     
B.  Faculty Evaluation Plans
1)  The CVCC faculty evaluation plan was rejected by the Faculty Evaluation Work Group, and there were many problems with the plan that was submitted.  Peter Dorman, CFAC representative and member of the Evaluation and Assessment Committee), noted that it appeared that the FEWG only accepted faculty evaluation plans from other schools that closely replicated the VCCS model plan. Variations were not approved.  Only a few colleges received approval for their plans, and these approvals were dependent on a contingency.  The original communication indicated that colleges could modify the model plan; however, this has not proven true in practice. 
 
2)  The current plan will be revised to better fit the original model.  The goal would be to revise this second plan two years, when a different committee or mechanism for approval will be in place.  Peter Dorman reiterated the change in the policy that the periods for evaluation with be January to January session, a calendar year, rather than the academic year. 
 
C.   Committee Assignments
1)  Peter Dorman will email a survey for committee assignments to faculty today to poll faculty members on their preferences for committee assignments for the coming 2 years.  Although some faculty members have already emailed Peter Dorman, he requested that all faculty members without current committee assignments complete it before Friday.  
 
2)  A question was raised about the selection of committee chairs.  Chairs are to be selected each year by the committees.  It is possible for a chair to serve no more than twice if the committee chooses, but this is discouraged according to the policy in the employee manual. 
 
D.   QEP
Peter Dorman briefly discussed the QEP programs that will be researched and implemented in the coming weeks and months.  All members of the college need to be involved.  This is essential for SACS accreditation and reaffirmation, in addition to the vital professional development component of faculty evaluations. 
 
E.   Final exam schedule
1)  The final exam schedule that has been posted on the CVCC webpage is an old schedule, which includes Friday evening final exams.  The plan enacted last year eliminated the Friday evening finals.  Judy Graves has a new, modified schedule and will send it to Peter Dorman this week.  He will then send it to faculty for review.  The plan is that the schedule will be a rotating one, so that faculty will not have the same schedule, namely Friday finals, every year.
 
2)  A concern was raised that syllabi have already been printed and distributed to students.  However, the only possible revision will be the night finals to get rid of Friday night finals.  Additionally, it is impossible to accommodate all classes in the universal schedule.  The few faculty members with these classes will need to plan the time and date of the final with their students and work with them, including offering the exams in the student success center. 
 
F.   Academic Calendar
1)  Many members of the faculty are unhappy with the single day of convocation.  In the past, academic calendars were submitted to the Faculty Association for approval.  Recently, there was a committee voting on the calendar; this committee included a few members of the academic faculty, members of the classified staff, student representatives from SGA and administrators.  The decision was made before the last handbook was published. 
2)  There is an ad hoc committee that will be meeting in the future for the next student handbook.  The future academic calendars will be presented to the faculty association for approval.
 
G.   Recommendation Letters
1)  A question was raised about recommendation letters for students, specifically if these letters violate FERPA regulations.  The faculty member was concerned about potential repercussions if former students were not hired or accepted into academic programs as a result of less than glowing recommendations. 
2) Most recommendation forms for transfer schools include a waiver section which prevents the student from seeing the recommendation letters, protecting the faculty members.  It was also suggested that if students ask for recommendation letters, then they have given permission to the faculty member to discuss their academic record and behavior.  Another suggestion was given that if faculty cannot give excellent recommendations, then they should not write the letter. 
3)  It was suggested that Ernie Wade inquire about this matter with the college attorney and inform the faculty association at the next meeting. 
 
H.   Campus Book Program – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
1)  There has been some informal discussion among several members of the faculty, in several departments.  In a few weeks, there will be an ad hoc committee to gauge faculty interest and begin plans for a book program at CVCC. 
2)  At this time, there appears to be widespread interest.
 
I.    Common Learning Outcomes
1)  Before the semester began, there was a vote, by email on the implementation of common learning outcomes within courses.  The result was 35-3, in favor of common learning outcomes.  This is an important component of SACS compliance and in transferability of courses.  The common learning outcomes are intended to ensure consistency among instructors and among modalities across all sections of a particular course. 
2)  This initiative originated with Will Sandidge and the Compliance Certification Committee.
3)  Some courses are already creating common learning outcomes, namely developmental English, psychology, accounting and biology, through the VCCS and the peer groups.  While other courses are slated for these redesign efforts, CVCC cannot wait for each course, as this is a process that will take years.  SACS
compliance requires that CVCC do this now. 
 
Recommendations to the College Governance Committee: 
  • Present the future academic calendars to the faculty association for approval before final decision.
 
Submitted by Jessy Hogan 
 
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