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2013-09-24

Faculty Association:  
  
Meeting Date:            09/24/2013
  
Agenda Items:
I.    College Governance – meeting attendance
Meeting attendance has been poor.  Peter Dorman expressed the importance of attendance, as the new college governance process means that faculty members have a voice, but only if they attend.  Faculty members were urged to attend, to represent themselves and their colleagues.  Dorman acknowledged that faculty members attending this meeting were unlikely to be the non-attending members of the college committees.  He emphasized the power of peer pressure to effectively change behavior of colleagues.  He reiterated the necessity for change in the culture of CVCC and the decision-making process.
 
A question was raised about identifying causes for low attendance other than apathy.  It was observed that some members of committees are overbooked and cannot attend two meetings at the same time. 
     
II.   Faculty evaluation policy draft progess report
CVCC will be proposing the VCCS model plan for evaluation to the VCCS system office for approval.  Peter Dorman informed the association that there was an important deadline coming soon.  All faculty members must have 3-5 performance and professional objectives for the calendar year 2014, as part of an annual review that all faculty will need to complete regardless of a multi-year or single year contract.  Dorman planned to email faculty the guidelines within the week. 
 
Deans will be receiving training on the new process. 
 
The new plan will go into effect November 15, 2014.  This will be the time when faculty will submit their APR to their deans. 
 
A question was asked about the current protocol for APR and the due dates.  At this time, the policy varies from department to department, and person to person. 
 

III. Review of faculty hiring process
As part of a SACS Compliance issue, the SACS Compliance Committee has examined the faculty hiring process.  This is different from the Knowledge Center Training protocol for faculty hiring.  An Ad Hoc Committee is needed to examine the faculty hiring process in the faculty handbook.  Michelle Penner & Lorna Nelson volunteered to read over the policy and report back to the faculty association at the following meeting.
 

IV.  IT Issues
A.  The M drive is very slow, rendering it rather useless. 
IT Response:
There is a tradeoff between having a system that runs faster on campus but is not available off campus or having a system that is available both on and off campus, but runs slowly.  There are alternatives, such as GoogleDocs (not as secure), DropBox, SkyDrive, and MS Office 365.  Will Perez will research other alternatives.
 
B.  Email overfilled
IT Response:
Will Perez questioned whether this might be a hard drive issue rather than a server issue.  He would investigate this with the individual concerned.  It was also noted that CVCC email allows for a generous 10 Megabytes per email; if faculty need to transfer bigger files, they need to use an alternative method.
 
C.  A faculty member no longer has access to their campus webpage.
IT Response:
There has been an update to the web site creation platform.  Will Perez would investigate this with the individual concerned.
 
D.  Updated Flash Player can’t be updated in 3212, requires admin
IT Response:
The IT department will investigate this. 
 
E.  Media server is very slow
IT Response:
The IT department will investigate this. 
 
F.  iPads for instruction
IT Response:
Jim Bell has them, and is using them in his class as part of a pilot program to teach on mobile devices.  He was given permission to do this via Will Sandidge.
 
G.  FTP access, not accessible
IT Response:
This is due to security concerns.  Having this technology open creates a security hole.  The web server technology is 11 years old.  This is part of a SACS review problem, as the college cannot put materials out there, redesign and relocate them until SACS review is finished.  A switchover is planned in late 2014. 
 
H.  Flashplayer cannot operate on a faculty member’s laptop
IT Response:
IT would examine the laptop and software.  They also suggested that faculty can click Alt/F4 when in doubt.
 
I.  Replacement program computers
A series of questions were asked about the replacement program for faculty computers.  What policy is in place?  How are computers identified?  How are faculty notified?
IT Response:
For most faculty computers, 4 years is scheduled replacement time.  Chris Jordan periodically examines the list of all campus computers to find computers that are eligible, and then contacts faculty members.  However, many computers are not replaced because of a lack of funding.  This issue may need to be addressed with the E2IT committee.
 
J.  Software purchases
What is the policy for software that is required for CVCC computer labs?  Who pays?  How are decisions made about these purchases?
IT Response:
William Osborne is in charge of lab reload sheets, and all requests ultimately go through the IT department.  However, software requests come from deans.  Costs are prioritized by the E2IT committee. The IT department has a budget for software purchases.  The E2IT committee needs to have an articulated policy in place.  John McCullough was attending and made a note.
 
K.  Operating systems in computer labs. 
When operating systems in the computer labs have been updated, there have been compatibility issues with other software, which interfered with teaching.  What is the protocol for informing faculty? 
IT Response:
William Osborne is in charge of campus-wide software and operating systems. 
Faculty response:
IT should have regular town hall meetings.  There needs to be a communication protocol for the IT department to inform faculty of upcoming changes. 
 
V.   Revised final exam schedule

During the online discussion of the revised final exam schedule, there were no complaints or suggestions.  The new schedule goes into effect in spring.  There had been some confusion, as it had been communicated in the previous faculty association meeting that the schedule would be revised for Fall of 2013.  Furthermore, the emailed schedule had December, 2013 dates, not spring 2014 dates.  Faculty will have the opportunity to vote by email in the coming weeks. 
 
VI.  Academic calendar
A new calendar is in the planning stages for the next two academic years, in preparation for the new student handbook.  It will be presented to faculty for approval soon. 
 
VI.  Employee recognition awards
A faculty member questioned the use of money to reward faculty for a job well done.  It was suggested that the money could be put towards an emergency fund for faculty with unexpected expenses, a fund for student scholarships, a donation to the student success center, or a catered meal for faculty fellowship. 
 
It was noted that the new faculty evaluation policy requires that faculty members get rewards (10% of faculty at the college, which is 6 at CVCC). 
 
Consideration of the suggestion could be included in the new plan developed in 2 years.  This issue should be taken to the Employee Recognition and Awards Committee.
 
VII. Administrative drops
A faculty member noted that according to page 30 in the student handbook:students who do not attend 1 class will be dropped.If they are dropped by the college, they receive no refund.For students with financial aid, there is no loss of money.However, it was noted that there is a consequence of lost funding in the future.
 
The faculty member noted that the policy is punitive, and is counterproductive for the college in promoting future student success.This issue should be reanalyzed by the President’s cabinet for fairness.
 
VIII.  Wrongful administrative drops.
Faculty dropped students accidentally; this has occurred several times this semester (7 or 8 times).  In these cases students had attended class, but the faculty members dropped them.  This is a huge problem because students lose money this semester and lose a portion of financial aid this semester.  This is occurring too frequently.  A question was asked about how the college might deal with this to prevent it in the future. 
 
It was suggested that before faculty drop students, they must contact them.  It was also suggested that faculty pay closer attention to their attendance sheets and rosters.  Another suggestion was made that this be included as part of the faculty evaluation process as a competence issue. 
 
Recommendations to the College Governance Committee:
E2IT committee develop policies for faculty computer replacement and for computer lab software purchases.
IT department consider holding regular town hall style meetings.
 
Submitted by Jessy Hogan  
 
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