Backdrop for the meeting: Consider it the atmosphere or auraof our meeting. If we were doing yoga, I might even ask you chant. We have some of the most talented, dedicated and hardworking individuals that any organization could ever hope for We have $25 million dollars just instruction Our students and all of us deserve the best
Preamble • I am sure that at some point during this meeting some of you will be thinking: • This is not at all what I thought it would be • or It’s about time he did this! • or What is he smoking? And can I have some? • or I should know this guy, who is he? • I ask that you hang on to your thoughts and give me your full attention and some time out of your busy day. • Thank you.
THE WORLD CLASS COLLEGE THE CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE COLLEGE THE DESTINATION COLLEGE
I have heard people in this room and across the college say we want to be a WORLD CLASS COLLEGE, or a CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE COLLEGE, or a DESTINATION COLLEGE.If we want to become, aspire to, move towards any of these readily distinguished and recognized milestone colleges, then we have to be ready and willing to make changes.
Conversations Dialogues Discussions Banters Exchanges Fireside Chats
Over the last three years, I have had conversations with the Deans and the Faculty Council and even with this larger group. We have talked about our roles, expectations, the culture of great conductors and orchestras and how to rethink the “Brookhaven Culture,” and we/I even talked even about the famous or infamous “17” items this last fall. In the Enrollment Management committee, we talk about ideas that could affect student enrollment and success and many times send forward some recommendations for other groups to talk about. Where they go after that, I don’t know. Or when compelling data comes out like the Perkins Report on Brookhaven CTE graduation rates, we tend to not talk about it because it might raise some hard questions. I have even used my grandchildren in a college talk to stress a point.
Outcomes? I had hoped these talks would result in actions that would impact instruction in some meaningful way. While there have been a few encouraging outcomes, not much change has really occurred.
TALK TALK TALK TALK TALK TALK TALK TALK TALK TALK TALK TALK TALK TALK TALK
Yes, we like to talk about things here. You could say that it’s one of the college’s hallmark culture characteristics. While we use it to be inclusive and informative, many….many…. many….many times we use talk effectively to delay, stall and even stop change, actions and decisions. And I am just as guilty letting us continue to talk, and talk and talk. What’s next?
IT’S TIME TO STOP TALKING SO MUCH IT’S TIME TO GO INTO THE WOODS
INTO THE WOODS You go into the woods, Where nothing's clear, Where witches, ghosts And wolves appear. Into the woods And through the fear, You have to take the journey. Into the woods--you have to grope, But that's the way you learn to cope. Into the woods to find there's hope Of getting through the journey. Into the woods, each time you go, There's more to learn of what you know. Into the woods, but not too slow— To heed the witch, to honor the giant, To mind, to find, to think, to teach, to join, Then out of the woods-- And happy ever after!
It’s About the Team(Paraphrased Ideas from a New York Times article, Jan. 14, 2014) Performance, accountability, professional behavior and respect are essential for any organization to operate at a high level. Call it trustworthiness or dependability. What it means is that you recognize, understand, and then play your role on the team. When everyone does that, the team can focus on executing the strategy, instead of worrying whether colleagues will do what they’re supposed to do. (And such concerns, multiplied across an entire organization, can add up to a lot of wasted energy and lost momentum.) When employees can find the right balance within an organization by behaving professionally, treating one another with respect, while setting clear expectations that everyone must play his or her part – the organization (college, division, department) becomes greater than the sum of its parts. To foster such a culture, many leaders/supervisors establish a simple rule: Employees have to do what they say they are going to do and meet stated expectations.
ROLES AND EXPECTATIONS As the article points out, before we embark on making significant changes, we need to have defined roles and clear expectations. As a member of the instructional team at Brookhaven College, what are our clearly defined and documented roles and expectations?
What are roles and expectations?Roles: • The role of a position is how that position functions within the organization. Is the role one of support, leadership, management, facilitator, teacher, advisor, developer and so on? • While we may think we know the roles of our instructional team members, I can assure you that there are significant discrepancies how we really feel those positions function. As the VPI, I have been told by individuals in this room that the VPI role is/should be the instructional decision maker and leader; and yet, I have been also told that my role is to facilitate and manage and stay clear of making real decisions. To be honest, I am no longer willing to tip toe around and wonder what role I am playing for whom and when. And neither should any of us wonder about our roles. • We need to define and agree on our roles so that current and future instructional team members, students and the community understand fully what we do.
Expectations • Expectations are very much like the core objectives. They are competencies, skills, characteristics, qualities, institutional requirements that we are expected to demonstrate fulfilling our role. • Along with some common instructional team expectations, we need to develop and agree upon position specific expectations. • We need to define the meaning of our expectations and how we would want to appraise our effectiveness. We do this everyday in our classrooms when we present to our students a syllabus filled with clear expectations and evaluation criteria. Some syllabi even include rubrics to show what levels of performance should look like.
Roles and Expectations Each expectation statement needs to be defined and include elements that can be evaluated/ measured.
Therefore, I am calling for the following task forces to review and revise the roles of the following instructional team member positions and review, revise and develop clear and documented expectations for those positions: • VPI and DEANS - two deans/adm, four faculty, two PSS • FT FACULTY and ADJUNCT FACULTY - two deans/adm, four faculty (at least two lead faculty), two PSS • FT PSS - one dean/adm, two faculty, four PSS • All of the positions will include expectations of Professional Behavior, Respect and Assessment and/or Institutional Effectiveness (depending on role and position)
Faculty Chair Between extra service and release-time, we spend $400,000+ on assistance to the dean. Pay, workload and budget is not always equitable. More effective allocation of these funds and individuals could/will result in having recurring funds to apply to student focused initiatives or other instructional priorities.
Therefore, I am calling for a task force including one instructional dean and three lead faculty to review and revise the role of lead faculty and to review, revise and then develop clear and documented expectations. • The position will have: • Department Chair designation • Well defined role with expectations that include Professional Behavior, Respect and Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness • Structured chair levels and with an equitable pay schedule based on program size, complexity and other clearly defined parameters • The position will be budgeted yearly and will not impact non-chair extra service or release-time activities.
How do we schedule classes? What data do we use? Who is responsible? How quickly can we change our schedule based on demand, especially during peak registration? Are we designed to maximize student enrollment? How often do we overload a class? How are we dealing with our competition like NCTC? Do we offer the right balance of FtF, hybrid, online, weekend, Flex and… courses? Where are we deficient in online courses compared to our sister colleges and regional colleges?
In order to address these questions and others, we need to get answers and clear directions on instructional scheduling and course offerings. I am calling for a task force that will include Sarah Ferguson as the chair and one dean/adm, three lead faculty, one advisor, and two PSS (from division offices) to revise our current scheduling process using quantitative and qualitative data and to review and recommend courses offerings.
We have been asked repeatedly by the SGA to initiate an honors program. • We now have multiple university articulations and agreements either completed or in the works and almost all have a section on honors of which we cannot adequately respond in kind. • We have exceptional courses/programs • Our students deserve it • It’s required to be a World Class, Center of Excellence, DestinationCollege
I am calling for a task force that will make recommendations for the implementation of an honors program that will begin no later than Spring 2015. The task force will include Doris Rousey plus one dean/adm, four faculty and one PSS who teaches.
Task Force Sign up and Deadlines Sign up by: Feb. 10 Membership assigned and charges set Feb. 17 Initial Update: March 21 Final Report due: April 18 Open Meeting: April 24 or 25
Every educational agency, accrediting and legislative body mandates that we document and assess our outcomes and how we improved; no exceptions • It’s critical and meaningful work that will lead us to that next level • It will improve the student experience • It will require some common elements across disciplines to give us a program level outcomes • It will inform us where we excel and where we need to focus our attention • When the assessment team comes calling, we need to overwhelm them with “how can I help” • It’s always going to be changing and evolving because we are reflecting and acting on the results • THEREFORE, it needs to be ongoing and part of the fabric of what we do; it’s expected of all of us. • The SLO committee is our task force and we will support them and continue to look to them for guidance.
Wrapping up • VPAASS workgroup members, Deans, lead faculty, PSS and faculty council members need to share this information and encourage participation in one of the task forces • The complete PowerPoint will be on the VPAASS website • There will be a resource guide on the VPAASS website called INTO THE WOODS RESOURCE GUIDE • The Task Force sign up sheet will be available on the VPAASS under INTO THE WOODS RESOURCE GUIDE • Andrea Bailey will be available for research for the Task Forces
And Happy Ever After I believe how we respond to the call from this meeting, how we address the hard questions with real and honest answers and how we deal with change, will become the public barometer of who we are, and who we want to be. To quote Abraham Lincoln: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” It’s time.