Hey! I (David) am sitting here with one of our Bedichek co-chairs, Linda Graham. We were making some tweaks to the B-O Donation page when we realized that we are less than ninety days out from our October 13th Auction. NOW IS THE TIME TO GET READY! Be thinking about donations of items and/or services that you can do or procure. Begin planning your costumes for our disco-tastic Seventies theme. And above all, SAVE THE DATE!
The results of the second round of delegate elections are now final. You may look at the results of all of the elections by clicking here. The Senate extends its thanks to everyone who felt the calling to run, and wishes to remind everyone that anyone can serve on a Senate committee, even if they’re not an elected delegate.
We have determined who went through in the first round, and have put together a list of the candidates standing in the second round of elections. Please click here to quickly see the information.
Good afternoon, Chancellor, Honorable Trustees, colleagues, ladies and gentleman.
On behalf of the entire Senate, I would like to express our appreciation to Chancellor Maldonado for his visit to our February Faculty Senate Meeting. He introduced us to the new Vice Chancellor for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness. The senators appreciated the Chancellor’s full-throated endorsement of sustained academic rigor and enjoyed the opportunity to begin to get to know Dr. Ewen. We thank the Chancellor for his continued interactions with the Faculty Senate and look forward to working with Dr. Ewen.
This month has been a busy one as we settle into the Spring semester. Faculty are preparing for our Annual Faculty Conference, hosted by the Faculty Senate and overseen by the Professional Development Committee. We hope that you will be able to drop by on March 4 at the DoubleTree downtown to get a glimpse of our faculty’s brilliance, innovative teaching strategies, and commitment to our students’ success. The event will open with breakfast at 8 and ends at 2:00pm, culminating with our guest speaker, Dr. Paul Handstadt, a champion of general education, the liberal arts, creative/innovative thinking, and integrative learning, who also happens to be an English professor.
Last week, Dr. Beatty and the Student Success Division, led by Dr. Betty Fortune, hosted our first Pathways Institute for instructional leaders (deans, chairs, associate chairs, and program coordinators). This vital event set the stage for the hard work necessary to launch our pathways program at scale in Fall 2017. Drs. Andrea Burridge, Martha Oburn, and Misha Turner provided key disaggregated student data to underpin the necessity for this system overhaul. Dr. Gretchen Schmidt, Executive Director of the Pathways Project for AACC, visited us to underscore the urgency of such a design change, and Susan Goll gave instructional leaders a glimpse of the plans for both Instructional Services and Student Services which aim to better serve all of our students.
I just returned today from the annual Achieving the Dream Conference where I had the opportunity to attend Dr. Beatty’s and Dr. Misha Turner’s presentation about HCC’s transition to a college which values a culture of evidence. In this presentation, Dr. Beatty described HCC’s transformation in the last two years, and I was reminded again of the hard, wonderful, vital work we have accomplished in a relatively short time. Grappling with our data and investigating the key questions this evidence raises allows us to see clearly what we do well and what we can certainly do better. We are currently an Achieving the Dream Leader College. Should we succeed with our redesign to a pathways system which foregrounds student success and completion—which puts students at the heart of what we do, which aims for equity and inclusive excellence–I am confident that we will be THE Leader College within the next two years. (Be warned, I came back with ideas, and you know there’s nothing quite like faculty who have ideas.)
Many of our faculty are attending the annual 70th Annual TCCTA Convention which begins today. This event is a premiere professional development opportunity for community college educators, offering over 150 discipline specific sessions as well as nationally renowned speakers. Serving over 1500 community college experts across the state, this convention offers our faculty an invaluable opportunity to network with their peers. Once again, I would like to express our appreciation for the professional development funds assigned to each full-time professor, for these faculty will return to their students renewed and inspired.
Lastly, I have begun my spring listening tour and have visited a couple of campuses so far. I am actively and empathetically listening to faculty, to their successes and to their concerns about some of the day-to-day operations at their campuses. As one brilliant colleague puts it, “routine things should be done routinely,” and I will be reaching out during the next few weeks to those leaders and administrators who are in positions to help eliminate unnecessary redundancies, navigate or eliminate bureaucratic bottlenecks, and streamline business processes. Supporting and empowering faculty is fundamental to our shared mission: inclusive excellence, student completion aided by career and college pathways, and positive student experiences that span the life-cycle of a student at Houston’s Community College.
Remarks delivered by Senate President Dr. Melissa Miller-Waters
(NB the following comments were delivered by President-elect Mohamad Tlass, who was present in the absence of President Melissa Miller-Waters)
Good afternoon, Chancellor, Honored Trustees, colleagues, ladies, and gentleman.
Faculty Senate President Melissa Miller-Waters regrets being absent today but is honored that, as President Elect, I am able to present her remarks for her.
Once again, the Faculty Senate would like to express its appreciation to last year’s Board Officers and our congratulations to this year’s elected officers. Congratulations, to our new chair, Trustee Loredo, to our new Vice Chair, Christopher Oliver, and to our new secretary, Trustee Sane. We look forward to your steady hand and solid stewardship in the coming year.
The Faculty Senate would like to acknowledge the Chancellor’s commitment to HCC as seen through his participation at all pre-semester faculty meetings and convocation. Traveling between Houston and Austin to participate in our college’s events and the legislature’s opening events is no small feat, and we appreciate his commitment to our faculty and our mission.
The Faculty Senate would like to thank Dr. Beatty for visiting us during our first Faculty Senate meeting of the spring semester. We appreciate Dr. Beatty’s (your) forthrightness with the senate and your willingness to field all questions. Thank you, Dr. Beatty.
As part of our aim to build a culture of evidence, faculty examined quantitative student success data by program for our Fall Instructional Day. For Spring’s Instructional Day, we examined more qualitative data, gathered by the Student Success division through focus groups which collected student voices—their perceptions of their experiences here at HCC in and out of the classroom. A faculty panel constituted of full-time and part-time faculty representing both academic and workforce programs discussed those student perceptions. (Here, you can give your take on your experience serving on that panel).
The Faculty Senate continues to hold academic and intellectual rigor in our curriculum as central to the success of our students and to the health of our institution. Dr. Beatty has challenged faculty instructional leaders to develop an operating definition of rigor, one specific to HCC and preemptive of outside groups. As part of the Instructional Leaders meeting before the beginning of this semester, the Faculty Senate’s Educational Affairs Committee developed a workshop to begin constructing our definition. Chairs, Associate Chairs, and Program Coordinators came together to jumpstart this important work. I would like to acknowledge the amazing work of our Educational Affairs committee, led by Chair Antrece Baggett. This group developed the workshop and facilitated it, all under a tight timeframe with an immovable deadline. Their dedication to the Senate, to all of our colleagues, and to our students is impressive and inspiring.
The Faculty Senate looks forward to the spring semester, and we remain committed to shared governance and to our students’ success. Lastly, on a personal note, I would like to express my heartbreak at the sudden loss of Kirk White, a dear man who was a wonderful colleague and who will be missed by all of us. I extend my thoughts and prayers to his family; we know they must be devastated.
Very soon, all faculty will be invited to participate in elections for the 2017-2018 slate of Senate delegates. Please see this page for a list of currently-listed candidates, and for further details.
COMMENTS FROM 2017 FACULTY RETREAT
What valuable insights did you gain from this year’s All Faculty Retreat?
- I learned so much from full-time faculty and as an adjunct, I now understand why I should continue teaching at HCC.
- I have many of the same teaching challenges as my colleagues!
- When we are given the opportunity, we share our successes & figure out solutions to our failures. Together we can improve our teaching.
- Best – getting to know HCC peers!
- I am not alone.
- Having the opportunity to collaborate with others from different disciplines.
- Knowing your students better. Focusing on the first day of class. Early intervention.
- All of us face the same issues in our teaching.
- New teaching techniques. Learned about the inner workings of HCC. Made new friends.
- Different aspects & perspectives on teaching, relating to students & challenges in classrooms.
- It was interesting meeting faculty of different age groups and different disciplines and understanding their viewpoints.
- I learned how to make my assignment more appealing to students.
- I gained valuable insights that I will use in my class through new ideas on using new technology, group assignments, class management, etc.
This year’s retreat will take place May 16-19, 2017 at The Tremont House in Galveston. The All Faculty Retreat differs from most retreats in that, for the most part, the program is created by the participants themselves. The staff’s major role is facilitation. The format varies but often includes: teaching clinics, panels, organized discussions, “hands on” workshops, and presentations by participants or retreat staff. The exchange takes place not only in scheduled sessions, but also informally on the rooftop, by the pool, in conversations at dinner, or on excursions on the Strand or the island.
The goals of the retreat include: sharing methods and techniques – celebrating good teaching – creative, realistic problem solving – an exploration of new ideas – serious introspection and self-appraisal – professional and personal rejuvenation
The Retreat cost is $615 and Includes room, valet parking, refreshments, and all but one meal (Thursday’s lunch is on your own). Transportation to and from the Retreat is not included. You can use your Professional Development funds or apply for a Bedichek-Orman Grant to cover the cost or a portion of the Retreat. Applicants will be notified of their status by April 7th.
To apply for the All Faculty Retreat, please complete this application form no later than 5:00 pm on April 3, 2017. Applications will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis per discipline or Center of Excellence. Preference will be given to first-time attendees.