April 17, 2014 – Post 3

Comments from COD Employees

Glenn Hansen, President of the Faculty Association

Good evening, Trustees,

I am Glenn Hansen, Professor of Photography, President of the CODFA and Faculty Senate. I am one of 300 and we are 300 who are one.

As I speak, you are hearing the voices of the 300 full-time faculty members who change the lives of thousands. We believe in our students. We believe in what we do. We believe in an open exchange of ideas. We believe in integrity and honesty. We believe in each other. We believe in College of DuPage.

We know that meeting student needs can only happen when all groups respect each other. We know that we cannot reach our goals without each group acknowledging and valuing each other. Our hope is that someday there will be an understanding that TEAM WORK solves problems. We are not in a team competition where someone, other than the students, needs to win every time.

Earlier, you recognized the Outstanding Faculty members who have demonstrated the best of our capabilities during the past year. To them, on behalf of their colleagues, congratulations! We are proud that you are each one of the 300.

We want to say “best wishes” to our colleagues who are leaving the 300 earlier than expected due to Springfield’s attempt to fix the pensions of public employees. Thank you for your part in making College of DuPage. We’re going to miss you.

Now, that it is official and on your agenda, thank you, Trustees, for approving this retirement date change. To Mia Igyarto, who I have thanked several times since we suggested the retirement date problem was fixable, thank you again. I know that you have also been thanked by the retirees and other CoDFA representatives. I would like it reflected in the minutes that you helped all employees at a time of need. I know it wasn’t easy, and that is understood.

To the new faculty who are being hired tonight, welcome. I think you’ll like working with us. There is no better group I could imagine working with.

Tonight, you are being presented with a resolution that will change the College, its mission, and Higher Education in Illinois. As I have said to the press, the Faculty Association has no further comment at this time and will take no position until we have data and have had a thorough discussion. All I can say is “we have not been part of the conversation about the future”. Therefore, we will start our own conversation. Faculty Senate has formed a task force to gather input that will drive the Senate’s decisions. We will listen to our many committees through our well defined decision making structure. Good decisions are based on reason and data. Any data that you’d like to share would always be appreciated. Who knows, we could agree.

In closing, on April 29th the faculty vote on the TA’d contract extension. The decision is in 300 hands. Their decision will based on their assessment of its merits without listening to the static. If approved, you will be able to sign it on May 22.

We can then move on to other important discussions about College of DuPage.

Thank you.

Richard Jarman, Vice President of the Faculty Association

Good evening. I would first like to echo the words of Glenn Hansen in congratulating the Outstanding Faculty that were recognized earlier this evening. Not that I am biased, but I take particular pleasure in noting that chemistry has scored in successive years, this time with the College-wide Outstanding Faculty, Lubna Haque. I knew her in those days when she was an adjunct and I was happy when she too joined the full-time faculty a few years later. I can attest to the fact that she is fully deserving of this award, as are all the other winners.

While this winter’s polar vortices are still burnt deeply into the retinas of our collective memory, climate change may seem a far-flung or irrelevant concern, and yet, even as it snows in April, evidence points to an increasing need to take action. In this context, the practice and education of sustainability become even more important. I quote from the Loyola University brochure that describes SustainLoyola:

“Sustainability isn’t a buzzword or a fad. It’s a new way of solving problems…from the courses we offer to the buildings we construct…”

At the last board meeting we heard several eloquent, impassioned, and thoughtful comments made in support of the community education farm. Three faculty members from three different disciplines spoke, illustrating the multidisciplinary nature of this project. The response from the college, as noted in the Tribune at that time, was that there was no room on the campus, and there was concern about it “not fitting into an academic program.” In light of this recent announcement, I am happy, I think, to learn of this recent announcement of an agreement with Forest Preserve. I hope that the agreement will move forward.

Thank you.

Student speaker Brad Sitter spoke eloquently about his experiences coming out as gay in the Marines under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. He asked that the college pass the new policy on gender identity and expression.

Student Leadership Council President Sam Ortega-Guerrero talked about successful experiences in Springfield. He told a story about persuading Rep Duncan, chair of appropriations, to take seriously a proposal to set aside a large MAPP grant fund to apply directly to community college students. He also spoke enthusiastically about meeting with Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth here at COD. He also announced the new SLC officers.