Month: October 2014

One More Minute

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Thanks to the hard work of association secretary Katie VanderMeer, the latest minutes are now available – only four days after the meeting.  Three cheers for Katie!

What’s the hot news?

  • A Memo of Understanding will be signed regarding Summer 2015 schedule.  See minutes for some specifics but wait for direction soon from your Deans.
  • The overload rotation and adjunct assignment of classes is explained, per our contract language.
  • A motion was made and passed that the Faculty Council endorse Debra Bailey and Mike Paskewicz for GRCC’s Board of Trustees
  • The Salary schedule agreement is attached.  You can use this to find what years you can move up in rank.  If you have questions, contact Jim Fox in HR.

For all the details, see the full minutes under the Member Resources tab!

Latest Minutes!

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Minutes from the last Faculty Council meeting, held on October 10, 2014, are available under the “Member Resources” menu at the top of the page.

What’s in the minutes?

  • FPE privacy and evaluation concerns
  • Many full-time faculty still have the ability to earn longevity training pay
  • Discussion on Summer 2015 calendar
  • Required SkillPort training discussion

Discussion items regarding overload rotation and adjunct assignments as well as section management (early cancellation of classes) is being continued to future meetings.

Want details?  Read the full minutes!

GRCC Recognized at 2014 Grand Awards

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Several GRCC students, alumni, staff, and faculty are recognized by the Grand Awards celebrating local college and community theaters!

Grand Rapids Community College’s production of The Hatpin received five Grand Awards this past weekend, but college faculty, staff, students and alumni also were well-represented among the other winners.

The Hatpin, a collaboration between GRCC’s theater and music departments that ran in May, was named Best College Production, and Rob Karel won for its direction. Student Meeka Postman was named Best Lead Actress in a College Production, and students Robbie Ellis and Madeline Jones received Best Supporting Actor and Actress, respectively. GRCC students Connor Manion and Nubia Gomez also received nominations for their work in The Hatpin.

With The Hatpin, A Sleeping Country and Jump/Cut, GRCC had three of the four nominees for Best College Production. GRCC students Jones, Henry Marcusse and Robert McFletcher received Grand nominations for their work in these productions.

“It’s always nice to be nominated, and you always smile when you get a win,” said Tom Kaechele, director of GRCC’s theater program. “But what we really love is being a part of the celebration of theater in West Michigan.”

He said the recognition for The Hatpin was especially rewarding as it was GRCC’s first collaboration with the music department.

“Rob Karel, a former directing student, came to us with The Hatpin, and it took about a year and a half for the logistics to work out so we could put it on,” Kaechele said. “It was an incredible effort, and we were fortunate to work with our accredited music department, especially department head Kevin Dobreff. Every time we came to a hurdle, Kevin helped knock it down, and he was also instrumental in coaxing former vocal director Duane Davis out of retirement to help us.”

Kaechele himself was honored at the 2014 Grand Awards, winning Best Director of a Musical for the Circle Theatre production of Spamalot. He was one of the many nominees and winners in non-college categories with GRCC ties:

  • Alumna Mary Lohman won Outstanding Choreography for the Civic Theater production of The Sound of Music. Alumna Kyle Dutkiewicz was also nominated in this category.
  • Alumna and GRCC staff member Michelle Urbane was named Outstanding Director of a Play for the Actors’ Theatre production of Venus in Fur. Kaechele was nominated in this category twice — for the Actors’ Theatre production of God of Carnage and Circle Theater’s Don’t Dress for Dinner.
  • Adjunct Christian Poquette received Outstanding Scenic Design for Actors’ Theatre’s Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson. He was also nominated in this category for Venus in Fur.
  • Alumni Sammy A. Publes and Darius “T.Q.” Colquitt were nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play for God of Carnage and the Jewish Theater production of The Whipping Man, respectively.
  • Alumnus Dylan Harris was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play for Circle Theater’s One Man Two Guvnors and for Outstanding Supporting Actor in the Actors’ Theater production of Love! Valour! Compassion!
  • Faculty member Nancy Wagner was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play for the Jewish Theater production of Driving Miss Daisy.
  • Kaechele and staff member Catherine Marlett Dreher were nominated for Outstanding Lighting Design for Venus in Fur and Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson, respectively.

West Michigan will be able to see many of the current and past Grand Award winners in Open Door, a musical production celebrating GRCC’s 100-year history. A collaboration between the theater and music departments, the script was written by Walt Lockwood, a retired GRCC English professor, and James Schafer, GRCC’s coordinator of video broadcasting and distribution.

Performances are 8 p.m. Nov. 7 and 8 at GRCC’s Spectrum Theater, 160 Fountain St. NE. Ticket prices are $25 for the public, $20 for seniors, and $15 for students with a valid student ID. A complimentary dessert reception will be held in the theater lobby following each performance. Call (616) 234-3946 to purchase tickets.

GRCC Faculty at ArtPrize!

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Two GRCC faculty are participating in ArtPrize this year – see their exhibits before the event comes to an end this weekend!

Matthew Schenk, Visual Arts faculty currently teaching two-dimensional design, is displaying his work Iterate 2 at the Women’s City Club – 254 East Fulton St.

Dianne Carroll Burdick, who has worked as a photography instructor at GRCC, is displaying her work The Pulse of the City at the UICA – 2 West Fulton St.

ArtPrize ends October 12, so there’s still time to see these and many other fine works!


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Are we sailors, sighting a far-off island?

No, LAND is the Liberal Arts Network for Development, an organization dedicated to promoting the development of the liberal arts in Michigan’s community college.

GRCC is sponsoring the 2015 LAND Conference, scheduled for February 13-14, 2015 at the Riverfront Hotel in Grand Rapids.  The conference is coordinated by English Department faculty Jim Hayes.

The 2015 conference will feature lightning talks given by faculty, administrators, and students.  Awards will be given for the best presentations.  A new pricing structure also makes it less expensive to attend the entire conference: $50 for full time faculty, staff, and administrators and $25 for adjunct faculty, part-time staff members and administrators, and graduate students.  Community college students traveling with their mentors can attend the conference for free.

The LAND Student Scholars Conference will take place on February 13 where special sessions will be created for faculty and students to interact together.  Winners of the various LAND student competitions will be recognized at the February 13 lunch.

In addition to the Student Scholars competition, LAND will continue to host competitions in writing, illustration, fine arts, and digital literacy.  The deadline for entry to all competitions is December 8, 2014, which is also the deadline for nominations for the LAND Institution Award.

Additional information about the 2015 conference and the various competitions can be found at the newly updated LAND website.

Mighty Minutes

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Minutes for the September 26 Faculty Council meeting are now available under the “Member Resources” tab at the top of the page – a mighty document with a lot of useful information.

What’s included?

  • Bereavement leave for adjunct faculty
  • A list of start up concerns for Fall semester – check your pay advice for accuracy!
  • Concerns over the Summer 2105 calendar
  • Discussion of the overload rotation process and class assignments

Adjunct Representation
The Faculty Association also represents over 500 adjunct faculty.  As a reminder, your department has a council representative that you can go to for questions regarding the contract.  Additionally, there is a representative for each school.  We are happy to welcome Kelly Keur, the School of Arts and Sciences at large Adjunct Representative.  Kelly joins Marty Hillard, who is the School of Workforce Development at large Adjunct Representative.  Both Kelly and Marty are available to you, in addition to Mike Miller who is heading up adjunct concerns with the help of Fred and Jeff this academic year.  Feel free to contact any Council representative if you have questions or concerns.

Mike Miller –
Marty Hillard – School of Workforce Development –
Kelly Keur – School of Arts and Sciences –