Greetings, Esteemed Colleagues –
I hope this email finds you well and rested, ready to begin next week. I recognize the idea of “beginning next week” is a bit disingenuous since many faculty work through the summer. Thanks to all of you that serve students year round. Your work is greatly appreciated!
Thankfully it has been a pretty benign summer with no big faculty issues to announce. While there are always smaller issues that affect individuals, I’ll not bother adding these to the length of this email but will share them at Faculty Council next month. Remember, your Faculty Council Representative and the biweekly minutes are an ongoing important source of information about the workings of your Faculty Association.
There are however a few larger pieces of information that I want to share.
I’ve decided to not have a Fall Faculty Association Meeting next week. I solicited input from the other Faculty Association leaders and received no compelling reason to meet. Everything you need to know can be shared in an email (this email) and everyone can use the extra time to prepare for our upcoming classes. Not having a meeting in the beginning of the school year is not uncommon for us and seemed like the best use of your time.
However, what I would like to do is have a couple open meetings in September, one during the day and one in the evening, where faculty can meet with me and other faculty leaders to share concerns, provide direction, and/or ask questions about any of the workings of your association. I will announce the time and location of these meetings the first week of school.
In addition, I also want to extend an offer to personally attend to any of your department meetings in the upcoming school year. I will also communicate this directly to the Department Heads and Program Directors, as well as reiterate this offer at Faculty Council. I would come with no agenda, but to simply listen to you and hear your thoughts, concerns, and input around our work.
Contract – It’s Posted Online
Hopefully you all saw Katie’s communication early this summer and are aware that the final language for the contract is now posted on the Faculty Association’s webpage at – https://facultyatgrcc.com/contract/.
As I’ve done before, I want to thank all of the members of the negotiation team, Faculty Association leadership, Faculty Council, and our Chief Negotiator Lisa Gloege for the hard work they all contributed to this endeavor. In particular, I want to highlight Lisa’s extraordinary work last semester in leading the effort to finalize the verbiage that is the contract. Negotiations are one thing, having a physical contract is another monumental task in itself!
As you all know, on the day after commencement, Dr. Bill Pink became GRCC’s Tenth President. I’ve had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Pink a few times this summer to discuss his vision for the college and how that might impact faculty. My primary focus with him has been twofold. The first is a continuation of my theme from last year which is the voice of faculty must be ever present in the decisions of this college. This year I’ve added to this rhetoric an emphasis on the role of faculty being at the core of why GRCC exists as an institution.
In my conversations with President Pink and Provost Chesley (with whom I also meet with on a regular basis), I continue to reiterate that all systems at GRCC exist to support student learning. If they don’t, they don’t have a purpose. To that end, each system must understand how well they perform impacts student learning and in turn the role of faculty. My goal is to have this be the lens by which we make decisions at GRCC and the reason faculty need to be part of that decision making process.
Of course a new president brings a week long inauguration celebration culminating in the formal investiture. You have received some information on the week’s activities. I want to make you specifically aware of the investiture.
The investiture of Dr. Bill Pink as the tenth president of GRCC will be on Friday, September 29th at 2:00 p.m. All faculty are invited and encouraged to attend. This will be a full academic celebration with all the pomp and circumstance it deserves. Along with GRCC faculty and academic leaders, it will include speakers and dignitaries from our community, business, government, and the higher education community.
Because some of you may teach at this time, Provost Chesley and I have made an arrangement that any faculty member who is teaching that wants to attend the investiture may do so without using any contractual mechanism for being absence from class. You may manage your class as you would for any planned absence, don your academic regalia, and commence with your peers (cake and punch to follow)!
I am pleased to announce for the first time the Faculty and Staff Centennial Scholarship had enough money to award a scholarship. This was an idea that was generated at Faculty Council and special thanks need to be given to Holly Christopher, Joe Hesse, Brian Daily, and David Dye on their Faculty Association committee work to establish this fund.
An article on this award can be found at the following url –
Once again the Faculty Association has reserved a time for all of us to gather with our colleagues and family to celebrate and enjoy some informal time together. There will be food (really good food), drinks, games, music, and a raffle. If that doesn’t define a party, nothing does. The details are as follow:
When: Saturday, September 16
Time: 12 to 4 p.m.
Who: Faculty (current & past, full-time & adjunct) and their families
Where: Palmer Park
1275 52nd Street
Open Shelter A
Picnic Area A-1
To RSVP: Go to: http://bit.ly/facultypicnic2017
Follow the Picnic link & let us know you’re coming by Sept. 2nd
And as always, IT IS FREE!
It’s been an informative first year as the Faculty Association President. The duties are extensive. The expectations are unpredictable. The successes are fleeting. The mistakes seem to be unavoidable.
And yet, what remains ever present is the dedication, passion, and determination of our faculty. It is a point of pride that you have elected me as your president. Please understand I do not take this role nor this honor lightly. While there is always an inherent tension (many really) when representing such a large and diverse group of dedicated professionals, my intention as a leader is to embrace these difference and to seek the dialectical solution that serves at the same time the individual and the whole, full-time and adjunct, classroom and non-classroom, and all the other instances when there is seemingly a difference within the same entity. I would hope that goal remains obvious, even when reaching it seems impossible
Ok, with me, even a brief email becomes long. I look forward to seeing a many of you as possible on Thursday.