Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mystery Solved!

As duly noted earlier this week, some were puzzled by the absence of requests for IVC Foundation Scholarship letters of recommendation.

Where had all the letters gone?

Now, there's an answer: computer glitch.



Though not really a glitch, per se.

New computer system + modules (podules?) + adaptation time + lack of resources = no letters of recommendation for this season.

Okay, we get it.

Still one wonders about communication. Why no announcement was made early on. Maybe folks thought faculty wouldn't notice or didn't really care.

Rebel Girl is inclined to imagine that we are at our best when we're asked to solve problems together. She thinks, given a chance, we could have worked it out. Maybe someone would have even suggested that we go back to our old ways for just this year. You know, stone tablets. Pen and ink. Letters printed on letterhead.

Too bad this opportunity was missed.

As someone commented earlier this week, faculty often anticipate the scholarship awards ceremony because of their student applicants - because instructors are asked to be part of the process through composing those letters. These instructors are, in a way, rooting for their students. And the students, when they are notified of their awards - are grateful and let their teachers know.

Rebel Girl has no idea of who among her many students applied for scholarship this year.

*

18 comments:

  1. Yes, the real problem is a lack of communciation.

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  2. " ... we're at our best when we're asked to solve problems together." I hear you, RG.

    At my U., faced with a huge budget deficit that could endanger the institution, administrators formulated a plan to address it, including laying off of tenure-track faculty who had been hired within the past 3 years, without a word of consultation with the excellent economists, accountants, business leaders, ethicists, public policy experts, and plain thoughtful faculty among us. We are fighting back hard, and faculty have devised smart and feasible ways to address the problem *without* (so many) lay-offs. It remains to be seen whether these proposals will be accepted.

    Why on earth would higher-ups be so oblivious to the expertise, intelligence, and fervent interest in the welfare of our students and our institutions? Often, they seem to be in another world----the corporate one.

    It's a shame what happened with your fellowship process this year, and I hope that it won't be repeated.

    MAH

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  3. They don't ask for our help - they don't want our help.

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  4. Oh they ask for our help - but selectively.

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  5. What about those people in the poll who claim to have written letters?

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  6. In a healthy college community, administrators routinely communicate with faculty. They let them know what is going on, to the extent possible, so that problems that arise, even relatively small ones, are "our" problems. With all that has gone on and does evidently go on in our district, this kind of "something's happened, we know not what" situation breeds distrust. At the very least, it inspires the notion that incompetence is afoot. I suspect that this "glitch" is a perfectly innocent snafu. But the failure to communicate with those who normally engage in this process (for whom, by the way, it is quite meaningful, in part because they are entrusted with crucial information leading to judgments about who will and who will not receive scholarships) is obviously the wrong move. Why not communicate? Why leave us over and over with only our imaginations and rumor to understand what the hell is going on? The failure to communicate is an old problem at IVC. I have personally made a plea to the President about the need for ongoing interaction and communication. But he seems incapable of hearing the point. I don't understand that. I know he's busy. But distrust is the price he pays for seeming uninterested in communicating with faculty and letting us in on his burdens. To varying degrees, this problem afflicts other areas of governance at IVC, though, naturally, there are great exceptions.

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  7. I always write my letters of recommendation on stone tablets.

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  8. Yes, and when we're told that a computer glitch prevented the simple process of writing brief letters--again, this breeds suspicions of incompetence. Just how hard is it for a group of faculty to write emails to someone on campus? Why is a computer even necessary for this? Communicate people! Don't leave us thinking your dolts or that you are working against the interests of quality at this college!

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  9. Glen sends out lots of emails all the time.

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  10. I think they're afraid of us.

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  11. As usual, the blog gives us what few others will: INFORMATION.

    Information equals repsect.

    They don't respect us. They marginalize us by doling out selective information - and withholding much of what really matters.

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  12. When I first started here, we simply filled out forms by hand - maybe one paragraph of narrative - then walked it over the FA office. Pretty Simple.

    Technology doesn't necessarily make everything easier and better. Case in point.

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  13. People who send out emails indiscriminately--failing in any way to indicate which of these are important and which are relatively unimportant--must suffer the fate of having their emails largely ignored. We're all very busy, and, at this point, I have little motivation to open Glenn's spams. He and his people seem to send out information as though the installment of a new posy is as momentous as the threat of non-accreditation.

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  14. There's a new posy?

    Where?

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  15. New posies? Over where they tore out those trees in parking lot 1.

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  16. The people who thought they wrote letters are just confused.

    Helen is just going to reward those students she favors. Watch. Without others to advocate for them, many students will lose out.

    This might not mean a lot to us - it's only a glitch - but for many of these students it is a great deal. Shame. People handling this didn't think through the consequences.

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  17. I think you're all being a little overdramatic. It's truly admirable that you love the process of writing letters in support of scholarships for your students, but is it really such a horrible breakdown in communication that you hadn't yet been told about the change in this year's process?

    Blaming others for a lack of communication on this issue just seems a little over the top, particularly since I'd bet that most faculty didn't even notice. I understand the desire to know what's going on, but it seems there was a lot of speculation on your part before you even ASKED. And yet you seem to blame the powers that be for not being clairvoyant and knowing that this is something you really, really needed to know RIGHT NOW, dammit! Usually communication will come when there's something you have to do, and not when there's nothing that you have to do. Otherwise, Glenn and his people would be sending out a whole lot more emails about new posies.

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  18. I disagree. People aren't being overly dramatic - it might seem that way if this is the only post you read.

    But this event is simply one in a sad series - one that does really affect students.

    And again the silence from Admin - DEAFENING.

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