CAFÉ BIBLIOTHÈQUE. I've just returned from sabbatical, and so I was a little surprised to discover—yesterday, at a senate meeting—that the IVC Academic Senate's so-called CAFÉ concept is alive and well. You'll recall that the Academic Senate's President, Lisa Davis Allen, has long championed this idea, which, a year or so ago, was explained during Senate meetings as follows:
[Academic Senate President] Lisa [Davis Allen] had an idea and has full support from [VPI] Craig [Justice]. The concept is a space, a home, for faculty to gather, to be trained, with cabinets [to] house text books, journals, a place for colleagues to talk, a place to explore and test new software and technology, a place to do grant writing, – all things that relate to excellence in ... teaching – a place to house people, technology, and support all in one place. We would be able to go into a space/place and meet with peers, discuss teaching, problems, strategies. It would be wide open. A morale booster of sorts.among some non-faculty that the faculty, and only faculty, would soon have their own, well, café!
But it's not a café. OK? It's a "faculty excellence" center. No waitresses or waiters. No goofy little round tables and awnings. Maybe a coffee machine. A Mr. Coffee.
Slightly better informed non-faculty were put out, not by the notion that faculty would soon have their own restaurant, but by the apparent fact that the CAFÉ, whatever its nature, was to replace a seriously nice space (in the fancy BSTIC building) that had for years been devoted to students (namely, the MRC). Now, as far as I know, in fact, the elimination/move of the MRC was a development independent of the appearance of the Senate's CAFÉ — it had more to do, I think, with disastrous irregularities that had been discovered in the manner in which faculty ran labs in certain areas on campus. Or perhaps it reflected simply an effort to bring back that space to the use for which it was intended (Craig Justice). Whatever the cause, the move to eliminate or move the MRC did not come about simply because faculty insisted on having some goofy faculty center.
The anti-CAFÉ (or anti-CAFÉ at MRC) backlash in August was so strong, I guess, that the decision to locate the dang thing in that seriously cool space in BSTIC was reversed. From afar, it seemed that the "faculty space" or CAFÉ idea had been killed.
But no. Yesterday, during the semester's first Academic Senate meeting, I learned that the CAFÉ idea is alive and well and the facility will in fact be located on the first floor of the IVC Library, where the old "Learning Center" used to be. (Gosh, I wonder where that operation has gone to?)
Check out the pics above and below.
|The Academic Senate crew hasn't had a chance to rearrange the deck chairs yet.|
|One of two offices in the CAFÉ space. I call this the "Captain's Quarters."|
|Another office in the space. I'm guessing this will be the office of the sommelier.|
I also asked if some effort would be made to provide space for part-timers. As on previous occasions, LDA answered that the CAFÉ is for faculty, and part-time faculty are, of course, faculty. QED.
Part-timers, are you reading this? I've got just one thing to say.
Are you feelin' me?
I don't get it. Is this vast empty space a dancehall or something? Is it a space reserved for those dang "Amazing Invention" kids? Maybe it's where Glenn plans to land the next time he jumps out of an airplane, dunno.
I haven't yet decided whether I like these signs. The style is a tad cold and even lurid. Encountering one of these signs is like finding a wedge of titanium in one's organic ramen.
These bulbs haven't sprouted yet. But it's always good to see people who are into posies and such and who are willing to spruce up the campus.
|The former Media Resource Center (MRC) in BSTIC. No CAFÉ here|