Monday, January 30, 2012

IVC's new "Student Success Center"; CAFÉ (Library iteration) opening Wednesday

Pics of IVC "Student Success Center," taken today

     The President of the Irvine Valley College Academic Senate, Lisa Davis Allen, has long dreamed of a special facility for faculty—a center for “excellence.”
     I’m on the Senate. Maybe it’s just me, but it always seemed that one could hear crickets whenever she mentioned this idea at senate meetings.
     But she persevered, and, by late last spring, goshdarnit, her dream of a CAFÉ—i.e., a “Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence”—started gettin’ real. As it turned out, at about that time, administration was playing yet another round of facilities musical chairs—that never seems to end—and, by summer, it appeared that the Media Resource Center (MRC)—inside the fancy new BSTIC building—would be sent packing, to be replaced by, well, the faculty CAFÉ.
     Now, you’ve got to understand that the space then occupied by the MRC was seriously cool. It had (and has) lots of sleek Mac computers, an ultra-modern transparent wall, a wrap-around view, and so on. It is surely the coolest space at the college.

The internal entrance to the "Student Success Center."
     Naturally, the MRC/CAFÉ switcheroo was done very badly. People are never told what’s going on at IVC—they’ve pretty much only got rumors and after-the-fact reports. (Name any issue. Ask people what they know about it. A: nothing.)
     In this informational vacuum, people knew only that the MRC was getting evicted from the super-cool space in BSTIC, and faculty would take its place with something called a “CAFÉ.” Naturally, people took umbrage, aghast at the very idea of replacing student-in-cool-space with faculty-in-cool-space. Some of these employees even seemed to think that the CAFÉ was gonna be, well, a café!

     In the absence of info, people draw those kinds of conclusions. Why wouldn't they?
     To make matters worse, the Senate held a CAFÉ grand (or semi-grand or sub-grand) opening during Fall Flex Week, and the flier for the event made clear that only full-timers were invited! It all sounded kinda elite.
     We at DtB noted all of this, of course. No effort to clarify matters for us was ever made. We heard nothing from anybody.
     Pretty soon, there was yet another reshuffling of the IVC facilities deck. The plan to move the CAFÉ into the BSTIC space was nixed. All the computers remained there, but, for an entire semester, that space remained empty and unused! No explanation was given for any of this.
     When I returned from my sabbatical (early January), I was told that the CAFÉ has at long last found a home, namely, the former Student Learning Center in the IVC Library (see earlier post: CAFÉ BIBLIOTHÈQUE).
     The Grand Opening is Wednesday. (See flier at left)
     Meanwhile, after an entire semester of disuse, that cool space in BSTIC has been given over to something now called the “Student Success Center.”
     Let’s hope that idea sticks.
     I dropped by the SSC today and spoke briefly with the person in charge, namely, Dr. Brooke Choo. I know her; she’s good.
     Looks like the SSC is in good hands.

This, of course, is BSTIC. The Student Success Center is on the bottom floor, at left.
Naturally, BSTIC is not used in ways originally intended, owing to program shrinkage
and other fortuities. They should rename it MISC.

The unfortunate (i.e., bungled) August "launch" of the CAFE. Redolent of elitism most foul.


Anonymous said...

What happened to the original porgram that that space was designed for?

(I am not complaining, just curious. I think the new center is great.

B. von Traven said...

6:49, if you go to the IVC website and do a search for MRC, you'll come across minutes of a facilities meeting in May of 2011. They report comments by VPI Justice concerning the original intended use of that space and a plan to move it to the Library.

Anonymous said...

I went and did a search and now I am more confused than ever - and I didn't even ask the original question! What happened?

"Craig Justice provided a report on the Media Resource Center. He gave some historical information on the intended use of the MRC. He noted that it has evolved into a student lab, which was never intended. He said that part of the intended use was to be a conference center for campus and community use. He said that the computer lab is a learning center and was designed to be located in BSTIC 209. He noted that BSTIC 209 has been underutilized. He said that conversations have occurred regarding ways to best support the computer learning center."

I thought BSTIC was supposed to a building for business and computer science classes...where are they? What happened? How did they plan this?

Will the same thing happen to the new Bio building?

Anonymous said...

I don't remember it being originally a "conference center" that what the state funded?

Tenured 1% said...

Maybe her Excellency would be well served to request your sabbatical report. Isn't that what sabbaticals are for? The advancement of faculty "A sabbatical is to allow for the professional enhancement of the faculty member."
BTW what did you do during your sabbatical?

"K. Evidence of Completion
1. Upon completion of the sabbatical and within sixty (60) days of the faculty member's return to duty, a narrative report shall be submitted to the Sabbatical Committee for review and acceptance (or non-acceptance)."

B. von Traven said...

11:06, do you imagine that any of this is unknown? Sabbatical proposals must be approved (they are even run past the trustees). Those who were on sabbatical in the fall are required to provide a full report in March. This is no secret. Your point?

Anonymous said...

I think it nice that the space is finally being sued but I am also confused by the whole panning process for that building which seems, still underused, while the rest of us are crammed into classroom that don't even accommodate all the students we have.

It seems that the building was built for one purpose and then given over to the speech department - how did that happen?

Anonymous said...

You cannot trust what Dr. J says.

Anonymous said...

Is there any follow-up to see how these buildings that are proposed, approved and funded - how they are really used? BSTIC was supposed to be one thing ans now its' turned into many.

Anonymous said...

The center is in very good hands. Brooke will do a fabulous job of serving students in the center.

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