When we got to “my” agenda item (for it was thus described on the agenda), IVC Academic Senate President Lisa Davis Allen provided some background: that this civility thing started with a request from Chancellor Poertner, etc. Her comments were helpful.
Then it was up to me to “present” my view. I reminded everyone that VPI Craig Justice had sent out the civility report exactly two weeks ago—with a brief introduction in which he stated that the document was for our “review.”
I went straight to the offending sentence of the “Statement on Civility” that was included in the report—the business about how supervisors should be on the lookout for employee incivility and include such observations in personnel evaluations.
But no! The Chancellor looked at me and said: “'Mr. Goo' is plainly an allusion to the term ‘gook.’”
I kid you not.
(Back to today's meeting:) I next suggested that, in my view, there likely are instances of bullying at IVC and that they should surely be addressed, though I could not see how a civility code would be helpful in that regard. In the meantime, I said, a policy that permitted disciplining of those deemed “uncivil” opens the door to abuse, to silencing dissent.
After my "presentation," many senators (et al.) spoke, some noting the odd circumstance that union representatives were not invited to the December “workshop” upon which the report was supposedly based. Others emphasized the danger in allowing supervisors to wield so undefined a notion as "incivility."
Dan R suggested that the approach to IVC's problems represented by the report was unwise.
Eventually, Lewis Long, the faculty union president, assured all present that there was no way that the union would allow citings of “incivility” to become part of the personnel evaluation process. He also questioned the college's focus on "incivility," suggesting that we should be developing a statement/policy re free speech.
It turns out that the participants in December’s “workshop” were rather surprised to see the aforementioned objectionable elements of the report. They (at least three workshop participants were in the room) seemed to say that Mr. Spevak, the hired gun who wrote the report, included elements that were not part of the discussions back in December.
Jeff, echoing Lewis, seemed inclined essentially to leave the report (or at least it's problematic attachments 3 and 4) behind and to pursue a statement or policy that promoted safe and free speech rather than one that punished "incivility."
At one point, even VPI Craig Justice stated that the “discipline” business in the report just didn’t belong there.
Meanwhile, LDA insisted that, had I not asked to make the report an agenda item, the senate cabinet would have done so on their own.
Well, that's reassuring.
Craig asserted, plausibly, that the report was supposed to inspire "dialogue," and it had surely done that. At any rate, we all agreed, I believe, that the dialogue that occurred at today's meeting was good.
It turned out to be a good day.
Well, there’s more, but I’ve gotta book.
|The scourge of "reassigned time" was a union Old Guard preoccupation back in the day, as was homosexuality|
|As I recall, somebody had made Rich's life miserable on this day. Probably the Chancellor.|
I seem to remember that Andreea kept saying "moose and squirrel" to cheer him up. Didn't work.