Just in case there was any doubt that IVC is a royally F-ed up place, today, faculty received an email from the Academic Senate President, asking us, on behalf of the Strategic Planning Oversight and Budget Development Committee (everyone calls it "SPOBDC," pronounced spob-dick), to fill out a survey.
The survey offers a list of familiar buzzwords and clichés that are supposed to express "values."
Evidently, the all-important SPOBDCians assume that, once a community has chosen its fave “values” terms—from a list created by said spobdickians—it has ipso facto identified a college “values statement.”
Really? Um, maybe they're aiming at superficiality and buzzitude. Yeah, that's gotta be it. Who, among the educated, would approach a values statement by picking buzzwords from a list?
According to Craig Hayward, IVC’s Director of Research, Planning & Accreditation (and, no doubt, a member of SPOBDC)—whose request is included in the Senate Prez’s letter—
A values statement provides additional information about an organization. It qualifies how the mission is completed and identifies ways in which IVC is distinct[ive] in its provision of educational opportunities.Hayward then provides a link to the online survey.
A potential list of values for a values statement was developed by SPOBDC members at the committee’s annual retreat on 7/26/13. SPOBDC has requested that members of the Academic Senate, the Classified Senate and ASIVC participate in a survey to identify the core values that are important both for how IVC operates and how it should operate. Please take a few moments to provide your feedback on the proposed values for an IVC values statement.
Well, I clicked on the link and I opened the survey. It tells us that
The following values are being considered for inclusion in an offical [sic] IVC values statement. The purpose of this statement will be to add depth [my emphasis] to our mission statement by identifying values that are particularly important at IVC in terms of how we currently conduct our affairs, as well as how we aspire to conduct our affairs. Please provide your impression regarding each value [i.e., click one of three bubbles] and whether it is a core value of IVC that should be included in a values statement.Next, we’re asked to “indicate the extent to which each value [in the list that follows] is a core IVC value that sheds light on how we fuflill [sic] our mission.”
At long last, here’s the list. It offers, of course, exactly the uninspired, dishonest, and cliché-ridden crapfest that one expects:
A positive spirit(I wonder if anyone on SPOBDC thought to offer sentences, even paragraphs, in expressing our values?)
Excellence throughout the institution
Integration of CWE and internships
Intellectually rigorous curriculum
Other (please specify)
Yeah, we’re crafty, we are. To convince the Accreds that, contrary to Accred visiting teams, we’re a seriously civil, respectful, and cooperative bunch down here, we’ll insert these terms into our “values” statement. I mean, any college that would tweak its “values statement” just to please the Accreds must have something on the ball, civility-wise (and integrity-wise), right?
Most other items are just the usual vogue/cliché blarney: accessibility, conservation, diversity, innovation, responsibility, student success, sustainability, transparency, etc.
Obviously, a less imaginative or distinctive list cannot be imagined.
Is it just me? Or do others find this buzzword approach to identifying “the college’s values” offensive?
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The root problem, of course, is that the people in charge at IVC have no values.
Or they have them, but they’re seriously F-ed up.