Thursday, May 18, 2017

Faculty at commencement: pushed to the margins

     Today’s a “non-instructional day” at the college. Nevertheless, at 2:00, the IVC Academic Senate held its last Rep Council meeting of the semester.
     Things were going pretty well until we hit item 15, the “Commencement Process.”
     “The Administrative Services Council…work group…,” said the agenda, “has decided that we reorder the seating arrangement to seat the Faculty behind the students.”
     Hey! That moves us from the center to the margins!
     The question was whether we supported this decision.
     —Um, no, not the folks in my neck of the woods. They love Commencement. They love being there for the students, close to the students. Right in there with ‘em, all cozy.
     As you know, at Commencement, it is the faculty who confer the degrees on students. No, it’s not the board. It’s not the President. The faculty.
     And they’re always a pretty enthusiastic bunch, at least faculty in my School (the School of Humanities—and the Languages folks), who always show up and hang around to talk to students, parents, Uncle Carlos, Aunt Minnie, et al. Pictures are taken. Hugs are hugged. (This can’t be said for every School at the college, that’s for sure.)
     Just who is this ‘Council’ anyway?, I asked.
     Well, their membership has changed a lot over the years. Blah blah blah. Who knows.
     I think somebody said that our President, Glenn Roquemore, wants this change.
     Of course he does. Any chance to demote faculty—he’ll take it. If he could run the college without faculty, he’d do it in a flash. I’m pretty sure he feels the same way about students, and books, and so on. Everybody knows it.
     I moved that we reject the Council’s decision. We voted.
     My motion went down in flames. Only 8 of about 25 voted for it.
     So, things have changed.
     Let us know what you think.


Anonymous said...

I think there should be more collegial consultation and also better management of the event. Do they really even know how many faculty will show up? Certainly more come now that they are MADE to, but they always seems to have many more seat dedicated to us than needed.

Anonymous said...

I have been away from the College for a number of years, and am saddened that the administrattion still holds faculty in such low regard. Roy, you are right. Faculty do confer degrees on students.....not trustees, administrators, or anyone else. Yes, commencement is an opportunity for students to be celebrated, but their accomplishment is due to the training, commitment and hard work of their teachers. As arrogant as that may seem, students are quick to extoll the virtues and value of their instructors. They, at least, get it!!
Relegating the faculty to the back of the bus makes teaching and scholarship a kind of second rate afterthought. Disgraceful.

Greg Bishopp

Anonymous said...

What do you make of the late invite to commencement sent out yesterday afternoon?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if they have an accurate count of which faculty will indeed show up...and if they have thought about what it means to separate the students from the audience (their family and friends). I think both those groups enjoyed being closer to each other rather than further for the purpose of photos, filming, etc.

BOOM! Thanks to NYT, the Trump saga enters a new and darker phase, starting tomorrow

Why muddy a clear message of a nation in danger? From the Start, Trump Has Muddied a Clear Message: Putin Interfered  (NYT) By DA...