We did not have a blogger at last night’s meeting. The meeting was recorded as usual and will be made available at
Public comment by Glenn Hansen, President, COD Faculty Association:
Good evening. If you are looking for a vantage point to view college spending from, past and future, try looking at it from the student perspective. Every misspent dollar is a greater hurt to a student than a taxpayer. Too many of our students leave COD with loans to pay off. Most of our students are not here on a free ride paid for by their parents. The majority of our students work (often at low wages), pay for school, and have bills to pay. Many of our students are the taxpayers, who already support the school through property taxes.
So, anytime there is an opportunity to do something to help reduce the burden of debt, I’m in. About a month ago Student Trustees Torres and Roark asked if Richard and I would meet with them to talk about the cost of textbooks. Textbooks are expensive, everyone who has taken a college course anywhere knows that. We met last Tuesday afternoon. It was a very good meeting. They shared with us the ICCB presentation on textbooks and we talked of ideas to help. This is not the first time faculty have engage this problem. Several years ago, not quite a decade, we formed a joint committee to propose solutions. Times have changed, textbooks have changed, instruction has changed, and certainly technology has changed. In recent years, faculty have changed how they use textbooks and what we use as textbooks, often in response to the skyrocketing costs. It is time to revisit the issue. Next Thursday, we will ask the Faculty Senate to charter a task force of faculty and members of student leadership to address the issue of textbook costs. We have no preconceived solutions, but we are confident that actions will be proposed that will help address problem.
Thank you again to both Ms. Torres and Ms. Roark for starting this conversation.
Public comment by Richard Jarman, VP of COD Faculty Association:
You might think we would be unhappy to be back here a third Thursday on the trot facing the prospect of another long evening (early morning). We have heard the chimes at midnight and then some these past weeks. However, I am grateful for the opportunity to comment on last week while it is fresh in the memory.
I think you would agree that the CODFA presentation on the HLC response was measured; it was reasoned, it was specific, it was constructive, and it was courteous. It is said that courtesy is always in season. Throughout that day we had become aware from several quarters that there were those who did not want us to make that presentation. I am unsure of the reason; but perhaps there was concern that we would be antagonistic, or uncivil. If so, that is a shame. I infer that it reflects the level of esteem with which CODFA leadership is held more than anything. I think we are more subtle and nuanced than that.
That said, I must confess that it was a struggle to maintain my equanimity during our presentation, coming as it did after public comment that mainly concerned item 6.B, termination of Elizabeth Anderson. Those comments were gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, and, from our perspective, entirely avoidable. The story here is not over by any means.
There are those who say that we need to get on, forget the past, move forward, be collaborative and so on. I cannot agree more. We would love to do so. However, the Association’s responsibilities are first and foremost to serve and protect its members. When they are harmed we cannot simply carry on as if nothing has happened.
I am not here to argue the merits of her case one way or the other, but I will say that such things do place massive obstacles in the path to true collaboration.