Good evening, I’m Glenn Hansen President of the Faculty Association and Senate.
It’s been a while since I’ve been to the podium. For the sake of brevity I’ve not wanted to add to your meeting length. I’m out of practice and will probably blow through the mark tonight by just a little.
Last month, Dr. Barbara Johnson, from the Higher Learning Commission, met with the Faculty Senate to discuss our probation. What was abundantly clear to everyone is that we must not only be fixing the issues we were cited for but that we must make sure that if there are any other outstanding issues, we should address those before next spring’s site visit. The process next year is not about only clearing up past mistakes, but it is a full accreditation visit. Everything we do is on the table for examination; we must all be working to make sure we receive full accreditation when the process is complete. Anything less is not an option.
On tonight’s agenda there are a few items of interest.
The approval of the contract extension is very important. On Nov. 9th, the full-time faculty voted to approve the extension 207-47. It was an excellent turnout and I appreciate the support for the proposal and the objections to the proposal. I always value the comments of the dissenting voices and listen to their opinions. They express perspectives that are of value for the future. What we have learned in the years since the imposed 2012 contract and the intensified tensions is that there are better ways to solve issues. We have fixed many problems in the contract in “non-traditional” ways. We have problem-solved with administrators to rectify issues that were not working for either side. We have signed numerous MOUs beginning almost immediately beginning in the summer of 2012 and then extended the contract once with an agenda of limited scope. The negotiation processes of today cannot be the ones of the past. We must demonstrate we can solve problems, not beat each other up through traditional behaviors and simply horse trade on issues. Hopefully, we can come to solutions that work. What we have demonstrated through this process, that began quietly in May with insurance and salary, is that we can find solutions in pieces that added up to a whole, one that the majority on both sides will support. We solved problems without raising our voices. I’m confident we will continue to find ways to solve outstanding issues with positive and constructive outcomes. Thank you to everyone on both teams who worked hard to bring us to tonight.
On a different note, tonight you are approving the retirement of Dr. Collins. I have worked with Dr. Collins for almost 12 years. Joe, I wish you the best and hope there are many low golf scores in your future.
In some other news, on Oct. 26, we elected Dr. Jarman as our next President of CODFA. I have worked closely, with Richard as Vice President for 3 years and several before that when he served as a Senator. He is an excellent voice for the faculty and he will continue to inform you of our concerns through his eloquent prose. As for me after December 31st I will, in true COD tradition, move on by joining another committee. I will chair the Past Presidents Council and perform duties as assigned.
I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you.