Dr. Julia diLiberti, Professor of Humanities, Comments to the BOT | Sept 19, 2019

Good Evening,
My name is Dr. Julia diLiberti. I am a taxpayer in DuPage County and I also teach Humanities here at the college.

I’m here tonight to offer information as I believe there is some concern about whether or not Full time COD faculty know how to teach. This is surprising to me because every year I’m required to meet with my dean to discuss my teaching goals, changes, and achievements. EVERY YEAR.

The AAUP clearly states, that “Adequate Evaluation Data,” is necessary since, “Casual procedures, a paucity of data, and unilateral judgments by department chairs and deans too often characterize the evaluation of teaching… ”

Another article notes that: “Most institutions say they value teaching. But how they assess it tells a different story.” The article explains that peer review and self-reflection are key to faculty assessment. COD Faculty already engage in many many practices that involve self-reflection and peer review.

We all want good teaching here at COD; there we do not differ. So let me offer some of the ways that will reasonably allow you to conclude that COD faculty can teach.

1. Faculty are vetted through a rigorous interview process before setting foot inside the classroom as FT FAC. (Peer review)
2. CODFA members have a rigorous tenure process. (Admin review)
3. CODFA members are still required to use class evaluation tools, despite reams of credible evidence about how racism and sexism skew the results. Curiously, even those evaluations suggest we can teach. (Tool that does not ask for self-reflection)
4. We write scholarship and other letters or recommendation for students who transfer or get jobs. Their ability to transfer or get jobs suggests we can teach.
5. The HLC didn’t put faculty on probation for any reason.
6. CODFA members have regular discipline meetings where teaching matters figure prominently. (group reflection/group peer review)
7. CODFA members do a phase of program review each year in which teaching matters figure prominently. Group reflection/group peer review)

8. CODFA members have yearly evaluations
9. Faculty engage in teaching squares. We observe 3 other people; we are observed 3 times in semester. We debrief. (Self-reflection and peer review).
10. Some depts have teach-ins where teaching strategies and demonstrations are shared between FT and PT faculty. (Peer review)
11. Faculty belong to the Speakers Bureau: we’re out in the community publicly sharing our craft.
12. Faculty teach in learning communities and in
13. Honors seminars. They teach in front of their colleagues all the time. (Peer review)
14. Faculty teach Field Studies and Study Abroad courses that reach both students and community members. Those courses all get their own evaluation and have a broad reach. Unhappy community members aren’t shy about offering their opinions.
15. We have an FPD liaison who is developing us in all kinds of ways to improve our teaching. (Reading groups, courses, other initiatives too numerous to name)
16. Faculty attend the great teachers retreat, where again, as in most of these other activities we practice peer review and self-reflection.
17. CTE advisory boards let faculty know how to maintain or improve their teaching. (External review)
19.-∞– We create and lead an infinite number co-and extra-curricular activities anyone can come observe and/or take part in. You cannot miss all the teaching that goes on here and in those events.
CODFA members are constantly teaching in the public eye and repeatedly evaluated in the college as well.

The F2 proposal to our contract takes dynamic, organic, advanced practices and seeks to trade those in for a narrow, provincial, and adversarial system of evaluation–the kind that the AAUP actually objects to.

COD faculty have never failed to make good teaching our top priority so these unnecessary proposals to an unbroken system take away our time and energy from teaching. Teaching matters and CODFA members prove their teaching abilities every day on and off campus.