Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Senate Sponsors Teach-in Sept. 23

What follows below are a letter from Yan Searcy, President of the Faculty Senate and a letter from Pancho McFarland, chair of the teach-in committee.

First, the letter from Yan:

Greetings Senators,

after much reflection and consultation with the chair of the TEACH-IN committee it has been decided that the Faculty Senate will sponsor and promote the TEACH-IN on September 23rd. The work of the committee is valuable and the momentum that they continue to build has been encouraging.

Share with your colleagues that the problems that plague the university affect all of us. Certainly everyone is aware of the upcoming focused visit. The future of the university rests with the results of that focused visit. Documented faculty input and perspective is imperative.

Below, please find the update from the chair of the committee.

This is an important endeavor. This is a faculty directed event that attempts to maintain the institutional integrity of CSU.Please understand that the Faculty Senate's concern has consistently been about process, shared governance, transparency, integrity and accountability.

Your support is imperative. In the coming days, information will be forwarded to you. Please inform your colleagues via departmental meetings, phone calls, and emails. Flyers will be posted around campus. Some may be emailed to you.Please distribute these.

In service,

Yan Searcy
CSU Faculty Senate President

Here is the letter from Pancho McFarland, sent Friday Sept. 11:


Today several members of the teach-in committee meet to discuss details concerning the teach-in scheduled for September 23. This message is to brief you all on what was discussed and decided upon.

First, we have many more faculty members who have volunteered to facilitate the sessions. A list of topics and facilitators follows. We can still use more facilitators and notetakers. The more facilitators we have the more small discussions we can have which allows for greater participation.

Second, we discussed publicizing the event. We need everyone to talk with their colleagues about participating in whatever manner possible. Faculty, staff and students can be facilitators or notetakers, audience participants, pr people, etc.

Third, we discussed the role of the facilitators and notetakers. Facilitators are expected to do the following: briefly present relevant information, facts, or questions to the other participants in the session and to moderate the discussion that will ensue. We want the facilitators' presentation to be short so that a true dialogue can take place. The teach-in is designed as an all-campus dialogue and not experts speaking to the masses. In addition, facilitators can decide on other aspects of the session which might include bringing "experts" or concerned citizens to briefly address the audience. Notetakers are asked to record comments and proposals on large boards. This facilitates participation and dialogue. We will gather all of the notes and discuss how to put together a strategic vision at the 2 to 4 session.

Fourth, our needs list. We need more volunteers. We need markers, easels and large blank notepads. We need to get the word out about the teach-in and encourage all of our colleagues to participate at whatever level they can.

Fifth, we are working a set of questions that we will circulate prior to the teach-in so that the entire campus will be focused on the same issues. Please add your questions. Some initial questions include:

What can I do to change/impace media perceptions of CSU?
What is the CSU mission?
How can I help achieve the goals set out in the mission?
What should the university's relationship to Chicago communities look like?
How can we develop a curriculum that emphasizes social justice and community building?
What role should studetns faculty and staff have in the governance of CSU?
How are decisions made currently?
What should be the proper roles for presidents, upper administration and Board of Trustees in the decision making at CSU?
What expectations should we have of each other?
How do we nurture and maintain good relationships between the various CSU constituencies?

Finally, we will meet again next Friday at noon in the first floor library cafe. Please join us. In addition, we will be discussing the final details of the teach-in via email so please respond to this and other communications that are forthcoming.

One unreported item. We have received confirmation to use Conference Rooms a, b and c for this event. We currently do not have a venue for the evening session from 6 till 7. We will also use the open space outside of the cafeteria if needed.

In addition, we need to develop a strategy for notifying and involving Chicago media. Any ideas?

Proposed Schedule (please let me know if you are able to facilitate during the assigned times; if not we can move things around)
10-11: Shared Governance (Phil Beverly, Ann Kuzdale); CSU in Broader Context (Marc Bouman, Paul Gomberg)
11-12: CSU Mission (L. Baker-Kimmons); Community-University Links (Pancho McFarland; Danny Block)
12-1: Lunch Session
1-2: Media (G. Toth, Kathy Rosas)Students' Education (student leaders, B. Mohaimani, Floyd Banks)
2-4: Rap Up (will require a number of facilitators)

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