Monday, May 7, 2012

One simple thing you can do to help COD faculty under attack.

No question COD is an asset to DuPage County, but the faculty is under seige, working without a contract for a year. In 2009, many members of the DuPage Democrats pushed hard to elect those who would protect these same teachers. At a recent rally, our own Bob Peickert lent his support to their cause echoing that effort. You can lend your voice and support as well.

Attend the COD Board of Trustees meeting this Thursday, May 10 at 7 p.m. in Room 2800 of Student Resources Center on the COD campus.

What Do DuPage Dems Need to Know About Problems at the College of DuPage?

COD teachers, who have been working without a contract for a year, recently held a rally featuring speakers from the IEA, local teachers' unions, and DuPage Democrats Chairman Bob Peickert. Faculty association representatives have gone on record accepting a financial offer made in the press by the college president and have agreed to a number of other significant concessions. Nonetheless, contract negotiations have stalled and were recently placed in the hands of a federal mediator.

College of DuPage has long been a well-regarded public resource - an accessible, affordable route to an education for everyone in District 502. Especially for a two-year college, COD has attracted a remarkably high quality of faculty because of its strong reputation and innovative programs. Of late, though, under the control of President Robert Breuder and Board Chairman David Carlin, COD tuition has risen steadily, and financial policies have made it harder for working people to meet payment deadlines and register for classes. At the same time, the administration of the college is trying to water down educational quality by increasing class sizes and teaching load, as well as taking coordination of academic programs out of faculty hands.

COD's campus looks really pretty these days: millions have been lavished on landscaping, including mature trees and fountains, and you can't miss all the new buildings. COD has a whole layer of administrators earning salaries over $150k; furthermore, Breuder is the highest paid community college president in the state. So, if COD has money to spend, why is the administration so reluctant to bargain with the faculty association? Board Chairman Carlin is Joe Walsh's District Director and a Tea Party loyalist who has his own political aspirations. Breuder, the current college president, touts a corporate approach to managing the college, centralizing decision-making authority and eroding the role of faculty in academic affairs. Harper College is still reeling from his "leadership" style. These men are not interested in working with faculty to pursue the educational mission of COD. They want to bust a union and many of their contractor friends win if they do.

What can DuPage Dems do?
●    Attend the next College of DuPage Board of Trustees meeting at 7pm on Thursday, May 10, 2012.
●    Consider running for Chairman Carlin's board seat, which is up for election in 2013 in a nonpartisan race.
●    "Like" the faculty association's Facebook page and share our posts widely.
●    Read more about the issues at the links below!

Professor Emeritus David McGrath puts the current strife at COD in the context of COD's history and the current anti-labor efforts of Wisconsin's governor.
COD Faculty Association President Glenn Hansen responded after Carlin accused faculty of holding grades over the heads of students who demonstrated or made statements in support of faculty at the April 19 Board of Trustees meeting.
Professor of Photography Jeff Curto reveals the College administration's use of public resources to attack the faculty association, as well as debunking the myth that teaching in an art studio has less value than teaching in a lecture class.
Associate Professor of English Karin Evans explores the impact of a heavier teaching load on instructors in freshman English, a core general education requirement serving all students who earn associates degrees or transfer to four-year colleges all over Illinois.

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