Unrest in Academe

TCC faculty members are working — quietly — for better treatment by administrators.
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Posted July 16, 2014 by JEFF PRINCE in News
Tarrant County College administrators are stepping on faculty’s toes. Jeff PrinceTarrant County College administrators are stepping on faculty’s toes. Jeff Prince

Faculty members at Tarrant County College are chafing under the reign of Chancellor Erma C. Johnson Hadley, a longtime TCC employee who rose from the post of instructor in 1968 to the school’s top position in 2010.

Hadley became the state’s highest paid community college chancellor in 2010 and remains so today with her $375,950 salary. Along the way, she’s distanced herself from faculty members via a series of decisions that many disagree with, including moving toward more standardized textbook selections.

One new program in particular is creating dissent. TCC Connect was designed to offer a virtual campus and to fast-track online education through a program called Weekend College. TCC Connect is an evolution toward a college system with fewer bricks and less mortar. Faculty members don’t necessarily disagree with Hadley’s vision of increased reliance upon technology and convenience for students, but they resent how she wants to rely on adjunct professors with less experience and lower paychecks to administer the online courses that full-time faculty helped to develop.

Faculty members are also feeling left out of the decision-making process. Some say Hadley has disrespected them by rarely soliciting their input. The full-time teaching staff isn’t saying it on the record for news media, but they’re making their point in other ways. An overwhelming majority of faculty members at the Northeast campus in Hurst approved a no-confidence vote for Hadley this spring, with about 70 percent of the faculty voting.

A no-confidence vote is considered official only when all of the campuses participate. Faculty members at TCC’s South campus allegedly voted in alignment with the Northeast campus, although those vote totals were unavailable. The three other campuses haven’t joined in the push thus far. And even if the other campuses were to join in approving a no-confidence measure, there are no real repercussions for Hadley other than a potentially scarred reputation.

“It used to be a kiss of death to get a no-confidence vote [in higher education],” said TCC trustee O.K. Carter, a former teacher and longtime local newspaper columnist.

Nowadays, the vote is often used as a tool by faculty to grab the attention of administrators and trustees, he said.

“They [faculty members] don’t have that many political tools they can use; this is one of them,” Carter said. ”You want to get the trustees’ attention, and they have.”

But getting the trustees’ attention doesn’t guarantee much, particularly since the trustees are pushing some of Hadley’s most controversial changes, such as adoption of common course materials and an increased reliance on adjunct teachers for TCC Connect.

“The chancellor is working off quite a few things that have been requested of her by the trustees,” Carter said. “One of those is that we are going to cut down on this wide-open selection of textbooks. We are going to have weekend and online college. It’s a new world. We have more constituents than just faculty. We’re trying to get maximum value for all those constituents paying for this multi-million dollar campus,” referring to the whole TCC system.

Issues such as common courses, standardized textbooks, online teaching, and the use of adjunct professors are controversial on many campuses. Bringing together the various parties — administrators, teachers, board members, and students — might increase the chances of developing successful solutions, said Elisabeth Barnett, senior research associate at the Community College Research Center at Teachers College at Columbia University.

“Generally, faculty want a fair amount of control over the materials they use because they are experts in their field,” she said. Still, “There can be good reasons why administrators might want to have some say over it. You hope in a college you have shared governance. Ideally they are working together on those discussions.”

Many professors at TCC feel they’ve been ignored too often by Hadley’s administration.

TCC serves more than 100,000 students each year, making it the country’s 15th-largest higher education institution. The two-year college with five campuses spread around the Fort Worth area serves as a springboard for students to earn basic credits before heading to more heralded — and more expensive — four-year universities.

Early in 2014, a faculty member sent an anonymous letter to Fort Worth Weekly and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram describing the no-confidence vote and myriad other concerns. Afterward, however, faculty clammed up.

At that time, Robert Edmonds was president of the Joint Consultation Committee, the faculty body that consults with the administration and represents faculty interests across all the campuses. He met with the Star-Telegram editorial board at the board’s request but wouldn’t answer their questions.

“It was not the right thing to do,” he said. “[The board] left callbacks for five or six members of the faculty senate, but nobody called them back.”

Faculty members at the five campuses are unified in their desire to work within the system to get things done, Edmonds said. Soliciting help from news media “makes it tough to get things done. It sets an acrimonious feeling between faculty and administration,” he said.

The Star-Telegram didn’t publish a story on the no-confidence vote.

The Weekly also hit brick walls in trying to get faculty to discuss the issues publicly. Most of the information about faculty grievances and voting totals in this article came from documents provided anonymously.

“That sounds like somebody very frustrated with the pace of this,” Edmonds said. “People want to see things done. There are issues that are affecting people very strongly.”

However, he discouraged others from providing information to news media.

“It usurps the proper chain,” said Edmonds, whose term as president of the faculty group expired in April. “It’s not the way we can get things done as a faculty.”

Richard Moore, executive director at Texas Community College Teachers Association, has been keeping up with the TCC textbook discussions. He sees good intentions from administrators, trustees, and faculty members, even when they disagree.

“It’s everybody trying to help the students,” Moore said.

However, faculty should have a strong voice in how matters involving student learning are handled, he said.

“It is the responsibility of the faculty to ensure that students are learning what they need to learn. How the faculty achieves those ends needs to be managed at the level closest to the students,” he said.

Hadley has been visiting campuses regularly in recent months and talking to employees, although not always with blissful results. Hadley met with South campus faculty in April and agreed that her administration’s communication regarding TCC Connect had been “less than desirable,” according to a South campus faculty association newsletter published April 16.

In the article, Hadley defended her administration by saying that TCC Connect was originally designed to rely solely on adjunct faculty, who typically have less work experience, work for lower pay, and get few if any benefits. After faculty expressed concerns, the program was altered to include two dozen full-time staff members as well. Still, Hadley was quoted in the April 18 issue of the newsletter saying that relying on full-time faculty to run an e-learning program would be a “financially unsustainable model.”

“There has been some good communication with faculty and administration,” Edmonds said. “But there are some people who are very distressed. It remains to be seen what happens.”

Some observers speculate that the impending departure of campus president Larry Darlage, who is retiring at the end of August, emboldened his Northeast faculty to vote against Hadley and to release confidential information. Darlage was hesitant to comment when contacted by the Weekly.

“They have a right to their feelings,” he said about his faculty.

Does he agree with them?

“Why would I want to go public on something like that?” he said.

His summary of the situation: “There has been a lot of miscommunication coming from both ways.”

Carter encouraged all faculty members to keep sharing their thoughts with trustees and administrators. All the parties want to provide the best education possible to prepare students for their futures, and everyone must remain open-minded because changes are surely coming, he said.

“My sense is [the board is] not going to back off some of these main issues,” he said.


22 Comments


  1.  
    Susan

    Chancellor Hadley is a master politician; she should never be under estimated with her ability to spin events when she cannot silence people. She has very little experience as a college educator. As I understand it she primarily taught Office Occupations for a couple of years in the late 60′s before she practically ran from teaching to become an Administrator for the last 40+ years. That is right she taught Typing (not to be confused with word processing), Office machines (remember the predecessor to a calculator) and Shorthand. She never bothered to continue her education, as such she had the lowest level instructor classification, and not even enough to be considered to receive tenure. She was put in charge of administrative departments such as Human Resources. She prefers to revise history by say she taught Business Communications. She has an Honorary Doctorate from a college that she is not only part of the board of trustees; they can only offer a Bachelors degree. So taxpayers, you are paying the highest salary in the state for a community college leader, and probably the only college president or Chancellor in the state without an earned doctorate and questionable teaching experience.

    After being out of the classroom for over 40 years it is no wonder she talks great business to the board but has no understanding of quality in education. She is totally unable to even try to explain why well meaning initiatives by the board such as standardization of the education processes simply dumb down the quality to the lowest denominator; you cannot force the weak up, only set a minimum standard low enough to include them. As such she never talks about academic rigor, only student success. This is code for pass the students or else. The faculty know if you don’t pass enough you will be buried in endless meetings, committees and evaluation of what the faculty are doing. Ask any Math and English faculty.

    Notice Cheap is the way she operates TCC Connect. As full time professional educators are forced out of the DL program, thousands of students are taught by well meaning part time people. These part time people have many outside responsibilities, and are only overseen by a couple of dozen full time people. Heck most of the time faculty doesn’t even know who is actually taking a test in online classes, or how much assistance, or books they have sitting at home, people they have on the phone or online since most are tested without any proctoring. Since it is dumbed down, students should demand a discount. Employers should unfortunately consider employee applicants from TCCD to try and determine was it on campus or E Learning. The sad thing is many of the faculty have tried so very hard to hold academic rigor in both the classroom and on line but are being worn down by this teach them cheap and pass them or else administration. In decades and under several Chancellors I have never seen so much interference from administration and such low morale.

    Remember the dedicated faculty are there to try and insure you receive a quality education. An education that will help you truly succeed when you transfer to a University, or go into the workforce. Tarrant County Taxpayers contact the Board of Trustees and demand the college return to its former QUALITY!




    •  
      Delphius

      Susan

      The Cheap approach is not just a TCC problem. All you have to do is look at the state legislature. They want to see more degrees for less money and they don’t seem to care how they get it. Until we can convince the public that it’s education and not just a piece of paper that’s important, that’s what we are going to get.




  2.  
    j

    Dr Darlage has way too much class to comment, even on his way out and no matter what his personnel feelings are. Always a dedicated professional.




  3.  
    anonymous

    Susan -

    Great comment. I’d like to add a little bit…

    You wrote “As such she never talks about academic rigor, only student success. This is code for pass the students or else.”

    I taught as an adjunct for the first time last Spring and this is my perception of the situation as well. I was told we are here to serve students, that they are our customers consuming the education product. Shorthand for ‘pass the kids so they keep paying, thus funding our employment’. Even students who clearly are unprepared to succeed in college are passed if they simply file complaints with department chairs.

    For example, two of my students blew off my classes toward the end of the semester. One scored a 20 on one of my tests – with a generous curve I might add – then failed to fulfill any requirements for the research paper that were clearly laid out in my syllabus. I failed her. She didn’t earn or deserve even a D. Yet she went over my head, directly to my department chair, and was granted a C over my objections. Another student also failed to fulfill the requirements for the research paper, skipped several easy assignments, and earned a D in my class. She went over my head too, complained to the department chair, and was awarded a C. So what I took from this experience is that although I tried to hold my students to a high standard, and I tried to give them an in-classroom experience that would prepare them for success at a four year university, it didn’t matter. I was not there to prepare the students; I was there to generate revenue for the university.

    Several of my adjunct colleagues experienced the same thing over the past few semesters.

    When I began my tenure as an adjunct, I had excellent credentials. I earned a 4.0 in my graduate program, had over ten years of field experience working for candidates/causes/interest groups, worked as a research assistant on one of the textbooks that is used at several campuses, and I had a passion for engaging young people in the political process. One semester soured me completely. Perhaps I was too idealistic in thinking that I was there to give my kids a solid foundation in the subject area, some skills they would use in their upper division courses (like, my gosh, doing research and writing well thought out papers), and a realistic idea of what type of expectations their professors would have at four year universities. Silly me. I loved it and got amazing feedback from 99% of them. But those two girls and their complaints showed me very clearly that the culture at the campus where I was assigned was less concerned with student success and more concerned with revenue generation. In addition, I felt used by my department for reasons I won’t hash out here.

    If all it takes is a complaint to a department chair to get a grade which they did not earn, what is the point of having standards at all? Students are entitled to the grades they earn, which in some cases is not necessarily a passing/transferrable grade. The fact that my department chair didn’t back me up was a huge eye opener for me. Put simply, every student is not ready to succeed at the college level, and if I am not empowered as an adjunct to have actual standards then why am I even bothering to sacrifice all those hours prepping for lectures, creating classroom activities, grading papers, writing tests, and lecturing?

    You also wrote, “Remember the dedicated faculty are there to try and insure you receive a quality education. An education that will help you truly succeed when you transfer to a University, or go into the workforce.” This isn’t directed at you per se, but I would like for people to please include the dedicated adjuncts as well. Many of us juggle more than one job and we still pour our heart and souls into the teaching profession. We sacrifice so much yet we are always an afterthought. It bothers me that the general perception of adjuncts is that we are not professional educators, that we are somehow less qualified than tenured faculty, therefore we do not deserve the salary and benefits of tenured professors. Many adjuncts are highly qualified and are only adjuncts because colleges are relying more and more on part time faculty as a cost saving measure. When we can be paid less and not given benefits it produces more profit for the institution. Many adjuncts are worthy of tenure but the nationwide trend is to rely on part time staff… it’s just sad and ends up failing the students and the institution.

    I was privy to the activities described in this article as it was all the tenured faculty was gossiping about when I worked at Northeast campus. I’m glad that FWW is shedding light on the situation and appreciate this article as well as the feedback. But I’ll be honest. I’m not going back to that campus even if they offered me tenure. There is no way I would work there again as I found that my department chair failed to support me (and my fellow adjuncts), withheld crucial information regarding assignments, and was more concerned with revenue generation than student preparation. I am also aware that mindset does not prevail at all the campuses and across all departments, but it definitely was present at Northeast in the department for which I worked and ultimately it is the students who will pay for the practice of ‘failing upwards/social promotion’…. which of course has consequences for us all as a society.




  4.  
    Speak UP

    Ok three campuses represented by hundreds of highly educated, motivated professional educators voted “No Confidence” to tell a hand full of career bureaucrats they were forcing the quality down.

    It was never just a Northeast issue, it just happened to vote first. It has been a district issue. The votes were done independently and this is a place you can voice your feelings and let the tax paying voters of Tarrant County read about how their hard earned dollars are being wasted.

    Don’t be scared go to some place like Melt Mail create your temporary disposable email account, takes about 30 seconds to protect yourself from retaliation and speak up. Google disposable email and choose a site if you want dozens of other choices. I know it is summer and we are all off campus, but get back involved, tell your co-workers that have not read the article.




  5.  
    Not About Cost

    OK Carter and the board should know that the common textbook policy has done a lot to increase the profits for one book publisher (perhaps the whole reason it was implemented??) but has not reduced costs for students in many cases. Faculty may not opt out of the common textbook even if they wish to use a lower cost alternative. This suggests this policy is NOT about saving students money.

    If the board and administration had asked the faculty to reduce the cost of learning materials, the faculty would have embraced this task and worked hard, as we have always done, to ensure the costs were being taken into consideration. We could have even been given a goal to reduce costs by 10%, 20% etc. Instead we were told that all faculty teaching a particular course must use the same textbook. In many cases this was already happening, but in some areas, this had a huge impact in how a faculty member teaches his/her course. Faculty are the experts in their discipline, have spent years developing their courses and they should have the final say about the learning materials in their course, not an administrator.




  6.  
    MBS

    One really has to shake one’s head at OK Carter’s take on this situation: “It used to be a kiss of death to get a no-confidence vote [in higher education]”. One has to ask why he seems to take such a nonchalant attitude in light of the fact that 70 percent of the faculty of the largest campus in TCCD voted no-confidence in our Chancellor. TCCD faculty members do not take a vote like this lightly. Don’t forget, many of these people have been educators for years and years and have served under chancellors in the past that they may or may not have agreed with and have never before been pushed to such a position. Faculty members are, in effect, saying that they do not have confidence that the Chancellor has the best interest of TCCD or its students as her number one priority.

    The morale is extremely low at TCC and has been for several years. The main reason for this is the lack of input the faculty have had in some major policy changes and decisions that have been made over the past few years. Why should this matter to the average person in Tarrant County? It should matter a great deal if the educators responsible for preparing the future workforce of Texas and beyond are continually left out of important decisions that will shape the educational quality of TCCD for many years to come. Who knows better what is needed in the classroom? Do administrators and politicians know what’s best, or is it the people who are actually in the classroom day after day actually teaching.

    The Chancellor likes to pay lip service to the faculty often saying one thing is going to happen and then doing another. When the common textbook issue was first discussed, it was stated that the process would be “faculty driven”. In TCC administration speak (at least under the current Chancellor’s reign) that usually translates to “There will be a committee of faculty members gathered for input, but I (the Chancellor) will do what I want anyway”. Despite the fact that the faculty voiced very strong objections to moving forward with the common text initiative, it moved forward anyway. As others have stated before, it is not really about “keeping textbook costs down” as the board and the administration likes to say. Does anyone really think that the faculty isn’t aware of high textbook costs? Faculty have all been there before. College is an expensive undertaking and faculty are all willing and able to do their best to make it as accessible and affordable to the students as they can.

    OK Carter can go on thinking that what really matters most to his constituents is the price tag of a TCC education. It is certainly understandable that one of the things that the people of Tarrant County want is access to an affordable education, but should this be the paramount concern? Doesn’t quality matter? What good is affordability without quality?

    It never fails that whenever an article is published about TCC faculty concerns, there is always someone commenting something along the lines of “The faculty makes too much money and they should just do their jobs and stop complaining.” Nobody ever gets into teaching with the idea that they are going to be rich. No one seems to care about the Chancellor’s salary – not to mention the fact that many of her administrators (which she has hired a lot of) make much, much, more than the faculty will ever make. Do the taxpayers not realize that they are paying her salary too? The job of the faculty is to educate the people in their classrooms to the best of their ability, and they do their jobs well. Faculty would much rather spend their time thinking about teaching and how to make their cases better than anything else. They would rather steer clear of these kinds of “political” situations – with the exceptions being when it comes to the welfare of their students and the quality of the instruction in their classrooms.

    Since the Chancellor’s tenure began, there has been an almost complete stoppage of the hiring of full time faculty. It seems the Chancellor doesn’t see much difference between hiring adjuncts and hiring full time faculty. No offense to adjuncts, but most of them simply cannot afford (time wise) to be fully invested in what goes on at TCC. I am NOT saying that adjuncts don’t care about TCC or its students. However, if adjuncts are teaching at several different schools, as most are, they often have just enough time to teach class and then get to the next school. While this may not seem a big deal to someone on the outside looking in, it is a huge factor in the overall synergy of the college. This, in turn, has an impact on the overall quality of the education that one can receive at TCC.

    Who is steering the course of TCCD? There is supposed to be shared governance in this regard. This means that faculty and administrators should be working TOGETHER on issues that shape what TCCD represents and the quality of a TCCD education. The faculty has taken issue with the current administration because they can see the true value of a TCCD education is being threatened.




  7.  
    Ruth

    The article implies that Hadley is just doing whatever the board wants. It’s not that simple. A competent chancellor would know how to relate to both the board and faculty. A competent chancellor would help the board and faculty respect and understand each other instead of consistently insulting faculty and encouraging the board to go forward with ignorant ideas that destroy quality of education. A competent chancellor would be understanding of both sides and be able to work out compromises that are acceptable to both sides.

    For so many faculty to be upset proves how poorly Hadley relates to them. A chancellor who does not know how to work with faculty is incompetent.

    She knew faculty hated her long before this article came out. She should have resigned long before this happened. Unfortunately, it seems she is so attached to her impressive salary and position that she’d rather have a no-confidence vote on her record than resign. She’s so clueless it’s horrific.




  8.  
    Jarvis

    To Anonymous,

    So sorry that you’re department “flaked out” in not standing up with you in failing those students. Every students earns the grade, and IT WAS NOT RIGHT that the Department Chair passed them. I would not want to teach in that department, and I teach at TCC NE FULL-TIME! Shame Shame Shame on them! Grade changing to a student’s complaint is the antithesis of student success. I am lucky to teach in a department where that has never happened to me. I am also very very clear upfront in EVERY CLASS I TEACH on the first day with the information that spells out exactly how a student can fail my class. I put this online, on my ICR, Web Advisor, Blackboard, in multiple lectures, before the Midterm, before the Final Exam, (did I mention lectures again?) I hammer and hammer this “FAIL” option ad nauseam. Not saying you didn’t do this, however, I find that those that get it, get it, and those that didn’t… oh yeah, there aren’t any that didn’t get this. Grade changing so shamefully in an example that you discussed hasn’t happened to me EVER in 10+ years teaching College level. You sound like a wonderfully competent Instructor. Not at all happy that this happened to you.




    •  
      anonymous

      Jarvis – Thank you for the empathy you showed in your comment. It is appreciated. I assure you I did include the information in my ICRs, syllabus, blackboard etc… and every time I handed out an assignment I made it crystal clear that failing to fulfill the requirements would result in a failing grade. My Dept. chair assured me prior to employing me that as long as the information was in my ICR I would be backed by the department, but when the semester ended the opposite happened. It was very disappointing. I LOVED being in the classroom; it was so fulfilling. But I can’t go back to an environment that seems to value profit over standards. :( I do wish you and all the other faculty the best of luck. Now that I’ve seen what you all deal with regularly I have an even greater empathy for full time faculty.




  9.  
    Delphius

    TCC is facing a multitude of problems and the chancellor is just one of those. We have a largely ineffective Board who have pretty much abdicated any real oversight of the district. Then we have a chancellor who utterly lacks any leadership skills, she cannot lead only dictate. She is hoping to fundamentally change the focus and culture at TCC, a culture she was instrumental in creating, while in her 70s and while antagonizing the very people who she needs in order to make her vision come true. Finally, we have a public who lets TCC spend $1 million a day, build the most the expensive government building per square foot in Texas history, and hire more administrators while cutting the number of full-time faculty without holding anybody accountable.

    There are over 2,000 faculty, full-time and adjunct, at TCC and if you figure even just 5 years of experience per that’s 10,000 years of educational experience. If anybody knows what the students need and how to improve the quality of education, it’s the faculty. Yet, we have been systematically isolated. Committees meet and make decisions, then the administration announces another decision and insist faculty had input. If the chancellor had simply asked a few good departmental and division secretaries to review the TCC Connect program many of the problems it’s currently encountering could have been avoided. However, the chancellor has decided the surround herself with sycophants and won’t listen to, or certainly not heed, any dissenting opinions.

    There are some signs to notice though. Faculty were unwilling to go public because we are convinced the chancellor has a hit list and that’s why we’ve seen an exodus of older administrators because they knew it was just a matter of time. Darledge may not have been willing to criticize Erma, but he certainly did not praise her either. Other than in her presence, you never hear campus presidents or other campus officials compliment Erma. They are not fools, they realize she’s a weak leader who does not have long to go and that there is no point in trying to convince faculty and staff otherwise. It’s never “Erma is a good chancellor” it’s “She’s not that bad.” Ouch.

    Ultimately, we need a change in the Board to provide better leadership and guidance for the district and a realization that becoming an online college is not a viable or desirable future for TCC.




  10.  
    Saphron

    The Chancellor is only a symptom of the real problem which is a board that does not understand governance and falls into repeated ethical lapses. Board members are disconnected and are not even in charge of their own meetings. Erma runs those by dominating discussions, restricting the flow of information and interrupting speakers at her convenience. The board lacks knowledge in basic principles of governance. Yet why should they care? They are not challenged in elections and can remain in that seat for as long as they want. They can break the law and remain in power and we as citizens do not hold them accountable. How can the board fail to do a national search for a chancellor and interview only one candidate? How can they double to the tax rate and go on a wild spending spree to build a downtown campus with other campuses are in dire need of improvements? How can the continue to hire more and more administrators while refusing to increase the number of full time faculty because “the money is not there”? While I agree TCC needs to change and the Chancellor means well she has alienated the vast majority of the faculty who now tune her out.
    As for Mr. Edmonds’ claim that this is a communication problem, nothing can be further from the truth. The faculty spoke loud and clear on common textbooks and we were ignored. Mr. Edmonds, we hear the chancellor just fine and we disagree with her.




  11.  
    Truth Slueth

    This is unbelievable. Ya`ll think faculty are the only one with problems from administrators? Staff has a lot of the same issues. This is every bodies dilemma. What do any of you expect when 2 boards members have been charged with a form of embezzlement. Tcc is administrators are just as crooked. They don`t care about faculty or staff unless you are a kiss a** and then you become one of them if you kiss really well. If you don`t kiss at all you are a target. In at least the last 5 years most of what I`ve seen is bad hiring practices. If they like you they will hire you even if you don`t have a clue how to do your job. Any one that trully wants the truth FOLLOW THE MONEY




  12.  
    Ardith

    TCC JCC–Do Your Job!

    When a business or government agency, such as a state supported college, ignores the guidelines provided by regulator agencies, employees file complaints with those regulatory agencies. Mrs. Hadley has made it clear that she has no intention of backing off of her decisions, one of which was a reversal on previous decisions given only weeks before. Mr. Carter states that they aren’t planning any changes either. So quit wasting everyone’s time and energy with statements and talk that goes no where. File a complaint with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for lack of shared governance. File a complaint with SACS against the proposed TCC Connect which violates three of their guidelines. The CB and SACS will then investigate the Board and Mrs. Hadley to determine if regulatory policies have been violated. This should have taken place months ago. JCC–please do your job and end the turmoil! This is in everyone’s interest. Our students deserve quality programs and a distance learning program that meets SACS guidelines. That means it is comparable to on-campus classes.




  13.  
    Ardith

    Tarrant County Tea Party–Where Are You?

    Google “Administrative Bloat” and you will discover numerous articles about a national issue that is now getting attention in other cities, as the number of college administrators dramatically increases and the number of full-time faculty decreases. Right here in Tarrant County, one of the most Conservative counties in the nation, you have a Board that has rubber-stamped the creation of a big government-like, corporate-like structure that feeds on itself. Financial waste is everywhere. The Board evidently isn’t paying attention. I’m a Democrat, but would appreciate some Tea Party attention! Request the number of administrators, number crunchers, and consultants that have been hired since Mrs. Hadley was put into place. This is an open record. Someone needs to represent the taxpayers.




  14.  
    Ardith

    Mr. Carter:

    How are TCC faculty suppose to get the real data to you? One of the Board was invited to attend a Faculty Association Meeting in January, and Mrs. Hadley’s office wouldn’t approve it! The president of the faculty assn. then received a “dressing down” from Mrs. Hadley’s attorney, telling him basically he was not to invite Board members. Faculty have been threatened with being FIRED if they say a word to the media. Do you want faculty to come as a group and address the Board? Are you aware that the proposed TCC Connect violates SACS guidelines? We’d be happy to share that information with you, as well as cutting edge national research that shows that using adjuncts affects student success in the community college. Please send all the faculty an email and tell us exactly how and when we can talk to you and Board–since you encourage that in this article. It appears that Mrs. Hadley’s office runs everything–including the Board!




  15.  
    Jarvis

    One of the biggest reasons that more faculty don’t speak out against these issues is because the fear of retribution. That sounds really lame and mundane, but the Chancellor has her loyalists and they do their job. Example: If I speak out on this forum using my real name, and then at some time September, let’s say my computer breaks down, I will call the Help Desk or other entities. It will actually take them a week or more to respond despite multiple requests. I have actually seen this happen to other Professors who were vocal against the Chancellor. If you cross the Chancellor you get put on the LOW PRIORITY list. How’s that for “transparency”? This is how we roll. You don’t know who you can trust to be a Chancellor loyalist. Sounds like a page from the Russian Revolution from last century honestly. “Oh I’m sorry, you’re budget was trimmed from last year.” Who cut it? No one knows… What happened to the additional computers my department requested from last spring? Oops. Order overturned. Yet, no one will take responsibility of why it happened. Mysterious going-ons…




  16.  
    Truth Slueth

    I am not surprised faculty hasn`t figured out the solution. Pay attention people. Sacs is a joke just like the board. Replace the board with people we all know and trust.. Get the tax payers mad as hell. Turn TCC in the college it use to be and should still be. Faculty get off your wining high horse, blow your nose and get busy. Ya`ll need to get the staff involved as well and carry out the trash starting with the board. The problem is district wide not just faculty and full of lies and corruption. There is enough illegal activity throughout the district to accomplish this and everyone has information to achieve this goal. Put up or shut up




  17.  
    Ed

    Distance learning students and dual credit parents be on guard: your classes are being taught by part time teachers who are told up front the college is making no more than a one semester commitment to them. In addition, they are among the lowest paid adjuncts in the state, despite the fact that TCC is located in an urban area with higher cost of living. It’s an entirely new program being run like no other college in Texas. TCC Connect is the oddballnand is being run like Cappella or Phoenix, rather than a community college. This is not innovation or progress but being on the lunatic fringe in state supported schools. Some sections will be taught by full time faculty, but most will be taught by adjuncts, some of whom have very limited experience.

    Previously, dual credit classes were carefully staffed by each campus with full time or qualified, successful part time teachers. Care was taken to please administrations and students. If you are unhappy with your new dual credit classes, I suggest you call a Board member or better yet, go to a Board meeting.




    •  
      Truth Teller

      I would agree with you about everything, but you got the part about TCC Connect being run like Capella or U of Phoenix all wrong. Those schools have quality standards in place and administrative structures staffed with people who know what they are doing.




  18.  
    Ed

    Truth Sleuth, what is the illegal activity? The misappropriation of gas well money?





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