Chancellor complains faculty is disrupting his ‘synergy’

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By Bleah B. Patterson

In response to the Super Senate’s protest letter to Chancellor Bruce Leslie about EDUC 1300, Learning Framework, he encourages faculty to get on board and cooperate with the implementation of the course.

The Alamo Colleges are awaiting Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s response on Feb. 28 to a core change request that would replace three of the six humanities hours in the core curriculum with the student development course.

In a letter dated Feb. 10, the Super Senate, consisting of representatives of the Faculty Senates from all Alamo College, signed a memo addressing their concerns with the disregard for the process involved in the decision to change the core.

Faculty Senate President Dawn Elmore sent the memo to Leslie Feb. 12.

In a Feb. 17 response to that letter, Leslie thanks the Super Senate for “further reinforcing this position,” and wrote, “It is clear that faculty have expressed their view on this matter.”

In response to Elmore’s request that Leslie meet with the Super Senate, they will have a private meeting Friday evening.

In a previous 11-page response to Northwest Vista College’s Faculty Senate letter sent Feb 5., Leslie encouraged NVC, if they wanted to pose a stronger argument, to focus less on faculty’s disapproval and more on how this course would harm students.

“What has been telling is that no student-centered reason for this opposition, other than that faculty oppose, has been provided,” he wrote, echoing his response to NVC’s letter.

“I again encourage faculty to sincerely consider the reasons that I stated for placing EDUC 1300 in the core and provide a cogent argument against this decision, one that clearly enhances student success.”

He explains his actions further saying, “With no purposeful arguments other than ‘no’ presented not to include EDUC 1300 in the core, I acted.”

Throughout this process, Leslie has stressed the importance of Covey’s Habit 6: Synergy, the idea that “two heads are better than one.”

This is from Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” which will be included in the course.

“It is difficult to find synergy when there is little to work with other than ‘no’,” Leslie wrote.

Ironically, the faculty protests include being cut out of the decision-making process. The proposal was originally OK’d by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Dec. 13 before faculty could even comment.

In the letter, Leslie encourages faculty to get involved in the course as he predicts it will go forward and be implemented in the core for fall 2014.

“The key now is for faculty to continue their efforts to shape EDUC 1300 so that it is the best course possible,” he wrote.

When asked if The Ranger could attend Friday’s meeting, Gregory Hudspeth, president of St. Philip’s Faculty Senate, said, “We don’t usually allow reporters in the meetings. I don’t have the authority to invite you, and I doubt the chancellor would want to extend an invitation.”

Periodic calls from The Ranger to the chancellor’s office since Tuesday have gone directly to voicemail. Two voicemail messages had not been returned by deadline.

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