Volume LXVII Number 2 October/November/December 2013 The TACT Quarterly eBulletin October/November/December 2013 - Volume LXVII Number 2 In this quarter’s TACT newsletter... Page 3 President’s Letter TACT Board of Directors 2013-2014 by Cindy Simpson Page 4 Executive Director’s Report: Rising Tides by Chuck Hempstead Page 6 Employment Discrimination Claims by Jennifer D. Jasper President Cindy Simpson Houston Baptist University Past President Peter Hugill Texas A&M University VP of Financial Affairs Matthew Capps Midwestern State University Page 7 The Technology Gap by Tracy Calley & Kathy Jones-Trebatoski VP of Membership Stacey Bumstead Lamar University Page 10 TACT Fall Board Meeting VP of Legislative Affairs Mary Jo Garcia Biggs Texas State University Page 12 GRF Directors At Large Gary Coulton University of Texas San Antonio Page 13 Membership Elizabeth Lewandowski Midwestern State University Debra Price Sam Houston State University W. Allen Martin University of Texas at Tyler Donna Cox Sam Houston State University Jon Gray University of Houston Executive Director Chuck Hempstead (512) 873-7404 TACT Texas Association of College Teachers 5750 Balcones Dr., Suite 201 Austin, Texas 78731 firstname.lastname@example.org [p] (512) 419-9275 [f] (512) 873-7423 Copyright © 2013 by the Texas Association of College Teachers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be produced in any form without permission; Chuck Hempstead, Editor. TACT CONTENTS Cover Page Index The President’s Column The Executive Director’s Report: Rising Tides Employment Discrimination Claims The Technology Gap TACT Fall Board Meeting Membership The TACT Quarterly eBulletin President’s Column by Cindy Simpson TACT President First, Happy Holidays to you and yours. It is my hope that your days are filled with noisy family and quiet introspection. On behalf of TACT, I want to thank you for your membership, your contributions to our profession and your caring that our efforts improve the quality of your career and the futures of our students. Our recent Board Meeting/Fall Leadership Conference was fabulous. As always, we kicked it off with legislative visits. It was like a ghost town at the Capitol. With seemingly all the elected officials running for some OTHER position, and interim charges not yet announced, there was a lot of nothing going on. Nevertheless, we visited with staff members we have come to know, and it reminded me that they will be around affecting policy much longer than will their “bosses.” The theme of the educational component of the Conference had to do with tenure, and the various opinions about the future of tenure ran the gamut. With TACT providing the primary continuing education on tenure to our public officials for nearly seven decades, we know that our mission continues with the large turnover of office holders expected before the next Legislative Session. What else do we see on the horizon? The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is already working on the successor long-range plan to “Closing the Gaps.” We continue to preach that increasing student quantity must not be at the expense of educational quality, and with the emphasis on outcomes-based funding, we will insist that measurable learning occurs. I am worried that the shift from public funding of higher education to private funding endangers compromising our mission and priorities. I am concerned that the increased use of adjunct faculty is not for the specialized talent they bring, but for budget savings they facilitate by reducing the need for career faculty. Contact us! 5750 Balcones Dr., Suite 201 Austin, TX 78731 email@example.com [p] (512) 419-9275 [f] (512) 873-7423 3 Enough worries. My New Year’s resolution is to best serve this organization that has served us so well for so long. TACT The TACT Quarterly eBulletin Executive Director’s Report by Chuck Hempstead TACT Executive Director CONTENTS Cover Page Index The President’s Column The Executive Director’s Report: Rising Tides Employment Discrimination Claims The Technology Gap TACT Fall Board Meeting Membership Contact us! 5750 Balcones Dr., Suite 201 Austin, TX 78731 Rising Tides….and Join Your Association He who coined, “Rising tides lift all ships,” may well have been talking about trade and professional associations. The vaunted individualism of Americans pulling themselves up by their bootstraps makes for romantic intrigue – the Every Man for Himself notion – but for large societal change it is more often the case that positive change occurs when we work together. Robert Putnam’s now-13-year-old book, Bowling Alone, questioning the death of membership organizations, gave up on us too soon. He points out that we are bowling more, joining leagues less. As America painfully and slowly crawls out of this recession, people are re-learning that they can Do Well by Doing Good, or at least that they enjoy hanging around with others who have similar interests. Cocooning is yesterday’s headlines. Festivals are proliferating. Obituaries contain proud paragraphs of active participation with others. When French politician Alexis de Tocqueville backed the wrong horse against Napoleon Bonaparte during the 19th Century, and presumably valued his head remaining on his shoulders, he decided it was time for an American vacation. Among his many writings was Democracy in America, which sharply contrasted our pre-Civil War pluralism with European aristocracies. He observed, “Americans of all ages, all stations of life, and all types of disposition are forever forming associations…In democratic countries knowledge of how to combine is the mother of all other forms of knowledge; on its progress depends that of all the others.” Of course, well before de Tocqueville, and originating in Medieval England, craftsmen would combine with their colleagues in Guilds, the good news being all would assist their sick and the families of their deceased, the bad news being each member would operate by the common agreements or they wouldn’t work long in that village. (Now we would ask the Legislature to require agency-monitored licensing and continuing education to maintain that barrier of entry, oops, I mean consumer protection.) firstname.lastname@example.org [p] (512) 419-9275 [f] (512) 873-7423 4 Fast-forward to the American Industrial Revolution. It was no accident that amazing productivity growth created the world’s leading economy, inventiveness and manufacturing. The TACT CONTENTS Cover Page Index The President’s Column The Executive Director’s Report: Rising Tides Employment Discrimination Claims The Technology Gap TACT Fall Board Meeting Membership The TACT Quarterly eBulletin Rising Tides... (cont.) employees were treated as slaves. Against all odds, they unionized and forced society to adopt child labor laws, health and safety improvements and other employer accountability. Combining efforts with others of similar plight provided a measure of job protection while “reforms” were pursued. That Industrial Revolution, of course, led to winning a couple of World Wars while intellectual and mechanical advances exploded. By 1945 and the GI Bill, as one university president recently said, returning veterans “had nothing better to do than go to college.” As society invested heavily in education, the recipients increasingly narrowed their identification of their live’s pursuits. One was no longer an engineer, one was a civil engineer specializing in pre-stressed concrete construction for industrial park development. And each one wanted to learn and share with other specialists in their new technologies. Why do you think so many state associations celebrated their golden anniversaries during this most recent transition to a new Century? Because they were all begun by the Greatest Generation WW II vets with their specialty educations. They couldn’t hang out with their old high school buddies, battalion pals, or university classmates but could share common experiences with their fellow cutting-edge, college-educated peers. We have examined the progress of trade and professional associations, but of course each of us collaborates with others on a variety of levels: Religious Geographic Hobby Political Philosophical Educational Medical Art/Musical Professional Contact us! 5750 Balcones Dr., Suite 201 Austin, TX 78731 email@example.com [p] (512) 419-9275 [f] (512) 873-7423 5 “Different flavors of ice cream” Neighborhood groups against incompatible land use Quilting Club or City-sponsored softball league Tea Party or Libertarian National Rifle Association or Taxpayer Research Charter Schools or PTA Cancer Research or the Ronald McDonald House Symphony or Museum Architects, Bankers, Contractors, Doctors…. In fact, the proliferation of nonprofit organizations applying for tax exempt status has grown to create a full-time job for Congress and the IRS trying to identify abuses, which often may be in the eye of the beholder. We have seen that people do congregate with others of similar interests. The larger question is why, and how do they determine that they TACT CONTENTS The TACT Quarterly eBulletin Rising Tides... (cont.) receive at least as much value as the resources they contribute (e.g., dues and meeting attendance)? In no particular order, I see the following reasons that people associate: Cover Page Index The President’s Column The Executive Director’s Report: Rising Tides Employment Discrimination Claims The Technology Gap TACT Fall Board Meeting Membership 1. Self-Actualization. My mother would say, “Only the successful people attend their high school reunions.” At some point, many of us realize that we are either so blessed (or so personally talented) that we’ve taken care of Maslow’s other hierarchy of needs. It is rewarding to “give back” – or pay forward – to the community or profession or interest group that we have been part of through our success. Group participation allows us to improve the playing field for those following us. 2. Career Development. Networking. Continuing education. Learning from those more experienced. Exposing oneself to winners in a position to advance one’s career. Finding that mentor. Finding that next boss! Finding people who will buy your stuff (literally and figuratively). Being the first kid on your block to know the news, then figuring out how to capitalize. 3. Affiliation. Being part of a larger universe. Enjoying the satisfaction of being a big or small fish in a big or small pond. Feeling the pride of what your group makes happen. Communicating with others who generally agree with you (before going home to your teenagers). Allowing others to congratulate you about what you do well. 4. Change Policy. A lone woman shouting from the mountaintop may be a crackpot. A lone woman with a lapel pin (and maybe a PAC) espousing change at a podium is an opinion leader. With paid TV time, she may be an elected official. 5. Economies of Scale. Could one real estate broker establish a multiple listing service? Could one nurse convince a legislature to expand the scope of his duties? Could a strong-willed car dealer assure ethical practices statewide? Nope, but in cooperation with others it happens every day. Contact us! 5750 Balcones Dr., Suite 201 Austin, TX 78731 firstname.lastname@example.org [p] (512) 419-9275 [f] (512) 873-7423 6 Among the many services provided to members by associations and similar groups, government relations is the one in which I have spent the most time. I once testified at a hearing of a state senate committee during which one senator asked each witness the number of association members we represented. When it was my turn, he said, “Remember, Chuck, last liar loses.” The message was clear to me: too many of us, claiming to represent the views of different groups with a very homogenous constituency, were advocating for the same position. Yet the memberships of these groups seemingly believed so strongly in the value of their specific slice of their occupation that parallel efforts existed. The moral of the story is that civilized individuals continue to gather together for mutual benefit. It’s like a baseball game – you can’t boo the ump unless you buy the ticket. When you’re in the ballpark, everyone might not agree with you, but you are part of making history, not just reading tomorrow’s box scores. TACT CONTENTS Cover Page Index The President’s Column The Executive Director’s Report: Rising Tides Employment Discrimination Claims The Technology Gap TACT Fall Board Meeting Membership Contact us! 5750 Balcones Dr., Suite 201 Austin, TX 78731 email@example.com [p] (512) 419-9275 [f] (512) 873-7423 7 The TACT Quarterly eBulletin Employment Discrimination Claims: the Devil is in the Deadlines by Jennifer D. Jasper, Attorney-at-Law West, Webb, Allbritton & Gentry, P.C. A university professor waits for the semester break before she comes in for a legal consult regarding potential discrimination issues from earlier in the year, only to be told that she has unknowingly blown all of the deadlines for lodging such a complaint. In other words: you’re too late. This is not an uncommon occurrence, but it is avoidable. If you suspect that you have been discriminated against on an illegal basis (race, sex, color, ethnicity/origin, religion, disability, age), you have a relatively short time period in which to raise that claim in order to preserve it. In Texas, a claimant is required to first file a complaint with either the Texas Workforce Commission-Civil Rights Division and/or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This is part of “exhausting administrative remedies,” and is required before instituting any litigation. There are strict time-tables for filing a complaint with these administrative agencies. A claim with the TWC-CRD must be filed within 180 days of the discriminatory act and a claim with the EEOC must be filed within 300 days. If you fail to file within these deadlines, your claim is forever barred. In addition, you must also exhaust separate administrative remedies allowed by university procedures which will have its own set of deadlines that run concurrently with the 180 and 300 day deadlines. While those time periods sound straightforward, in practice they can be difficult to apply. The trick is determining when the first act of discrimination occurred, so you know when your time-table starts. In a lot of cases, determining when discrimination started is not easy. Certain adverse employment actions may not at first be ascribed to discrimination. Moreover, in many instances, the employee who encounters what she suspects is illegal discrimination thinks that she will “tough it out,” or hopes that the situation will improve over time. There is plenty of incentive to keep quiet, to not rock the boat, and to make the best of an employment situation. Doing so may actually undermine any subsequent discrimination claim, in that if TWC-CRD or EEOC determines that discrimination occurred outside of the 180-day or 300-day periods, they may find the claim was not timely pursued, and should be barred altogether. In addition, after a claimant files a claim, she may experience retaliation for raising the claim. At that point, she must consider whether to file additional claims for retaliation with the same state and federal agencies. (The good news is that courts usually treat retaliation more seriously than the underlying claim of discrimination, but more on that later). The bottom line is, if you suspect illegal discrimination, you must be vigilant about tracking these administrative deadlines. The information in this column is not intended as legal advice but to provide a general understanding of the law. Readers with legal problems should consult attorneys for advice on their particular circumstances. TACT CONTENTS Cover Page Index The President’s Column The Executive Director’s Report: Rising Tides Employment Discrimination Claims The Technology Gap TACT Fall Board Meeting Membership Contact us! 5750 Balcones Dr., Suite 201 Austin, TX 78731 firstname.lastname@example.org [p] (512) 419-9275 [f] (512) 873-7423 8 The TACT Quarterly eBulletin The Technology Gap by Tracy Calley, Ph.D. & Kathy Jones-Trebatoski, Ph.D What are the challenges faced by returning non-traditional masters level students from several university systems, in the past year? Two adjunct professors share their recent observations during instructions of the students in the counseling programs. As technology continues to spread throughout our society and continually is embraced by institutions of higher education, professors are challenged to close the technology gap between traditional and non-traditional students. This technology gap is occurring with students that are incoming college freshmen, as well as graduate students. Students with a lack of knowledge of technology, and the lack of resources, tend to become overly stressed when discussing it in the classroom. Professors and students must be willing to adapt to the technology differences and come together to find a happy medium for students to be successful. As noted in Dicke-Bohmann & Compean-Garcia (2013), the success of the non-traditional students depend on the quality of faculty attention, communication style, and understanding student’s barriers for academic success. It will also depend on higher education’s ability to have a welcoming environment and encouraging achievement through the networking of campus resources that are necessary to complete coursework. Stress and anxiety are accepted as parts of life. Students’ lifestyles are complex and major stressors identified by Smith, Maroney, Nelson, Able, and Able (2006) include finances, current careers, community issues and family relationships; all of which can create barriers for learning and student success. These issues come with consequences that include both psychological and physical symptoms. The maladaptive stress reactions can result in irritation, fatigue, physical ailments, poor concentration and lower cognitive functioning (Smith, 2002). Another component that plays a key role in stress is the stressor. “A stressor is any stimulus appraised by the individual as threatening or capable of causing harm or loss” (Blonna, 2005, p. 4). In this case, the stressor among our students is the technology gap. Technology is a broad term and for the purpose of this article we will be specifically discussing the use and role of Blackboard and Library Databases within the classroom. As adjunct professors for several universities in southern Texas, we have noticed a growing gap in technology between returning students that are over 40 years old and the students under 40. Students over 40 are shying away from any type or use of technology within the classroom and often complain of its complexities. For example, more often than not they are having trouble with basic log in information and novice skills to navigate through general course content. Most students relate back to a more traditional classroom environment where everything is presented through a hard copy and exams are taken face to face, without an online option or component. The use of technology within the classroom has also caused increased anxiety about exams/quizzes/class discussions being posted on Blackboard. In addition, many students state that the power points and announcement links do not “work” when in TACT CONTENTS Cover Page Index The President’s Column The Executive Director’s Report: Rising Tides Employment Discrimination Claims The Technology Gap TACT Fall Board Meeting Membership The TACT Quarterly eBulletin The Technology Gap (cont.) reality they are unsure how to utilize it. Some students are also having trouble with basic email communication skills and prefer to speak on the phone rather than email professors for information regarding the course. On the other side of the technology spectrum, we have encountered student technology experts that have fully embraced all components and prefer this method of communication and classroom activities. They can become frustrated at times with the lack of knowledge from classmates and repetitive discussions regarding technology woes. In order to bridge the gap with respect to technology in the classroom and to lower stress within our classes, we have come up with several activities and now bring in various campus resources to assist with student growth and comfort level. The universities we work for have excellent resources available to students. We have computer services and Blackboard experts discuss the benefits of technology. They are able to show basic Blackboard functions and general email use. In addition, they go over the benefits of Blackboard and “debunk” the myth associated with the technology trends. This allows the students to place a face with the resource and encourage continued technological involvement. Computer labs are also available for students who do not have internet access at home. Students seem to be very appreciative of class time dedicated to learning these various skills, despite how basic. In addition, to meet all of the needs of students, we have opted to print a hard copy of the syllabus on the first day of class, email it to all students, and post it on Blackboard. Also, prior to each class, we email and post the lecture power points to Blackboard. Students have responded with very positive feedback about this. For those who are technologically savvy, they bring computers to class and type within our power points. For students that prefer to write notes, they print the power points and take notes by hand that correlate with the lecture . The Library databases also seem to pose dilemmas for our graduate students. Within the first few classes we have a Library support member come to class and explain various resources and demonstrate access to the databases. Students are grateful for this type of one-on-one time in order to become more familiar with campus resources. Contact us! 5750 Balcones Dr., Suite 201 Austin, TX 78731 email@example.com [p] (512) 419-9275 [f] (512) 873-7423 Some universities offer “certification” tutorials that can be accessed on line or with the assistance of library staff in the traditional face-to-face environment. Many times, the “certification” or other tutorials can be used in the syllabus as extra credit points or as a separate classroom activity. Students tend to be all over the technology spectrum and we are attempting new measures to get students up to par with specific technology that is vital in the classroom. Universities are also encouraging faculty to utilize Blackboard in case of an emergency or for online assignments if a professor must miss class. Although some of these activities and ideas may seem very basic for most students, it is important for professors to take into account all needs of the student 9 TACT CONTENTS Cover Page Index The President’s Column The Executive Director’s Report: Rising Tides The TACT Quarterly eBulletin The Technology Gap (cont.) population and make an effort to recognize and assist students in need of support. Student populations are continuing to change and it is important for faculty members to actually “meet students where they are” without assumptions on the level of technological expertise. Professors who just take a little bit of time to see where students fall on the technology spectrum may be surprised at how vast the differences are and what a difference bringing in campus resources will make! These interventions act as a management strategy for the graduate students. These strategies educate people about ways to identify, understand, reduce, and cope with the daily stressors of technology. About the authors: Tracy Calley, Ph.D., is an Adjunct Professor TAMU-San Antonio Kathy Jones-Trebatoski, Ph.D., LPC-S, NCC is an Adjunct Professor TAMU-Kingsville, TAMU-San Antonio, TAMU-Corpus Christi, and University of Houston-Victoria. Employment Discrimination Claims The Technology Gap References Blonna, R. (2005). Coping with stress in a changing world (3rd ed.). New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. TACT Fall Board Meeting Dicke-Bohmann, A. & Compean-Garcia, N. (2013). Una voz, one voice: Challenges faced by Latino first generation collage students. The Texas Association of College Teachers (TACT) Quarterly eBulletin. 4, 14-16. Membership Smith, J. C. (2002). Stress management: A comprehensive handbook of techniques and strategies. New York: Springer Publishing Company, Inc. Smith, R. L., Maroney, K., Nelson, K. W., Abel, A. L., & Abel, H. S. (2006). Doctoral programs: Changing high rates of attrition. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education and Development. 45, 17-31. Authors: Tracy Calley, Ph.D. Adjunct Professor TAMU-San Antonio Kathy Jones-Trebatoski, Ph.D., LPC-S, NCC Adjunct Professor TAMU-Kingsville Adjunct Professor TAMU-San Antonio Adjunct Professor TAMU-Corpus Christi Adjunct Professor University of Houston-Victoria Contact us! 5750 Balcones Dr., Suite 201 Austin, TX 78731 firstname.lastname@example.org [p] (512) 419-9275 [f] (512) 873-7423 10 TACT CONTENTS Cover Page Index The President’s Column The Executive Director’s Report: Rising Tides Employment Discrimination Claims The Technology Gap TACT Fall Board Meeting Membership Contact us! 5750 Balcones Dr., Suite 201 Austin, TX 78731 email@example.com [p] (512) 419-9275 [f] (512) 873-7423 11 The TACT Quarterly eBulletin TACT Fall Board Meeting The TACT Fall Board meeting took place in Austin on October 25-26, 2014. We started by making our presence known at the Capitol and visited multiple staff representatives about current higher education issues. Later, in conjuction with Texas Council of Faculty Senates and the American Association of University Professors/ Texas Conference, Attorney Gaines West presented “Post-Tenure Review - Trick or Treat.” A session on the “Future of Tenure” featured panel members Dr. Dan Hallmark, Dr. Dan Jones, Dr. Reyes, and Dr. Murray Leaf. Attendees then received an update from James Goeman of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. TACT CONTENTS Cover Page Index The President’s Column The Executive Director’s Report: Rising Tides Employment Discrimination Claims The Technology Gap TACT Fall Board Meeting Membership The TACT Quarterly eBulletin The James M. Puckett, Ph. D. Government Relations Fund For nearly 70 years, TACT has been on the front lines of higher education issues in Texas. The GRF assists TACT with a key component of our mission: communicating TACT’s legislative agenda (viewable here) in order to improve Texas higher education. Your voluntary contribution to the GRF allows TACT to present its members’ agenda to key lawmakers and legislative committees. The GRF is never used for candidate contributions, only for activities that increase awareness of issues concerning faculty statewide. All expenditures are approved in advance by TACT’s President, President-Elect and Legislative Committee Chair. Thank you for standing with TACT to improve the quality of higher education in Texas. Click Here to Contribute Thank you to the 2013-2014 contributors ASU Chapter Mary DeShazo / Sam Houston State University Shirley Eoff / Angelo State University Mary Jo Garcia Biggs / Texas State University Chuck Hempstead Peter Hugill / Texas A&M University Harvey D. Johnson / Angelo State University Joe Kemble / Lamar University at Beaumont Debra Price / Sam Houston State University W.A. Martin / University of Texas-Tyler Andrea Williams / Midwestern State University Contact us! Pamela J. Zelbst / Sam Houston State University 5750 Balcones Dr., Suite 201 Austin, TX 78731 Stacey Bumstead / Lamar University firstname.lastname@example.org [p] (512) 419-9275 [f] (512) 873-7423 12 TACT The TACT Quarterly eBulletin TACT Membership and EPLI: Renew Today! CONTENTS Cover Page Index The President’s Column The Executive Director’s Report: Rising Tides In the current climate of uncertainty in Texas’ system of higher education, it’s important to have strong advocates. Since 1948, the Texas Association of College Teachers has served university professors in the areas of academic freedom, statistical research, tenure implementation and protection, professional standards, and working conditions. We invite you to take a key career step by becoming a member of TACT today for $158 (which includes professional liability insurance). Your membership in TACT lets your voice be heard beyond your classroom and campus. We vigilantly monitor all agencies that affect faculty members to ensure that your interests are represented. Our First Alert emails and quarterly eBulletins provide you with current developments on educational public policy issues, and we are always soliciting articles from you, our members. We also maintain a regular presence at the Capitol, where we lobby policymakers on your top concerns. Employment Discrimination Claims All TACT memberships include Educators Professional Liability Insurance (EPLI), which provides up to $2 million in coverage, plus legal fees for damages. EPLI is an important benefit for our members that has proven invaluable over the years. The Technology Gap Sign up or renew your TACT membership today! TACT Fall Board Meeting Visit “Join TACT” or renew over the phone by calling (512) 873-7404. Membership Contact us! 5750 Balcones Dr., Suite 201 Austin, TX 78731 email@example.com [p] (512) 419-9275 [f] (512) 873-7423 13 Visit www.tact.org, and join TACT Today!
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