TNCC votes to keep entry-level class ...

TNCC votes to keep entry-level class -- Natural Science, Thomas...

There are 25 comments on the Hampton Roads Daily Press story from Mar 27, 2008, titled TNCC votes to keep entry-level class -- Natural Science, Thomas.... In it, Hampton Roads Daily Press reports that:

President Charles Taylor's proposal to drop a biology-course requirement was unanimously rejected Wednesday by the Thomas Nelson Community College Board, after objections by faculty, students and the board's ...

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Science

Norfolk, VA

#1 Mar 28, 2008
This victory by faculty (and students) is a victory for data-driven, evidence-based decision making, rather than decision making by anecdote, urban legend, or administrative dictate.
The fact that the college's administration subverted one of the most basic processes of shared governance is disheartening and alarming.
According to the college's regional accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, faculty have responsibility for the curriculum, but in this instance, the administration brought this proposal to the board over the unanimous objection of the Biology faculty, the College Curricula Committee, and the Faculty Forum.
TNCC Teach

Norfolk, VA

#2 Mar 28, 2008
Thank you for reporting this story. Props to the Board for listening to logic and reason and not jumping on the President's band wagon. Editor: Where's Shawn Day? Why isn't he covering this? Since he wrote the story exposing TNCC's last cover-up he has not written anything on TNCC. I see he is still writing on other educational matters.
About Time

Newport News, VA

#3 Mar 28, 2008
It's about time that the underhanded ways of Dr. Taylor were exposed. He is a master of rhetorical spin and dirty politics. The last article in the Daily Press painted him as a saint, but he is slowly destroying Thomas Nelson. He has not been in the classroom in years, does not listen to faculty, nor students, and these issues have finally been revealed in this article. It was wonderful to be in attendance at the Board meeting, and watch Dr. Taylor squirm as one person after another proved him wrong, and showed how out of touch he is with the students and faculty. Good job Daily Press- keep up the real journalism of exposing lying scum for what they are. (read exposing Dr. Taylor as self-serving, arrogant, and worst of all, incompetent.)
Senex

Norfolk, VA

#4 Mar 28, 2008
You know I'm still shaking my head trying to figure this one out.

Why would somebody spend his very limited political capital on the one thing guaranteed to unite the fauculty? Desperation? A gambler's addiction to risk? Delusional thinking?

Why would somebody attack a curriculum feature that had been carefully justified? That had been thoroughly discussed with various departments and approved two years ago? That had been proven by data to be successful?

Why would somebody present a proposal without evidence without even defining or documenting a problem that the proposal was supposed to solve?

Why would somebody attack the one department at the college that actually took SACS accreditation and QEP seriously?

Why would somebody jeopardize SACS accreditation by subverting the normal and established processes for approval of curricula?

Was it as some have suggested merely a set-up operation to sabotage two competent, respected, and truthful (and therefore very dangerous) administrators so that when it went down in flames he could blame and fire them?

Can anybody explain what this was really about?

Two observations I've heard from faculty:

He has done more for morale by uniting faculty against him than anything he's ever done.

We resent the time we had to spend over the past two weeks defending ourselves against the indefensible.
An outside observer

AOL

#5 Mar 28, 2008
The real winners in this situation are the students who will continue to get a good science education to help them in their nursing careers! Thanks to the Daily Press for a well-presented truthful article on a matter of great concern to teachers and students alike.
merrier molly

United States

#6 Mar 29, 2008
Kudos to the Daily Press and to Cathy Grimes! After the last TNCC article debacle, it is great to see an article written about TNCC that relates to reality and not god! The article was concise,well written, and actually FACTUAL.

However, one point that seems to be missing in the curriculum discussion is that the president did not act on his own. Everyone should realize that he did not come up with the idea to get rid of BIO 101 on his own. His "trusted servants" must have whispered in his ear that the requirement made it difficult to register students.

You give the president way too much credit. It is really his "trusted servants" who have all the power and who are the ones pulling his strings.

Think about it people--do any of you really believe that Taylor even knew that BIO 101 existed?
in fear of retaliation

United States

#7 Mar 29, 2008
Note to Ms. Grimes:
I think it pertinent to note an important point in your article that is not technically accurate.
You wrote: "Several faculty members said the proposed change hadn't gone through the college's curriculum committee review process." That is not accurate (at least relative to the faculty members who spoke officially during the meeting). The proposed curriculum change was processed through the college's curriculum committee review process. Let me clarify the issue. The administration generated a series of proposed changes concerning the BIO 101 prerequisite to the Biology Department who rejected each of the proposals because they would compromise student learning.‘Anecdote’ has it that mid-level management was directed to bring the faculty in line with one of the proposed changes. Despite the ruling of the Biology Department, the administration proceeded to submit the proposal to the TNCC Curriculum Committee who also rejected it.(I think it important to note that proposed curriculum changes have historically fallen under the governance of the faculty.) The Biology Department and our Curriculum Committee rejected the proposal(s) for the reasons discussed at the College Board meeting. Shortly before the board meeting, the faculty gathered at a Faculty Forum to consider and vote on motions (presented by the Faculty Senate Executive Board) in support of both the Biology Department's and Curriculum Committee's decisions. Approximately 95% of the faculty was present and the additional 5% provided proxy votes on the matter. The motion of support was overwhelmingly (if not unanimously) passed. Obviously, the faculty is better suited to rule on curriculum issues as they are the ones who teach!
I would like to say thank you for writing the article and bringing this issue to the community's attention. As has been suggested on the other commentary board, there is much going on at TNCC that begs for investigation and reporting. I think I speak for the majority of the faculty when I say that we hope someone at the Daily Press is engaging in some true investigative journalism.
Glory Days

Hampton, VA

#8 Mar 29, 2008
merrier molly wrote:
Kudos to the Daily Press and to Cathy Grimes! After the last TNCC article debacle, it is great to see an article written about TNCC that relates to reality and not god! The article was concise,well written, and actually FACTUAL.
However, one point that seems to be missing in the curriculum discussion is that the president did not act on his own. Everyone should realize that he did not come up with the idea to get rid of BIO 101 on his own. His "trusted servants" must have whispered in his ear that the requirement made it difficult to register students.
You give the president way too much credit. It is really his "trusted servants" who have all the power and who are the ones pulling his strings.
Think about it people--do any of you really believe that Taylor even knew that BIO 101 existed?
These comments are so on the mark. Thank you! Instead of a person standing by his side to remind him that "life is fleeting" as in Roman times, Taylor has surrounded himself with powerful black women with several sets of initials after their names. Of course, their interests collectively are not in the best interests of TNCC (or Taylor). One came to TNCC to "train while in residence" for the job of college president. In her tenure at TNCC, she has polarized individuals by seperating them by race in their workplaces. She dictates from her office with policies and edicts that have the appearance of being reviewed by Taylor, yet they are issued to the college ocmmunity anyway. Lives have been ruined just by her "final decisions." Dr. BWG is known for being ruthless, not compassionate. Yet, she is charge of "student affairs." Pity our poor students.

An associate vice president for student affairs supports Taylor in his seperate but equal ideas for the students on campus. It is apparent in how she looks down her nose at other than minority students on campus. It is apparent in her sitting on boards for Human Resources that rid the campus of white police officers, staff, and faculty at the outset of Taylor's reign.

These two individuals are known entities who stand behind Taylor, figuratively speaking, and whisper the need for FTEs, FTEs, FTEs. More enrollment means more state funds. More state funds mean more money available for pet projects. Pet projects makes the campus look so good for Dr. Taylor!!!

Not only does Dr. Taylor have no sense of reality at the campus, but some of his vice presidents have boldly gone where only Taylor goes! They are with him in his support of a seperate but equal education for different groups of students at TNCC. They are with him in his support of seperate but equal hiring practices, allowing unqualified individuals to occupy positions only because of minority status. They are with him in his support of the destruction of TNCC.

The new article in the Daily Press is one of good content that reflects the honesty of the faculty, staff, and students and the dillusional insanity of Dr. Taylor and some of his staff. Hopefully, the Daily Press will continue in its efforts and expose Taylor and what he is doing at TNCC.
Omnes Ominbus

Schaumburg, IL

#9 Mar 29, 2008
Ms. Grimes wrote a fairly accurate account of the issue, but it was hard for someone who understood all the issues to follow the rapidly shifting threads of Dr Taylor's questions. She can certainly be excused for missing some subtile points. The topic presented to the Board's curriculum committee, and subsequently to the full Board, only concerned Biology 101 as a prerequisite. There was no evidence presented that other changes recommended by the administration in this "change package" were vetted by the Department and College Curriculum Committees or the Faculty Forum. The focus and debate was solely Biology 101. Everything else was subsumed by this discussion, never identified as companion pieces by the administration, or brought forward with record of faculty action. The Board Curriculum Committee and the College Board voted on the topic presented by the administration. Dr. Taylor was asking about the outcome of his accompanying proposals for change(other than BIO 101), which had neither been identified,presented,nor discussed at Board levels.
TO DO LIST

Hampton, VA

#10 Mar 29, 2008
Investigate Pet Project: Southeast Center

How decision was made?
Who made the decision?
When decision was made?
How it was announced.
Where did the funding come from?
How much were the initial costs?
How much were the cost over runs?
What impact did the cost of the SEC have on the overall TNCC budget (what was "cut" to fund SEC)?
How it is being staffed?
How many students does it serve?
How much revenue is it generating (FTE)?
Are these students new students or ones that were already attending at Hampton/Willamsburg campus?
How big are the classes?
Is the cost of the instructor "justified" for the number of students taking the course?

This "feel good" project looks good on paper.

Free day care center and transportation may have served same purpose for less cost to the college (community).
Latte Luvr

Norfolk, VA

#11 Mar 29, 2008
One cynical worldly wise experienced TNCC faculty member who was at the board meeting said that the experience moved him to tears.

I believe him because his eyes filled up when he told me.

Sounds like employees are discovering their voice and their courage.
tired of being quiet

United States

#12 Mar 29, 2008
TO DO LIST wrote:
Investigate Pet Project: Southeast Center
How decision was made?
Who made the decision?
When decision was made?
How it was announced.
Where did the funding come from?
How much were the initial costs?
How much were the cost over runs?
What impact did the cost of the SEC have on the overall TNCC budget (what was "cut" to fund SEC)?
How it is being staffed?
How many students does it serve?
How much revenue is it generating (FTE)?
Are these students new students or ones that were already attending at Hampton/Willamsburg campus?
How big are the classes?
Is the cost of the instructor "justified" for the number of students taking the course?
This "feel good" project looks good on paper.
Free day care center and transportation may have served same purpose for less cost to the college (community).
The KEY question is: In this time of fiscal shortcomings where did the money come from to set up the computers at the SEC? Sadly the answer is TNCC's technology fund. So when you are looking around for your "smart" classrooms, you'll have to drive over to the SEC to see how the money has been [mis]spent.

And who does this misdirection of fundings directly impact?? But of course--TNCC current students! Can you say "retention"?
In Need of a Good Nurse

Chesapeake, VA

#13 Mar 30, 2008
At the College Board meeting, Taylor mentioned "corporations that refused to do business with TNCC because of the BIO 101 pre-requisite." What coporations? Riverside Hospital's Nursing Program?
Observer

Schaumburg, IL

#14 Mar 30, 2008
In Need of a Good Nurse wrote:
At the College Board meeting, Taylor mentioned "corporations that refused to do business with TNCC because of the BIO 101 pre-requisite." What coporations? Riverside Hospital's Nursing Program?
Others have asked "Who and Why?" Those questions were never answered
Big Picture

Norfolk, VA

#15 Mar 30, 2008
Some random observations ...
Our president is keen on criticizing people who support an argument with a mere anecdote; he criticizes people who propagate "rumors" and "urban legends." Paradoxically, it is his very own strategy. His vehement critique of the very tendency that he exemplifies is what Freud would call "reaction formation." We most lecture on what we most need to learn.(See Eliot Spitzer for an illustration of the phenomenon.)

What "school superintendents" were offended by or what "corporations" won't do business with us because of a single course's pre-requisite? Who knows. Who knows if there ever was such a person or persons. Maybe God told him to change the curriculum.(In which case those who spoke are going against God's will, so we're really in big trouble.) Religion (not patriotism) is the last refuge of scoundrels.

The ever professional biology faculty, realizing that going from one five-credit course to two four-credit courses (with a one-course four-credit pre-req) does present degree progress issues for some, have already proposed an innovative series of eight-week session courses that will allow people to complete the two Anatomy & Physiology courses and Microbiology (as well as the BIO pre-req) in two semesters. But you weren't told about that, were you? Instead they are depicted as stubborn, recalcitrant, obstructionist.

At the board meeting, one of the president's staff was overheard to say, "Why didn't the faculty discuss this with the president instead of going directly to the board?" She is someone who is supposed to know what's going on on campus so that she can adequately represent the campus externally. Evidently she didn't know (had been kept in the dark) that the president had already ignored the unanimous vote of the Biology faculty against his proposal, had already ignored the unanimous vote of the Faculty Senate's College Curricula Committee against his proposal, and had already ignored the nearly unanimous vote of the Faculty Forum in support of the Biology Department and of the curricula committee.

A friend of mine, a biology prof at TCC, was telling me today about their ongoing efforts to institute a BIO 101 pre-req for Anatomy & Physiology. It seems that A&P has a high attrition rate there. Oh really? Interested faculty should contact Dr. Joe Browne, a microbiologist.

Tomorrow we start advising and registration. There has been no information on the college's Web site about advising and registration. None appeared until an instructional faculty member brought it to the attention of a Student Services administrator. It seems that no one in Student Services had given our Web-master any information. Now it's on the Web site. Thank a prof for that.

I guess the folks in Harrison Hall were too busy trying to manipulate the collegial governance process to achieve ... what? Advising and registration and making information available to students were just not important.

The Southeast Center is a valuable initiative; Bob Templin told the college when he was president that the college needed to have a presence in East Newport News. But this Center was never deliberated by the College Council, was never discussed with the Faculty Senate, is not on the strategic plan, and isn't in the budget (though reports of considerable expenses have been circulating).

This administration invents "consensus" where none exists and asserts executive privilege when the messy business of consensus-building would be inconvenient or undignified (to it). You saw the results at the College Board meeting Wednesday night. Expect to see more.

None of this is new, of course; it's been going on for the past three years. Now, however, it's very public.

Too bad. Great school. Diligent, devoted, professional faculty. Hard working students. Doing more and more with less and less.
Taylor Turns Buddhist

Norfolk, VA

#16 Apr 1, 2008
Following a secret meeting with the Dalai Lama, TNCC president Charles A. Taylor recently converted to Buddhism, sources within the Taylor administration reported today.

Details at http://flagstiffed.blogspot.com/
Friend of the College

Norfolk, VA

#17 Apr 1, 2008
Thanks Cathy Grimes and Daily Press for taking an interest in TNCC educational quality.
Hopeful

Hampton, VA

#18 Apr 2, 2008
The situation at Hampton's glorified trade school is all hilariously entertaining and sad at the same time. Hopefully some type of positive outcome in soon in the offing. In the meantime I'll pray the entire lot.
TNCC Faculty Alum

Norfolk, VA

#19 Apr 2, 2008
At this point, it's going to take more than prayer. I don't understand why nothing is being done. Why is this being allowed to continue?
Observer

Schaumburg, IL

#20 Apr 2, 2008
TNCC Faculty Alum wrote:
At this point, it's going to take more than prayer. I don't understand why nothing is being done. Why is this being allowed to continue?
You must not be reading the companion forum. "Bonnie Blue's" response(comment 185) accurately identified the reason nothing is being done by the VCCS or the Chancellor.

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