The College of Dupage is one of the best educations you can get on a community college dollar. The photo lab has been like a second home to me for years. Being able to utilize the space there has helped propel my work faster and much more efficiently, than if I was relying on my own dollar and space to create and develop my work. The faculty that I have come to know and love so much in the photo department, have helped me improve my skills and knowledge of my craft, I owe a lot of what I know to them (you know who you are) I am publicly thanking you now. But my thanks goes beyond the photo department, every teacher I have ever had has taught me something, I had and have strong relationships with almost all of them.
Some time ago, I was sad to learn that the COD faculty have been without a contract for some time, and I was even more sad to find out that the administration wants to cut the full-time faculty, who have a lab component as part of their curriculum in half, during that lab time. The administration is under the assumption that lab is not lecture, and therefore less deserving of the full salary an english or math teacher would receive. As a student who rely’s a lot on that lab time, and the teacher assistance that comes with it, this upsets me quite a bit. If it were not for those teachers taking the time during those lab hours to work with me one on one, I would know half of what I know about photography. Is it true I taught myself a lot, well yes, but that’s only half, if that, of what I know.
Let me break down the domino effect; if full-time staff only made half of their salary during lab hours they would have to take on more classes to make up the difference, therefore having less time to interact with students one on one. Then there would be less classes available for adjunct (part-time) faculty, so thats means potentially less classes offered but most certainly less instructor variation. But wait… there’s more… (as Jeff Curto would say)
The administration is using the COD website as an outlet, and is slandering the faculty. They have been publicly and privately asked to take the comments off of the website, but regretfully voted against it at this months board meeting.
Quote from the COD website: “College of DuPage does not believe the demands on an instructor overseeing an activity class, such as a drawing studio lab, are equal to the demands on an instructor teaching traditional lecture courses. “
Quote from Joe Collins, COD’s Executive Vice President, when talking about “studio classes”: “There’s no prep, no outside grading — other than he finally grades whatever the drawing is that they do”
It is truly an outrage, and I take these comments very personally, as someone who rely’s on those labs to learn.
So, in response, the faculty scheduled a rally on April 19th before this months board meeting. They had quite a lot of student support. However, apparently we as students can’t think for ourselves, because according to the Board Chairman, David Carlin, the faculty is coercing, threatening, and manipulating us for support. He went as far to say that our grades were being threatened. He also stated that by organizing a rally, and spreading the truth about the slander against the faculty is somehow manipulation? What happened to taking a stand against wrong doing? People have the right to congregate and protest what they don’t believe in. I was livid, how dare he insult our intelligence like that? As if we are incapable of thinking for ourselves, and treating us as if we are cattle being lead to slaughter. We pay the tuition, we help make all these new renovations possible. We are much more important to the College of DuPage than the board is making us out to be, and perhaps willing to admit.
I am so furious, I am preparing a speech for next months meeting. I was born and raised in Glen Ellyn, I am also a student. Mr. Carlin wants a community opinion, he is going to get it.