teaching in college: 2nd Note to Mike Yates

Michael Hoover hoov at freenet.tlh.fl.us
Fri Feb 5 11:35:45 PST 1999

> I think that teaching at a community college (even as a tenured
> professor) is a lot different from the working conditions that you
> described. My good friend Michael Hoover says, if I remember correctly,
> that in Florida a state law mandates the *word count* of each community
> college student's coursework output. As to teaching as exercise of
> creativity, traces of it still remain, but Hoover says that he has to
> 'teach' a prepackaged TV course. In general, much more micromanagement
> of course content, office hours, minimum enrollment, etc. seems to be
> the norm in the community college land. (Maybe you'll discuss all that
> in the 'debasement' chapter you mentioned in your post?) I hope Hoover
> will expand on this.
> Yoshie

don't know if late is better than never, I've a bad habit of storing posts to which I want to reply and then neglecting them...

Yoshie's above recollection is correct except for the 'tenured prof' reference...contractually/officially, we are instructors... moreover, we do not have tenure per se, but something called 'continuing contract' which I understand carries less legal import than tenure (both, however, are subject to courses/programs being offered, tenure is not blanket job guarantee either)...

full-time faculty where I work teach 5 courses per term in fall and spring terms...we are continually monitored for minimum enrollments per class (18 students) and 2 'underloads' (adminstrat-ese) in 3 year period or 3 in 5 year period can be used to initiate dismissal...

current administration is seeking to increase load to six courses... the 'faculty load committee' (there is an impotent committee for every issue imaginable at this institution) is recommending that magic number of 5 be retained for following reasons: it is national community college average, it maintains quality instruction, and it maintains faculty morale (snicker, chuckle, guffaw!)...

attempts to organize the faculty over a number of years have met with little success (which may say something about those involved in such efforts as well, I guess)...Michael Hoover

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