We don't believe that Faculty Development Week (FDW) should be mandatory. Mandatory not only entails a captive audience, but a direct lack of respect for the professionalism of each faculty member. When you were hired and later granted tenure, it must mean something regarding the understanding the administration has regarding your qualifications and performance. It must mean that they trust your professionalism and your professional judgment as to which is the best way to advance your knowledge and skills in your discipline. This is after all higher education!!! This is the way it is respected at four-year universities, were the faculty would feel demeaned if such a scheme was imposed on them. The CCC has to make up its mind. Are we college teachers or the glorified extension of high school instructors?
With no disrespect toward high school teachers, but actually the opposite, we don't want to end up with the ever growing and grotesque encroaching on these teachers' autonomy that CPS has routinely imposed on them. It has gotten to the extent that decisions as to which student passes a class or graduates has been taken away from the individual teacher and schools and placed directly on the hands of central office CPS bureaucrats.
Do we want to slide down that chute? The imposition of a mandatory FDW simply goes against the tenets of academic freedom. If the District or the Colleges have useful seminars and conferences to offer, they will be well attended. If they are insipid and useless, they won't (i.e., "if you build it, they will come"). The CCC now openly spouses the mantra of the free market. Let them have a free market of ideas through their forums and conferences, and if they really have value and are properly organized, the people will spontaneously flock to them. But to force a captive audience to endure propagandistic, boring, and useless conferences is a charade intended to be used as a PR opportunity to make public claims about the self-congratulatory success of the administration in improving the quality of education at the CCC. Nothing more, nothing less than the old window dressing that our administrators have turned into an art.