Covert shutdown of faculty support and technology development

By Letter to the Editor, by Jennie Fauls

Just before this semester started, the college dismantled CiTE, firing its entire staff. This center was the sole hub of faculty support. The “T” and the “E” stood for Teaching Excellence. Its commitment was to help teachers help students. The center’s absence is felt by teachers every day and the effect on our students must be discussed. As things stand now, if a teacher hadn’t already mastered the learning management system, Moodle, she and her students are out of luck. It’s back to pen and paper for you! Moodle’s tech support has no on-campus representation at all. It has been outsourced to a hotline. As if it’s realistic to call “customer service” to inquire about the advanced image editing function in your post in Week 10 or the decimals being off in the “points system” gradebook set-up. We used to be able to walk over to chat with trusted, trained colleagues in a comfortable setting. And forget future LMS course planning, even as administration wants to increase online learning opportunities. The college should acknowledge that they have covertly frozen progress for teachers, in terms of support for our work that directly impacts student learning. The administrative silence about this massive change is deafening and shameful. This shutdown was a brazen disincentive for teachers to master the technology necessary to model teaching excellence.

Jennie Fauls

assistant director of the program in Writing and Rhetoric in the English Department