The Columbia Chronicle

Adding students adds no benefits

By Editorial Board

March 30, 2015

In the Front Page article about class sizes, Senior Vice President and Provost Stan Wearden states that increasing average class sizes by one student could save the college $1 million. In the grand scheme of things, $1 million is not a lot of money, and although fundraising and cutting administrative positions is the answer to most of the problems the administration has made for itself, the convenient tagline of “one stu...

High score for video game programs

High score for video game programs

By Campus Reporter

February 9, 2015

Columbia is receiving recognition as one of the best game design and game programming colleges in the country. Successful Student, a website that provides college rankings and other higher education inform...

iPhone separation anxiety found in college students

iPhone separation anxiety found in college students

January 26, 2015

Being separated from a ringing iPhone can lead to symptoms of physiological anxiety , as well as decreased cognitive performance, according to a study published Jan. 7 in the Journal of Computer-Medi...

Department merger spawns search for new chair

Department merger spawns search for new chair

January 26, 2015

Nearly a year after the college’s announcement of the merger of the Advertising and Public Relations programs and the Journalism Department, an interdisciplinary committee has selected a name for the new ...

School of Media Arts introduces new Communication & Media Innovation Department

School of Media Arts introduces new Communication & Media Innovation Department

December 22, 2014

The Journalism, Advertising and Public Relations departments now have a final department name as the Communication & Media Innovation Department following months of planning how to effectively combine...

‘My Friends Over You’ singer defines pop-punk genre

‘My Friends Over You’ singer defines pop-punk genre

November 3, 2014

New Found Glory, a pop-punk band from Coral Springs, Florida, has made its mark on the genre. After the release of its hit song “My Friends Over You” in 2002 and parting with longtime guitarist St...

Illinois grants Columbia $7.2 million

Illinois grants Columbia $7.2 million

November 3, 2014

As the gubernatorial race gets down to the wire, incumbent Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is vocal about his administration’s commitment to higher education. Quinn appeared on campus Oct. 28 to announce that the state government would give the college a $7.2 million grant to improve...

Enrollment continues to decline, retention up

Enrollment continues to decline, retention up

September 29, 2014

For the fifth consecutive year, Columbia experienced a decline in enrollment, resulting in a $6.3 million loss in revenue this year. The college has a Fall 2014 enrollment of 9,442, a 6.9 percent decrease from last year’s fall enrollment of 10,142. Despite the drop, the college s...

Provost eyes faculty credentials

By Assistant Campus Editor

September 22, 2014

A new policy requiring full- and part-time faculty to submit updated curricula vitae and academic transcripts has some of those faculty members less than thrilled.On Aug. 25, Stan Wearden, senior vice president and provost, requested that all faculty members submit current CVs at the beginning of each academic year. For this year only, they are required to submit information by Dec. 13. Similarly, Wearden is also requiring copies of all academic transcripts. Wearden said his recent request is intended to keep up with industry standards and follow the practices at other high caliber institutions. “We are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission [of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools], and they have been very strict in recent years about making sure we are able to accurately report on the qualifications of our faculty,” Wearden said. “[In fact], a lot of the accrediting agencies and the federal government are being much more strict about having these kinds of records available. We just want to make sure we are aware of faculty’s accomplishments.”However, Columbia’s part-time faculty union, P-Fac, has objected to the new requirements. P-Fac is disputing the request for updated records, stating it goes against the college’s collective bargaining act agreement.Diana Vallera, P-Fac president and an adjunct faculty member in the Photography Department, said she is unsure why there is a need for updated records.“The issue is strictly the collective bargaining act,” Vallera said. “We want the best teachers for our students, and we want the college to honor our agreement.” P-Fac is planning to meet with the provost Sept. 22 to discuss the issue, Vallera said.According to Wearden, colleges are required to annually report any new publications, exhibitions and other accomplishments because of the increases in for-profit universities and online learning. Wearden said he has tried to ensure the faculty knows there will not be any changes to the status of current employment nor will the updated records serve as grounds for termination.“This isn’t an effort to re-qualify [faculty members] who have already been qualified,” Wearden said. “If their records are current and truthful, then their qualifications won’t change at all and I have no reason to think that they won’t be accurate and honest.”Wearden said he is not asking for updated records to search for evidence of wrongful behavior and that he would address any inaccuracies or questionable discoveries. However, the records could pinpoint which faculty members need to catch up on developments in their fields, he added.“It’s just a matter of having proper records,” Wearden said. “If someone isn’t staying current in their field and they’re teaching it in outdated ways, it should be addressed. However, I don’t have any evidence that that’s happening and I’m not looking for any.”Robin Bargar, dean of the School of Media Arts, reiterated Wearden’s statements. He said the need has to do with the continuous transformation of the college and its need to be conducted more like a university.“The request is likely because the records were never complete in the first place,” Bargar said.Bargar said the provost’s request for CVs and transcripts is a completely normal procedure for a college to impose because it is simply keeping up with standard university practices. He also said the currently employed faculty should not be worried about job security because there are no known reasons to terminate, employ or change anything taking place around the college. He said there are contractual practices already in place that will stay that way.Suzanne Blum-Malley, interim dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, also said it is just a standard practice for universities and colleges to keep their records current and updated.“I think what’s happened is it wasn’t an active practice to make sure that we know where and what people were doing and to also make sure that we acquired official transcripts when we hired the faculty,” Blum-Malley said.Transcripts do not need to be on a constantly updated basis unless a faculty member has earned a new degree and needs to update and re-submit the relevant documents, she said. “I know from talking to the provost that the intent behind this is just to make sure we have all of our ducks in a row,” Blum-Malley said. “We’re going to have to go through the process accreditation again to have all of our records up to date.”

Development slow on Media Communications Department

Development slow on Media Communications Department

By Assistant Campus Editor

September 2, 2014

Faculty and staff members have been meeting throughout the summer to discuss the merging of three of Columbia’s departments. As reported Feb. 13 by The Chronicle, the journalism, public relations and advertising programs will merge...

Next task at hand

Next task at hand

By Media Relations Editor

May 5, 2014

Let’s face it: The Chicago Bulls had a slim chance of hoisting the NBA trophy in June, so I’m somewhat grateful the team exited the playoffs sooner than expected.Chicagoans were put out of their misery...

Department shuffling shortchanges students

February 24, 2014

The Marketing Communication Department will be disbanded and its three concentrations will merge into other departments in the fall 2014 semester, according to a Feb. 17 memo from Robin Bargar, dean of the School of Media Arts. Current marketing students will be allowed to complete their degrees.Nevertheless, dissolving the Marketing Communications Department could have serious repercussions for the two that absorb its students....

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