Monday, January 20, 2014

CFHE Conference January, 2014…

The CFHE Conference in Manhattan, hosted by PSC CUNY, was fantastic and a great success. The PSC staff went out of their way to accommodate the over 100 attendees, and Mike Fabricant ran the tightest, yet most informative and collaborative, conference possible. I am sure I speak for all attendees when I offer a resounding THANK YOU!

The conference began Friday evening with a unique dinner featuring tastes from all over the world and a comprehensive discussion of the accreditation battle at City College of San Francisco. It is amazing how corrupt an accreditation board can be.

Saturday morning began with a panel discussion on 'Effective Higher Ed Campaigns'.
My only criticism of this panel, and the entire conference, is that contingent/adjunct issues were not addressed in a more detailed manner. In this panel discussion, there was only a 15 minute presentation and discussion on 2013's extremely successful Campus Equity Week. I believe much more time should have been given to this campaign and plans for future ones.

The rest of the Saturday session involved small group discussions on mini-campaigns and a very comprehensive and participatory workshop on how to get media involvement in our campaigns. The groups were mixed so that we were working randomly with people from other schools, which added to the diversity of the input and solutions. Alice Sunshine and her crew did a fantastic job in getting us involved and giving us the tips we need to make these campaign successful.

NY6Since the afternoon session ended early, a group of contingents stuck around and had a lengthy discussion of upcoming COCAL XI, August 4-6 -- also in NYC, and other contingent issues we think need to be addressed by CFHE. Joe Berry and Marcia Newfield offered great advice and opinions of these issues. Joe took these issues and brought them before the entire group on Sunday morning during the open discussion of what issues needed to be considered for the May conference. Hopefully the steering committee will take these recommendations seriously and give us more time in Albany.

As usual the Conference allowed time for networking and 'schmoozing', which I feel is a very important part of these gatherings. I walked away from the conference with much optimism and many ideas to use in my college, and most of the attendees I spoke to felt the same way. Again KUDOS to Mike Fabricant and his staff and to PSC for their hospitality and for planning such a great conference.

by Bill Lipkin
Co-President Union County College Chapter of United Adjunct Faculty of NJ
Secretary/Treasurer United Adjunct Faculty of NJ (representing 3800 NJ adjuncts)

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