Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Fuster Cluck

I went to a meeting today where there was a short session by the folks organizing the cluster things for a test run.

We'd gotten an email way back in April saying that there would be a call for proposals soon, and laying out some rules. Then a couple weeks later, we got the actual call for proposals, and that set up an internal web site thing. So I put up my ideas, and saw the other folks' ideas, and it struck me that none of the other ideas seemed to be applying the rules. And a lot of the cluster proposal stuff was encouraging us to use our first year writing class as a part of a cluster. But right now, the writing class isn't part of the general education stuff (it's a separate requirement).

At the session today, the folks organizing things said that the rumors that clusters had already been selected were false, and said they had no preconceptions. Then they said, the only rule is that the cluster has to be global in focus. (So, the cluster on race in America is apparently out. And that seemed like an interesting one.)

So, I asked if the rules laid out in the earlier email were real or not. No, they said. Well, sort of, though. But not in that way. Because they don't know which clusters they'll like, so they don't know.


Seriously, they basically said, we don't know, but we'll decide when we decide which proposal we like best.

Okay, then. (It's like p0rn and the supreme court, I guess.)

If I did that with an assignment for students, giving them no sense of the criteria, I'd get harsh evals. I wonder if I get to evaluate these folks?

Then I asked if our writing course is now counting for a general ed requirement. No, they said, but maybe, sort of, but not really.


  1. no, not really like porn and the supremes -- there, they are trying to decide if something already existing is or isn't so awful that it is outside constitutional protection.

    but here -- they want you, the faculty, to come up with fantabulous proposals, on short deadline, with no real guidelines -- and it's a beauty pageant!

  2. Anonymous7:00 AM

    I'm glad to hear that other schools are as backasswards as ours. We're revising gen ed, and are constantly getting rule changes, late-breaking deadlines, sudden requirements no one knew about, etc. Like you, I keep thinking, "We'd be tarred and feathered if we treated our students like this!"