Symposium to unveil UT-RGV outline
By Magaly Rosales, UTB Collegian
Profs remain concerned about tenure at new university
About 20 local members of the Texas Faculty Association met March 22 to plan a Texas Southmost College chapter, increase membership and discuss the consolidation of UT-Brownsville and UT-Pan American into UT-Rio Grande Valley.
The members consist of UTB and TSC faculty.
“We engage with faculty if there is a problem with administration, for example,” Terence Garrett, a UTB government professor and president of the Texas Brownsville United Faculty local chapter, said about the chapter. “There’s a lot of uncertainty with what is going to happen with UT-RGV. There’s no guarantee that the faculty will even have tenure.”
Garrett said that with the UTB and TSC split last year, more than 250 faculty and staff lost their jobs.
“People with tenure thought they were safe before the split and they weren’t, and tenure wasn’t the most important consideration,” he said.
Online Ed Disconnect
By Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed
The most independent and self-motivated students entering college are more likely to expect they will take a fully online course as undergraduates, a new survey says, but the vast majority of students still connect higher education with the traditional residential experience.
The 2013 Freshman Survey, conducted by the University of California at Los Angeles’s Cooperative Institutional Research Program, suggests that more than two-thirds, or 69.8 percent, of entering freshmen are using online instructional materials such as massive open online courses and video lectures on their own time, compared to less than half, or 41.8 percent, as an assignment in a high school class.
Yet once they reach college, the expectation that fully online courses will be a part of the schedule plummets. Less than one in every 10 students in the fall 2013 freshman class at almost every type of four-year institution said there is a “very good chance” they will enroll in a fully online course. Students at private universities are least likely to think so -- only 3 percent of respondents at those institutions picked that answer -- but the interest isn’t much higher at public four-year colleges, where 8 percent of students said the same.
UT-Brownsville professors concerned about jobs after university consolidation
By Melissa Montoya, The Brownsville Herald
BROWNSVILLE — Facing uncertainty, University of Texas at Brownsville professors met with Texas Faculty Association representatives on Saturday to discuss options for their future at the school.
The apprehension among faculty members comes from the language found in the law that will consolidate UTB with its counterpart in Edinburg, the University of Texas-Pan American.
“We are concerned there’s not built-in protections in the legislation creating UT-RGV,” said Terence Garrett, president of the Texas Brownsville United Faculty, the local chapter of TFA.
Senate Bill 24, which was approved during the last regular session, states the UT System Board of Regents shall employ faculty and staff of the “abolished universities as is prudent and practical,” at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
El Paso local wins civil rights award
TSTA/NEA Advocate, Spring 2014
Congratulations to the El Paso Teachers Association, winner of NEA’s Rosena J. Willis Memorial Award!
EPTA President Norma de la Rosa will accept the award at the NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards Dinner July 2 in the Mile High Ballroom of the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
She said EPTA won the award for its Social Justice Forum in January 2013. “Our goal was to get the parents and community involved in their schools and in their children’s education so that a cheating scandal as never seen before — targeting Hispanic, high poverty, and ELL learners — never happens again,” she said.
Rosena J. Willis (1926-1970) was a teacher and NEA staff member who led efforts to merge NEA with the American Teachers Association and help state and local affiliates develop programs to ensure the inclusion of ethnic and racial minority members in the work and leadership of the association.
In her memory, NEA presents an annual award to the affiliate with the most effective or improved human and civil rights program — a state affiliate in odd-numbered years and a local affiliate in even-numbered years.
Tickets to the dinner may be purchased online for $75 beginning April 1. Visit www.nea.org/hcrawards for details and to learn about the other Human and Civil Rights Awards.