The Tri-C Mess: Tri-C Dean of Student Affairs Karen Miller, Associate Dean of Health Sciences Barbara Mikuszewski at the Tri-C Metropolitan Campus, and Dean May at Eastern Tri-C Campus, all have recently adopted a new policy of harassing and threatening Honor students who notify them of any class, curriculum or professor problems. These threats range from academic sanctions, to proscriptions regarding future registration for classes, to the filing of criminal charges in Cleveland municipal court for non-threatening campus e-mails detailing and trying to resolve the problems.
Many of the course programs at Tri-C are new. Many classes have been added to the roster for new job certifications, to broaden the curriculum, or are in development phases. Many professors have never taught particular classes before at Tri-C, e.g. Derek Hiley Ph.D., in the Math Department at the Eastern Campus, had never taught Calculus III at Tri-C, or used the Tri-C textbook, before last summer session – and he made excuses for everything on that basis. And he's a very intelligent and gifted professor who shouldn't have to make that poor excuse.
There needs to be cooperation between the students & faculty to improve courses and curriculum – not threats of dismissal, or municipal court actions, for administrative academic problems that the Deans haven’t been on top of because they just travel, attend luncheon meetings, and sit in their offices in dress-for-success attire. No Tri-C Dean, or Program Director, ever sits in on many actual classes – and they always warn the Professor first.
Local & State Tax contribution to this: Almost half of Tri-C's operating money comes from local county taxes paid through tax levies, with state funding and tuition fees covering the balance. Tri-C goes to local voters every five years to seek renewals of operating money, and voters have always been kind, but Tri-C doesn’t always want to give back in quality educational programs to the voters - families who don’t want criminal charges filed against students for curriculum and professor problems (or B-words used in class).
The Cuyahoga County tax levies bring in more than the entire tuition revenue for the college – but is that money being well spent to pay for staff to file campus e-mail telecommunications charges against a student just wanting the classes to be pertinent, professional, and safe learning opportunities? – classes without threats of jack-ups or being b***h-slapped? Campus Security looks the other way when black students are insulting a white student in class. Minorities are favored and allowed full expression of ‘black-slang’ Ebonics in classes. Tri-C is historically a Black-American Community College, but the whole community pays taxes.
At Tri-C the more conscientious students are threatened with sanctions, or dismissal, because they finally had to say something about a math professor not turning anything back, not posting answers, or getting any materials to the students on time for Finals Reviews. Dean May just says that the course next summer will be a ‘new’ course - at a New Community College it is supposed. This happened last summer in Derek Hiley’s Calculus III course – which it is not advised that anyone take at this time. Try Cleveland State this summer – you won’t end up in Municipal Court or Dean May’s office.
The Tri-C Administrative threats include academic dismissal, and even the filing of municipal criminal charges for campus e-mail telecommunications that detail bad or unsafe class dynamics, curriculum and syllabus problems, or professor and instructor problems. These problems include (1) that the professor is suddenly on leave for 18% of the semester and can’t cover the syllabus, (2) that the professor spends too much time letting the students act out and doesn’t cover the ‘strike’ points for the final lab practical, (3) that the instructor can’t pronounce many of the medical terms in the lectures, or (4) that the Professor has scheduled a party during class lab time. And don’t ever ask the non-art faculty to draw anything, or the math faculty to bring the right math book to class.
These are student e-mails that are non-threatening, don't contain bad language, and are just begging for the Administration to solve the class problems before something worse happens - before a student gets beaten up for 'bad dynamics' in a class where jealousies about grades, or diversity issues, can lead to physical violence. There is a legion of paid Deans, and Program Directors, at Tri-C that do nothing except travel, sit in their offices, attend luncheon meetings and threaten students.
Students will be told that they can't email problems, but instead will have to detail class problems by phone, fax, or direct contact with Dean Karen Miller, Surgical Technology Program Director Beth Stokes, Dean May, or Dean Barbara Mikuszewski – if you can find them. This is not always possible for a time-sensitive class problem or issue, i.e. practice test e-mails of professors the afternoon before a scheduled Final, a lab practical review cancelled the day before the lab practical, etc. - a lab without a lab book or log so that no one ever knows what 'proper preparation' happened.
Campus e-mails will be collected, in the on-campus police files, and punished, but the academic problems won’t be solved in time. Students and parents are warned; if you want your academic record not to have criminal, or student probation/dismissal, charges included – DON'T REGISTER AT TRI-C. It’s all about threats. Voters should reconsider on the next tax levy. Tri-C is not into education; they are into new interpretations of ‘telecommunications harassment.’
The Appalachian Trail Hike problem: Problems can't always be solved by phone, fax or finding the Dean/Program Director out-of-town without a notice on Blackboard, autoreply message on their e-mail (and they all have paid secretarial staff to do this), or anyone knowing where they are. This past semester Beth Stokes - the Program Director of Surgical Technology - was unreachable, out-of-town somewhere, with no one knowing anything about it for probably more than a week (she admitted a week, and like 'drinks' you double the answer).
Just like former Governor Mark Sanford she was 'hiking the Appalachian Trail' somewhere on Tri-C time. Beth Stokes was unavailable during the critial course withdrawal week - so that any questions about withdrawing were never answered – withdrawals didn’t get done. And you can't phone someone out-of-town SOMEWHERE, when their fax number doesn't talk to you and no one really covers for anyone. The covering Professor will always have a ‘family emergency,’ or give a lecture from another book than listed on the course syllabus. You can bet on it with good odds.
The unavailability of Program Directors and Deans doesn't help facilitate the rescheduling of labs and practical tests, or curb the class outbursts by minority students - students threatening other students with downtown 'jack-ups' or ghetto 'b***h-slaps.' Use of derogatory terms in class (such as 'b***h'), and harangues of instructors (did they say that you could ask a question, or say a word?) are getting more common.
The refusal of instructors & professors to answer certain student questions, or return assignments & tests in a timely manner, are tolerated and thereby administratively Ok'd. The student who reports the problem is punished, not the professor or student acting out. Only the student into the course materials is abused, made fun of, and threatened. So the rule is 'don't ask, don't tell' or don't register.
Immaturity and bad class behaviors are rewarded; minority student comments, outbursts about a grade of only ‘85,’ etc. are tolerated, and used to distract from the real course work. Only the student into the course materials is abused, made fun of, and threatened – by classmates, Program Directors, Professors/Instructors, and Deans.
This past Fall Semester one black student at the Metropolitan Campus complained in a rap-like monologue in class for 15 minutes about a grade of 85 – how he felt that it wasn’t ‘fair.’ After listening patiently, the instructor explained that 85 was the highest grade. But that took 15 minutes of paid-for class time for everyone else.
Did the adult student expect a grade of 95 if he harangued for 30 minutes, or 45? And this student, even after wanting to ‘b***h-slap’ another white student in class, was never warned or put on probation – the white student was for being ‘disruptive’ = for making the adult ‘street kids’ behave badly. The ‘b***h’ term is used so that parents, and prospective students, can really know what is going on - the word is in class on class time. Cuyahoga Community College President Jerry Sue Thornton won't say a word about the students doing this - her office 'winks.'
President Michael Schoop is 100% behind this outrageous policy – and don’t bother with grade disputes concerning black instructors or professors; the black instructor's spoken word will be accepted as fact - without documentation.
Class problems are not resolved in any fair, open, objective or non-punitive way for the non-minority, or older adult student who has to bring the problems to someone's attention. There is little discipline in classes leading to possibly dangerous situations for certain students. Security does nothing except file the telecommunications harassment charges - against the student being bullied - in Cleveland Municipal Court.
Parents, and working adult students, are advised not to register for 2011 Summer Sessions at the Tri-C Eastern or Metropolitan Campuses, or programs in the Health Sciences (Surgical Technology, Massage Therapy, and Dental programs) at Tri-C, until this policy is revised & reversed - unless you want to end up in municipal court with charges stemming from emails related to Tri-C course & professor problems.
The court will receive your emails sent to the professor, instructor or Deans at Tri-C. Emails that pertain to the course dynamics, curriculum, or about the professor not doing their job covering the class syllabus materials, will be forwarded to Cleveland Municipal Court with no charge to Tri-C. Students are advised not to e-mail the professors at Tri-C at this time - to make the professors answer the questions in class or in group review sessions.
The Cleveland Municipal Court now has to read e-mails about Tri-C instructors who insult students repeatedly in class, instructors who cancel the labs of non-minority students, instructors who don't turn back any materials or refuse to post any test answer keys. This is surely a misuse of the Cleveland Court system by Tri-C – where education does not come first.