Chair of the Union County College Faculty

May 30, 2012

Thank you and Good Bye

Dear Members of the Full-time Faculty of Union County College,

The academic year 2011-2012 has successfully concluded.  We have had a record graduation.

My chairpersonship of the Union County College Faculty is ending.  It has been an eventful four years from June 1, 2008 to May 31, 2012.  Dr. Thomas H. Brown ended 20 years as President.  We had our 75th Anniversary Year.    Dr. Brown was on sabbatical while Dr. John R. Farrell served as Interim President and we searched for a new President.    On July 1, 2010, Dr. Margaret McMenamin became that new President.  I served on the Search Committees for both the President and for the new Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Maris Lown.

There have been a lot of changes during the past two years.  A new administrative team has been created with many administrators leaving and finding better jobs.  Collegiality and shared governance continue to function at UCC but they are under pressure from a new management culture.  Every college president brings their own style and personality to the job.  It is not that our faculty opposes change but we insist that the manner of change follow established procedures.  While true that "just because it isn't broke, it can't be improved," not all change is an improvement. 

I have worked well with the Vice President of Academic Affairs.  She does listen and she does learn.  The search process for faculty positions is now following procedures.  The "Withdrawals" remain a grade and under the control of the faculty.  W grades end with the first day of final exams.  Developmental students will have their grades evaluated by the Academic Evaluation Committee.

Our Faculty Committee structure is working.  Our faculty remains strong and we are united in fighting for academic excellence as an institution of higher education.  We are not a trade school or a middle school.  We are and remain "a leader among our peers."  We are and remain a proud faculty.

It has been a pleasure to serve this College and this Faculty.

My successor, Dr. Cynthia Singer, has my full support.  She has had administrative experience in addition to being a faculty member.  She teaches business and can talk the language of Boards and Administrators but her heart is with the Faculty.

Thank you for that plaque with the picture of the mace.  Thanks for all the help from the Faculty Executive Committee: Vince, Bert, Beth, Margaret, Jeff, Will, Pedro, Carl, Arlene, Nick, Amy, and Melanie.

Thank you DCC, PEC, DEC, and all the other Committees. Paula, you have been great.  Liz. Sherry. Bo. Donna. Adrienne. Anna. Bill.

Thank you Dr. McMemamin for having me join the President's Leadership Council and listening, if not always following, my advice.

Thank you Dr. Lown.  I will miss our conversations.

Thank you Mr. Richel and Mr. Perry and Mr. Bolden.

All the best,

Harold

Dr. Harold Damerow
Chairperson of the Faculty
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Last updated May 30, 2012

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January 23, 2012

Dear Members of the Full-time Faculty of Union County College

Welcome to a new year and the beginning of the Spring Semester 2012

Enrollments are slightly lower than one year ago which is causing considerable concern.  Indeed, the anxiety level at the College seems to be rising.  We will prevail as long as we preserve our professionalism, cooperative spirit, and collegiality.

This semester we will hold elections for a new Executive Committee, including a new Chairperson of the Faculty.  Term limits prohibit me from running again.

Our Board-AAUP Contract expires on August 31.  Negotiations for a new one will begin sometime in March.

The Periodic Review Report for Middle States will have to be completed during this semester.

So, let's buckle down and focus on educating our students.

All the best,

Harold

 


September 2, 2011

Dear Members of the Full-time Faculty of Union County College

Welcome back to the Fall Semester 2011.  Hurricane Irene caused extensive water damage in Cranford and Union County.  Springfield Avenue is full of ruined family possessions caused by flooding.  In some areas, electricity was not restored till September 1.  The result is that the opening of the Fall Semester was delayed to Tuesday, September 6.

In spite of this less than encouraging beginning, I hope that we will all have a great Fall Semester.

 

July 7, 2011

Dear Members of the Full-time Faculty of Union County College,

It is the middle of the summer with Summer Session I completed.  This was the last time that the old SIS system was used for grading.  For Summer Session II, we will need to use the Portal and the Colleague System of Datatel.

Dr. Wallace Smith has vacated the VPAA Suite and is moving into N2-18 Cubicle, which used to be occupied by Prof. Donald Palmer, who has retired.

The new VPAA, Dr. Maris Lown, has assumed her position and we all welcome her to become our new champion for the Faculty and Academic Excellence.

Andrea Macritchie is moving to Massachusetts to become Dean of Libraries and Academic Support at Quinsigamond Community College.  I wish her well in this career move.

Jim Brophy is moving back to the History Department after having been Interim or Acting Provost of the Plainfield Campus for one year to fill in after Dr. Jose Adames became VPAA at Bergen Community College.

The new Provost in Plainfield is Dr. Negar Farakish, who will assume her position on July 18.  She had been one of the finalists for the VPAA position and some of us heard her presentation.  We welcome Dr. Farakish.

We also have a new Executive Director of Development, Michael Driscoll.  He heads the Foundation staff and is looking to meet and interact with the Faculty.  All donations are welcome.

There are other changes but this list is quite enough for a summer update.

Enjoy your summer.

Harold


September 2, 2011

Dear Members of the Full-time Faculty of Union County College

Welcome back to the Fall Semester 2011.  Hurricane Irene caused extensive water damage in Cranford and Union County.  Springfield Avenue is full of ruined family possessions caused by flooding.  In some areas, electricity was not restored till September 1.  The result is that the opening of the Fall Semester was delayed to Tuesday, September 6.

In spite of this less than encouraging beginning, I hope that we will all have a great Fall Semester.


July 7, 2011

Dear Members of the Full-time Faculty of Union County College,

It is the middle of the summer with Summer Session I completed.  This was the last time that the old SIS system was used for grading.  For Summer Session II, we will need to use the Portal and the Colleague System of Datatel.

Dr. Wallace Smith has vacated the VPAA Suite and is moving into N2-18 Cubicle, which used to be occupied by Prof. Donald Palmer, who has retired.

The new VPAA, Dr. Maris Lown, has assumed her position and we all welcome her to become our new champion for the Faculty and Academic Excellence.

Andrea Macritchie is moving to Massachusetts to become Dean of Libraries and Academic Support at Quinsigamond Community College.  I wish her well in this career move.

Jim Brophy is moving back to the History Department after having been Interim or Acting Provost of the Plainfield Campus for one year to fill in after Dr. Jose Adames became VPAA at Bergen Community College.

The new Provost in Plainfield is Dr. Negar Farakish, who will assume her position on July 18.  She had been one of the finalists for the VPAA position and some of us heard her presentation.  We welcome Dr. Farakish.

We also have a new Executive Director of Development, Michael Driscoll.  He heads the Foundation staff and is looking to meet and interact with the Faculty.  All donations are welcome.

There are other changes but this list is quite enough for a summer update.

Enjoy your summer.

Harold


May 31, 2011

Dear Members of the Full-time Faculty of Union County College,

Another successful academic year has ended.  We had a record number of graduates.  This made the ceremony a bit longer than usual but the weather cooperated and it was great to see all those success stories receive their well-earned degrees.

The Investiture of the new President went off smoothly.  We had one warm, sunny day in an otherwise rainy Spring.  It must, indeed, have been Trustee Mary Zimmermann who helped us get the good weather.

The Search for a new Academic Vice President took place during the Spring Semester.  After a bumpy process, the remaining members of the search team recommended four qualified candidates, one of whom dropped out.  The three remaining candidates met with the College Community on all our campuses and the President selected Dr. Maris Lown from Brookdale to be the new Vice President for Academic Affairs of Union County College.  The Board of Trustees confirmed the selection at its meeting on May 24, 2011.  The new VPAA will begin her duties on July 1.  We welcome Dr. Lawn.

Wallace will join the Faculty full-time in September.  He was our VPAA since 2000 and received our thanks and a standing round of applause at our April Faculty meeting. 

Elections for Department Chairpersonships were held.  Ginny Crisonino, Mushtaq Khan, and Valerae Hurley did not run for re-election.  Thanks for your service in this demanding job.

The department chairs and directors for 2011-2012 are:
 

ACADEMIC DEPARTMENT CHAIRS AND DIRECTORS    
  Department 2011-2012  
1 Biology-Allied Health William Dunscombe
2 Business Paula Belmonte
3 Chemistry Sherry Heidary
4 Economics-Government-History Phillip Papas, Dr.
5 Engineering-Technology- Architecture Nicholas Gilbert 
6 English-Modern Languages-Fine Arts Constance Rubin, Dr.
Dir             7 English-ESL Howard  Pomann
Dir             8 Library  Andrea Macritchie
9 Mathematics Cyndi Roemer, Dr
Dir          10 Practical Nursing  Pat Castaldi Dr.
11 Psychology-Sociology Eileen Kaufmann

The Distance Education Council under the leadership of Dr. Donna Weir and Dr. Barbara Gaba worked hard to develop new policies for evaluating online courses.  The Faculty Executive Committee, the Department Coordinating Committee, and the full Faculty approved the changes.  The will need to be implemented next academic year.

The TLTR spent hours crafting a new Technology Plan.

The Safety, Security, and Parking Committee helped persuade Dr. McMenamin to move in the direction of a smoke free campus and to begin picture identifications for students and staff.

The Curriculum Committee was busy as always approving new courses and programs.

The Scholarship Committee is pushing for a new computerized process of awarding scholarships.

The Resource Committee updated the Faculty Handbook last Fall and looked into Library issues.

The Annual Reports from all our Faculty Committees will eventually be posted on our Web Pages.

Thanks to all for a successful 2010-2011.

Harold


February 7, 2011
 

Dear Members of the Full-time Faculty of Union County College,

Welcome to the Spring Semester 2011.  Our semester started on January 20 but we are only now settling into our normal routines.  This has been a time of snow storms, shoveling snow, delayed openings, and snow days.  We had to cancel the January Faculty meeting because of snow.  The previous time we cancelled was after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Despite the weather, the College has been busy. 

Please mark your calendar for April 14, which is the date for the official Investiture for Dr. Margaret McMenamin as President of Union County College.  The College will be closed for that day.  Faculty are asked to attend this festive occasion to which almost 1000 guests and dignitaries will be invited.  The Planning Committee for the event includes the following members:  BOARDS:  Co-chairs Frank A. Bolden and Mary M. Zimmermann; Mrs. Suzanne Covine; Elizabeth Garcia; Carol A. Hertling; James R. Perry; Carlos N. Sanchez.  ADMINISTRATORS: Dorothy Andrews; Dr. Patricia Biddar; Ellen Dotto; Dr. Barbara Gaba.  FACULTY:  Dr. Harold Damerow; Paula Belmonte; Carol Biederstadt;  Donald Palmer; Laurie Sheldon.  STUDENT:  Lucio da Silva Barreto.  FAMILY REPRESENTATIVE: Brigid McMenamin.

A Search Committee for Vice President for Academic Affairs has been formed.  The members are:  Co-chairs Dr. Stephen Nacco and Dr. Harold Damerow; Jim Brophy; Dr. Patricia Castaldi; Thomas Cherobino; Dr. Elise Donovan; Ellen Dotto; Mary Beth Kelley; Dr. Mushtaq Khan; Nancy Merrill; Rosemary Mraz, Human Resources advisor; Dr. Cindy Singer; and Wenyao (Sam) Zhang.  The Search Committee will recommend from 3 -5 finalists for consideration to the College President.  The Committee has begun its process of reviewing applications.

The Datatel Colleague Implementation is scheduled to take place in March for many systems.  Grading for the Spring Semester will use SIS one last time.

A Steering Committee and several task forces have been formed to prepare the Periodic Review Report for the Middle States Commission. 

All sorts of groups are working on measuring Learning Outcomes in courses, programs, general education, and institution-wide.  Graduation and retention are of great concern to the faculty.

The Peer Evaluation Committee (PEC) has completed its work on reappointments and will soon consider its recommendations for promotion.  The PEC makes recommendations only.

The Faculty Handbook was revised in December 2010 and is online at http://faculty.ucc.edu/guides/FacultyHandbookDec2010.pdf.
The Faculty Resource Committee and its current chairperson, Carol Biederstadt, managed the extensive revision of this important document.

A group of faculty members has been formed to meet with the Vice President for Finance on financial issues confronting the college.  Sharing information is the sole purpose for this group.

It should also be noted that the College may be moving in the direction of a smoke free campus.  As an intermediate step, designated smoking areas, away from walkways and entries to buildings, are being implemented.

There is also movement afoot to implement picture identifications for faculty, staff, and students.  At some point, these IDs may become smart cards.

The College has adopted an additional logo which embodies the educational philosophy of our new President.

Students are Number One.

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As Faculty, we are always student oriented and seek to provide high quality education.  Fiat Lux.

I wish all of us a successful and productive Spring Semester 2011.

Harold

 

October 7, 2010
 

Dear Members of the Full-time Faculty of Union County College,

We have all settled in for another semester at UCC.  Our new President, Dr. Margaret McMenamin, has weathered her first ninety days and met just about everyone.  We are having another record enrollment.  The Gala this year will be off campus at The Villa at Mountain Lakes.  It is scheduled for October 22, 2010 in honor of  Dr. Thomas H. Brown.  Best wishes go to Dr. Jack Farrell who is recovering at home.

Faculty Committees are all up and running.  The next Faculty meeting is on October 20.  The Faculty Handbook 2010 will be voted on at that meeting.  Please try to attend.

Harold

 

June 15, 2010 

Dear Members of the Full-time Faculty of Union County College,

On July 1, 2010, Dr. Margaret McMenamin will assume her position as the new President of Union County College.  Twenty years under the leadership of Dr. Thomas H. Brown will have come to an end.  These twenty years have been a time of tremendous growth and development.

I would also like to thank Dr. Jack Farrell, who served as our Interim President from January to July 2010.  Jack will be joining the Faculty as a Senior Professor in the Business Department effective September 1.

2010 - 2011will be an eventful year of transition.  The Presidential Search Committee, which included seven full-time members of the Faculty, has created a positive climate among all the segments of the college community.  We will uphold on our traditions and face the future with confidence.  We are indeed "a leader among our peers" and will build on our strengths.

Welcome Dr. McMenamin,

Harold

 

 

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