Let's play "guess the other side of the story!"
Recently, IHE's Confessions of a Community College Dean column presented a question from an anguished administrator who was worried that the math faculty were poised to "do tremendous and potentially irreversible harm to both students and the institution."
Irreversible harm? That sounds pretty dire, doesn't it? Almost unbelievable, in fact.
Let's break this down:
Students at our community college struggle with math, a phenomenon common to many students, community college and otherwise.
Recently, our math faculty completely revamped the curriculum and implemented a new placement test (the latter with disastrous results and the exam was pulled).
The placement test straighforwardly and accurately indicated that many students were not ready for college-level math. Administrators realized that the effect on their throughput and completion benchmarks would be "disastrous" and unilaterally put the kibosh on the math faculty's placement test.
Some of the parameters within the new curriculum are antithetical to student success.
Despite the setback of having their placement test yanked, the math department still refuses to hand out a passing grade and a trophy to every student.
For example, in order to move from one 7-week class to the next, a student must pass an exit exam with a score of 70%. If she does not, she will earn a D or F in the course, regardless of her status prior to that test.
Faculty own the curriculum; that point is never questioned.
However, what if the faculty decisions stand to do tremendous and potentially irreversible harm to both students and the institution? If other faculty approve the curricular changes in the shared governance process, what are the reasonable options that can also avoid irreparable damage to the relationship between faculty and administration?
Anyone have a more charitable interpretation?