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Dear Colleagues,
I think the demise of General College can be understood as
DEMONSTRATING the political nature of what we do as developmental
educators. State politicians and UM adminstrators with decision
making power and particular agendas moved to close General College
precisely BECAUSE of the kinds of students the college (and most of
us) serve, namely students that have low scores that bring down
rankings. My political agenda, if you will, is to provide education
to all students regardless of their preparation or privelage. That my
agenda and that expressed in the rhetoric and actions of UM and many
other educators can be so different indicates to me the importance of
addressing the often tacit ethical and political foundations of the
field of developmental education.

Extending this effort to identify the political nature of our
everyday work, allow me to point out that an effort to censor
dialogue on certain topics on this listserv--whatever you think of
the appropriateness doing so--is, of course, a political act. NOT
censoring the content of this listserv is ALSO a political act. In
short, we cannot have a community of developmental educators who
communicate ideas and opinions without engaging in political
discourse and actions. On those occasions when we argue about what
will and will not be open to discussion on this list we are engaging
in explicitly political discourse, and I think those occasions
indicate the health of our community, not its degradation.

Nic

>Some of the most useful information I've read on this listserv could be
>categorized as political. Many of Norm Stahl's postings come to mind as
>examples. As a community college employee, I function in a political
>context every day and need to be aware of national trends and issues.
>That postings dealing with political issues may be controversial is a
>given. As professionals, however, we should be able to maintain a civil
>conversation.
>
>Jeanne, please stay on LRNASST. Fellow-LRNASSTers, please don't
>self-censor if you have important points to discuss regarding our
>profession that are political in nature.
>
>Susan Wickham
>Des Moines Area Community College
>2006 S. Ankeny Blvd.
>Ankeny, IA 50021
>515-965-7000
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Jeanne Higbee [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
>Sent: Monday, June 13, 2005 1:26 AM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: General College
>
>Hello, Everyone!
>
>In April I was asked not to post any "political" messages about the
>General College (GC) to this listserv. In compliance with that request,
>I am providing only the basic information pertinent to the fate of GC
>below, and I will then again be unsubscribing from this listserv.
>
>On Friday, June 10th, the Board of Regents of the University of
>Minnesota voted 11 to 1 to accept President Bruininks' strategic
>planning recommendations in order to make the University of Minnesota
>"one of the top three public research universities in the world." Among
>those recommendations was the closing of GC.
>
>GC's last freshman class has already been admitted for fall 2005. Over
>the coming 2 or 3 years, portions of GC will be retained as a department
>in the University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human
>Development. The fate of programs like the Center for Research on
>Developmental Education and Urban Literacy (CRDEUL) is currently
>unknown. Within the next several weeks, task forces will be established
>to engage in further planning. The task forces' reports and
>recommendations will be due December 10, 2005.
>
>Dean David Taylor has accepted the position of Vice President for
>Academic Affairs at Morehouse in Atlanta beginning August 1, 2005.
>
>The first faculty member to submit a resignation was Carl Chung, whose
>work on theoretical perspectives for developmental education, including
>his recent article in the Journal of Developmental Education, was the
>topic of discussion on this list in spring 2005. The article that Carl
>and I co-authored on the theory crisis has been accepted for publication
>in an upcoming issue of Research and Teaching in Developmental
>Education. Carl, who was due to come up for tenure at the University of
>Minnesota next year, has accepted a teaching position in philosophy at
>Century College. I am sure that the profession of developmental
>education will miss Carl's many contributions.
>
>Thank you to those of you who wrote letters and sent e-mails in support
>of GC.
>
>Jeanne Higbee
>
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--


Dominic J. Voge
UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education
Language, Literacy and Culture
[log in to unmask]

"What we seek to know is our knowledge of reality, not Reality."--
Anne E. Berthoff

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