Union notes from Union / Management Meeting

Present – Michael Abraham, Prince Charles Alexander,Peter Cokkinias, Helen Lewis, Margaret McAllister, Jeff Perry, Denise Pons-Leone, Stephanie Reich, Wendy Rolfe, Jackson Schultz, David Scott, Elizabeth Seitz, Andrew Shryock, Will Silvio, and Jeri Sykes. Guest: Chi Kim

Management – Larry Simpson, Chris Kandus-Fischer, Liz Tomlin, Andrew Murphy, Betsy Newman, Carin Nuernberg, Michael Shinn, Scott Trach, Jen Burke, Lori Johnson, Jeff Klug, Darla Hanley, Joy Allen

  1. Jackson opened the meeting. We are talking about support for our diverse student populations with disabilities. Professor Chi Kim has prepared a short presentation on the AMT lab for visually impaired students. Four work stations with a recent change that has reduced a support position from 40 hours down to 19 due to a lack of funding.

    Disability services should be more visible on campus, there should also be more faculty support in terms of training and notifications of when the students sign up for class. Faculty could get notification that next semester there will be a student in your class. There is also an element of confidentiality with each student. Part-time faculty are not paid for all the additional time that they are providing for these students.

    Lori Johnson – we would welcome more training. We have had faculty learning committees and they have been very low attended, most faculty look for “just in time” training – you just found out you have a student in your class, now how can you help them. There is an effort being made to have a testing center for students with extended time and special accommodations.

    Scott Trach – we are at the beginning of the process, just now getting a sense of what students needs are. We are looking at the entire process of notification, decision making, etc. more details will follow throughout the spring as we get a total sense. We have approximately 300-350 students with various accommodations. In the spirit of being clear around the policies and procedures, we need clear methodologies about fundamentally changing a course to meet the accommodation – hand written music as a course requirement for visually impaired students can be an issue.

    Larry Simpson – What we are seeing at Berklee, faculty are being expected to do more than they have ever done – many different needs for students – and many that do not identify and we are trying to catch up. We as an administration are dealing with a lot more parents than we ever have. We hear what you are saying, we know you are working hard and go the extra mile. And recording classes is very serious – we are very conscious of the issue and are looking into all the options. We will set up a follow up meeting to continue this discussion.