Being part of Bakersfield College

Kate Pluta forward to me an email she sent the faculty in her department.  This was relevant since we (Jennifer Marden, Kate and I) had just met to work on section 2 of the Recommendation #1 assignment.  Much of our conversation was about the intentional engagement of faculty and staff on campus through work on institutional initiatives and governance councils.  The last question Kate poses at the end of the email spoke to me.  What does being part of Bakersfield College mean to you?

So, let’s hear from Kate Pluta:

Kate Pluta April 18 2013

Dear Colleagues,

At the Senate meeting yesterday, Corny and Nan led a discussion of college values, posing the question:  Who are we (BC)?  Since the senate had just discussed the dearth of new folks stepping up to serve on the CCA board, I was moved to say that I felt service to the college was a core value, something I believed in. I have been thinking along those lines ever since.  When I was a new faculty member, my chair told me to represent the department on the Curriculum Committee–we needed the representation and it would be a good way for me to meet people and learn about the college and its programs.  She was right.  I haven’t been much of a mentor to new faculty, but I would advise you now, don’t wait til someone asks you personally to participate.  For those who haven’t yet, take the initiative to get involved outside the department to learn more about the college.  Play a role.  Be an active part of BC life.

Being part of Bakersfield College—what it means to me.

Teaching our classes and doing it well.

Working within the department to plan, implement, and evaluate the work the department does.

  • We evaluate our students.
  • Our peers,administration, and students evaluate us in the classroom.
  • We need to evaluate what we provide to the college, our students, the community, and each other.
  • Working within the college to help make it an invigorating place to be, for our students and for us.
  • Working in the community to represent the college—reaching out to high school faculty and students; developing programs, lectures, or activities for the community.
  • Using our expertise in every way we can.

What does being part of Bakersfield College mean to you?

Kate Pluta
Professor of English
Bakersfield College
661 395 4531

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

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2 thoughts on “Being part of Bakersfield College

  1. Tom Moran April 24, 2013 at 9:58 pm Reply

    Kate, I love your letter. Sonya, I appreciate you sharing this and instigating a discussion in the wider community of the college. Our institution and our students will clearly benefit from greater and more committed involvement of our faculty. Teaching is our core function, perhaps, but it is by no means the only function we are to serve, and it is certainly not the only one for which we are compensated.

    Being a part of Bakersfield College means being an involved citizen in a community that is crucial to all those who call it home.

  2. Emmanuel (Manny) Mourtzanos April 25, 2013 at 7:13 am Reply

    Kate,
    You pose a thoughtful question that should be asked frequently at every level of the institution. In your reply, and in Tom’s reply above, I hear themes such as ‘involvement’ and ‘investment’, both of which are critical to our vibrancy as a community. To those I would add ‘ownership’. In the day-to-day routine of our work, it is easy to forget the interdependent relationship we share; we are a part of BC, and we are a part of BC…wherever we go and whatever we do. The health and welfare of any community is directly related to the ability and willingness of its members to care for each other. I appreciate how BC already does this, and I encourage more of it. In the words of our former colleague Bill Cordero, “We must leave the campground better than we found it.”

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