George Boggs recently wrote an article for The League for Innovation that spoke about the proliferation of incivility and intolerance among faculty, staff and students in community colleges. Boggs wrote:
Those who have been involved in community college education for long enough will have witnessed poor treatment of students, disruptive behaviors on the part of students, mean–spirited behavior among colleagues in department or committee meetings, lack of respect for classified support staff, hostility between administrators and faculty, and dysfunctional boards of trustees that set a tone for incivility. (p .8)
When I read the article, I couldn’t help but think about situations we observe or sometimes find ourselves in when colleagues express themselves verbally or through email in a manner that could be perceived as disrespectful, dismissive or unprofessional.
I believe we all agree that we want to embrace the value “Everyone’s voices—faculty, staff, managers, administrators, and students—must be allowed to be heard without fear of recrimination and attack.” I want to have an open discussion about collegiality and civility among ourselves.
This issue always leaves me with the following questions. What does it mean to embrace the value of civility, tolerance and collegiality? What does that look like for the CR community? How do we hold ourselves accountable if our behavior runs counter to this value without being viewed as curtailing academic freedom or free expression?
What are your thoughts?
Boggs, George. (2015). Facing Change in the Community College: Leadership Issues and Challenges. A joint publication of the Roueche Graduate Center, National American University and League for Innovation in the Community College.