Dear Habermas Logo A Jeanne Site

Jeanne Curran, Ph.D., Esq.
Professor
Department of Sociology

California State University Faculty Activity Report



Office Address

Department of Sociology
California State University, Dominguez Hills
1000 E. Victoria
Carson, California 90747
Phone: (310) 243-3831
E-Mail: curran@csudh.edu

For the period: August 18, 1997 through June 30, 1998.
(Post tenure review: Report submitted February 1, 1999.)

I submit the following report under protest at the "supervisorial" nature of the manner in which the report is requested and the circumstances dictated under which it shall be reviewed. I have done excellent work particularly over the last eighteen months in creating and bringing to international attention a web site through which I teach and share my research with students and colleagues, globally. This report offers one of the few opportunities for me to update and bring to the attention of the administration this continual successful effort. I believe that such communication is essential to any university. But I believe that the communication should fall within the bounds of faculty governance, which has been woefully and wrongfully denied by the California State University system.

  1. Teaching and Contributions to Student Development/Other Primary Work Assignment

    1. Fall 1997: Sociology of Law, Statistics (Need to check Banner for enrollment.)

      Spring 1998: Moot Court, Statistics (Need to check Banner for enrollment.)

    2. My student evaluations, on the PTR evaluations, were, as always, high, most ratings in the top two categories, rare dissatisfaction. Students express gratitude for my fair and equal rendition of both critical and conservative theory. In the Fall 1997 class of Sociology of Law we began the first Dear Habermas, using hardcopy to include students in critical theory discussions, to permit them to exchange in ongoing academic discourse with faculty. Four of the students, who went on to take part in professional academic conferences, took on the responsibility of participating ALL BY THEMSELVES in an Occidental Student Paper Competition. They did this in spite of the fact that I had a different conference scheduled and so could not be with them. Such continuing student participation in academic events both on and beyond our campus indicate student learning and satisfaction.
    3. The statistics students that year taught me as much as I taught them. That was the beginning of my requirement that they work over the Internet. They grumbled, worried, needed my understanding of how far I was pushing both them and me, and came through beautifully. We began to create a readily available index on our site, from which they could get help with statistical questions whenever the need arose. They accepted my challenge of jumping into the 21st Century, and taught me how to make the site work for them. Again, this is indicative of a high level of learning and respect between teacher and student.



      • Changes in teaching: Moved text materials, exercises, and student-faculty exchange to the Web site. Taught all of the classes how to use the computer, and designed the site specifically to make it intuitive. This was the beginning of the departmental plan to make the Internet part and parcel of our curriculum. This work continues to date.


      In June 1998 we expanded the site to include the Dear Habermas KIDS' site. We found that the issues of such concern to us in the discussion of society and social justice were of equal concern to our students who had children, siblings, or students, with whom they shared these discussions. To that end we created and maintain the KIDS' site. Again, this is a completely new, community-oriented approach to learning and teaching that seems to fit perfectly this college's mission.

      • Describe your responsibilities in advising, supervision, or similar activities.


      During this period I continued to serve as Chair of the Department of Sociology. This was and is a large department caught up in the confusion of both the campus financial crisis, the crisis' political ramifications, and the parallel disciplinary concerns over whether critical and Marxist analysis could hold meaningful sway in the newly controlling corporate environment of the 90s. The affect such struggles always engender drained energies I wish could have been devoted more exclusively to our curricular development and the web site. My department unanimously supported me in these struggles against the three who provoked an investigation of my accountability as a Chair, as a teacher, as a colleague, and, though they did not openly say so, as a person. Last June 1998, I finally received a report from the administration, declaring that I had done no wrong. The witch hunt had gone on for two entire years. I did not read the administration's report. There is no excuse for such insensitive handling of normal work environment patterns and foibles. That attack and its report fall in the same category as the Chancellor's handling of this faculty activity review. I remain opposed to the philosophy of management in such tactics.



      II. Scholarly/Creative Activities and Professional Development/Practice



      • Dear Habermas and Distance Teaching, Susan Takata and Jeanne Curran. A poster session presented at the national meetings of the American Sociological Association in Toronto, CA, in August 1997.


      "Children of the Night: A Theoretical Application of Habermas's Communicative Action." Jeanne Curran and Susan Takata. Paper presented in "Critical Theories in System Processing" Session during the March 1998 meetings of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences in Albuquerque.



      Habermas in Critical Criminology Theory, Jeanne Curran and Susan Takata, panel organizers. Panel of students from critical theory classes presented the importance of the site in guiding them to local testing of the Habermasian discourse claimed to alter public discourse. National meetings of the American Society of Criminology in San Diego, CA, in November 1998.



      Instructionally Related Activities Grant for Moot Court, allowing us to extend the reach of this program to high school students, and to teach discourse for Children of the Night. Also permitted us to extend the media development for the moot court to the Web.



      Technology grants - three. One permitted me, as Chair, to afford for department members who were moving into the new technology the equipment to do so. Another permitted us to put up the Department Web Board. A third has permitted us to put together a setup that may enable us with present hardware to take the Internet into the classroom. These were all done in cooperation with Robert Christie, as we developed departmental strategy for moving to the new media.



      Throughout this time I continued to work with Susan Takata, Chair of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, where we moved toward team teaching across the continent. Wisconsin, sharing in our technology development and resources, provided us with the Wisconsin server for a mirror site of Dear Habermas in January 1999.



      B. Work in Progress



      The presentations on Dear Habermas both as a Web site, and as the subject of numerous professional presentations over the last couple of years resulted in a recent invitation to submit for publication our work in progress on Changing Patterns of Criminal Justice Education, as wrought by the technological changes in our midst.



      The Web site has also led to contacts worldwide.



      III. University and Community Service





        • Department Committees/ Service

      Served as Department Chair 1996-1998.



      B. Served on three University Budget Committees throughout the Financial Crisis.

      Included School and University-Wide committees.





      C. Professional Service Activities



      Conduct panels for WSSA, several over the last five years.



      Membership in ASA, WSSA, ASC, ACJS.



      • Community Service Activities

      Work with the Division of Women of the American Society of Criminology, creating a listserv and providing for Women in Criminal Justice a bulletin board.

      Work with high school students.

      Work with intermediate school students.

      Work with elementary school students.



      IV. Special Accomplishments and Other Activities Not Listed Above



      Began to rebuild department's links to social welfare, since a large majority of our students wish to work in the area of helping others. Began to amass links in public administration, criminal justice, corrections, and social agencies to incorporate in the curriculum an approach to both conservative and critical analyses of ways in which to realize the goal of helping in the institutions of the 1990s.



      Are you willing to have your name published if awarded a faculty merit increase? Yes.



      I attest that the information provided in this report is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge.









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      Faculty Member's Signature Date