Theater Review: ‘Oleanna’ Ivy Tech’s ‘Oleanna’ a look at power wars and human miscommunication

Theater Review: ‘Oleanna’ Ivy Tech’s ‘Oleanna’ a look at power wars and human miscommunication

Posted: Monday, August 26, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 6:20 am, Mon Aug 26, 2013.

By Doris Lynch
H-T Reviewer

The days of the diminutive, needful college coed (why are only women called this?) and the all-knowing, patriarchal, white male professor are over. Or are they? In Ivy Tech’s two-night run of “Oleanna” at the John Waldron Arts Center, David Mamet’s play on sexual harassment gives a divided look at this important subject without any clear answers. Meanwhile, the mayor of San Diego has been forced to step down because of multiple sexual harassment complaints.

But isn’t that the nature of intellectual inquiry, to discover what questions to ask? Who is Oleanna, for instance? What is the nature of justice? What are our responsibilities to the young? And are the latter two merely academic questions?

In a drama as intense and dangerous as a chess game but with far weightier consequences, Paul Daily as Professor John and Aubrey Seader as the undergrad Carol both give riveting performances.

“Oleanna” begins when a very confused Carol asks for a meeting with her professor. Although she takes copious notes, and has even bought John’s text, she doesn’t understand the concepts which he teaches in class. Daily pounces around his office, restlessly lecturing Carol and sharing anecdotes about how he once believed himself to be stupid also. But he makes several serious errors; he mocks the college that pays his salary and which Carol has worked so hard to pay for and experience. And as he is describing his life of privilege — the security of tenure, a new house, and private school for his child — Carol realizes that one failing grade will bar her from entering such a life.

The Professor spouts — no, pontificates — absurd theories, then expounds some personal psychobabble, before relating an off-color story.

As in all of Mamet’s plays, conversations between the characters fail. They speak to each other from different universes and mostly do not connect, or really listen and understand each other. Words, syllables, attenuated phrases, sentences, whole paragraphs fly hither and yon, but mostly sail past each other. But Carol absorbs some of them and learns from the Professor, but not what he expected her to learn.

In the first act, the power shift is definitely in the Professor’s favor. Carol sits in a chair, trying to express herself, but mostly listening to the Professor’s rants. Repeatedly, they are interrupted by calls from his wife or a Realtor. These conversations are all one-sided, and Daily punches out each word and interrupted phrase, but sometimes too fast for us to really believe that there another speaker is on the line.

When Carol disagrees with John, she stands up and raises her voice, but he quickly quells her questions, and orders her to sit again. He then struts again, once even telling a story about how sex differs for rich people and poor people. The scene ends with some physical contact, but not of a sexual kind. Or is it?

Jeffery Allen directed this fast-paced, emotionally intense roller coaster. He succeeds at presenting two characters undergoing radical changes. Daily and Seader spar verbally, raising their voices, at times screaming at each other. Both actors give powerful performances. Their timing is excellent.

Seader also manages to portray listening and thinking as very active experiences. Both actors deliver several monologues that are thrilling to watch.

And that question about what does the title “Oleanna” mean: Mamet borrowed it from a 19th century folksong about an escapist Utopia.

This play is certainly no Utopia, but instead a scintillating look at power roles and human miscommunication. It’s an intelligent, involving play.

“Oleanna” ended its run on Saturday.

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Ivy Tech asks county to fund purchase of building

The Herald Times

Ivy Tech asks county to fund purchase of building

Millions of dollars go to college that pays no property taxes, but county says a more skilled workforce is worth the investment

Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2013 12:00 am

By Rachel Bunn
331-4357 | rbunn@heraldt.com

One of the largest projects to use tax increment financing district money in Monroe County benefited a group that pays no taxes into the county’s Westside TIF district.

Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus is located in Monroe County’s Westside TIF district, but as a college, it is exempt from property taxes.

A $5 million bond was approved in 2007 to help build the Ivy Tech Community College Indiana Center for the Life Sciences, a building that serves as a training facility for local students and local life-sciences employees. Last week, the redevelopment commission approved a contract of about $48,000 for Americans with Disabilities Act improvements outside the center.

In June, Ivy Tech Bloomington Chancellor John Whikehart returned to the redevelopment commission to ask for $1.6 million, this time to purchase and renovate the Pain Real Estate building at the intersection of Daniels Way and Ind. 48, just west of Ivy Tech’s main academic building. The total project will cost $3.6 million.

Ivy Tech owns the land the building sits on, and rents it to the redevelopment commission. The redevelopment commission rents both the land and the building, which it owns, to the college for $1 a year. Should the Pain Building be purchased, it likely would have a similar lease arrangement.

If this most recent request is passed, it will mean a little more than $6.6 million in tax dollars has been poured into Ivy Tech, though it does not contribute money to the TIF district. But that doesn’t mean there’s no public benefit to it, said Jeff Cockerill, county attorney.

“The whole thought is, what the redevelopment commission expects in return on investment is not a monetary item,” he said. “There was a real need for education that would help spur employment.”

Redevelopment commission member Don Moore said he supported Ivy Tech and believed investment in the college was a good use of TIF money. “I believe that local economic development should emphasize productivity within the local economy (and fair reward to those becoming more productive), not just having a bigger economy, which probably of itself adds little to nothing to productivity,” Moore said in an email. “Ivy Tech Bloomington has heretofore done a fine job providing the targeted education, which increases the productivity of our workforce.”

Jim Shelton, another member of the redevelopment commission, said the charge of the redevelopment commission is to watch over the TIF money and use it wisely.

Through firsthand experience, both as a businessman and a member of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, Shelton said, he knows finding qualified workers can be a problem for businesses.

In the case of Ivy Tech, redevelopment commission members agree that moving forward with the purchase would be a good investment of TIF funds.

“Education is one of the most important economic development tools we have,” he said.

TIF districts use property taxes generated by new construction in their areas to pay for infrastructure or debts incurred by infrastructure improvements. The idea is the districts use public funding to subsidize redevelopment and improvements that will serve a particular area.

There are three TIF districts in Monroe County: the Westside TIF, the State Road 46 TIF and the Fullerton Pike TIF.

In the county, the money has typically gone to things such as roads or sewers, as well as projects like training, trails near the new Monroe County YMCA and fire department equipment. The Center for the Life Sciences is the only building the commission has outright purchased with TIF money.

The redevelopment commission is moving forward, and it is likely the commission will approve the final bond to purchase the Pain Building, having already committed to the project, Cockerill said. The bond would then need to be approved by the Monroe County Council and the Monroe County Board of Commissioners.

Though the redevelopment commission has previously purchased a building for the college, the project was never a done deal.

“It’s difficult to get funding from the redevelopment commission,” Cockerill said. “There clearly has to be a case made for it.”

In total, $14.6 million in projects have been completed in the Westside TIF, and another $9.5 million are planned, according to a report by Bill Williams, director of the Monroe County Highway Department.

“For a good project, it’s a lot easier,” Cockerill said. “It depends a lot on the project itself.”

The Pain Building would be used to house some of the college’s medical training programs, including nursing, that have expanded over the past several years.

Ivy Tech’s growth has outpaced its enrollment projections, which called for the Bloomington campus to have about 5,000 students this year. The 2013 enrollment is about 6,800. To help accommodate that growth, the college has been leasing additional buildings for about $500,000 per year.

The Indiana Legislature’s State Budget Committee approved a $24 million project to expand the college’s main academic building in July, and hours after the approval, Whikehart presented his case to the redevelopment commission for even more space.

Community college vital gateway to a better future for Hoosiers

Our Opinion

Community college vital gateway to a better future for Hoosiers

Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2013 12:00 am

The Herald-Times

The Ivy Tech message, delivered during a visit to the newsroom by an official contingent that included Ivy Tech President Tom Snyder, VP Jeffrey Terp and Ivy Tech Bloomington campus chancellor John Whikehart, is one we’ve heard before.

It’s one that Whikehart has delivered himself many times — the phrasing a little different, perhaps, but the message the same. It’s also one that IU business researcher Jerry Conover has articulated in the newspaper on a fairly regular basis.

We’re paraphrasing, but it goes something like this: It’s no longer the Indiana of the mid-20th century, when very well-paid factory jobs awaited Hoosiers straight from high school. Who needed more than high school (and often not even that) to secure a comfortable spot in the middle class? Sure, it was hard work, but it paid so well, with factory workers often earning more than college grads. And with an almost-guaranteed job for life, or at least until age 65, the retirement age back then, why sweat it?

Such is no longer the case. Those jobs are gone or require skills and knowledge beyond high school, often well beyond. And too many Hoosiers haven’t understood that. Or if they have, they often don’t have the means to gain the necessary tools, or even access to those tools, that will allow them to escape this new reality of low-paid service jobs that won’t hold your place in the middle class.

Our visitors pointed to a map they’d brought along that outlined the Indiana Work Council’s Region 8, an eight-county area including Monroe and surrounding counties. Bold numbers on each county showed the percentage of the adult population of working age who have gone on to earn at least a two-year post-high school degree. Monroe’s number: 51.71 percent. The rest ranged from 16.2 percent in Owen County up to 28.31 percent in Brown. Monroe — with a national university and a large and fast growing community college — is clearly an oasis of educational riches while surrounding counties are parched.

This, the people from Ivy Tech pointed out, is the pattern across the state, a few oases surrounded by counties that are withering in terms of higher education — a commodity that is absolutely critical to success in the 21st century global job market.

And, of course, they see their own institution as the gateway to that education and as a major direct provider of post-secondary training that can make today’s workers adaptable as new needs develop and current skills go out of date.

And they are correct.

Ivy Tech, which only became a community college system in 2005, putting Indiana almost a half century behind most other states, is a lifeline for children of families with few financial resources. Its development of close relationships with Indiana’s public four-year colleges and universities and the transferability of credit hours means that students who attend Ivy Tech their first two years, then transfer to a four-year school, pay only about a third the per-credit-hour cost those first two years than they would at a four-year school.

It also is the place to catch up for both those who require remediation in the basics and for returning adult students who realize their futures depend on how well they adapt to the needs of the 21st century. It also serves industry and those who work for those industries with specialized training in particular tasks.

The picture is one that approaches crisis. It is essential the public and the state recognize that and support Ivy Tech’s needs. The community college is now working to create or strengthen partnerships with high schools across the state to develop an integrated network that more naturally leads from high school to post high school education, where high schoolers can earn Ivy Tech credit for certain courses while still in high school — and at no cost.

Only two other states — West Virginia and Pennsylvania — have a higher proportion of their populations who have no more than a high school diploma. We rank 40th among the 50 states in the percentage of the adult working population who hold at least associate degrees. That’s not good enough. Ivy Tech and the larger state university system are crucial in the fight to improve that ranking.

Ivy Tech students zip back to classes

The Herald Times

Ivy Tech students zip back to classes

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013 4:59 pm | Updated: 11:52 am, Tue Aug 20, 2013.

The scream could be heard for a quarter mile in every direction.

It was unleashed by Korina Dusard — strapped into a harness and gripping an overhead bar, her curly red hair rippling in the wind — as she zoomed down a 150-foot-long zip line set up on the back lawn of the Ivy Tech Community College campus.

When her feet hit the grass, ending a ride that began atop a 35-foot-tall metal tower, she was beaming and her face was flushed scarlet. Then she spotted her friend, Sheri Cox, who had taken photos of Dusard during her vociferous descent.

“If you put this on Facebook, I’m going to kill you!” Dusard shouted.

Later, Dusard said her zip line adventure was a lot of fun, though a bit harrowing at first.

“At the top of the tower they told me to pick my feet up, and I was afraid my rear was going to drag,” she said. “I gained a few pounds over the summer.”

The zip line, erected by “Indy Zipline” and “Moonwalks and More,” was just one of the ways Ivy Tech rolled out the red carpet on the first day of classes Monday. On the red brick plaza behind the school, students sat at tables draped with white table cloths and shaded by honey locust trees — eating burgers and hot dogs fresh off the smoker grill of Carson’s Barbecue while listening to live music by Craig Thurston and his acoustic guitar.

Earlier that day, as students strolled into the front lobby to find their classes, pay their tuitions or ask questions about financial aid, they were treated to biscuits and gravy, juice, and coffee.

“I love Ivy Tech and the way they treat you,” said third-year student Hannah Gould, who plans to graduate with a registered nurse degree in 18 months. “It’s a beautiful campus that provides an affordable education, and they go out of their way to make you feel welcome, like having a free movie night in the commons every other Wednesday in the fall.”

Ivy Tech Chancellor John Whikehart said there were 5,700 students Monday, about 250 fewer than last year’s first-day number. But he said the enrollment would steadily climb as students continue to enroll in the days ahead.

Amanda Farris, director of student life at Ivy Tech, said she hoped the first-day perks would not only help students feel at home, but encourage them to take advantage of school programs throughout the year designed for fun and leadership development.

“I think it’s really nice of them to provide this lunch,” said Jenna Kenny, a first-year student in kinesiology as she munched on a hamburger and sipped from a can of Pepsi Wild Cherry. “But I won’t have time to do the zip line because I have a class at noon.”

But 18-year-old Kurtis Stille sure did. The first-year Ivy Tech student flew down the 3/8th-inch-thick steel cable twice — once facing forward and once facing backwards.

“This is the first time I’ve ever done a zip line and it was a blast,” he said. “Going backwards was more extreme. It’s cool that they do this. How many schools set up a zip line for the students?”

Among the non-zip line crowd was Erich Ramos, a 37-year-old mother of 9- and 17-year-old daughters who is starting her second semester at Ivy Tech. She has not yet decided on her major, but after years as a stay-at-home mom and working at minimum wage jobs, she hopes to better herself and set a good example for her girls by earning a degree. Her older daughter, a senior at Bloomington High School South, plans to join her at Ivy Tech next year.

“Before I enrolled at Ivy Tech she would come home from school and tell me how hard it was,” Ramos said. “But I’ve found that it’s not that hard. I must be a lot smarter than I thought I was.”

VIDEO: http://www.heraldtimesonline.com/news/local/afternoon-activities-at-ivy-tech-community-college/video_167b822a-0942-11e3-ad5b-001a4bcf6878.html

WelcomeWeekFall2013_1

Kurtis Stille, 18, a freshman, sticks his tongue out at a friend as he takes a ride on the mobile zip line Monday during the first day of classes at Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington. Chris Howell | Herald-Times

WelcomeWeekFall2013_2

Jeff Carson, with Carsons BBQ and Catering in Ellettsville, lifts the lid to his large grill as he prepares to pull off some hamburgers and hot dogs during the first day of classes Monday at Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington. Chris Howell | Herald-Times

Ivy Tech production of ‘Oleanna’ kicks off theatre season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 2013

Ivy Tech production of ‘Oleanna’ kicks off theatre season

Tickets are now available for Ivy Tech’s fall and spring 2014 student theatre productions at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center. Reserve tickets now for ‘Oleanna’, by David Mamet, directed by Jeffery Allen, August 23 and August 24 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets available at www.bctboxoffice.com.

The following two Ivy Tech Student Productions in the 2013-14 Season include ‘No Exit’ by Jean-Paul Sartre, directed by Paul Daily, October 25 – November 2 and ‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare, directed by Jeffery Allen, April 11 – 19, 2014.

“Our season is designed to go hand-in-hand with Ivy Tech’s new acting classes,” Paul Daily, Artistic Director of the Ivy Tech Waldron said. “Theatre classes and student productions offer students a wide range of opportunities including seeing experienced actors in the upcoming ‘Oleanna’, along with the chance to tackle Shakespeare with ‘Macbeth.’ The fall production of ‘No Exit’ aims to introduce students to existentialism.”

Former Ivy Tech student actors Billy Gilliam and Heidi Mikac performed in three of Ivy Tech’s productions during the 2012-13 Season, and both graduated in May 2013. Gilliam started out as the one-dimensional Henchman in ‘Waiting for Lefty,’ moved up to the Trucker for ‘The Rimers of Eldrich,’ and then landed the role of Father in ‘The Giver.’

“When I’m in the Rose Firebay and sharing that space with my fellow actors, there isn’t any place else I’d want to be,” Billy Gilliam, Ivy Tech alumnus, and military veteran said. “My experience in ‘The Giver’ was the best one of the Ivy Tech student productions I’ve been in.”

“I can’t begin to tell you how much I love performing in Ivy Tech plays,” Heidi Mikac, Ivy Tech alumna said. “The plays Ivy Tech does are so unique. I had never heard of ‘Waiting for Lefty’ or ‘The Rimers of Eldritch’ before auditioning and I am so honored that I got to be a part of both of them.”

Ivy Tech Student Productions tickets are available for purchase at the Buskirk-Chumley box office, or by visiting www.bctboxoffice.com/. Tickets are $15/general admission and $5/students and seniors. For a full list of productions held at the Ivy Tech Waldron, visit www.ivytech.edu/waldron.

About Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center

The Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center houses a unique blend of artists, performers, and educators. Visitors can take art classes, enjoy performances, or browse six gallery spaces in Bloomington’s recently-voted “best art gallery” by The-Herald-Times’ Reader’s Choice Awards. For more information, visit www.ivytech.edu/waldron. Art classes are offered through Ivy Tech’s Center for Lifelong Learning at www.ivytech.edu/cll or through Ivy Tech’s Associate of Fine Arts degree program.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College (www.ivytech.edu) is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

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Fall semester at Ivy Tech kicks off on Monday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 15, 2012

Fall semester at Ivy Tech kicks off on Monday

First week events include food, fun, and fireworks

Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington’s Fall semester kicks off on Monday, August 19. Per campus tradition, students can expect to be greeted the morning of the first day of classes at the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building by Chancellor John Whikehart and bagpiper Ian Arthur.

“I look forward to greeting students on Ivy Tech’s first day of fall classes,” Chancellor Whikehart said. “Many students are either beginning or continuing their journeys toward accomplishing their academic goals, and I am proud to welcome them with open doors.”

Additionally, students will experience a Welcome Week of events hosted by Campus Activities Board. Welcome Week events include a fresh start breakfast, fruit, and coffee, a zip-line lunch event outside on the main campus, a fitness resource fair, family movie night, student resource fair, and the college’s fourth annual music festival, with headliner Jake Dodds & the Stagecoach Revolver Band. A current Ivy Tech student ID is required for event attendance.

Students can still register for late start courses that begin in October, and are encouraged to visit campus as soon as possible to apply or enroll. Also, financial aid is still available, and staff can help students to apply.

Some new degree options include computer science, electrical engineering, fine arts, and information security.

To apply or register for late-start fall classes at Ivy Tech, call 330-6013, or log on www.ivytech.edu.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College (www.ivytech.edu) is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

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 Welcome Week: Student Activities Schedule
Current Ivy Tech student ID is required for attendance.

MONDAY, AUGUST 19

Fresh Start with Campus Activities Board (CAB)
8-10 a.m. Biscuits and Gravy, coffee (Ferguson Academic Building, Main Campus)
8-10 a.m. Fruit and granola bars (Liberty Crossing, Liberty Drive)

Zip Into Ivy Tech
11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.  (Ferguson Building, Lawn)
Zip-line, food, live music, and other outdoor activities

TUESDAY, AUGUST 20

Fresh Start with CAB
8-10 a.m. Fruit, granola bars, and coffee

Fit Fest
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Health and Fitness resource fair (Ferguson Building)

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21

Free Family Movie Night
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Toy Story 3 (Ferguson Building)

THURSDAY, AUGUST 22

Student Resource Fair
11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Learn about resources for academic success (Ferguson Building)

MusicFest 2012
7 – 9 p.m.: (Ferguson Building, Lawn)
Live music by Jai Baker and Jake Dodds & the Stagecoach Revolver Band
Kids Zone including pony rides, a bungee jumper (inflatable with bungees), face painting, and temporary tattoos
Pizza, chips, beverages, and popsicles served out of an ice cream truck
Tee shirt giveaway
Fireworks

Ivy Tech now a college of first choice

Guest column

Ivy Tech now a college of first choice

By John Whikehart, Special to the H-T

This guest column was submitted by John Whikehart, chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College – Bloomington.

I always enjoy Morton Marcus’ commentary in The Herald-Times. He reminds me a bit of my Uncle Walter. I enjoyed Walter, too. He could seem a bit curmudgeonly at times, but he was usually thought provoking, even if just to provoke disagreement.

I would have responded differently than my Ivy Tech-Gary colleague to Morton’s question about why my institution exists. In fairness, Morton did state that his inquiry was made several years ago. But the time when Ivy Tech was solely defined as a “second chance school” has passed.

Today, the Bloomington campus counts among its student body recent high school valedictorians, transfer-bound students from 71 of Indiana’s 92 counties, a unique relationship with Indiana University-Bloomington through a freshmen cohort titled “Hoosier Link” of state students dually enrolled at both institutions and a growing number of “first time” out-of-state and international students.

Students who begin their educational journey with us do so primarily because of accessibility, smaller class sizes and more affordable tuition. Many also begin here because community colleges are the gateways to higher education for many “first generation” students, students in need of financial aid and minority students.

So, my institution exists to be the access point to higher education, the college of first choice for many of Indiana’s citizens.

Morton is correct that Ivy Tech is charged with remediation of students not prepared for college work. For many, that need is in math. Some directly admitted from high school have not had a math class since their junior year. But rather than blame the quality of work in our high schools, perhaps changing Indiana’s Core 40 diplomas to require a math class in all four years is a way to reduce the need for remediation. A year’s hiatus from math before college is not helpful.

Judging our success against a clock set for “on-time completion of a degree” certainly does not take into account students in need of remedial work, students working part-time, and students — as Morton correctly suggests — who are not degree seeking at all. Many returning adult students, particularly in technology programs, are taking courses for job placement or advancement.

The majority of our Bloomington traditional students (60 percent) tell us they are not here to earn a degree, but to eventually transfer — primarily to IU-B. Last year alone, Ivy Tech-Bloomington students transferred more than 18,000 credit hours to a four-year institution, for a total savings of roughly $3.6 million. Under the state’s funding plan for “completion,” those numbers do not count.

Judging success by placement rates is an intriguing idea. Bloomington campus nursing students in 2012 exceeded state and national pass rates for licensure at over 95 percent, and our nursing and health program graduates have nearly a 100 percent job placement rate.

Morton makes a point that, as the largest community college system in the nation, we may have made some mistakes. The state’s funding has not kept pace with our enrollment growth, and that gap requires an examination of the number of campuses we can operate statewide. We have hired legislators in the system. I am aware of three in my 22 years with the college, and they all made significant contributions.