Wednesday April 28, 2010
Plenary Session Spring 2010
We had another successful and thought-provoking Plenary Session last week in San Francisco. Our keynote speaker, Brian Murphy, the President of De Anza College, set the right tone for the session, as we considered the current events in our system, reflected on our past and puzzled over our future.
The newly adopted resolutions are now on our homepage and senate presidents received a copy via email on April 22. (Note that some final resolution numbers are different from the numbers as we debated at Plenary). A few highlights from the resolutions (with their final numbers):
• MQs: The resolution calling for there to be no equivalency to an AA for minimum qualifications failed (10.06 S10) and several others on this topic were referred to the Executive Committee for further deliberation, so the status quo remains. Expect to see more resolutions in the future. Another resolution (10.01 S10) calls for the noncredit minimum qualifications to be moved from Title 5 and put on the Disciplines List.
• “Transfer” degree: The Academic Senate delegates reversed some of our prior positions by passing a resolution (4.03 S10) called “Transfer degree design.” The day before session, we got copies of a newly revised SB 1440 which, unlike last year’s proposed bill (AB 440) will guarantee students’ acceptance into upper division at CSU and it will ensure that students take 18 units in a major or area of emphasis. While it is true that most major preparation does not require that many units, the principle is that if a student who plans
to transfer never does finish the BA/BS, the degree needs to stand on its own, as all our degrees do. This is the chance for wonderful interdisciplinary collaboration among faculty to design broader areas of emphasis, which might be for example “social sciences” rather than “sociology” or “natural sciences” rather than “geology.”
There is still work to be done on the bill, and the Academic Senate also made a commitment to work with CSU and UC faculty to strengthen the curricular pathways for transfer students. Note that the bill does nothing to remove the current degrees we can offer but rather asks us to also offer a new degree designed for transfer students who also want to get an AA/AS. Please send us (Info@asccc.org) any questions, suggestions, concerns so we have your input in the coming weeks.
• ACCJC: A new resolution (2.03 S10) directs us to continue to work with the Consultation Council Task Group and take the appropriate next steps which can include stating no confidence in the leadership or looking at legislative or federal options.
• GE reciprocity: In order to help students move more easily between or among community colleges, Resolution 9.02 S10 says that we “encourage colleges to honor general education courses from any California community college.”
• Papers: We adopted two new papers (3.01 S10 and 3.02 S10) to assist faculty on equity and diversity as they relate to student access and basic skills.
Elections were held at the Plenary and while the officers will remain the same, three new faculty members will join the Executive Committee in July: Kevin Bontenbal from Cuesta, Julie Bruno from Sierra, and Dolores Davison from Foothill. Members who are “retiring” from the Executive Committee are Janet Fulks and Phillip Maynard. Many thanks to them for their excellent and lasting contributions! And thanks to all who stepped up to run in the elections.
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Legislation, State Budget and Degree Titles
This is an extremely busy time in Sacramento, with many bills that affect our colleges. We are sharing the Academic Senate positions on bills with the Legislature and will work with them to improve as many as we can. In hearings this week, the bill on “Accelerated Student success” (formerly “Accelerated learning College”) did not pass out of the Assembly while SB 1440 on the transfer degree did move out of the Senate.
The next step in the budget will be the “May revise.” The Chancellor’s Office, FACCC and the CCLC will monitor it closely and send us updates. Again, I urge local senates to ensure a senate leader is around all summer, as administrators will be compelled to make decisions during the summer, and if faculty are not there to participate, we have no one to blame. Participatory governance requires full participation.
You might recall that the Academic Senate determined that the degree designation Associate of Science should be used for STEM and most career technical education disciplines while the AA designation should be for all other degrees. Our position was later endorsed by the Board of Governors but the Department of Finance (DoF) stopped it from moving forward, citing financial implications. Then the timeline for implementation was extended, but unfortunately the DoF has again stopped it. This case is similar to what occurred with our information competency position. The Academic Senate still encourages colleges to make these local changes, but they are not required at the present.
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The Consultation Council Task Group on Accreditation will meet soon to consider next steps. The Task Group presented a memorandum to the Consultation Council last week, which is linked here for your information. Please read the new resolution 2.03 S10 for the background and the next steps.
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MOU with Kaplan University
We took several positions on the MOU in our resolutions (7.01 S10 and 7.03 S10) and the most urgent message is to remind all faculty that there is no imperative to participate; such articulation is a local decision and requires consultation with the local senate and discipline faculty. Please speak to your Articulation Officers too. The Academic Senate position is that we do not recognize this MOU because of the lack of consultation in its development. The Chancellor has called for a new Task Group to establish guidelines for future MOUs and I will advocate for our new positions.
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Be sure you have registered for our upcoming institutes: Leadership, SLO and Curriculum.
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Best wishes as the end of the term approaches!
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