Tuesday May 13, 2014
Dear Senate Presidents,
The academic year is rapidly coming to a close and that means that many of our students are graduating and moving on. Like them, I look forward to the next chapter in my life after serving as your Senate president. After plenary, I was overwhelmed by the unexpected outpouring of supportive text messages, emails, letters, cards, flowers, balloons, and gifts from you. My house was filled with flowers for weeks! You are the best faculty in the world, and our students are lucky to have you challenging them to learn and grow. Your commitment to academic excellence is the last line of defense in a world seeking to crush the heart and soul of our colleges. I am honored to have represented you.
No News on Shireman Case - At this writing, I have no news on the legal appeal of the standing of academic senates. As soon as information becomes available, I will forward it to you.
Joint Letter to ACCJC to Extend Review Time of the New Standards - Per resolution 2.04 from spring plenary, the Senate was directed to join with other faculty organizations (the union leaders, FACCC and the Senate) to request from ACCJC a longer time period to review and provide comment on the new standards. The letter has been jointly written and sent. Click here to read the request.
Testimony on New ACCJC Standards - We were directed by another resolution, 2.02 from spring plenary, to provide comment on the ACCJC proposed standards, and comment was provided orally and in writing. Thank you to all who helped shaped the Senate's response to the proposed new standards. I encourage you to stay in touch with your accreditation liaison officer (ALO) to learn more about decisions made by the commission regarding the new standards. Click here to read the testimony.
Joint Budget Request From Faculty - The faculty organizations through the Council of Faculty Organizations (COFO) have developed a budget proposal for the 2014-15 year based on common goals of all the faculty groups. We believe this approach will make our voices stronger in Sacramento. The joint letter we sent to key budget leaders focuses on matters of common interest, namely dedicated funding to hire more full time faculty, and it's rewarding to see all the faculty organizations supporting increased base funding for the Academic Senate. COFO is interested in developing a common proposal for the 2015-16 budget too.
Click here to read the joint letter.
Legislation - The legislative season is in full swing, and bills are being amended and reshaped as they move through the legislative process. The Senate can be affective in shaping bills where we have solid principles established through resolutions. We are watching SB 850 on the awarding of bachelor's degrees in community colleges. The bill has received a good deal of support from many in our system, although the Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates (ICAS) has been vocal about concerns with the bill, especially the absence of a feasibility study (per our spring resolution 13.01) or cost-benefit analysis.
Equity in the FON - One of the hot topics under discussion with the faculty request for additional full time faculty hires is equalizing the full time obligation number (FON). Consultation Council has had several conversations about this topic during the year, and the Council is committed to develop a task force to review the current inequities among districts and propose strategies to bring a more balanced and equitable minimal standard for the number of full time faculty in a district. As you well know, the calculation of the FON is complex, and any new approach should take simplification of the process into account. At a breakout at plenary, data were shared that demonstrate the problem.
Click here to read the Rostrum article.
RP Group Student Success Document - Many of you use resources provided by the RP Group, and the latest document produced by that group is now available. I received this announcement from RP:
The RP Group is pleased to announce the release of Practically Speaking: Community College Practices that Help (Re)define Support. You can find the primer attached and on our website at http://www.rpgroup.org/projects/student-support. This resource is the culminating product of Student Support (Re)defined, and it features 23 community college practices that show the study’s five key themes and six success factors in action. Click here for the primer.
Performance Metrics and Goals - The community college system is developing metrics and goals in order to meet the requirements of legislation and recommendations from the Student Success Task Force. Some of the metrics will be based on the Scorecard, and others will be new measures to show how well we serve students. The Scorecard Advisory Committee met earlier this month to provide feedback to the Chancellor's Office staff who are preparing the metrics and goals. Final metrics and goals are due to the Board of Governors in July.
As I've visited your colleges and senates all across our state, I've seen faculty designing essential programs for students, meeting community needs, and leading efforts to address achievement gaps. California is stronger because of its community colleges and the work you do every day. I wish all of you success as faculty leaders and as educators of our more than two million students.
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