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President's Update - January 2016

Hello senate presidents and other interested readers,

The new year has arrived, and we hope that everyone had a great holiday season.  While faculty at some colleges have only recently returned to classes or have not returned to classes yet, academic senate leaders around the state are always working on behalf of our faculty, our institutions, and our students.  The ASCCC offers the following updates to help keep local senate leaders informed as they represent faculty on their colleges.

2016 - 17 Governor's Budget

On January 7, 2016, Governor Brown released his initial 2016-17 state budget proposal.  While this proposed budget did not contain everything we might have wished for, it is once again a very strong budget for the system. Some of the highlights include the following budget augmentations:

• $29.3 million for COLA (.47% increase)
• $114.7 million for access and enrollment growth (2% increase)
• $248 million for workforce and career pathways
• $1.8 million for apprenticeship programs
• $30 million for basic skills programs
• No augmentation for SSSP or Equity, Cal Grant B financial aid, or additional faculty hiring.

Note that this proposal is only the first step in a long budget process that will continue until June. The ASCCC will continue to work with the Chancellor’s Office, FACCC, and other faculty organizations to directly lobby the legislature to advocate for additional funding in various areas.

2016 Spring Plenary Session

The 2016 ASCCC Spring Plenary Session will be held at the Sacramento Convention Center and the Sacramento Sheraton Grand from April 21 to 23, 2016. This plenary will be a combined event with the statewide organizations for the chief instructional officers and the chief student services officers and with the California Community Colleges Association of Occupational Education (CCCAOE).  We are excited by this partnership and look forward to interacting with our colleagues from these organizations throughout the plenary. With up to 1,500 people expected to attend this event, the hotels in downtown Sacramento are going to fill up quickly, so we urge you to register and make travel arrangements soon.  More information is available here

AB 798 and Open Educational Resources

AB 798 (Bonilla, 2015) created a grant-based program for local promotion of open educational resources in order to lower student textbook costs.  This program requires the passage of a formal resolution by the local academic senate endorsing the college’s application in order for a college to apply for the grant. At some colleges, academic senates are being pushed to pass such resolutions even before a plan for implementation of the grant has been developed.

The ASCCC urges local senates not to pass any resolution endorsing any plan that the senate has not seen and reviewed.  If an academic senate passes a resolution endorsing a plan for the grant before the plan is developed, the senate will be waiving its ability to approve the details of the plan as intended under the legislation.  The ASCCC is in the process of developing guidelines for the creation and structure of the AB 798 grant programs.  We will have this information to you as soon as possible.  Until we can develop and circulate this guidance, and until your college has a specific plan for you to review and approve, we urge you not to pass any resolution endorsing your college’s participation in the grant program.  We are in no way saying that your senate should not ultimately endorse your college’s application for the grant or that colleges should not apply for this funding; we are simply urging you to wait until you know what you are endorsing and can be certain that the plan is one with which your senate is satisfied.

2016 Academic Academy

The 2016 ASCCC Academic Academy, which will be held at the Sacramento Sheraton Grand on March 18 and 19, 2016, is an event that faculty of all backgrounds and interests should not miss.  This conference is being planned jointly by the ASCCC’s Equity and Diversity Action Committee and Transfer, Articulation, and Student Services Committee and will focus on promoting equity and diversity throughout our institutions.  Last year’s Academic Academy was a terrific event that earned praise in various venues, including a Board of Governors Meeting, and this year’s event promises to be even better.  Expected topics of presentations may include basic skills, educational planning, noncredit, student orientation, hiring and diversity, cultural competency, student voices, and much more.  Local senate leaders should plan to join us and to bring teams from their colleges.  More information is available here.  

Bachelor’s Degree Parameters Document

At the 2015 ASCCC Fall Plenary Session, the delegates approved a number of resolutions establishing parameters for the Community College Baccalaureate Degree Pilot established by SB 850 (Block, 2014).  The ASCCC and the Chancellor’s Office have developed a guidance document for the pilot colleges based on the ASCCC’s positions created through its resolutions.  The Board of Governors will review this document at their January 19, 2016, meeting.

Accreditation Update

As most of you know, in November the Board of Governors accepted the report of the 2015 Chancellor’s Office Task Force on Accreditation and passed a resolution calling for a new model of accreditation for the California Community College System.  The 2015 Task Force has been reconstituted and augmented to form an implementation task force that will recommend a specific course of action and timeline to the chancellor, who will then present a plan of action to the Board of Governors in March 2016.  Task Force members met in closed session with the system’s current accreditor, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, on January 6 and also have a meeting scheduled with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The recommendations of the implementation task force are expected to be made public at the February 18 meeting of the Chancellor’s Consultation Council and will therefore undoubtedly be a topic of discussion at the ASCCC’s Accreditation Institute on February 19 and 20.

Curriculum Technical Assistance

In cooperation with the CCC Chief Instructional Officers, the ASCCC has created a new program to provide technical assistance to local curriculum committees that are in need of guidance.  Upon request, a representative from the ASCCC and one from the CCCCIO will visit a campus and meet with the curriculum committee to provide information and help work to resolve curriculum issues.  We look forward to this new partnership with the CIOs.  More information on this program is available here

Executive Committee Meeting

The ASCCC Executive Committee will hold its next meeting on February 5, 2016 at Folsom Lake College and on February 6 at the Lake Natoma Inn in Folsom.  All local faculty leaders and others are welcome to join us to hear our deliberations and engage with us.  More information on Executive Committee Meetings can be found here

Future ASCCC Events

Executive Committee Meeting, March 4 - 5, Mt. San Antonio College
Academic Academy:  March 17-19, Sheraton Sacramento
ASCCC Area Meetings:  April 1 and 2, various locations
Online Regional Meeting--North:  April 8, College of San Mateo
Online Regional Meeting--South: April 9, TBD
2016 Spring Plenary Session:  April 21-23, Sacramento Convention Center
Noncredit Regional Meeting--North/South (TBD)
Faculty Leadership Institute: June 9-11, Riverside Mission Inn
Curriculum Institute:  July 7-9, Anaheim Doubletree

Whenever we can offer assistance or guidance to you on any senate-related topic, please contact us.  We are also available to visit local colleges to connect directly with your senates or other faculty bodies when appropriate.  We hope that all of your spring terms are off to a great start and that you have an excellent year in 2016. We look forward to seeing all of you at our meetings and events throughout the spring.

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