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Academic Senate Newsletter

Friday April 26, 2013

President's Message

Dear Local Senate Presidents –

Greetings! It was great to see many of you at our northern California home, the SFO Westin, this past week. As always, it was a busy session. In addition to the usual voting on resolutions, you elected your 2013-2014 Executive Committee:

President:  Beth Smith, Grossmont College
Vice-President:  David Morse, Long Beach City College
Secretary:  Julie Bruno, Sierra College
Treasurer:  Wheeler North, San Diego Miramar College
Area A Representative:  Kim Harrell, Folsom Lake College
Area B Representative:  Dolores Davison, Foothill College
Area C Representative:  Lesley Kawaguchi, Santa Monica College
Area D Representative:  Cynthia Rico, Sand Diego Mesa College
North Representative: Dianna Chiabotti, Napa Valley College
North Representative: Phil Smith, American River College
South Representative: John Stanskas, San Bernardino Valley College
South Representative: John Freitas, Los Angeles City College
At-Large Representative: Michelle Grimes-Hillman, Mt. San Antonio College
At-Large Representative: Dan Crump, American River College

I want to use this post-plenary message to comment on a number of things that came up in various venues during our time together. You’re stuck with me for just two more months, so please indulge me.

Michelle Pilati, Ph.D.

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Mea Culpa

If, before a break on the Saturday voting on resolutions and elections the president indicates a time certain for the resumption of discussion and voting, the designated time will always be held to. Thank you to those who reminded me of this as we gathered before the indicated time after our lunch break. We don’t need any resolutions to resolve this issue for the future.

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Resolutions Processes

Like me, you probably do not have a clear recollection of what resolutions on our resolutions processes passed and which failed. Regardless, a conversation about our processes is in order. I noted a curious trend – the approach-the-parliamentary-microphone-and-duck move. This move is used when someone wants to end debate, but the motion maker does not want to cut off his or her “side” from speaking. That’s really not cool and is something I believe should be addressed. Maybe I am just being suspicious, but when people seem to be timing their approach to the mic the way one times entering jump ropes when playing double-dutch, something is up.

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Resolutions Status

We’re green, or at least we are trying to be. As a consequence, we are printing less and less. Every actionable resolution is assigned to a committee or person. As someone noted, our standing committees begin the year by reviewing the resolutions they have been assigned. If there is ever a resolution you have a question about, please send a message to us at info@asccc.org. We are always happy to provide a status update. As you can imagine, tracking all the resolutions is quite a task, but we do have a mechanism for doing so. You can view the status of past resolutions in two places on the ASCCC Web Page:  on the bottom of the resolution itself under the resolutions tab or under assigned committee, which is listed at the top of the resolution.  The Executive Committee works on the resolutions all year but only updates the status at its June meeting when it prioritizes the work for the upcoming year.  Thus, you would see the status of the 2011 – 12 year posted but not the 2012-13 until the end of June.  Many resolutions serve primarily to guide us, so in some cases resolutions really have no “actionable” component.

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C-ID and AA-T/AS-T Degrees

First of all, I am not personally aware of anyone who wants to see AA-T and AS-T degrees be the only transfer pathway; I heard it said that that was someone’s intent, so I just wanted to set the record straight.

It seems that we’ve had some games of telephone happening across the state leading to some confused interpretations of the various memos that have gone out pertaining to C-ID and Associate Degrees for Transfer. We’re hoping to work with the Chancellor’s Office to get a clarifying memo out.

The Board of Governors established a 100% goal – expecting that you would create an AA-T or AS-T degree in every major in which a college currently has an Associate Degree.  This does not mean you must automatically get rid of your existing degree and it does not mean you are mandated to develop an AA-T or AS-T degree in every discipline in which you have a degree.  What it does do is to set the expectation that you would provide your students the best opportunity of a guaranteed degree by beginning with your established Associate Degrees and building AA-T or AS-T degrees.

If there are reasons why you can’t (or shouldn’t) develop a given degree, you can fulfill the expected obligation by developing a TMC-aligned degree in a discipline in which you do not currently have a degree.  In other words, if there is a reason why you don’t want to create an AA-T in psychology and you’ve never had a degree in geography, you can create an AS-T in geography that effectively fills your obligation…thereby meeting your expected number and your goal.  I can’t help but refer to pollution credits when I explain this – it is a little confusing, but it is a useful concept to understand.

In addition, there is a requirement to submit your course outlines of record to C-ID when you create a TMC-aligned degree.  C-ID serves to not only define the required courses in the TMC, but addresses the legislated call for common course numbering.

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ASCCC Budget

Like any state-funded entity, we experience a time in the year in which our resources are a little tight as we await the next year’s dollars. As a consequence, relying on reserves for a short period of time is a standard operating procedure, not a cause for alarm. We are also not beholden to a wide array of funders. Currently, we have three grants from the Chancellor’s Office, in addition to our operational grant. We will have the C-ID grant again next year and are not certain as to whether or not we will continue to receive funding for Statewide Career Pathways and the CTE leadership funding we have historically received. We will continue to advocate for the receipt of these dollars, but must plan to no longer have these resources.  However, I would like to thank Julie Adams and our ASCCC staff for managing our budget so well that we have substantial reserves to help us through this difficult time.  I also want to assure everyone that for the present our budgetary needs are being covered and, again, that the grants we receive do not and will not allow any outside entity to control our processes or decisions.

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We spend a lot of time tracking legislation and benefit from having other groups call on us when bills relate to academic and professional matters. Currently, we are in close communication with the CSU and UC senates regarding SB 520 and expect that we will continue to be united in our position on it. Despite changes made this last week, we must still oppose the bill. I should be providing you a full update within the next two weeks.

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