Forward icon

President's Update - January 2016

Hello senate presidents and other interested readers,

The 2015-16 academic year continues to roll forward, and all of us remain very busy with our work as faculty leaders, whether at the state or local level.  System initiatives, legislation, accreditation issues, and other matters continue to demand our attention at the same time that we all work to fulfill our primary purpose of educating students.  In order to keep local academic leaders up to date and informed regarding developments at the state level, the ASCCC offers the following updates.

David Morse

2016 Spring Plenary Session

As was noted in the January President’s Update, the 2016 ASCCC Spring Plenary Session 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).  This exciting event will be held at the Sacramento Convention Center and the Sacramento Sheraton Grand from April 21 to 23. As many as 1,500 attendees are expected:  faculty and administrators from all of our institutions and from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives, representatives from the Chancellor’s Office, the Legislative Analyst’s Office, the Department of Finance, and the Legislature, and others.  Many of the hotels are already full, so if you have not yet made arrangements to attend we urge you to do so soon.  More information is available here.
A silent auction will also be held during the Spring Plenary on Thursday, April 21st from 8:00am to 5:00pm.  It will take place on the third floor of the Sacramento Convention Center, across from registration.  You can check out the items up for auction here.

ASCCC Foundation 2016 Spring Fling Fundraiser

The Academic Senate Foundation will hold its third annual Spring Fling fundraiser on Thursday, April 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the MIX Downtown, on the corner of 16th and L Streets in Sacramento within walking distance of the Convention Center. The event will include food, drinks, and dancing. All colleagues, whether faculty, administration, or classified staff, are welcome. We encourage faculty leaders to bring their CIO, CSSO, and CCCAOE colleagues as well as any other representatives of our colleges and any others that are interested in attending. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.  Tickets must be purchased in advance.  Deadline to purchase is on Tuesday, April 12th.

Thank You to Cynthia Rico

Cynthia Rico, a member of the ASCCC Executive Committee since 2013, recently resigned her position with the Academic Senate to take the post to Vice-President of Student Services for the San Diego CCD School of Continuing Education. As the only counseling voice on the Executive Committee, Cynthia offered an invaluable perspective to ASCCC discussions. She has also been an outstanding advocate for faculty on numerous important statewide initiatives, including the Student Success Task Force in 2011 and the current Educational Planning Initiative.  The Academic Senate Executive Committee thanks Cynthia for all of her service, and although we will greatly miss her contributions to our work we know that she will do an outstanding job in her new position.

ASCCC Executive Committee Elections and Committee Service

As always, the spring plenary session will feature elections for ASCCC Executive Committee positions.  In addition to the officer positions—president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer—elections will be held for the positions of Area B Representative, Area C Representative, North Representative, South Representative, and At-Large Representative.  The ASCCC Executive Committee values and needs a wide variety of voices, and some areas of our faculty diversity traditionally have been underrepresented on the committee—not just in terms of ethnic diversity, but also in terms of representing CTE faculty, counseling and student services, and others.  With at least three positions in the Executive Committee expected to be open, now is the time for faculty leaders of all perspectives to step forward and become involved.  All interested parties should feel free to contact any member of current executive committee for more information.

Soon after Spring Plenary, the ASCCC will begin the process of forming its committees for 2016-17.  As always, we will need many faculty volunteers to help us complete the many aspects of the work we do. Faculty who are interested in being considered for an Academic Senate committee next year should fill out the Application for Statewide Service Form here.

Chancellor Search

The search for a new chancellor for the California Community Colleges is well underway.  The Search Screening Committee, which includes representatives from the ASCCC, has interviewed applications for consideration by the Board of Governors.  A detailed article on the search process coauthored by Board of Governor’s President Geoffrey L. Baum is now available in the March Rostrum.

Open Educational Resources, Z Degrees, and AB 798

 Open educational resources have been a topic of considerable discussion throughout the 2015-16 academic year.  The 2015 legislation AB 798 (Bonilla), which created a grant-based program for local promotion of open educational resources in order to lower student textbook costs, will evaluate applications for the grants this summer, with a deadline for submissions of June 30.  The legislation that created this program requires formal approval of the grant proposal by the local academic senate.  The ASCCC urges all academic senates to review their local OER plans carefully and to ensure proper faculty consultation and agreement on any proposal that is submitted for a grant.  More information on the grant process is available here.

In addition to AB 798, the governor’s January budget proposal included $5 million for the development of OER and Zero Textbook Cost or Z-Degrees.  The ASCCC has been actively involved in discussions of this bill language.  In addition, the ASCCC has formed a task force in conjunction with the Community College League of California and the Student Senate for California Community Colleges to explore the possibilities for Z-Degree development and other useful directions that our system might take regarding the development of open educational resources in ways that are more appropriate for our system than previous legislative attempts have allowed.  The Academic Senate will keep you informed of the progress of these discussions as they progress.

Accreditation Update

On March 21, the Board of Governors took the historic step of unanimously endorsing a plan to reform and reshape the accreditation structure of the California Community Colleges.  This plan was developed by a task force representing the voices of multiple constituent groups and, just a week before the Board of Governors Meeting, was endorsed by 85% of the attendees at a meeting of college presidents and district chancellors from around the state.  The plan calls for both immediate efforts to significantly reform the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges and a long-range plan to align our accreditation structure with that of four-year institutions.  This change has been more than ten years in the making, but at last progress is taking place. Further information on the efforts to reform our accreditation structure will be forthcoming when it is available.  In the meantime, accreditation processes on-going at colleges should continue to meet the standards set forth by the current accreditor.

Budget Trailer Bill

The current language of the 2016 Budget Trailer Bill contains both great promise and a few areas of concern.  The ASCCC leadership has been contacted for input by numerous interested parties, including the CCC Chancellor’s Office, the Governor’s Office, the Department of Finance, the Legislative Analyst’s Office, the Senate Education Committee, the Assembly Republican Office of Policy and Budget, and others.  Many of these conversations have revolved around the implementation of the Strong Workforce Program in response to the recommendations of the Task Force on Workforce, Job Creation, and a Strong Economy, but the ASCCC has also provided significant input on the zero-textbook degree proposal, funding for basic skills, and the innovation awards.  Many further discussions will take place before the May revision of the budget, but the fact that so many state-level bodies are contacting the Academic Senate for input demonstrates the growing respect for and interest in the faculty voice among the decision-makers in Sacramento.

50% Law and FON

On March 17, a preliminary proposal regarding revisions to the 50% Law and the Faculty Obligation Number was presented to the Chancellor’s Consultation Council.  This proposal was developed by and unanimously supported by a small workgroup made up of representatives from the Chief Executive Officers, the Academic Senate, and all three statewide faculty unions.  Various details of the proposal are yet to be discussed, and any possible changes will go through the full consultation process.  All of the groups involved understand that no changes will be possible without full consensus of all constituencies.  More detail on the specific of the proposal will be discussed at the spring plenary session.

Future ASCCC Events


ASCCC Area Meetings:  April 1 and 2, various locations
Spring Online Education Regional Meeting (North):  April 8, San Mateo
Spring Online Education Regional Meeting (South):  April 9, Glendale

Noncredit Regional Meeting (North): April 15, TBD
Noncredit Regional Meeting (South):  April 16, Mt. San Antonio College
2016 Spring Plenary Session:  April 21-23, Sacramento Convention Center
CTE Faculty Leadership Institute:  May 5-7, Anaheim
Faculty Leadership Institute: June 9-11, Riverside Mission Inn
Curriculum Institute:  July 7-9, Anaheim Doubletree

The ASCCC is always happy to provide assistance or guidance on any senate-related topic.  We also make visits to local colleges to connect directly with academic senates or other faculty bodies when appropriate.  Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in these services. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Spring Plenary Session.

Facebook Like Button