Wednesday July 9, 2014
Fromt David Morse
Academic Senate President
Hello Senate Presidents,
I hope the summer is off to a good start for all of you and that you are able to take a well-deserved break from responding to campus issues and sitting in meetings, at least for a little while. We all need to relax and refresh from time to time. But since we all know that academic senate work never really stops, I would like to update you on a few topics.
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Welcome to the New Executive Committee
On July 1, the 2014-2015 ASCCC Executive Committee officially took office. I want to welcome our newest members: Kale Braden, Phil Crawford, Debbie Klein, Craig Rutan, and James Todd. I also want to thank the continuing members of the Executive Committee for agreeing to carry on with our work this year: Julie Bruno, John Stanskas, Wheeler North, Dolores Davison, John Freitas, Cynthia Rico, Michelle Grimes-Hillman, Dan Crump, and Julie Adams. We held our orientation meeting just over a month ago, and each member of the Executive Committee is clearly committed to working together to represent and serve the faculty. I am very excited to be a part of this team. We are going to have a great year.
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Committees Are Back
After working primarily through task forces in the 2013-14 academic year and experimenting with different committee structures prior to that, the ASCCC Executive Committee solicited feedback to evaluate those structures and will be bringing back the majority of its standing committees for 2014-15. The following standing committees, chaired by the Executive Committee members indicated below, will be active in the upcoming year:
Accreditation: John Stanskas
Budget: Wheeler North
CTE Leadership: Wheeler North
Curriculum: Michelle Grimes-Hillman
Equity and Diversity Action: James Todd
Educational Policies: John Freitas
Legislation and Advocacy: Julie Bruno
Noncredit: Debbie Klein
Professional Development: Dolores Davison
Relations with Local Senates: Kale Braden
Resolutions: John Freitas
Standards and Practices: Craig Rutan
Transfer and Articulation: Cynthia Rico
We will still use task forces for certain special projects, such as the writing of papers, and those projects will also be led by Executive Committee members: Dan Crump, for example, will chair a task force to consider our elections procedures, and Phil Crawford will be serving on and helping to lead several committees and task forces. In addition, the Executive Committee plans to propose at the Fall Plenary Session that the Distance Education Task Force be converted into a standing Online Education Committee. Overall, we hope that by returning to our committee structure we will be able to offer a more effective and comprehensive approach to serving and representing faculty.
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A great deal of work is continuing this summer on the three major systemwide initiatives: Online Education, Common Assessment, and Educational Planning. The steering committees and sub-workgroups for all three initiatives are meeting throughout the summer. The Academic Senate has strong representatives on all three steering committees, and we will keep you updated as their work moves forward. You can find more information on each of the initiatives at their respective websites:
Common Assessment http://cccassess.org
Education Planning http://cccedplan.org
Online Education http://ccconlineed.org
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Executive Committee Meetings Coming to You
In the past, the ASCCC Executive Committee has met primarily in the state’s major population centers (Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento) and last year met almost exclusively in Sacramento. This year, in order to allow for greater transparency and to connect more fully with the faculty we represent, we plan to move Executive Committee meetings around the state to a much greater degree. Our meetings generally run from approximately 10:30 to 5:30 on Friday and from 8:30 to 12:30 on Saturday. Our plan for 2014-15 is to hold the Friday meetings on a community college campus, with the Saturday meeting at a nearby hotel at which the Executive Committee is staying. We do not have all of the locations set at this time, but the first few are as follows:
August 22-23: Long Beach (Long Beach City College)
September 12-13: San Diego (San Diego Mesa)
October 10-11: Lake Tahoe (Lake Tahoe CC)
November 12: Irvine (one day, no college; plenary session)
For the spring, we are considering Modesto, Riverside, and other locations. If you are interested in hosting one of our meetings, please let me or Executive Director Julie Adams know and we will be happy to discuss the possibility.
We hope that by bringing our meetings to you, we will encourage local senate leaders to join us at the meetings to hear our discussions, to see first hand the issues we are working on, and to interact with us and bring to us their issues, thoughts, and perspectives. We will announce the publication of our agenda in advance of each meeting through the official ASCCC senate president listserv and on our website. We hope to see many of you, especially those near the Los Angeles area, at our Long Beach meeting on August 22 and 23.
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Conversations on adult education are taking place around the state in the regional consortia established by AB 86 last year. The 72 consortia correspond to our 72 community college districts, so all of our colleges should be involved and informed. The ASCCC continues to work to ensure that faculty views are represented in these conversations. All 72 consortia have submitted preliminary plans that can be viewed at http://ab86.cccco.edu. Further information on AB86 and the consortia is also available on this website.
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LAO Report on SSTF Recommendations
On July 1, the Legislative Analyst’s Office released a report on our system’s progress toward fulfilling the 22 recommendations of the 2011 Student Success Task Force. The report is quite positive overall, but it does offer some further recommendations, including a mention of the need for funding for professional development. The full report can be found here: http://lao.ca.gov/Publications/Detail/3044
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As many of you already know, recent budget news was not as good as we had hoped. The governor’s May Revision was very conservative and changed little from his original proposal. The legislature was much more generous, augmenting numerous areas of our system’s budget. In the end, the governor’s version won out almost completely, and our system did not receive the budgetary increases we were hoping for. However, although we may legitimately feel some disappointment that more changes were not made in the final budget, two points are important to remember:
1.Our lobbying efforts in the legislature were successful, as both houses included various increases in their budget proposal, several of which were suggested through the combined efforts of faculty groups. Now we need to work on getting through to the governor’s office, but at least we know that our approach was effective in the legislature.
2.The governor’s January budget was seen at the time of its release as very positive. Therefore, while we may not have received the increases we wanted in May and June, in truth we simply reverted to what was overall a good budget for us in the first place. That does not mean we should not work for more or that all of our budget issues are resolved, but the news was by no means all bad.
The governor’s budget also included the intent to bring CDCP noncredit funding to a level equal to credit funding beginning in 2015-16. The ASCCC and other groups have advocated for this change for many years, so we can count this proposal as a major victory. However, the change will certainly have curricular implications for many of our colleges and programs. We will keep you updated on developments regarding this issue as well as initiating discussions of its implications at upcoming Senate events.
Conversations have already begun rega
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Several bills of interest to community colleges continue to move through the legislature. Two Chancellor’s Office sponsored bills, AB 1451 on Concurrent Enrollment and AB 2558 on Faculty and Staff Development, continue to progress with little opposition. Of the two major accreditation bills, SB 1068 was held in the Senate Appropriations Committee, while AB 1942 continues to move forward but was amended so heavily that its significance is now questionable. SB 850, the Community College Bachelor’s Degree bill, was passed unanimously by the Senate and is now in the Assembly.
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At its June meeting, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) adopted revised eligibility requirements and accreditation standards. A significant number of revisions suggested by the ASCCC were included in the final standards. The new standards can be viewed here.
Later in June, the ACCJC voted by electronic ballot to adopt two new policies: “Policy on Representation of Accredited Status” and “Policy on Commission Actions on Institutions (Section V, Actions that Terminate Accreditation).” Our hope is that these new policies will be used to support City College of San Francisco in its work to regain full accreditation status. The new policies can be viewed here.
In addition, the California Bureau of State Audits recently released a report noting in very clear terms many of the difficulties with ACCJC. This report can be found here.
As you can see, a lot is happening in our system, even in summer. The ASCCC Executive Committee is committed to providing you with the best and most complete information we can regarding all of these topics and others. We also want to hear from you about what is happening on your campuses, both the issues you are facing and the successes you achieve. Please feel free to contact us with your thoughts, your comments, and your requests. Finally, we are hoping to be more present on your campuses by sending Executive Committee members to visit your local senates as much as our resources allow and as much as you desire our presence. If you are interested in having an Executive Committee member visit your campus, whether to offer advice, to provide information or training, or simply to engage with your senate, please contact us and we will do all we can to accommodate
We hope to see many of you at the upcoming Curriculum Institute from July 10-12 and at our Executive Committee meetings this year when we are in your areas. Until then, enjoy the remainder of your summer, continue your work on behalf of your faculty, and contact us if we can be of help to you.
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