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Academic Senate Newsletter

Wednesday September 10, 2014

President's Update

Hello senate presidents and other faculty leaders,

By now, the majority of your colleges are back in session and your faculty and students have returned to campus. A new academic year can bring a sense of optimism and enthusiasm, but it also means new challenges and responsibilities as we move forward with the work of college, district, and state governance.  The members of your ASCCC Executive Committee are also back in full swing as we work together to represent your interests and to keep you informed regarding statewide issues and developments.

David Morse
ASCCC President

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Fall 2014 Plenary Session

The ASCCC Fall 2014 Plenary Session will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Irvine from November 13-15, 2014.  Registration for the event is now open; more information is available here.  The theme of this plenary session, “Calling All Voices,” reflects both the important work being done by the Academic Senate and throughout the system regarding equity and diversity and the ASCCC’s commitment to including and honoring the many diverse and divergent voices and points of view of the faculty we represent throughout the California community colleges.  We hope that as many of you as possible will join us in Irvine for the Fall Plenary Session.

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Executive Committee Meetings

The ASCCC Executive Committee held its August meeting in Long Beach on August 22 and 23.  We would like to thank LBCC Academic Senate President Karen Kane and Superintendent/President Eloy Ortiz Oakley for hosting us at the Long Beach City College campus on August 22.  In addition to liaisons from various system partners and invited presenters, eight other individuals attended parts of the meeting as guests and observers, by far the largest attendance at a non-plenary Executive Committee Meeting in many years.  We thank all of our guests for attending and participating in the meeting with us.

We hope that attendance at our meetings by faculty leaders will continue to grow.  The next Executive Committee Meeting will be held in San Diego on September 12-13, with the first day’s portion of the meeting being held at San Diego City College and the second day at the San Diego Doubletree.  The agenda for the meeting is posted here.  We hope that local senate leaders in the San Diego area will join us to observe and take part in our discussions.

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Career Technical Education Projects

At its August meeting in Long Beach, the ASCCC Executive Committee approved a partnership with the Chancellor’s Office involving several projects for career technical education (CTE) programs and faculty.  These projects will be supported by Perkins 1B funding. 

The first project involves a CTE leadership initiative that is intended to better align efforts in support of the Chancellor’s Office Economic and Workforce Development Division restructuring under the “Doing What Matters” campaign. Currently many “Doing What Matters” participants who are responsible for linking colleges to industry have limited experience with community college curriculum processes. This proposal would develop fifteen CTE leaders from high priority industries to work with regional and system leaders in facilitating the CTE curriculum development process and instructional delivery processes. The initiative will bring together and increase communication among faculty and other CTE leaders, academic senates, and industry representatives to establish a common understanding of the demands of both CTE programs and community college curriculum processes.

The second project is the development and presentation of a CTE Curriculum Academy in response to a request by the Chancellor’s Office.  The purpose of this academy is to provide comprehensive curriculum training for sector and regional leaders, the ASCCC’s CTE Leadership Team, and CTE faculty in general. In order to facilitate more effective conversations regarding curricular processes and their limitations and possibilities, local curriculum chairs and curriculum specialists will also be invited to attend.  This event will be held in January of 2015. Watch for more information on our website

The final proposal involves continued funding for the Statewide Career Pathways Project, including the Counseling Toolkit and the development of C-ID model curricula in CTE disciplines. 

More information on all of these projects will be made available to local senates as the planning and implementation progresses.


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Statewide Technology Initiatives

Work on the statewide initiatives involving Online Education (OEI), Common Assessment (CAI), and Educational Planning (EPI) continues to move forward at a rapid pace.  On September 5, ASCCC Executive Committee Member John Freitas was elected vice-chair of the OEI Steering Committee.  With CAI Co-Chair Craig Rutan and EPI Co-Chair Cynthia Rico, a member of the Executive Committee is now either co-chair or vice-chair for each of the initiatives.  In addition, the newly elected chair of the OEI Steering Committee, Fabiola Torres of Glendale College, while not a member of the Executive Committee, is also a faculty member and is serving on the ASCCC’s Distance Education Task Force.  Having faculty leaders in these crucial positions will help to ensure that the voice of faculty is heard and respected as these initiatives move forward.

Another major development within the OEI that will ultimately impact all three initiatives is the selection of the members of the workgroup that will recommend a common course management system (CCMS) for the project.  Executive Committee Member Kale Braden will lead a large number of faculty appointees in this workgroup, which includes representatives both from colleges selected for the OEI pilot project and from faculty throughout the state. The expectation is that a CCMS will be selected before the end of 2014.

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Equity Funding

The Chancellor’s Office has released the allocations for each college from the $70 million in student equity funding provided in the state budget, along with several explanatory and supporting documents:

  • The 2014-15 Student Equity allocations to community college districts
  • An explanation of the factors used to calculate the allocations
  • Student Equity Program Funding Guidelines
  • Student Equity Provisions of the Budget Trailer Bill (SB 860)
  • A formatted version of the allocation release memo previously sent to colleges

These documents, including the specific allocation amounts for each college, can all be downloaded at from the Chancellor’s Office here.  The formula for these allocations was developed in consultation with representatives from various constituent groups, including the Academic Senate.  Thank you to ASCCC Equity and Diversity Action Committee Chair James Todd and to Executive Director Julie Adams for accompanying me at the meeting where the formula was discussed.  The results seem fair and should benefit all of our colleges.

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Adult Education and AB 86

Discussions between K-12 representatives and community colleges regarding adult education in response to AB 86 are continuing around the state. In some areas these discussions seem to be collegial and successful, while in others faculty are not being included sufficiently or at all in the conversations.  This uneven faculty participation at the local level is in part due to the fact that faculty have not been allowed involvement in overall coordination and planning efforts regarding AB 86 at the state level.  The ASCCC is currently in discussions with the Chancellor’s Office to remedy this situation by including the Academic Senate in state level discussions in order to better monitor and assist with local coordination of AB 86 planning efforts that should include significant faculty voice.  ASCCC Noncredit Committee Chair Debbie Klein and her committee members are also tracking this situation and will be working to assist local senates in this area.  Further information on AB 86 planning is available on the Chancellor’s Office by clicking here.

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PCAH Revision

For the past year, in regional meetings and at the 2014 Curriculum Institute, faculty have raised questions regarding information included in the fifth edition of the Program and Course Approval Handbook (PCAH).  Many of these questions have come to the System Advisory Committee on Curriculum (SACC) in an effort to address the issues. SACC responded by recommending a comprehensive revision of the PCAH. As a result, ASCCC Curriculum Committee Chair and System Advisory Committee on Curriculum Co-Chair Michelle Grimes-Hillman, Vice-President Julie Bruno, and I met with new Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs Pam Walker and other representatives from the Chancellor’s Office and the Chief Instructional Officers Board and reached agreement on a process for this revision, which is intended to improve the clarity, readability, and accessibility of the PCAH as well as to address outstanding issues with the information and interpretations it provides. More information on this revision will be provided as the project moves forward.

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ASCCC Strategic Planning

On September 6 the ASCCC Executive Committee held a special meeting in Sacramento to initiate a process of strategic planning for the organization.  The meeting was very productive, and a second session is scheduled for October 11-12 after the regular Executive Committee meeting in Lake Tahoe.  From these meetings, the Executive Committee expects to have a set of draft goals and measurable objectives to present for feedback at the Fall Plenary Session in November.  In addition, an article will be included in the second Senate Rostrum of the year, scheduled for publication in early November, to outline the process that the Executive Committee is following and our expectations for the planning process.

Remember that all faculty are invited to contact any member of the Executive Committee at any time regarding issues and questions that arise or successes that take place on your campuses.  You can also contact us if you are interested in having members of the Executive Committee attend one of your local senate or curriculum committee meetings to observe, interact with, and provide input to your faculty. We also hope that many of you will join us for the Executive Committee Meetings in San Diego on September 12-13 and in Lake Tahoe on October 10-11 and that many more will join us at the Fall Plenary Session in Irvine.  Until then, best wishes from all of us as you continue your work of leading your local senates and representing all of your faculty.

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