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President's Update - May 2016

Hello senate presidents and other interested readers,

The 2016 Spring Plenary Session has come and gone, and the 2015-16 academic year is winding to a close at our colleges, but the work of the Academic Senate on behalf of students and faculty continues.  Accreditation, budget, legislation, and others state-level matters require our ongoing attention.  The following updates are intended to help keep faculty throughout the state informed regarding recent developments.

This update is the last I will write as ASCCC President, given that my term ends on May 31.  I want to thank all of you for your support and assistance over the past two years.  I have very much enjoyed serving you, and I know that the Academic Senate could not be in more capable hands than those of the incoming leadership.  Thank you all and have a great summer.

David Morse

2016 Spring Plenary Session Summary

The 2016 ASCCC Spring Plenary Session was a huge success. The event was a combined conference 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).  Despite some difficulties with the venue and other logistics, we have received consistently positive feedback not only from our own attendees but also from members of the other organizations that took part, the Chancellor’s Office, the Board of Governors, and our various other guests including representatives from the Community College League of California, the Department of Finance, Governor Brown’s Office, the Legislative Analyst’s Office, and others.  Our thanks to all who attended and helped to make this plenary session such a positive experience.

AASCCC Executive Committee Elections

On Saturday April 23 at the Spring Plenary Session, the ASCCC held its annual elections.  The following individuals were elected to serve terms beginning on June 1:
President:  Julie Bruno, Sierra College
Vice-president:  John Stanskas, San Bernardino Valley College
Secretary:  Dolores Davison, Foothill College
Treasurer:  John Freitas, Los Angeles City College
Area B Representative:  Cleavon Smith, Berkeley City College
Area C Representative:  Adrienne Foster, West Los Angeles College
North Representative:  Cheryl Aschenbach, Lassen College
South Representative (two-year term):  Randy Beach, Southwestern College
South Representative (one year term):  Sam Foster, Fullerton College
At-Large Representative (two-year term):  Lorraine Slattery-Farrell, Mt. San Jacinto College
At-Large Representative (one-year term):  Conan McKay, Mendocino College

In addition, Area A Representative Grant Goold from American River College, Area D Representative Craig Rutan from Santiago Canyon College, and North Representative Ginny May from Sacramento City College will continue in the second years of their terms.  Congratulations to all members of the new ASCCC Executive Committee.

Election Confusion

As those who were in attendance know, some confusion took place regarding the election for Area B Representative, as one candidate publicly withdrew his name and then reconsidered and chose to remain on the ballot.  The situation presented a unique challenge that we have not encountered before, and thus our bylaws and policies did not offer specific guidance for addressing it.  We therefore followed all ASCCC procedures as closely as possible given the unusual circumstances.  However, while we believe that the integrity of the election process was maintained, the manner in which the situation was communicated to attendees and candidates was not conducted with the consideration that it should have been.  As a result, several attendees have expressed their feelings that one candidate was not treated with proper respect.  As president, I take full responsibility for this error.  In the confusion of our election process and our resolution voting, I failed to ensure that the situation was communicated clearly to all involved.  No disrespect was intended toward anyone, but the confusion was nonetheless due to an error that I could have avoided had I taken more care and consideration in communicating.  I have already apologized to the candidate in question, and I also offer my apology to any plenary delegate or attendee who was offended by the situation. The ASCCC Standards and Practices Committee will review the election process and propose any necessary revisions or clarifications to ensure that such confusion does not occur in the future.

Chancellor Search

The search for a new chancellor for the California Community Colleges continues.  The Board of Governors has interviewed final candidates but has not yet announced a decision. The plan to have a new chancellor in office by the beginning of the fall term remains in place.  In the meantime, Deputy Chancellor Erik Skinner has been named acting chancellor and is, as expected, managing the position with exceptional talent and wisdom.

Accreditation Update

The chief executive officers of the California community colleges have formed two workgroups to address issues regarding accreditation.  One group is focused on developing a long-term plan for aligning our accreditation process with that of four-year institutions.  The other, which includes the ASCCC President and Vice-president, is working to resolve immediate issues with ACCJC and improve our current accreditation situation.  This second group is developing an extensive set of recommendations that will be presented to ACCJC at its June meeting.  ACCJC is aware of and is cooperating with this workgroup.  The results of the June meeting will be made public as soon as possible.


 On May 12 the governor published his proposed revision of the 2016-17 state budget.  Some highlights include the following:

• A $75 million increase in base funding for community colleges,
• A 0% COLA,
• Enrollment growth funding of 2%,
• A $70.1 million decease to deferred maintenance and instructional equipment,
• A $300,000 increase in funding for the ASCCC,
• A $20 million increase for the Online Education Initiative, and
• The $200 million for the Strong Workforce Program remains, but 60% of this funding would now go directly to districts rather than to regions.

Both houses of the legislature are now in the process of responding to the governor’s budget.  Their joint counter-proposal to the governor should be published around June 1.  The ASCCC will announce information on the final budget once it is approved.


In response to resolutions passed at the Spring Plenary Session or to previous resolutions, the ASCCC has sent letters to the legislature regarding the following bills:

AB 2017 (McCarty) Mental Health Services: Support
AB 1721 (Medina) Cal Grant Increase:  Support
AB 1892 (Medina) Cal Grant Increase:  Support
AB 2009 (Lopez) Dream Resource Liaison: Support
AB 1837 (Low) Replacement for CPEC:  Support If Amended
AB 2412 (Chang) Performance Based-Funding for CTE:  Oppose
AB 1985 (Williams) Advanced Placement Credit:  Oppose
AB 2434 (Bonta) Blue Ribbon Commission: Oppose Unless Amended

In addition, the ASCCC sent a letter to legislature urging that the finding for the Strong Workforce Program be allocated directly to districts rather than to regional collaboratives.

All of these letters are posted on the ASCCC’s Legislative Update Page here.

Future ASCCC Events

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. 

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