Cosumnes River College Academic Senate Regular Meeting

Cosumnes River College
Academic Senate
Regular Meeting
April 25, 2008
Orchard Room
Senators Present: Kale Braden, Marjorie Duffy, Lily Kun, Dana Wassmer, Gregory Beyrer, Darlene
Mathias, Ralph Hendrix, BJ Snowden, Colette Harris, Maha Myren, Sue Palm, Hiram Jackson, Constance
Carter, Lon Davenport, Michelle Barkley, Jamey Nye, Georgine Hodgkinson, Gary Martin
Guest: Michael Lawlor
Academic Senate Election for 2008-09: Gary Martin, Sue Palm and Georgine Hodgkinson met to review
academic senate ballots received by the deadline. 67 ballots were received either by e-mail or on hard
copy. For President: Jamey Nye received 66 votes, there were no write-in names, and zero votes for
None of the Above. For Vice-President: Marjorie Duffy received 65 votes, there were no write-in names,
and zero votes for None of the Above. Gary Martin continues in the second year of a two year secretary’s
appointment, and Georgine Hodgkinson will continue as Past President.
Ruth Oxman sits on the district’s Academic Calendar Committee and is soliciting information about
concerns and impacts when developing the 2010-11 school calendar. Messages about this topic should be
sent to Ruth by May 12.
Additions to and Approval of the Agenda: Agenda approved with the addition of a discussion of the
VPI hiring process.
Approval of the minutes of April 11, 2008: Approved with no changes.
Statewide Academic Senate Plenary: Based on a session at the Spring plenary session of the Statewide
Academic Senate, Jamey Nye will be meeting with VPSS Celia Esposito-Noy to continue discussions on
the Basic Skills budget. Session on Eminence in hiring. This is a process of hiring adjunct faculty who
do not meet minimum qualifications but have such vast professional experience or other world experience
to qualify them to teach community college without a master’s degree or other qualifying degrees and
criteria. While an applicant may have the ability to teach a single course, they may not have the
qualifications for eminence in an entire discipline. This is particularly problematic because in a multiple
college district like Los Rios, when faculty in one college sign off on an applicant as being eminent in a
field, then that applicant is approved for all courses in the discipline at ALL colleges and could be hired at
any college in the district without further faculty review on the question of minimum qualifications.
Jamey Nye will bring this discussion to the District Academic Senate.
Desire2Learn: Greg Beyrer reports the contract with Desire2Learn has been signed, and the software has
been loaded on the server. The district’s technology coordinators have been trained. The district has also
hired an IT specialist to deal with Desire2Learn which should be a big help. For example, the district
employees 11 people to manage the PeopleSoft system, but didn’t employee any to manage the previous
Black Board on-line course management software system. One of the challenges that will come over the
next year is how many resources should be devoted to Black Board, since it will only be active for one
more year.
Program Planning Council: Sue Palm reports that most CRC proposals have been approved to proceed.
Several had questions from other campuses and deans have been notified to gather more information from
faculty. Those programs include: Agritourism Certificate, Athletic Trainer Certificate, Deaf Studies
Degree, Environmental Studies Degree (Geog.), Green Building Design/Construction Certificate,
Personal Trainer Certificate, Pre-Veterinary Transfer Degree, Sign Language/Educational Interpreter
Training, Surgical Technician Degree, Video Game Design Certificate.
Accreditation: No report.
Basic Skills: Jamey Nye reports that elements of the budget may include release time, and until the
budget has final approval, faculty should ‘plan’ to have the release, but there are steps that must be put in
place to make this process work and until that process is complete there can be no guarantees. A question
from counseling was raised about the funding for counseling from the basic skills fund. There was no
answer in the room, but Jamey Nye reported the basic skills budget and action plan will be sent to Teresa
Aldredge. There was no specific recollection of how much money is going to counseling in the Fall
Academic Integrity Policy Draft Revision (Lawlor): The senate’s Academic Integrity Committee
recommends a change to the already existing policy, that is currently posted in the student handbook and
college catalog among other locations. The Definition of Cheating would add the following listing: 4.
Fabricating, falsifying or misrepresenting data or results for experiments, interviews or surveys.
Action: The senate voted to suspend its rules. The proposed addition to the Academic Integrity Policy
was approved. The Senate president will forward the new language to the college president for placement
in catalog and on the web.
Outcome Assessment Forms: The task force has been working on forms to ease the process of reporting
out on how Student Learning Outcomes at the class and program level are being met. In the process of
implementing SLO’s, the first step is writing the criteria. The next step is evaluating how well instruction
and scheduling are meeting those outcome criteria. In the Fall, a meeting of departments will be held to
explain more about how to make this process a bit easier using the proposed draft forms. The Task Force
is hopeful that the forms will be easy to fill out, and that they will help with both accreditation and in the
program review and outside accreditation processes. The forms are not finalized, and additional edits are
being solicited. Jamey Nye thanked the committee for its work and agreed that the forms should be
helpful. Issues resulting from implementing the forms will be discussed in Fall, and then a review of the
progress will be done by the committee again in Spring, 2009. Some time at convocation during Fall will
be given for training on this issue. This process is intended to be fully integrated into existing Program
Review/PROF processes over time..
CRC Foundation Annual Proposed Faculty Fundraiser: Jamey would like to do an October
Jogathon/walkathon for the foundation which directly supports student success, disabled student
awareness week, textbook scholarships etc. Jamey also hopes some of the money might be able to go to
Travis Parker’s Alpha Academy. One person from every division may be solicited at convocation to
gather pledges for miles walked/jogged during October. The community, culture and faculty health may
all be benefitted. Pledges would be gathered in September.
Department Chairs Workload Issues (Snowden): The Council of Chairs has been working for the last
year on the issue of workload creep---an increase number of regular tasks beyond what the contract lists.
The amount of work that department chairs do is clearly increasing and many feel it is beginning to
adversely affect academic instructional quality because of the uncompensated time demands. The LRCFT
is negotiating on this issue right now on behalf of faculty. Similar discussions have surfaced from other
colleges and have been discussed at the District Academic Senate. A Handout was provided by BJ
Snowden with comments (complaints) about this issue. [Attached at the end of these meetings notes.]
Some discussion proceeded about how duties of the department chairs are different from one division to
another. There is also a process issue of how the union contract defines the role of the department chair
and the requirement for the chair’s duties to be negotiated with the dean at the start of the semester. Few
believe these required duty meetings are taking place.
VPI Hiring Process: A broad discussion was held about the recent VPI hiring process. The general
consensus was that the process was empowering for faculty and that open and honest discussion of the
candidates resulted, with appropriate information being forwarded to the college president. There were
specific process concerns about the broad freedom questioners were given. It was felt by some that
several of the questions addressed to internal candidates were questionable in tone and intent. Some
discussed whether some aspects of this process might in fact be counter productive and discouraging to
other internal candidates who might consider advancement within CRC or the Los Rios system.
Adding Classified Staff to Faculty Hiring Committees: Nye noted that language that was originally
requested has been cancelled. Upon further discussion, it was felt existing language about the
participation of Classified Staff during faculty hiring is appropriate when implemented properly. No
further work in this area is anticipated at this time.
Faculty Prioritization Process Revision: Item Postponed until next meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 2:04 pm.
Next Meeting: May 9, 2008 12:30 pm - 2:00 p.m. Orchard Room [Shared Governance Committee Final
Annual reports due.]
Appendix: Council of Chairs Report (Attached)
Council of Chairs Report
CRC Academic Senate 4/25/08
This is a short list of concerns voiced by department chairs when asked electronically about their job
“I agree that I have seen workload creep. One example is an email I received from my dean asking me to
check on areas that need painting in our department. I'm sure this isn't a department chair role. Also I
didn't appreciate receiving such a request. The reverse is happening also. He doesn't let us know about
relevant department issues in a timely manner (eg. the unit plan due dates). I would welcome discussion
about this issue.”
“I think that our level of work is ok, since we do not teach lots of classes and currently don't have an
army of adjuncts.”
“In _______, and perhaps in many departments, the position of chair has become incredibly burdensome.
To me the position seemed like being a “mini dean” while still trying to be a dedicated teacher! Rather
than basically being a liaison between my department colleagues and my dean, I had many administrative
duties that were far beyond the scope of my experience and knowledge, and certainly beyond any
reasonable amount of available time.”
“In _______ we are fortunate to have some release time. But it does not even begin to compensate for
the amount of required time. In my opinion, workload creep in general is a significant problem. For
department chairs, I think it is completely out of control. “
There is a very real concern among the CRC department chairs about workload creep in addition to a
desire to examine realistic responsibilities of the department chair in the era of the condensed calendar.
The COC will continue to meet and discuss this issue in an effort to make sure all chair voices are heard.
As a body we appreciate the senate’s interest in this matter and look forward to more collaborative
dialogue in the future.
Submitted by
BJ Snowden
Past CRC Council of Chairs - Chair