The Disciplines List Hearings


The Discipline List Hearings are just around the corner! As many of you now know, the review of the proposed changes to the disciplines list is moving along. The disciplines list establishes the minimum qualifications for the faculty of California community colleges. The Academic Senate has the responsibility of making recommendations to the Board of Governors regarding proposed disciplines list changes. The following is provided to give everyone an update on the status of this year's review, what has happened and what will be coming up in the two hearings and Spring Session.

By the time of Fall Session, the Standards and Practices Committee had received over ten disciplines list proposals. At a very lively and well-attended breakout at session, faculty expressed their opinions on the first set of proposals. By the time of the deadline for all revision, our committee received over thirty proposals. The final list of accepted disciplines list proposals includes thirty-three-the largest number of submissions since the instituting of the process. The proposals represent eighteen different disciplines where recommendations have been made regarding the minimum qualifications of disciplines. Many of these proposals reflect the changes occurring in disciplines across the state and the offering of new programs of study in higher education. Other revisions seek changes in the level and nature of qualifications for disciplines. These particular revisions would require a change of Title 5. Twelve proposals have been submitted to argue for the establishment of new disciplines to the list. For those of you who have not yet had the opportunity to review the proposals, feel free to check them out at the Academic Senate website.

The disciplines list proposals have been sent out to local academic senate presidents, college presidents, chief instructional officers, curriculum committee chairs, personnel officers and representatives of various disciplines organizations. Already our committee has received excellent feedback on the proposals and we would like to thank the many individuals and groups who have taken the time to look over the proposals. In addition to the commentary we have already received, the Standards and Practices Committee relies on the disciplines list hearings to gather testimony on the proposed revisions. This year there were two hearings, one in the North and one in the South. The North hearing was held on Friday, January 25, 2002 in Oakland and the South hearing was held on Friday, February 15, 2002 in Los Angeles. The hearings were intended to provide an opportunity for those concerned with proposed disciplines list changes to comment on the proposals. Comments from the hearings will be summarized and available through the Senate Office. In addition to the commentary provided through direct testimony at the North and South hearings, testimony was also given through E-mail.

Following the hearings the Standards and Practices Committee will compile summaries of the testimony provided for distribution at the March area meetings. Discussion of the disciplines list proposals at the area meetings will provide the Academic Senate further indication of the level of support for the proposals. Based on reaction from the field, the Executive Committee will select those proposals that appear to have significant support for adoption. These proposals will be held for presentation at the Spring Session in April where delegates will vote on them as resolutions. Depending on the result of resolution voting, the Board of Governors will be presented with a first reading of proposed changes to the disciplines list in July 2002.

The disciplines list review is a long but interesting process, highlighting the important responsibilities given to the Academic Senate by AB 1725. As I hope I have made clear, the process also illustrates the real power of consultation and collaboration. The disciplines list review is happening, and I would like to thank the many people throughout the state who have submitted disciplines proposals and to those who have taken the time to provide commentary and suggestions.