Our district CEO and governing board president have asked the counseling faculty to provide evidence of "what they do." The counselors have to account for every hour that they are on campus during the week, list committee assignments, and other duties. The counselors feel insulted by this request, and other discipline faculty are concerned that they could be required to do the same. What can we do?
-Feeling Depressed in Southern California
It is understandable that your counseling faculty members feel insulted; however, there are some things you can do to help the situation. For some reason, the CEO and board president want more information about the work of faculty. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Faculty are known for their ability to educate, and we recommend that your faculty accept this invitation to explain the myriad duties and services provided to students, colleagues and the community by the talented faculty at your college.
We suggest organizing presentations at board meetings by discipline faculty, beginning with the counseling faculty. Arrange for presentations during public comment if the senate leadership cannot include these presentations during the regular senate report to the board. The discipline faculty can share information from recent program review materials, about SLO development and assessment, concerning academic or educational planning documents, about awards received, etc. It may be useful to include a board tour of the facilities used by the program (labs, studios, learning centers, etc.) either before or after regularly scheduled board meetings.
You could also team up with your union representatives who could provide details of official job descriptions and other relevant information from the union's perspective. If the requests for information continue, it may be useful to ask your union leadership to see if this request impacts working conditions or violates the contract. Good luck!