Redefine the Faculty Obligation Number to Include Noncredit Faculty

Resolution Number
Assigned to
Noncredit, Pre-Transfer, & Continuing Education Committee
Consultation with the Chancellor's Office
In Progress
Status Report

Fall 2022: This recommendation was included in the revised Noncredit Instruction: Opportunity and Challenge, was part of the recommendations of the Workgroup on Regulations submitted to the Chancellor's Office, and was discussed in the recent Rostrum Article Changes Ahead for Noncredit? from the April 2019 Rostrum. AB 1505 (Rodriguez, 2022) was a bill designed to rebench the FON. It died in committee and did not have enough support to propose including noncredit faculty to the FON.

Proposer Contact
Wendy Brill-Wynkoop, College of the Canyons, Noncredit Committee

Whereas, Title 5 §§51025 and 53311 establish the full-time faculty obligation for each California community college, commonly known as the Faculty Obligation Number or FON, and colleges are penalized for failure to meet this obligation;

Whereas, Although AB 1725 (Vasconcellos, 1988) noted the importance of establishing a sufficient body of full-time faculty, stating, “If the community colleges are to respond creatively to the challenges of the coming decades, they must have a strong and stable core of full-time faculty with long-term commitments to their colleges. There is proper concern about the effect of an over-reliance upon part-time faculty, particularly in the core transfer curricula,” the FON has at many colleges been treated as a maximum number of full-time faculty to be employed rather than as the minimum that it was intended to be, and as a result the percentage of instruction conducted by full-time faculty in the California Community Colleges system has decreased rather than increased since the creation of the FON, and progress has not been achieved toward reaching the legislative goal of 75% of instruction being conducted by full-time faculty;

Whereas, Work toward a revision of the FON, along with the 50% Law, began in 2014 and involved a collegial workgroup with voices from the Academic Senate, all statewide faculty unions, chief executive officers, chief business officers, and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, and the members of this workgroup unanimously agreed on a proposal that would have revised the FON and presented that proposal to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Consultation Council on March 17, 2016 to a positive reception,[1] but although the workgroup has continued to pursue and refine this proposal, no concrete action on the proposal has yet been taken; and

Whereas, With the implementation of AB 705 (Irwin, 2017), many colleges are exploring an expansion of noncredit offerings in order to more effectively serve students in need of additional assistance, but noncredit faculty are not included in the FON, and thus the FON creates a disincentive to hiring or assigning full-time faculty in an area of significant student need;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges work with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, the Community College League of California, faculty union leadership, and other interested parties to redefine the Faculty Obligation Number in a way that includes noncredit faculty.