Whereas the California Legislature, through the Donohue Act, originally intended that California have three clearly defined partners of higher education, and
Whereas subsequent legislation has redefined that partnership, giving the other two segments of higher education a governance structure that recognizes them as statewide systems, and
Whereas that statewide governance system was deemed inappropriate for community colleges because they received their primary funding from local property taxes before the passage of Proposition 13, but currently the majority of funding for community colleges comes from the state, and
Whereas the time has come for community colleges to take their rightful place as full partners in the higher education mission in California and to generate the economic savings resulting from the elimination of duplicated functions,
Resolved that the Academic Senate direct the Executive Committee to develop an issue paper concerning the ramifications of a changing community college governance system from the present college/district structure to a statewide governance system.
A breakout on this was held in Spring 1999. Two researchers were approached to assist the Committee in exploring the financial ramifications of various alternative structures, and both, after considering the complexity of the assignment, declined. The concern with this subject was the product of the publication of the Citizens' Commission report, "A State of Learning: California Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century," which has since faded from the scene with no apparent lasting impact. Moreover, an "agree/disagree" exercise performed at the last two Leadership Institutes indicates that faculty have no clear preference for an alternative governance structure, with approximately 50% regularly defending the current one. The Committee proposes, therefore, that this assignment be removed from its agenda.