One of the stylistic conventions of Academic Senate writing is to use a capital "s" when referring to the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges and a lower case "s" when referring to the local academic senates at colleges and districts. Orthography aside, while there are clear corollaries between the roles and responsibilities of the Academic Senate and local academic senates, it may be less clear what the relationship is between the Academic Senate and an academic senate.
When faculty leaders want to find out where their districts' deepest commitments lie, the advice of Deep Throat is often wise: "follow the money." In contrast, when it comes to the instincts that prompt faculty to seek positions of administrative leadership, it is almost never the money that provides insight into those transitions. It's the desire to use leadership skills in new ways to improve the educational experience of both faculty and students.
The Disciplines List is a functional list of all the minimum qualifications to teach in California community colleges, but it contains one designation that is often misunderstood. This one designation is included in the Disciplines List even though it is rarely a discipline in and of itself, but rather a "discipline" that allows hiring and curriculum committees greater flexibility in matching course content with teacher expertise and knowledge. This non-discipline discipline is Interdisciplinary Studies.
The two primary uses of the Disciplines List are
This is a great year for the faculty to gain access and support in the area of educational technologies. The Telecommunications and Technology Infrastructure Program (TTIP) will have provided the following resources for each of 120 community college sites by December:
The California Citizens commission on Higher Education has produced a highly critical report on community colleges. Entitled “The Looking Glass Itself: AB 1725,” the Commission’s report implies without substantiation that both the quality of California community colleges and the number of successful graduates are declining. At the same time, the report omits discussion of the system’s strengths, such as its open admission policies.
What in the world is going on in the South Orange County Community College District (formerly the Saddleback Community College District)? If we rely only on newspaper or other media accounts, all the notoriety arises from our Board of Trustees' initial approval of a controversial community education course to be taught on our campus by the president of our board, Steven Frogue. The course, espousing the conspiracy theories surrounding the JFK assassination, would have included guest lectures by well-known anti-semitics.
In the Spring 1996 plenary session, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) adopted the Council of Faculty Organizations Faculty Equity Statement, which emphasized the need for increased awareness of issues deriving from the high level of part-time faculty use within the California Community College System (CCC). Also in the Spring 1996 Session, ASCCC resolved that they should “assure participation of part-time faculty on the Executive Committee” (Resolution 1.05 S96).
The 1997 Sumer Faculty Leadership Institute was held at Monterey Beach Hotel in Monterey, California. Because of the great demand from college faculty, the Executive Committee decided to increase the number of participants from 50 to 75. Even with the increase, we couldn’t accommodate all the people who were interested in attending.
I don’t know if it was because we held it in beautiful Monterey, where by the way the wind is stronger than a hurricane most of the time, or because there are so many issues that faculty are facing. (I know it’s the latter.)
This year the Academic Senate will face many challenges. I would like to take this opportunity, in the first Rostrum of the year, to define two of those issues and describe the role of the Academic Senate might play. The areas I will discuss are welfare reform and distance education.