Resolution F06 9.03 called on the Academic Senate to conduct a survey of the certificate and degree programs in California community colleges to determine which information competency requirements have been implemented by which colleges. Serendipitously, Shawna Hellenius, an instructional librarian at Cosumnes River College conducted such a survey in Fall 2005 for a sabbatical project. She kindly shares a summary of her sabbatical report in this article.
"The time comes in the life of any nation when there remain only two choices-submit or fight"
At Spring Session we examined the delicate balance between cooperating with colleagues who hold a different opinion of issues, versus confronting them. You heard the suggestion that automatic, public confrontation, while perhaps immediately satisfying, is not always an effective long-term strategy. And you've seen the results of recent attempts by the Academic Senate to better cooperate with groups such as statewide administrative organizations, the System Office and the Board of Governors.
It is still a busy time in Sacramento. by the time this article gets to you, we will be involved with many legislative and governmental issues. The Governor's May Revise of the state budget has been released and there will be hearings and discussions (and yes, deals) in regards to it. Legislation has finished being proposed for this session, but it is now time for us to interact with legislators and their staff about these bills and their effects on our constituencies. And we have primary and general elections coming up.
Americans have forgotten what it takes to remain free. Instead, every ideology, every group is determined to use government to advance its agenda. As the government's power grows, the people are eclipsed. -Paul Craig Roberts
To my thinking, we americans have often taken our liberties for granted, even to the point of lethargy, until we awaken to find that they are under attack. Then, once roused, the old revolutionary zeal, reinvigorated and suddenly alert, launches us upon our midnight rides to sound the alarm.
The breakout session at the 2006 Spring Plenary Session "Shouldn't Prerequisites be an Academic and Professional Matter" reviewed the findings of a recent Academic Senate Curriculum Committee survey that sought to gather information on the status of prerequisites in the community colleges. The discussion explored the role faculty should be playing in the prerequisite process. During the breakout we heard many of the 50 attendees confirm that numerous concerns other than academics seem to influence or drive the placement of prerequisites on courses.
"Individual commitment to a group effort-that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work." - Vince Lombardi
Have you noticed expanding roles for consultants at your college, growing ranks of administrators, the adoption of questionable memoranda of understanding and a board so fixated on a business model that you feel as though your college has been overwhelmed by foreign occupiers? If so, there is one overriding maxim:
Local senates must maintain a strong and persistent academic and professional presence.
In 1982, I was forced to take a workshop in "appleworks for teachers." I didn't look forward to spending a week with computer geeks, and went along nearly kicking and screaming. It turned out to be the most important week of my teaching career! The instructor started the workshop with three important pieces of advice worth sharing:
Back up your work. There are only two kinds of computer users; those who have lost data and those who will.
In february 2006, the Relations with Local Senates Committee conducted a survey of academic senate presidents, asking about the effects of compressed calendars on participatory governance at their college. What prompted the survey was a resolution in Fall 2004:
13.04 F '04 Shared Governance:
Barriers to Participation
When it comes to examining equity and other inclusive initiatives introduced in higher education, the conversation of assessment arises early, as well as it should. Whenever such an initiative is implemented there should be a system of evaluation in place to measure the effectiveness of the institution's efforts.