Sitting on our local equivalency committee over the last several years, I was often frustrated with the need to explain repeatedly the rules of equivalency to each department representative who came to a meeting. We tried to ensure that subject matter representatives attended equivalency meetings to assist the committee in determining equivalency, but in truth, representatives did not always come. We tried to provide clear and consistent reasons why one person was granted equivalency and why another was not.
The high attendance at the Fall Session breakout entitled "Who Gets to Teach What: The Discipline's List and Its Complications" may well reflect the general uncertainties surrounding the laws, regulations, and Senate-recommended practices about determining minimum qualifications for faculty.
To carry out their collective responsibilities for maintaining a professional faculty, it is essential for faculty to know their roles in determining the qualifications to teach in our colleges.
The effects of cuts in community college funding were evident when surveying faculty attending the Faculty Development breakouts. With no new funding stream from dedicated funds for faculty and staff development, colleges are cobbling together carryover faculty development funds, funds from grants that can legally be used to ensure student success, and miniscule college funds. The amount garnered from college funds is a mere pittance compared to when districts had stable state funding.
The California Community Colleges Board of Governors made career ladders a priority in 2002-2003, resulting in the funding of a system grant project to support the development of career ladders in the system while seeking additional funding from other sources. As your liaison to the Career Ladders Advisory Board for the project, I would like to update you on what has been happening with the project.
In these tight budget times, colleges are experiencing program discontinuance and reduction. At the Academic Senate's Fall Plenary 03, a breakout was held on this issue. Many local senate presidents did not know what was stated in their college's or district's policy and the necessary procedures to be observed when discontinuing a program. For all attendees, the breakout was an opportunity to learn and plan for what they needed to do in the future.
A common complaint, frequently expressed by delegates to last year's Academic Senate Plenary meetings, had to do with the ongoing absence of adequate funding for California's community colleges from our Legislature. There were concerns about the tendency to support California's correctional institutions at a higher level than those committed to the education of our youth.
I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power. - Thomas Jefferson
Technology has become a significant part of our world and continues to change the way we live our lives and do our work. The online delivery of courses is altering how courses are taught and prompting faculty to contemplate how all of their courses are conducted. While technological advances are embraced by some, they may appear to be a new challenge to others. Despite your place on the technological comfort continuum, there are online resources available to aid you in all aspects of your role as a faculty member, from course development to professional development.
Does it ever seem that only the faculty cares about what's right? This depressing thought was prompted by a reflective look at the events of the last six months from the cozy vantage point of a Thanksgiving weekend bed and breakfast inn tucked away in California's gold country. Perhaps a more realistic assessment comes from a Virgin Radio talk show host in London on the morning of the recall election results:
". and now California has gone completely mad."
All during the year in the North Pole Santa's little elves build toys, so that all the boys and girls can open them on Christmas day. These little elves work hard all year long because they know that Santa has toys to deliver to all the children of the world. But did you know that as a local senate leader you have your own North Pole in Sacramento? All year long the Senate works hard to provide local senates with the resources you need to do your job as a faculty leader on your campus.