March and April each year is the time when the Academic Senate honors excellence in teaching and in diversity. In March, four faculty members are selected for the Hayward Award. Established in 1989, the Hayward Award, named in honor of the former Community College Chancellor Gerald Hayward, recognizes college faculty who demonstrate the highest level of commitment to their students, college and profession. Nominated by their peers and selected by representatives of the Senate, these faculty must demonstrate excellence to teaching and have a record of active participation on their campus.
At the 2003 Fall Plenary Session, the body passed a resolution calling for the Academic Senate to "develop definitions for commonly used terms for designating course level, such as `basic skills'." On the surface, defining the term "basic skills" seems to be quite straightforward. Most people would agree that "basic skills" is the designation we give to math and English courses that prepare our students for college-level work. However, the usefulness of this definition depends on our agreement of the definition of "college-level work, " and we soon find that such agreement is elusive.
This article builds upon information first presented by Laurie Vasquez, Santa Barbara City College, at the League for Innovation in the Community College's "Innovations 2004" Conference.
Considerable statewide activity and local interest in the faculty obligation number (FON) or 75/25 ratio in the past year prompts this article. In it, we will look at some of the history as well as the events of the last year.
Members of the Academic Senate Executive Committee are always delighted to hear from our colleagues across the state: you help us gauge the significance of proposed legislation or system changes, you enable us to promote the superlative instruction offered to California's community college students, and you redirect our work when we appear to have wandered. Sometimes your comments are contradictory, however, and we're left in a quandary of sorts. My current Rostrum article is a case in point.
A las, the political season is upon us, and the mudslinging and name-calling has begun. I just didn't anticipate that it would be me they were calling names. Most recently, Rod Paige, Secretary of Education, called me a "terrorist." More accurately, he called the union that happens to represent faculty at my college, a "terrorist organization." By extension, then, I too am a terrorist. That troubles my little pacifist heart.
As the Academic Senate celebrates its 40th anniversary, the Senate enters into a new era. The 40 years of the Senate's existence has marked an incredible journey. When you think about the Academic Senate, many of you might think about the role the Senate plays in academic and professional matters. Some of you might also consider us an organization that provides professional development such as in our many initiatives, institutes, and other events. You might even think about the work we do for the disciplines including directing the disciplines list revision process.
Have you ever read "McElligot's Pool" by Dr. Seuss? A young boy named Marco is chided by an old farmer for choosing to fish in a particular pond. The farmer says:
"You're sort of a fool! You'll never catch a fish In McElligot's Pool! You might catch a boot Or you might catch a can. You might catch a bottle, But listen, young man..If you sat fifty years With your worms and your wishes, You'd grow a long beard Long before you caught fishes!" (Geisel, p. 27)
Curriculum is the hub of our academic activities, the learning center from which the many important spokes emanate creating the learning environment for our students. For the last decade we have been catching up to the massive changes affecting the world of curriculum-changes in Instructional Technology, Distance Education, Title 5, as well as green and global curriculum issues and many others.
For over fifteen years, since the popular explosion of the Internet in the early 1990's, computers and online information resources have been evolving from cutting-edge instructional enhancements into an essential aspect of lifelong learning and daily life. It is no longer enough for students to know how to find resources for assignments by using a library catalog to locate five or six books on a topic for their paper.