April

We Can, We Should-It's Right, It's Our Job

A year ago at Spring Plenary Session in San Francisco, the body adopted two resolutions calling for an increase in the statewide minimum requirements in math and english required to receive an associate degree from any California Community College. With those actions, it became the responsibility of the President and Executive Committee to implement the official will of the body. For many resolutions, delegates don't examine what is required to implement them, and are satisfied when the results appear, a year or two later, recorded as completed in the senate status Report.

Excellence in Education

In 1985 the Board of Governors of California Community Colleges, in honor of the former state Chancellor, Gerald C. Hayward, created awards for outstanding community college faculty. The Gerald C. Hayward Award for "Excellence in Education" has been awarded since 1988. Four recipients, each from different areas of the state, are selected and honored annually at the March Board of Governors' meeting. All faculty, both inside and outside the classroom, are eligible for the award.

IMPAC and the Major

IMPAC, whose acronym stands for Intersegmental Major Preparation Articulated Curriculum, is completing its first fully funded-and very successful-year. Sponsored by the Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates (ICAS), the IMPAC project fosters faculty-tofaculty dialogues among community colleges, CSU and UC faculty teaching in key disciplines. The IMPAC Project is funded by a $550,000, five-year grant from the Governor for discussions that lead to demonstrable progress in increased transfer and, more importantly, in the successful transfer of our community college students.

Political Mobilization

If you're a local senate president you should already be well aware of the student/voter mobilization project initiated by the Academic Senate President in the fall semester. You should have received a package of material in the mail, or perhaps electronically, that talked about the need for this project and that provided sample letters to distribute to faculty and students. You may also have received a follow-up phone call or email from one of the Local Senates Committee to ask if you had used any of the material.

Power and Paranoia: Effective Senates are Victors, not Victims

At the first Summer Leadership Institute I ever attended, Jim Higgs from Modesto Junior College told me that the local academic senate president was the most powerful person on campus. I wonder why more of them don't feel that way.

Jim, who is now deceased, was a big, blustery man, who wore a fedora and loved the blues. He is on my mind today, as I've recently returned from Mississippi, where I toured delta blues shrines and attended seminars and concerts and catfish dinners. Jim once spent a summer in Mississippi engaged in similar pursuits.

Counseling and Library Faculty Issues Committee

One of the newer standing committees of the Academic Senate is the Counseling and Library Faculty Issues Committee. It was formed as a result of a resolution from the Spring 1995 Plenary Session to strengthen various ad hoc committees and subcommittees on library and counseling issues that had been around since the late 1980s. In approving the formation of the committee, faculty recognized that there are unique professional and academic issues in the counseling and library fields that need to be addressed in such a committee.

Are Vegetables Normal??

The new California Master Plan for Education 2002 contains an interesting assertion in the middle of the flowery vision statements of the Executive Summary. In the section on accountability it states:

"We envision an education system which will categorically reject the notion that student achievement must be distributed along a bell curve."

How should we interpret this?

An immediate flippant response from anyone just slightly familiar with the bell curve (or Normal Distribution) might be "are they suggesting that California students are not normal?"

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