SHARED GOVERNANCE/COLLEGIAL CONSULTATION RESOLUTION BACKGROUND: The Academic Senate is committed to working collegially with the Governing Board, Superintendent/President, and campus administrators in following policies and procedures. Our last Accreditation identified key areas for improvement of Shared Governance in planning and budget development. In the last six years our campus has experienced problems in several critical areas that have prevented a campus culture that uses Shared Governance and Collegial Consultation effectively. Examples of this include but are not limited to:
- College Leadership Council: The last two Accreditations have recommended the use of a shared governance body to participate in institutional and budgetary planning. The College Leadership Council (CLC) was created to comply with this. In the last twelve years our CLC has not realized its potential as a forum for collegial consultation in planning and budget input.
- Hiring Policy: Processes on hiring committees have been inconsistent. Committees have been accused of violations of confidentiality, disrupted, and disbanded despite a lack of evidence of violation of college policy or procedure. In one instance hiring policy was even suspended. Committee process here lacks timeliness resulting in long term cycle of vacancies and instability.
- Administrative instability and vacancies: College process has been halted or slowed because of constant turnover of administrative positions, or excessive interims, or unfilled positions. Curriculum, Academic Program Review, Student Learning Outcomes, and research are of few of the Senate committees undermined by this.
- Curriculum disruption: During critical changes to curriculum via CurricUNET and to Chapter 6 of Title 5, the Office of Instruction has been partially dismantled and understaffed. This has affected every aspect of curriculum process from development of calendar, agendas, handbook, curriculum summary, degree audit, etc. Administrative turnover here has caused devastating disruption to process and continues to the present. CurricUNET continues to be a program that has wonderful potential but is instead unnecessarily time consuming and cumbersome for faculty.
- Research vacancies: Vacancies in research since the fall 2005 departure of the director of research have caused serious barriers to Academic Program Review and development of methods of assessment for Student Learning Outcomes. Every accomplishment in these two areas has only occurred because of faculty persistence in spite of administrative barriers. The latest disruption caused a full year delay in Academic Program Review because of the mid-year departure of a new director of research who was subsequently hired as a consultant to produce the same data. This data was still delayed.
- Academic Program Review: Lack of college support for this Accreditation requirement resulted in all clerical support for this process completed by the committee. During the revision of this procedure the research analyst and committee were constantly undermined by the lack of support for Academic Program Review. Currently this process continues to move forward only through the persistent efforts of the committee.
- College-wide Reorganization: The last college-wide reorganization included consultation between administration and Academic Senate. Because the Academic Senate was consulted during the process, the Senate was able to make changes simultaneously to Senate By-laws to realign representation in the Senate and on Standing Committees. The Academic Senate and the Senate Executive Board were told directly by the Superintendent/President that the planning process for this college reorganization, a process that again impacts all academic governance structures on campus, would include direct consultation with the Academic Senate prior to any Board action. This did not occur. The Senate is now forced to react to changes that impact Senate elections, representation, Curriculum Committee, Academic Program Review, Student Learning Outcomes, etc.
- Academic Technology and On-line Instruction: In the last twelve years faculty have worked to develop this area collegially with administration. Time consuming plans are developed and not implemented. Infrastructure for on-line teaching has never worked consistently from point of registration to class adds/drops, to faculty and student support for instruction.
- Computer Support Services: Our systems to support schedule and catalog development continue to lack a faculty consultative process or administrative coordination and oversight. Problems here impact curriculum development, registration, and adjunct hiring.
- Adversarial culture: Over the last twelve years an adversarial climate has prevailed instead of shared governance. Effective communication on critical campus policies and procedures is inconsistent and faculty input in policy updates/revisions is ignored. Dissenting opinions are most often received with hostility. The required academic processes of Accreditation, Curriculum, Academic Program Review, and Student Learning Outcomes are not a college priority.
Date Approved by Senate: 22 April 2008
Authored by: Mark Van Stone, Marsha Rutter, Patti Flores-Charter, Angelina Stuart
Title: SHARED GOVERNANCE AND COLLEGIAL CONSULTATION
WHEREAS, The Southwestern College Mission Statement states that the “College is committed to meeting the educational goals of its students in an environment that promotes intellectual growth and human potential,” and
WHEREAS, The Academic Senate has been granted the authority and legal rights therein to be the sole voice of the faculty in academic and professional matters as per AB 1725 (1988), Title 5 Section 53200-53204, 66700, and Education Code Sections 66700 and 70901, and
WHEREAS, The Southwestern College Governing Board approved District Policy 2510 and 0011, which state that the Board or its Designee will “consult collegially” with the Academic Senate in academic and professional matters in a manner of mutual trust and support, and
WHEREAS, The Academic Senate, a vital resource, has experience in collegial consultation, in historical planning at Southwestern College, and has taken the lead role in our Accreditation process by default, and
WHEREAS, The Academic Senate has the collegial right, responsibility, and freedom to take risks, agree/disagree, and voice new or unpopular ideas during collegial consultation in both public and private college meetings including but not limited to Board meetings, and
WHEREAS, The Academic Senate leaders and faculty have experienced a history of intimidation and veiled threats in decision making processes and have worked under a history of instability of top tier administrators and interim mid-level administrators that the Board and/or its Designees have hired, and
WHEREAS, The Southwestern College Governing Board and Superintendent/President continue to demonstrate both a disregard for Academic Senate faculty input and feedback in decision making as well as a lack of compliance with the spirit and the letter of the law of AB 1725, Title 5, Education Code, so
BE IT RESOLVED, that the Academic Senate again strongly urges that the Governing Board, Superintendent/President and/or Designees comply with AB 1725, Title 5, Education Code, and Southwestern College policy to consult collegially with the Academic Senate in all Academic and Professional Matters.