Today, faculty leadership responded to the Board's decision to call a special meeting to evaluate Superintendent/President Raj K. Chopra without soliciting any input from the campus community.
Both Valerie Goodwin-Colbert, Academic Senate President, and Phil López, SCEA President, addressed Governing Board members in open letters, asking that they reconsider the evaluation's timing and implementation. "It is in the spirit of promoting an environment of transparency, trust and responsibility that I am asking that the evaluation processes are made public" wrote Goodwin-Colbert. López asks, "How can the Board evaluate the Superintendent/President without a clear process for doing so and without input from any constituent group at SWC, whether it is academic administrators, classified managers and directors, classified staff, faculty, or students?"
The text of both letters as well as a survey presented by Goodwin-Colbert appear below.
|An Open Letter to the Governing Board|
Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2010 12:38 PM
To: 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; Jorge Dominguez; Jean Roesch; Yolanda Salcido; Terri Valladolid
Cc: Fulltime Academic; Adjunct Faculty
An Open Letter to the Governing Board
In accordance with Accreditation Standard IV.B.1, Governing Board Policy 2435 states, in part, that “[t]he Governing board shall evaluate the Superintendent/President using an evaluation process developed and jointly agreed to by the Board and the Superintendent/President.”
To my best knowledge, no such process exists. This fact raises one simple question: How can the Board evaluate the Superintendent/President without a clear process for doing so and without input from any constituent group at SWC, whether it is academic administrators, classified managers and directors, classified staff, faculty, or students?
An equally simple answer to this question is that you cannot.
The evaluation of every other District employee requires input from several sources and many individuals. For example, a tenured faculty member is evaluated by a Dean, two peers, and every student in every one of his/her classes. The evaluation process for non-tenured faculty members is even more rigorous.
Any evaluation process for the Superintendent/President—arguably the most important District employee—must be open and available to the public. It should also be relatively comprehensive and include input from a wide spectrum of the campus community.
The current Board policy was adopted on March 12, 2008. On Thursday, January 28—nearly two years later—the Board is proposing to evaluate the Superintendent/President without a clear process in place and without formal input from anyone on campus or in the community.
I urge the Board to delay the evaluation of the Superintendent/President until you have complied with your own Board Policy 2435, especially since the accreditation report from WASC—information that should be important to all of you—will be available soon, maybe as early as next week.
Finally, over the past several weeks when I’ve expressed my concerns about the campus climate and faculty morale, I’ve been told not to worry, that things are going to change, that the Board and top administration have a renewed commitment to shared governance.
So consider this a litmus test. Surely, a strong commitment to shared governance requires that members of our campus community share our thoughts and concerns with you before you evaluate the Superintendent/President. If Board members value our input, then it should be required as part of process of evaluating the Superintendent/President. If our input is not required and not part of this process, then the message you are sending us is clear: Collegial consultation with all campus stakeholders is neither valuable nor valued, and shared governance is a sham.
|Special Governing Board meeting & Academic Senate request|
Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2010 9:56 AM
To: Yolanda Salcido; Jean Roesch; Jorge Dominguez; Nick Aguilar [email@example.com]; Terri Valladolid; Chris DeBauche [firstname.lastname@example.org]; ASO PRESIDENT
Attachments: Evaluation (1).doc
Date: January 28, 2010
To: Southwestern College Governing Board members
From: Valerie Goodwin-Colbert, Academic Senate President
In lieu of the Special Governing Board meeting tonight, may I encourage you as guardians of the institutional due process, that an evaluation process, tools and timeline for the evaluation of the Superintendent/President have not been publicly communicated and accessible, before the evaluation is administered or finalized by the Governing Board. In accordance to Southwestern College District Policy 2435 Evaluation of the Superintendent/President, the ‘evaluation process is required to be developed’, and to this date the public have not had prior communication of that process. It is in the spirit of promoting an environment of transparency, trust and responsibility that I am asking that the evaluation processes are made public.
Your special meeting tonight should be used to establish the process, including tools and timeline, which will be used over the following month to do an accurate and public process. This is critical in the coming days as we receive the Accreditation status and ACCJC mandates for Southwestern College to maintain Accreditation, with the amount of attention in that report that focuses on trust and building a campus environment to be healthy again.
The Academic Senate approved Tuesday an evaluation tool, a very thorough survey, which will be dispersed to all faculty within the next several hours electronically. The survey is one of many evaluation tools that have been used in the past and we are promoting this tool again to give the Governing Board as much input as possible in decisions that would otherwise be considered ‘blind’. The accumulative responses and results will be presented to you as Governing Board members, before the February Governing Board meeting for your review and capability to utilize a broader evaluation of the Superintendent/President’s performance. I have attached the survey tool for your review and how this could be a fair and complete evaluation instrument used not only by faculty but by the campus community as a whole.
Thank you for your continued service to Southwestern Community College District.
The letter “grades” below reflect the grade points which will be used to complete the evaluation. Please enter the grades points (4-0) only in the boxes next to the questions. Use N/A as needed.
A = (Excellent) Greatly Above Expectation, 4 grade points
B = (Good) Above Expectation, 3 grade points
C = (Average) At Expectation, 2 grade points
D = (Poor) Below Expectation, 1 grade point
F = (Unsatisfactory) Significantly Below Expectation, 0 grade points
N/A = Not Applicable
Please use this space for additional comments, as appropriate: