Minutes of the

MEETING OF THE FACULTY SENATE

October 20, 2003

 

APPROVED

 

PRESENT:                             Chris Barkley, Bill Bedford, Judy Cater, Judy Dolan, Bonnie Ann Dowd, MaryAnn Drinan, Martha Evans, Brent Gowen, Barb Neault Kelber, Teresa Laughlin, Stan Levy, Dennis Lutz, Maria Miller, Marilee Nebelsick-Tagg,  Sue Norton, Perry Snyder, Dan Sourbeer, Steve Spear, Sara Thompson, Fari Towfiq, Katie Townsend-Merino

 

ABSENT:                               Anne Voth, Tamara Weintraub

 

GUESTS:                                Bob Gilson, James Palen (student)

                                               

CALL TO ORDER:               The meeting was called to order by the president, Steve Spear, at 2:00 p.m., in Room SU-30.

 

Proxy Votes:                          Judy Cater holding a proxy for Anne Voth.

 

Approval of Minutes:         The minutes of October 13, 2003, were approved as amended.

 

                                                Faculty member Dan Finkenthal sent Bonnie Dowd, as Senate Secretary, the following statement to be included in the minutes of October 13, 2003. Bonnie reported that she informed Dan F. that because the statement was not read or presented at the October 13th meeting she could not include but would bring his statement to the Senate to be a part of this week’s record.

 

Motion 1                                MSC Dowd, Levy: That a copy of Dan Finkenthal’s email, including his statement, be inserted into the Faculty Senate meeting minutes of October 20, 2003:

                                                               

I would like to request that my protest at today's senate meeting be entered into the minutes. The Senate president refused to acknowledge my hand when he called for 'discussion' before the vote to go into closed session. As a result, the tape was stopped before I could speak and register my protest.

 

I want the minutes to reflect that I did challenge the decision to enter into closed session as an illegal act, and made the following verbal arguments regarding the Brown Act:

 

1. Prior to holding any closed session, the legislative body is required to disclose, in an open meeting, the item or items to be discussed in closed session. (See Brown Act, 54957.7 -Announcement prior to closed sessions)

 

2. After any closed session, the legislative body shall reconvene into open session and make disclosures of action taken in the closed session. (See Brown Act, 54957.7(a))

 

3. Discussions of the performance of elected officials is required to be done in open session. It is illegal to discuss the performance of the faculty's elected officials in closed session. (See highlighted portions of Handouts A and B.)

 

4. The faculty at large has a right to know and examine the performance and actions of those they choose to represent them. Without full disclosure there cannot be accountability, and without accountability there cannot be true representation.

 

The first three of these arguments are contained in the handouts that I was prevented from presenting to the Senate. I feel it is important to include these handouts as attachments to the minutes of the

meeting, as they are copies of actual provisions of the Brown Act and official judgments. I will send them to you via campus mail.

 

I must say that I was very disheartened by the senate’s unwillingness to hear my arguments, and the mean-spirited way in which I was urged to leave the meeting. I was disappointed that not one senator was willing to intervene on my behalf.

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

Elections Committee

Announcement:                   Stan Levy announced that Pam McDonough has officially withdrawn her name from the ballot for the Past President of The Faculty Designee position. The ballot has already been distributed and the closing date is approaching. Therefore, the other individual running for the position will be running unopposed and will likely be appointed to the position.

 

                                                He also announced that a call for nominations would be distributed in the next few days to replace the Senate vacancy because of Barb Kelber’s appointment as the Faculty Vice President.

 

Motion 2                                MSC Dowd, Merino: To suspend the Agenda and address action Item H, Faculty Senate Membership.

 

Faculty Senate

Membership:

 

Motion 3                                MSC Dowd, Barkley: Whereas, Steve Spear was elected by the entire faculty as Faculty Vice President to serve a term through December 31, 2003, and

 

                                                Whereas, according to the Faculty Constitution, the Faculty Vice President is automatically sent forth for confirmation to serve as Faculty President in the succeeding calendar year, and

 

                                                Whereas the Faculty Senate elected Steve as Senate President effective May 2003 for a two-year term ending 2005,

 

                                                Therefore, be it resolved, that the Senate membership records be changed to reflect Steve Spear’s Senator term as being until May 2005 resulting in only nine (9) Senator positions up for re-election in May 2004.

 

                                                Brief discussion followed on the current Senate membership and their terms.

Committee

Appointments:                     None

 

Curriculum:

 

Motion 4                                MSC Laughlin, Nebelsick-Tagg: Faculty Senate ratification of all Curriculum items.

 

Senate Email Voting:

 

Motion 5                                MSC Sourbeer, Miller: That all Faculty Senate committee appointments occur via electronic voting.

 

                                                Bonnie Dowd indicated that since the Senate has voted to do all of its voting electronically, she will ask that the Senate revisit the issue of automatically appointing the next highest vote getter. That process likely began to eliminate the time-consuming process of holding elections at each meeting. With voting for committee appointments occurring electronically, the process will be simplified.

 

                                                Some Senators also requested that when Senate elections occur via email, a report be made providing the number of Senators who actually participated in the electronic vote.

 

                                                Brief discussion followed on the process. Senators were reminded that Chris Norcross is available to provide training to those who need it.

 

Committee on Committees

Selection Process:

 

Motion 6                                MS Thompson, Dolan: Faculty Senate acceptance of the following recommendations being made by the members of the Committee on Committees:

 

Recommendations from Committee on Committees

 

Soliciting Volunteers

1)       The terms of committee assignments will be determined by the Committee on Committees prior to soliciting volunteers for committees:

a.        the terms will be staggered to provide continuity ─  ideally no more than half the membership will be up for appointment/reappointment each year;

b.        the terms will be for 2 years unless otherwise dictated by our Constitution;

c.        faculty may reapply for membership when their term is up, but reappointment is not automatic.

2)       The Committee will send (via email) to all faculty a description of the process by which committee appointments are made by the Senate. This description will include:

a.        a list of committee members and their divisions/terms,

b.        a description of committee functions/times they meet (if known),

c.        a list of committee openings by division,

d.        a list of committee openings at large.

3)       The Committee will solicit faculty volunteers for committee appointments.  The names of all faculty who are eligible for appointment to any committee will be brought to the Senate. Faculty who are ineligible will be notified promptly.

4)       Volunteers will be encouraged to provide a short statement of interest or intent.

5)       The Committee will allow 7 days for faculty to volunteer (via email only) to the  Committee on Committees email address. On the 8th day the Committee will:

                        a)     email the members of any division that does not have volunteers for specific committee openings soliciting volunteers again and alerting the division that on Day 11 if there are still no volunteers from the given division the search for a volunteer will widen to include all faculty members.

                b)     email a list of the number of volunteers and the number of openings for each committee assignment to the faculty, suggesting that if any volunteers prefer to change their requests they may do so via email by Day 11.  The committee will remind volunteers that if more than one faculty member has volunteered for a particular committee assignment, the Senate will hold an election. (The Committee will give them the date.)

6)     On Day 11 the Committee on Committees will solicit volunteers for any unfilled committee openings from the entire faculty. Volunteers must respond by Day 14.

 

Preparing the Ballot and the Rules

7)     In preparing the ballot for the Senate, the Committee will identify each volunteer by division:

a)             the Committee will provide a list of probationary faculty to the Senate;

                        b)     the election of committee members for assignments that are designated as “divisional representation” will be done by division—that is, the top vote getter from each division will be appointed by the Senate;

c)     for the election of committee members for assignments that are designated as “at large,” the top vote-getter overall will be appointed by the Senate;

d)     for divisional appointments for which there are no divisional volunteers, the Senate will appoint the top vote-getter overall as an “at large” representative.

8)       If there are multiple appointments with differing terms for the same committee, the highest vote-getter will be appointed for the longest term.

9)       The Senate will appoint members to achieve divisional diversity whenever possible.

 

Confirming and Voting

10)    The Committee will provide the Senate with a list of volunteers for committees for which the number of volunteers does not exceed the number of positions available and ask the Senate to confirm these committee members.

11)    The Committee will provide the Senate with a ballot when the number of volunteers exceeds the number of positions available and ask the Senate to confirm the results of the vote.

 

Maintaining Full Faculty Representation

12)    The Committee will post the list of committee memberships on the Senate web page each semester.

13)    If a vacancy occurs on a committee, the next highest vote-getter from the election in which the member was appointed will automatically replace the faculty member who has resigned and take over the term. If that volunteer is no longer available or there were no other volunteers the Committee will again solicit volunteers and bring names forward to the Senate in a timely manner.

 

Discussion occurred on the document and the following suggestions were proposed:

 

Number 1: add the wording, Following the Faculty Constitution before The terms of committee assignments…or add wording in the document indicating that all items are based on the Faculty Constitution.

 

Number 4:  add the wording: as well as their availability to attend meetings at the end of the sentence.

 

Committee on Committee members were asked to readdress the issue of appointing the next highest vote-getter based on earlier discussions in the meeting.

 

Number 4: Volunteers will be encouraged to provide a short statement of interest or intent. This may discourage some from participating in the process.

 

Based on these proposed changes, it was recommended that approval of this item be postponed until the committee has an opportunity to meet and discuss the suggestions made.

 

Motion 7                                MSC Dowd, Bedford: To postpone approval of the Recommendations from Committee on Committees until November 3, 2003.

 

Student Equity/Paperless

College/Digital Campus:     Copies of the following draft were distributed for discussion:

 

A Call for Awareness – Making a Bridge

 

Discussions in the Faculty Senate and at the most recent Faculty meeting have prompted this call. The Faculty hopes to develop awareness throughout the college community about the inequities that might exist among students in the area of technology, specifically relating to computer access, differences in both hardware and software, and training history.

 

                                                We all recognize a fundamental fact: computer / academic technology, in both direct instruction and support, can expand our working and thinking horizons. We recognize the need for our students to enter that space where they can access information with ease and enter the conversation with capability, clarity and critical thought.

 

                                                Here at Palomar we’re like other community colleges in that we face a very serious challenge. We must concern ourselves with issues of equity as we ask students to engage in all the possibilities of technology, because dramatic differences can exist in relation to ease of access and level of capability. We’re not sure about the degrees of difference, and that’s why we need your help.

 

                                                Let’s take what is probably a best-case scenario for a community college like ours, and we’ll assume that most of our students are able to move into that high-tech space and proceed with ease. Their journey is easy, usually because of several factors:

 

                                                exposure and training – they know the language, they understand the routes, they can read the signs. They’ve been working toward Information Competency for years, so this requires no jump for them; it’s been a natural progression. Generational differences are huge influences here.

 

                                                easy-access to a computer – they have homes or bedrooms fully equipped, laptops, home or work environments where they’ve learned to speak the language; they have card to get to libraries and money to pay for gas. They can afford, or have been afforded, easy access.

 

                                                high level of capability in terms of hardware – they can download information with ease, and view DVDs; they burn and traverse at a high rate of speed. Many of our students seem to enjoy more-than-adequate capability. Cyberspace is a Comfort Zone for them.

 

                                                When we watch these students employ all the wonders technology offers, and we see how it “streamlines” management and support processes like registration, placement and matriculation, it is astounding and gratifying in many ways. In the bedazzlement, though, we might lose sight of the ones who are not yet there.

 

                                                The elements mentioned above, clearly making the going smooth for many or most, are not necessarily in place for students who are older or who struggle economically. Hardships can create inequities that impact education as significantly as any disability.

 

                                                First Step

 

                                                Faculty members in the Senate and at the Faculty group meeting have discussed a first step. Because the classroom is the place where these “facts of life” socio-economic differences can turn into serious inequities with disproportionate impact, we hope Faculty members will become aware by asking a few questions during the first week of classes. Issues of socio-economic class might keep some students silent, so asking them to write a few answers, which you can collect, will work best. You might consider asking the following:

 

                                                Do you have access to a computer where you live?

                                                Do you share a computer with others?

                                                If you answered yes to the above: What capabilities do you have with your computer? Is it high-speed? CD reader? Printer? Etc.?

                                                If you answered no: Can you easily access a computer outside your home? What difficulties might you have with accessing and printing course materials?

 

                                                Note the responses to these questions. It takes very little time to grasp the essential information in them. Obviously, different disciplines will see very different results.

 

                                                We hope that the college community will grow in awareness as each individual instructor becomes aware of differences existing in the classroom. In this way, we will continue to battle inequity wherever we see it, whatever the cause. You can help to bridge the gap by supporting those students who identify hardship. You might do so in several ways, but we’re offering one concrete suggestion here. Many of you are probably already doing this.

 

                                                If you’re using systems like Blackboard or other efficient and cost-saving methods to get course materials to students, please consider printing out a few copies to offer as handouts to those students who need some help. Hopefully this help can be offered without the embarrassing connotations of “taking a handout” that might make them hesitate to articulate their need in the first place.

 

                                                In this way, we can be taking cost-saving steps and encouraging the use of technology without forgetting the inequities that might exist among our students. It is the obligation of Faculty to represent the differences we see in the classroom, where only we can see them, to the larger support community. By doing so, we can guide the institution as it continues to move toward a high-efficiency model, ensuring that our students, all of them, have an equal opportunity to succeed.

 

                                                Senate members complimented Barb Kelber and Stan Levy for their work on this position paper, which will surely increase faculty awareness on this issue.

 

                                                There was discussion on the most efficient way to distribute this document to faculty members. There was overall agreement that all faculty members should receive dated and author identified copies both electronically and via campus mail.

 

Motion 8                                MSC Levy, Dowd: That the document, A Call for Awareness – Making a Bridge, be distributed to all contract and adjunct faculty members both electronically and via campus mail.

 

Motion 9                                MSC Dowd, Barkley: To extend the meeting until 3:30 p.m.

 

Faculty Hiring for

2005-06:

 

Motion 10                              MSCU Drinan, Bedford: Whereas the state of California will likely continue to face substantial budget uncertainties and revenue shortfalls in this fiscal year, and

 

Whereas, despite his support for education, the new governor may yet call for mid-year budget cuts in the community college budget during this fiscal year, and

 

Whereas Palomar College administration initiated action two years ago that could reasonably be expected to lead to the lay-off several probationary faculty in counseling, though this did not occur, and

 

Furthermore, whereas during this past academic year Palomar College administration sent letters of its intention to lay-off all EOPS and DSPS counselors due to state budget cuts, and

 

Whereas during the spring of the last academic year, Palomar College administration sent layoff notices or gave verbal warnings of possible layoffs to numerous Palomar employees, classified and administrative, and

 

Whereas the Chancellor’s Office may yet release community college districts from their full-time faculty obligation for this academic year, then

 

Be it resolved, first of all, that the Palomar Academic Senate wholeheartedly supports the No Layoff Policy at Palomar developed and advocated by numerous Palomar faculty and staff during Spring 2003, and

 

Secondly, be it resolved that, if Palomar College administration proceeds with layoffs of employees during this academic year, then the Palomar Academic Senate supports faculty hiring, following IPC’s prioritized list, in this uncertain budget year only to the extent necessary to meet the minimum full-time faculty

 

obligation number as required (if it is required) by the Chancellor’s Office coupled with a suspension or discontinuation of faculty hiring of all positions beyond this minimal number, and

 

Last of all, be it further resolved that, in the event that new faculty cannot be hired in order to support and sustain full employment for those presently employed at Palomar College in keeping with the No Layoff Policy, then the Palomar Academic Senate supports the carry-over of IPC’s hiring priorities determined during this budget year to the next academic year (FY’04) so that no department will lose a position promised to them this year.

 

In discussion following its presentation, Senate members expressed their support of the motion.

 

Dr. Amador’s Evaluation

Criteria:

 

Motion 11                              MSCU Dowd, Bedford: Whereas, the Faculty through the Faculty Senate annually review and evaluate the President, and

 

                                                Whereas, the Governing Board receives input as a result of the evaluation process conducted annually by the Faculty Senate, and

 

                                                Whereas, the Governing Board establishes evaluation criteria annually for the President, and such criteria is used by the Governing Board when considering the President’s contract, and

 

                                                Whereas, it appears to be a current practice among several other community colleges to release such information,

 

                                                Therefore, be it resolved, that the Faculty Senate requests that evaluation criteria be made public prior to the President’s annual evaluation and that a report on that evaluation be made public.

 

                                                Senate members were also provided a copy of the Governing Board’s 2003-04 Goals. Dr. Amador has stated that these are the criteria in which she should be evaluated. When a Senator asked for clarification on whether she actually is evaluated on those goals, Steve Spear responded that she was not in the faculty conducted evaluations. Senators agreed that they’d like to know exactly what criteria are being used in the process by the Board. Because of the overwhelming vote of no confidence and the lack of response by the district relating to the vote, faculty and staff members would like justification on why.

 

                                                Dr. Amador received a “Satisfactory” rating, a salary increase, and an extension of her contract until 2007. It was noted previous presidents only received contract extensions in one year increments.

 

                                                Lengthy discussion followed. The district has used the issue of ongoing contract negotiations as an excuse for much of the discontent among faculty members. Faculty and staff members have a president in which they have no confidence in, and as a superintendent/president, Dr. Amador should be concerned that faculty and staff who work with her have expressed this. It was agreed that we have to find a way to work together if we are going to be productive and successful as an institution.

 

Senate members agreed that the Governing Board President and the incoming Governing Board President should be invited to address the Senate on these issues.

 

Motion 12                              MSCU Levy, Nebelsick-Tagg: The Faculty Senate directs the Faculty Senate President to request that the current Governing Board President and the President Elect of the Governing Board  attend and address the Faculty Senate at the first available Senate meeting no later than three weeks from today, October 20, 2003.

 

                                                Bob Gilson informed Senate members that he has been asked by Dr. Amador to meet with her on Thursday morning in response to a statement he presented at the recent Governing Board meeting expressing concern that the Board members aren’t listening to faculty and staff when approached on issues such as morale.

 

After further discussion, Senate members agreed that the Faculty President Maria Miller should attend the meeting with Bob Gilson.

 

Staff Development Funds:

 

Motion 13                              MSC Dowd, Cater: Whereas, Strategic Planning Council is considering dissolving the Staff Development Governance Committee due to a lack of staff development funds the past few years, and

 

                                                Whereas, the Staff Development Committee is the only committee that has constituency representation to deal with distribution of development and training funds for faculty and staff,

 

                                                Therefore, be it resolved that the Faculty Senate requests that the committee not be eliminated from the Governance Structure but rather listed as an inactive committee (i.e., without appointments) to be reconstituted as funds once again become available.

 

Bond Issue:                           Steve Spear reported that although the Bond Issue won’t be brought forward until either November, 2004, or even more likely, November, 2006, the Senate should formally present a motion regarding this issue. He asked Senate members to consider this issue as it will be brought back for further discussion and/or action on October 27.

 

Motion 14                              MSF Bedford, Levy: To adjourn the meeting. Motion failed.

 

Campus Equity Week:         Perry Snyder distributed the following announcement to Senate members:

 

Invitation to Participate

 

Campus Equity Week 2003 (October 27-31) is a nationwide rally sponsored by the California Chapter of the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor highlighting the exploitation of part-time faculty at community colleges and universities.  In San Diego for example, Palomar College, San Diego State University, California State University San Marcos, Southwestern College are planning activities spotlighting the productivity and adverse working conditions of part-time college and university faculty for local legislators, community leaders, and business leaders.  Contingent higher education professionals worry about job security, governance participation, pay equity, and working conditions.  This year's theme, "Real Teachers Deserve Genuine Respect," encompasses their concerns.

 

California's higher education institutions have over a twenty-year history of balancing tuition and state funding with institutional budgets by hiring contingent workers at drastically lower pay scales with often inadequate working environments, inadequate or nonexistent benefits, not to mention no participation in institutional governance.

 

By garnering your support, the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor and your constituent post-secondary educators wish to maintain the vitality, productiveness, growth, and superiority of California's economy and educational system.  California's economy cannot flourish without a fair and viable education system.  Contingent faculty, who possess the same qualification as full-time or tenure-track instructors teach fifty-percent of California's post-secondary students, and there is no justifiable reason for contingent faculty to work at forty-percent salaries without benefits. 

 

Understanding the current economic conditions in California, contingent academic labor does not expect immediate change; however, understanding and acknowledging current problems are important steps.

 

I respectfully request that we all engage in dialog to continually discuss the specific needs of contingent faculty and to invite you to participate in activities at Palomar during Campus Equity Week 2003 (October 27-31) and in particular to participate in the special activities at Palomar on October 27.  Thank you

 

Perry Snyder also announced he would like the above issue to be an Action item at next week’s meeting.  He will bring a resolution to the October 27th meeting.

 

Faculty Senate

Constituency Lists:             Sara Thompson reported that Senators can expect to receive their Constituency List assignments later this week. She confirmed that in accordance with past practice, the members of the Faculty Council as well as the Curriculum Co-Chair will not be assigned constituent names. 

 

Faculty Manual: Report

From Faculty Meeting:        Maria Miller announced that faculty members at the October 1st Faculty Meeting overwhelmingly agreed that an updated printed copy of the Faculty Manual should be provided to those who ask for it, or at the very least, one copy per department, at the district’s expense.

 

                                                She added that she would bring this item back for Senate action and support on October 27.

 

Student Equity/Computer

Access:                                  Maria Miller reported that the issue of student access to computers was also discussed at length at the October 1st Faculty Meeting. There was unanimous opposition to the proposed changes to PAR. In the Spring 2004 schedule there will be no mention of PAR even though it will still be available. In the Summer 2004 schedule PAR will be phased out all together. The district is being asked to maintain at least two or three phone lines for students who will still need them.

 

                                                This item will be brought back for Senate action and support on October 27.

 

Institutional Review

Committee Changes:            Copies of the proposed changes to the Institutional Review Committee were provided last week.  Steve Spear indicated that the role of the committee is changing in that it will no longer be the body that does the actual review, but will develop the policies for review. The reviews will be done by the actual units as part of the planning process.

 

                                                Discussion occurred on the proposed changes. There was some concern expressed in removing the Curriculum Co-Chair from the list of members, as well as the removal of a Co-Chair appointed by the Faculty Senate to be replaced by a faculty member elected from the membership of the Committee. The role of IPC also needs to be clarified, as well as the process in which the individual unit reviews will get to these two groups.

 

                                                This item will be presented for Senate action on October 27.

 

Motion 15                              MSC Miller, Levy: To adjourn the meeting.

 

                                                The meeting was adjourned at 3:50 p.m.

 

                                                Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

                                                Bonnie Ann Dowd, Secretary