Minutes of the

SPECIAL MEETING OF THE FACULTY SENATE

December 17, 2003

 

APPROVED

 

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

 

ABSENT:                               Marilee Nebelsick-Tagg, Anne Voth, Tamara Weintraub

 

GUESTS:                                Elaine Collins, Dan Finkenthal

                                               

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

 

Approval of Minutes:        

 

Motion 1                                MSC Drinan, Snyder: To postpone the approval of the minutes of December 8, 2003.

 

                                                Barb Neault-Kelber requested that the following memorandums be inserted into the minutes:

 

                                                December 15, 2003

 

                                                To:          Members of the Faculty Senate

                                                From:       Barb Neault Kelber

                                                Re:           The minutes of December 8, 2003 Meeting of the Faculty Senate

 

                                                In support of my request that we postpone the approval of the minutes, I respectfully ask that the Senate consider this clarification relating to the arguments of December 08.

 

                                                Attached please find copies of two letters. I wrote one of them on November 25, 2003, and I received the other from Anne Voth on December 01, 2003. I read Anne’s letter for the first time on that day, when I found it in my regular mailbox, a few hours before our Faculty Senate meeting. I have read it many times since.

 

                                                I bring these documents to the Senate because they provide specific context for references made by Anne Voth on December 08 as part of her argument against a formal recusal policy. When Anne introduced this matter into the record, referring to attempts by someone in a faculty leadership position to intimidate her by asking her to recuse herself in matters outside the Senate, I felt that the Senate should not allow for such a reference to be made for the sake of persuasion without specific clarification.

 

                                                I intended to ask Anne directly on December 08 to clarify the reference, as I believed Senators should be afforded the opportunity to understand the implications of her rhetoric rather than be persuaded by unclear references and abstract arguments. I would have asked her specifically, about the third point in her letter and about how she defines the term “intimidation.” I was not allowed to make that point of clarification because the Faculty Senate President aggressively prevented it.

 

                                                As these documents show, I did not originally intend to share this communication beyond a simple dialogue, and if I had been allowed to speak last week, I would have spoken of them then and moved on. I am sharing them now because Anne Voth made them part of her argument, and because we should no longer accept the lack of clarity that is only perpetuated by indirect reference and abstract accusation. Our minutes are littered with these, coming from inside the Senate as well as from outside, and they result in a kind of perverse accommodation of half-truths with no follow-up questions.

 

                                                Perhaps naively, I went directly to Anne with my request that she consider recusal, and I hoped that she would see not only the opportunity to take a logically sound and ethical step, but also the opportunity to protect our faculty peer review process (and protect herself, as well) all in one gesture of recusal. In this case, I was speaking as a faculty member who recognizes that the present climate of suspicion, complaint and investigation, whether real or perceived, could endanger our peer review process.

 

                                                I will be glad to answer any questions relating to this (including any questions about the accusations Anne Voth makes against me in her letter) after the Senate has had the opportunity to consider it. Perhaps at our January 26 meeting, we can approve the minutes of December 08 with this contextual matter included for clarification.

 

                                                From:       Barbara Kelber

                                                Sent:        Tuesday, November 25, 2003 1:01 pm

                                                To:          Voth, Anne L.

                                                Subject:    recusal policy

 

                                                Anne,

                                                Unfortunately, the Senate was unable to take up the recusal policy for action yesterday because we ran out of time, as you know. Next week we probably won’t have time to consider it because we’ll have the visitors from the State Senate as our guests. Because of these delays, I’m approaching you directly, before I take this matter to the Senate.

 

                                                Please look at the recusal policy, which I believe the Senate will probably adopt, and officially step aside from the position of TERB coordinator, certainly and at least in the cases of faculty members against whom you have brought a grievance or complaint. Also, I hope you will recognize the need to do so in the case of any faculty member who requests your recusal.

 

                                                Although I have only fragmentary knowledge of some of these matters relating to complaints and investigations and the like, what I hear concerns me and leads me to this request. I hope you will do the right thing, taking steps without further prompting, to be fair. You would be doing so for the sake of all the faculty, as well as for the future health and welfare of our tenure and review process. The recusal policy will apply not only to you, of course, but to all in similar positions in the present as well as in the future.

 

                                                Thank you for considering this request.

                                                Barb Neault Kelber

                                               

                                                December 1, 2003

 

                                                Barbara,

 

                                                Thanks so much for your email of November 25th. It’s nice to know that there are other people out there who wish to think of me, dictate my ethics, disregard established college procedures and have no clue whatsoever as to how things actually work. I am always amused by people who base their opinions on the way they wish things were. Any disconnect from reality is not healthy.

 

                                                Now let’s get down to the specifics of your email, statement by statement.

 

                                                First, you have threatened that if I don’t officially step aside from the position of TERB coordinator or recuse myself at anyone’s request, you will take this matter to the Senate. A faculty officer should not engage in intimidation tactics. This matter is not within the purview of the Faculty Senate. It is a matter for PFF or academic due process. In either case, you can not bring these matters forward. Only persons directly involved may do so. You may not act as an intermediary in any personnel matter unless you are an official grievance officer or acting as an official ombudsperson approved by both parties. If there were such a case, which there isn’t, I certainly would not allow someone as biased as you to act as an ombudsperson. Furthermore, evaluations are not subject to grievance procedures.

 

                                                Second, if the senate adopts a recusal policy, it will apply only within the Senate and to voting on senate motions, etc. It would not apply outside of the Senate. Thus TERB actions and those of its members would not be subject to any Senate recusal policy. You have abused acceptable recusal practices. The senate doesn’t even have a recusal policy beyond that already stated in Robert’s Rules of Order and you, as a faculty leader, abused that policy.

 

                                                Third, I will not, under any circumstances step down from my position of TERB coordinator until my current term expires in May. I have done nothing wrong or even remotely suspect in my tenure as TERB Coordinator. Further, if you make any statement to that effect in public I will sue you to the very limits of your resources with the full backing of my union, the college and the state of California. You will lose. And I will greatly enjoy spending your retirement money.

 

                                                Fourth, I have always stepped aside whenever there is any hint of conflict in my votes on any committee. I shall continue to do so. That is what professionals do. You cannot name one instance where I have come in conflict with any policy of procedure established at Palomar College. You however, can not say the same for yourself. Your personal enmity toward Chris Barkley is patently obvious and you are plainly biased. The professional and ethical thing to have done would have been to recuse yourself from any discussions or votes involving Chris Barkley. You did not do so.

 

                                                Fifth, you have a near total lack of knowledge about how the tenure and evaluations process works. Before you demanded my recusal at the behest of others, you should have taken the time to read the Faculty Manual. As TERB Coordinator, I do not evaluate anyone. I do not sit on any evaluation committees, I do not participate in any evaluations at all. If any matter that comes before TERB and needs a vote, as chair, I do not vote. So what the hell am I supposed to recuse myself from?

 

                                                Sixth, are you totally disconnected from reality? You say I should recuse myself (From what you do not say and above I stated there is nothing from which to recuse myself.) if anyone asks me? Should the PD Coordinator recuse herself from anything if anyone asks? The Sabbatical Leave co-chair? Should a department chair recuse herself from decision-making if any department member asks? So any person with any administrative duties should recuse themselves from anything when anyone asks? Get real.

 

                                                Seventh, you say you only have fragmentary knowledge of matters regarding complaints. If you have any knowledge whatsoever, someone has violated confidence and you are participating in that violation. Thus, you should recuse yourself from further discussions on these matters. I know that if I had fragmentary knowledge on an issue I would keep my mouth shut knowing full well that I don’t know enough to make an intelligent comment. I am shocked by your lack of critical thinking. Did you ever bother to come and speak with me on any issue? I tried a number of times to set up a time to meet with you, but you were too busy to bother with me.

 

                                                Eighth, you wish me to be “fair”. How fair (and ethical I might add) was it for you to bring knowingly stolen property to the senate to use in an action against a fellow senator? How fair was it of you to call for my resignation knowing I had done nothing wrong? How fair (and again ethical) was it for you to betray the Senate’s wishes to keep the Chris Barkley issue in executive session? To quote Sara Thompson “You know that we were planning on talking again about it next Monday, possibly with new information, in executive session.” “You removed the option of this not becoming a circus.” “The only reason for rushing to judgment is so that some who instigated this can be appeased. That is not reason enough.” Faculty officers are supposed to act as neutrally as possible. Your attempts at behaving in a neutral matter are not apparent to anyone. Your hypocrisy is beyond belief.

 

                                                Ninth, if I recused myself from the Tenure Review process, the only people whose interests that would serve would be known liars and thieves for whom you seem to enjoy being the spokesman.

 

                                                Tenth, to reiterate what I stated above (only because you incorrectly state it again in your email) the recusal policy will NOT apply to me or anyone else except having to do with actions in the Senate.

 

                                                Eleventh, your email of symptomatic of exactly why we need help from Kate Clark (ASCCC) and Marty Hittelman (CFT) because of people like you who will do anything to drive a wedge between honest, hard working faculty interested in the betterment of education and not in the fostering of belligerent, anti-social, despicable and often illegal behavior.

                                                Twelfth, I am shocked by your anti-democratic mindset. Freedom of speech is fine with you as long as the other person agrees with you. But if someone differs in an opinion, or chooses to follow an established procedure with which you disagree, you seem perfectly willing to stop at nothing to try and discredit that person. You as a faculty leader are supposed to represent all faculty, not just a small group with a certain agenda.

 

                                                Finally, given your unethical behavior on at least three occasions, I hope that you will do the right, fair, ethical thing and resign as Vice-President of the Faculty and not assume the position of President of the Faculty. You would be doing so for the sake of all faculty, as well as for the future health and welfare of the Faculty Senate.

 

                                                Anne Voth

Presidential Search

Process:                                 Steve Spear indicated that the four motions unanimously approved by the Senate at its December 8, 2003, meeting were presented to the members of the Governing Board at their meeting of December 9. The board approved the request to increase the faculty membership on the Presidential Search Committee from 5 to 9, as well as the recommendation that no board member be included in the first level of the process. The Senate’s request that no search firm be used was not accepted. The proposal to extend the timeline for a year and hire an interim president was not approved but an additional month was added to the process so that site visits could occur in September.

 

                                                The board requested that committee members for the search committee be in place by January 13, but after some discussion that date was moved until January 27, 2004, the day after the next regular meeting of the Senate. At its last meeting, the Senate discussed sending out a poll to faculty members with their recommendations for appointments based on faculty who submitted their name for consideration. The Senate would then appoint the members to the committee based on the results of the polls, one which would be sent to adjunct faculty members and one which would be sent to contract faculty members.

 

                                                Copies of the list of faculty volunteers were provided for information.

 

Motion 2                                MS Dowd, Laughlin: The Faculty Senate will consider appointments of faculty members to the Presidential Search Committee.

 

                                                Lengthy discussion followed on the following issues:

 

·         The greatest number of faculty ought to participate by voting for the greatest number of people. It was proposed that a ballot be sent out after the break rather than now and have a shorter turn-around time. There was concern expressed with having the polls out for such a long period of time by sending them out now and having a deadline of January 23, 2004. It was also suggested that rather than voting divisionally, each faculty member should vote for the entire committee membership.

·         Because the search process doesn’t begin until April 19, 2004, why is there such a rush to form the search committee? There may be more faculty willing to serve if the call for volunteers went out after the break. Some faculty felt they hadn’t been given all of the information on when they would be expected to be available for meetings. It was stated that although the committee meets in February through April to develop the qualifications and the brochure, the members of the Task Force approved at the December faculty meeting could work to complete those tasks. Michele Nelson agreed to this at the December 9 board meeting. She also agreed to the creation of focus groups consisting of any constituent groups wishing to participate.  Senators agreed that it would work in the best interests of the college for all groups to work with other constituent groups so that all groups can talk as a college rather than just as faculty about what we would like in a leader. Based on this issue alone, the timeline needs to be adjusted.

·         Judy Cater indicated that because of scheduling conflicts, no faculty members from the Library submitted their names. Senate members agreed that another call for volunteers should go out for an at-large full-time faculty member to fill that spot on the committee. This would also give faculty members interested in serving a second opportunity to submit their names who may not have had time to do so the first time the announcement went out.

·         The issue was raised that Dr. Amador agreed to confer with the Faculty about the development of the revised timeline and did not do so.

 

Motion 2 amended               MS Dowd, Levy: The Faculty Senate directs the Faculty Senate Elections Committee to send out a poll to the faculty for appointment to the Presidential Search Committee.  In addition, that there be a separate mailing calling for volunteers from the full-time faculty to serve on the committee as a result of the Librarians choosing to ask for a designee from among permanent faculty members to represent their division.

 

·         Senate members discussed the potential complications of having the poll as well as a call for volunteers for the at-large position out at the same time.

 

Motion 2 final                       MSC Dowd, Levy: The Faculty Senate directs the Committee on Committees to send out a call for volunteers to contract faculty members to serve as an at-large member on the Presidential Search Committee.

 

Motion 3                                MSC Dowd, Levy: The Faculty Senate directs the Faculty Senate Elections Committee to send out a poll to all adjunct faculty members on December 18, 2003, for their recommendation for an adjunct faculty member to be appointed to the Presidential Search Committee from the list of names submitted to the Senate today. The closing date for the poll will be January 23, 2004.

 

Motion 4                                MSCU Dowd, Gordon: The Faculty Senate approves the following timeline and procedure appointing permanent faculty members to the Presidential Search Committee:

                                                The Faculty Senate Elections Committee is directed to send out a poll to permanent faculty members on January 27, 2003, asking them to vote on faculty members to serve on the Presidential Search Committee including the volunteers for the at-large position. The poll will be due in the Senate office by Friday, February 6, 2004. All permanent faculty members will be asked to vote for all committee members based upon divisional representation.  The results of the poll will be reported to Senate at its February 9, 2004 meeting in ranked order for each of the divisions.  The Faculty Senate will appoint members to the committee on February 9, 2004, based upon the ranked results of the poll.

 

Senate members agreed that because it is not an official ballot, a single envelope can be used to distribute the poll. Faculty members will be asked to cross out their name on the address label and return their ballot in the same envelope.

 

Motion 5                                MSC Thompson, Cater: To extend the meeting.

 

Senate members also discussed the benefits of inviting the other constituent groups to the February faculty meeting to discuss all of the issues addressed today including the possibility of holding an all-college meeting to discuss the leadership needs for Palomar College.

 

Senators commended Faculty President Maria Miller and Senate President Steve Spear for the statements they made at the December 9 board meeting regarding the faculty concerns and recommendations regarding representation on the presidential search committee.

 

There was also a question on the timeline distributed by Dr. Amador. It states that on August 30 the board will interview semi-finalists and select the finalists. It was understood that the first level committee would pick the three finalists that were going to go forward to the next level, not the board. Steve Spear stated that he would get clarification on this.

 

Committee Appointments:

 

Motion 6                                MSC Cater, Gowen: Faculty Senate approval of the following committee appointments:

 

                                                Bookstore Advisory Committee

                                                Maura Gage – Life Sciences

 

                                                Curriculum Committee

                                                Carolyn Funes – Library

 

                                                Matriculation and Transfer Advisory Committee

                                                Leanne Maunu – English

 

                                                Student Learning Outcomes Task Force

                                                Marty Furch – ESL

                                                Lori Graham – Family and Consumer Sciences

                                                Renee Roth – Counseling

 

                                                Technology Master Plan Task Force – Co-chair

                                                Mike Arguello – Academic Technology Coordinator/EHPS

 

Ballots were distributed for a faculty appointment to the Academic Technology Task Force. Senate members agreed that because so many members had left the meeting, there doesn’t appear to be a need to rush appointment and the fact that this is a special meeting of the Senate that the vote should be postponed until the next regular meeting.

 

Motion 7                                MSC Dowd, Gordon: To postpone the distribution of a ballot and approval of a faculty member to the Academic Technology Task Force.

 

                                                Bonnie Dowd asked that based on discussions at prior Senate meetings, the Committee on Committees attempt to obtain statements from those faculty members interested in serving on this task force so the Senators have some information to select an individual to serve.

 

Other:                                     Dan Finkenthal distributed a memo to Senate members regarding procedures relating to membership on the Tenure and Evaluations Review Board.

 

 

ADJOURNMENT:               The meeting was adjourned at 3:15 p.m.

 

                                                Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                Bonnie Ann Dowd, Secretary