Minutes of the


August 25, 2003




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, Anne Voth, Tamara Weintraub




GUESTS:                                Judy Eckhart, 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. Steve announced that because this was the first meeting of the academic year and as a result of information he received while attending the Statewide Academic Senate annual Leadership Workshop for incoming Senate Presidents, he wanted to take a few minutes to address issues regarding the Brown Act and Roberts Rules of Order.


Steve announced that he would take presidential privilege at the beginning of the meeting. He stated that he attended a half-day breakout session on the Brown Act while attending a Statewide Academic Senate Leadership Workshop. He stated that the Senate had been informed wrongly that it had violated the Brown Act in some respects, then he stated that the Senate had not. Steve then stated that “The Brown Act, specifically, in section 54952.2.c.1 allows any member of the Senate to send out any communication to anybody they wish.”  


                                                However, the Senate is violating The Brown Act in several other ways. One of the ways that The Brown Act is violated is by listing in our agenda under Action and Information an “other” category.  Thus Steve pointed out that this current agenda does not have the word “other” listed under Action or Information.  It was further noted that another way that we are violating The Brown Act is when we move something from Information to Action in the same week. Steve said that we can of course suspend the agenda and talk about an information item ahead if there is a guest or something that is relevant to an Action Item; however, we can’t put something under Information and Action in the same week because that violates The Brown Act specifically Section 54952.2.c.1.Approval of Minutes:     The minutes of May 19, 2003, were approved as amended.


                                                Steve also informed the Senators that he had obtained a laminated copy of, “the red card” listing of AB1725’s Academic and Professional matters for each Senator.  All were encouraged to carry their cards and refer to them as necessary.  It was further pointed out that Palomar College has in effect a “rely primarily upon” agreement between the Senate and the district, which places the Senate as the ultimate authority on these Academic and Professional matters including a twelfth item related to Faculty hiring policies and procedures as listed in our Faculty Constitution.


The Brown Act:                    Steve Spear reported that in accordance with The Brown Act, the agenda will no longer list “Other” under Action or Information items. He also stated that it is a violation to move Information items to “Action” in the same meeting.



Approval of Minutes:         The minutes of May 19, 2003, were approved as amended.


Steve Spear also made the following announcement: I wonder if I might take a couple of seconds here as Presidential Privilege. Last June, I attended the Statewide Academic Senate Leadership Conference and I attended a breakout session for a half a day on The Brown Act. And we were informed, wrongly it turns out last year, that we had violated The Brown Act in some respects of… we did not…The Brown Act specifically in Section 549542.2.C.1 allows any member of the Senate to send out any communication to anybody they wish. However, we are violating The Brown Act in several ways. One of the ways that we violate The Brown Act is in our agenda under Action and Information having the word “other.” You will notice that your agenda does not have the word “other” and that is why. Another way that we are violating The Brown Act is when we move something from Information to Action in the same week. You can’t do that. Now, you can of course suspend the agenda and talk about an information item ahead if you have a guest or something but you can’t put something under Information and Action in the same week because that violates the…specifically Section 549542.2.C.


Rely primarily upon…we supposedly are the ultimate authority of these Academic and Professional matters.Committee

Appointments:                         Steve Spear reported that he had contacted and selected each of these five people to serve on Committee on Committees__________________: Anne Voth, Chris Barkley and Judy Cater because they have a long history of dealing with these procedures and also askedhave selected Brent Gowen and Katie Townsend-Merino because of their  fresh bloodthat they bring to the Senate and the process.  Steve asked for so I need approval or objection to the selections.


Motion 1                                MSC Levy, Dolan: Faculty Senate approval of the appointment of the following faculty members to the Committee on Committees:


                                                Chris Barkley

                                                Judy Cater

                                                Brent Gowen

                                                Katie Townsend-Merino

                                                Anne Voth


Other Committees:               Discussion was held regarding faculty membership on the Benefits Committee. MaryAnn Drinan indicated that appointments to this committee will now be made by the Palomar Faculty Federation.


                                                Anne Voth added that a list of committee vacancies and a call for volunteers should be distributed to faculty members soon. The list will not include the Benefits Committee, as this falls under the purview of PFF, or the Student Equity Committee.


Motion 2                                MS Sourbeer, Nebelsick-Tagg: The Faculty Senate directs the Committee on Committees Chair to send out a list of committee vacancies and a call for volunteers to faculty members.


Student Equity

Committee:                            Senate members discussed the student equity issue. The Student Equity Committee could be considering issues such as access to computers and technology. Students are being asked to obtain much of their class information online and whether they have access to technology should be explored, particularly with the ongoing discussions of a “paperless college.” This item will be brought back for further discussion at the September 15, Senate meeting.


Motion 2 (amended)            MSC Sourbeer, Nebelsick-Tagg: The Faculty Senate directs the Committee on Committees Chair to send out a list of committee vacancies, including the Student Equity Committee, and a call for volunteers to faculty members.


NCHEA Director:                 Steve Spear reported that Lori Waite was elected as the NCHEA Director for the summer but another volunteer was solicited for this semester because Lori is on sabbatical leave.  Judy Eberhart volunteered to serve for this year with the plan being that when Lori returns from her sabbatical leave, she will be appointed to serve the second year. However, NCHEA was concerned that Palomar would appoint someone to be the Director of NCHEA who had not previously served on the NCHEA board.  Judy Eberhart has served on this board in her role as Professional Development Coordinator.


                                                In addition, discussion occurred that positions aren’t usually held for faculty members on sabbatical leave. If the position becomes vacant after one year, in fairness another call for volunteers should be distributed. Senate members agreed that because the position has always been filled for a two-year term, that practice should be continued.


Motion 3                                MSC Cater, Barkley: Faculty Senate approval of the appointment of Judy Eberhart as NCHEA Director for a two-year term.


Elections:                               Steve Spear reported that vacancies currently exist for the Faculty Vice President/Secretary and a faculty designee for the position of Past President of The Faculty. These two positions will also serve on the Faculty Council and the Faculty Senate through the end of this year. There was some discussion on clarifying the duties of each position before the announcement is distributed.


Motion 4                                MS Barkley, Sourbeer: The Faculty Senate directs the Elections Committee to send out a call for nominations for the positions of Faculty Vice President/Secretary and a faculty designee for the position of Past President of The Faculty.


                                                Stan Levy, as Chair of the Elections Committee, suggested that the announcements for the vacant positions go out separately until this issue can be discussed based on our current model and the Faculty Constitution.


Motion 5                                MSF Dowd, Levy: To Table Motion 4. Motion failed.


                                                The following substitute for Motion 4 was presented for approval:


Motion 4 (Substitute)          MSC Levy, Nebelsick-Tagg: The Faculty Senate directs the Elections Committee to send out a call for nominations for the position of Faculty Vice President/Secretary.


PFF Representation

On Committees:                    Steve Spear reported that two faculty members currently on the Faculty Council are needed to serve on the Joint Council. Mario Mendez and Anne Voth previously held these positions. Senate members were asked to make nominations.


                                                Bonnie Ann Dowd and Sara Thompson were nominated and accepted the nominations.


Motion 6                                MSC Barkley, Laughlin: The Faculty Senate recommends the appointment of Bonnie Ann Dowd and Sara Thompson on the Joint Council by acclamation.


Motion 7                                MSC Barkley, Bedford: The Faculty Senate directs Bonnie Ann Dowd and Sara Thompson, as new members of the Joint Council, to talk to the members of the PFF on the Joint Council about the issue of divisional representation on committees and to bring back suggestions to the Faculty Senate on how committee appointments should be handled.


Learning Culture Task

Force:                                     The proposal for a Learning Culture Task Force was initially presented to the Senate last semester. The role of this task force was to develop methods to foster an effective learning culture that promotes institutional and student expectations, responsibilities, and respect. The task force would also develop criteria to assess and a method to evaluate the outcomes of the committee’s efforts.


                                                Because this item is currently tabled at the Strategic Planning Council, Steve Spear indicated that Dr. Amador has asked for some input from the Senate on how to proceed. Chris Barkley added that she has recommended to the members of the Strategic Planning Council that a committee should be created to decide how to discuss the learning culture and how to improve it.


                                                Bonnie Dowd stated that this suggests we don’t have a learning culture, when many feel we already do. She also questioned why this issue should be addressed by a new committee when the Senate has an Academic Standards & Practices Committee is in place which could be assigned the task of reviewing and/or reexamining Palomar’s learning culture.


Motion 8                                MSC Dowd, Bedford: That the issue of creating a Learning Culture Task Force be sent to the Academic Standards & Practices Committee for review with a report back to the Senate.


Senator Orientation

Meeting:                                Steve Spear announced that Senator Orientation would be held on Monday, September 8, from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. in SU-30. Senate members were provided with a tentative agenda.  Steve explained that the Senate will be following Robert’s Rules of Order for all meetings.  The Senate will also be adhering to The Brown Act.  Steve noted that he had asked Bruce Bishop to come to the upcoming orientation to explain both to the Senate.  Dan Finkenthal voiced concern that while Bruce Bishop was an expert with regard to parliamentary procedures perhaps an attorney or someone with more expertise with The Brown Act should be invited to the orientation.


ADA Replacement/

Attrition Issue:                     Steve Spear provided copies of a memo he sent to Dr. Amador regarding the district’s plans as individual Academic Department Assistants (ADAs) either resign or retire. Dr. Amador has replied as follows: “the Deans are analyzing the workload of every ADA. The overall goal is to equalize the workload among the ADAs to give them added support where needed and to give them more work in those cases where the criteria have not been met. The criteria have not been finalized. There are no plans to reduce ADAs as long as there is someone in the position. However, ‘There are no sacred cows’ so there is no guarantee that there will never be a reduction in the total number of ADAs.”


                                                Steve indicated that he was given a copy of the criteria put together by the Deans under Dr. Vernoy. Although he was asked not to copy the information or distribute it via email because it is a very rough draft, Senate members were told that they could review it if they wished to do so. The information includes a statistical analysis of each department and whether their workload is within the average.


                                                Some Senate members were dismayed that they could review the document but not provide copies for discussions with their department chairs on staffing issues. It was pointed out that often decisions are made then the information is disseminated out for discussion after it’s too late to provide input to a decision.


                                                This issue will be brought back for Senate Action on September 15.



Task Force:                           Copies of the proposal for the Student Learning Outcomes Task Force were provided.


                                                The Task Force will be formed to:

1.                    Respond to the Accrediting Commission recommendation

The college has begun to develop processes for measuring

student learning outcomes and should integrate into its formal

method of review of academic programs and certificates the

creation and evaluation of student learning outcomes on a

course, program, and degree/certificate level; and

2.                    Prepare for meeting the new accreditation standards for the next comprehensive site visit in March 2009.


While faculty will determine specific learning outcomes at the course and program level, the Task Force product is a detailed implementation plan that defines the structures, tasks, timelines, and responsibilities, as they relate to broader institutional objectives of student success, mission and effectiveness, and program development and review.


The Task Force will report to the Strategic Planning Council.


Senate members discussed the need for additional faculty representation. When it comes to determining student-learning outcomes, there was consensus that the district has to rely on the expertise of itsinput provided by faculty.  Therefore, the biggest influence has to be faculty on this Student Learning Outcomes Task Force is essential.


                                                This item will be brought back for Senate Action on September 15.


Email Voting, Senate

Council:                                 Steve Spear reported that a Senator had requested that the issue of email voting be brought back for further discussion. Last semesterSemester Senator’s opinions varied on whether voting by email should occur. There were some concerns about faculty email lists being kept up-to-date and Steve indicated that he did discuss this with Dr. Miyamoto who will work with Jose Vargas in Information Systems in an effort to improve both contract and adjunct faculty lists on the server.


                                                This item will be brought back for Senate Action on September 15.


                                                Dan Finkenthal stated that it was his understanding that no two Senators can always communicate with one another privately via email and he cautioned the Senate President on making such statements until The Brown Act is further explained in the upcoming Senate Orientation. Dan. He indicated that The Brown Act specifically governs a lot of that communication. Steve Spear indicated that according to Section 54952.2.C.1, “individual contact between any two members is perfectly legal.” Dan stated that two committee members can communicate but not all email can be done privately among members. Since there was disagreement on the issue, Steve suggested that Danhe should request an agenda item to discuss it further, or file a formal complaint with the District Attorney if he feels there has been a violation.


Faculty Manual:                   Steve Spear reminded Senate members that once a contract is signed between faculty members and the district, the Faculty Manual must be reviewed and edited. Volunteers will be needed at that time.


Bond Issue:                           Steve Spear asked Senators whether they would like to invite Jerry Patton to the meeting of September 15, to discuss exactly how a bond issue works and the financial impact on the district. There was overall agreement.


Committee on Committees

Terms & Service:                  Copies of a memo created by the members of the Personnel Standards & Practices Committee on the role of the Committee on Committees was provided. The Personnel Standards & Practices committee is discussing the following operating principles as standard rulesbylaws of the Committee on Committees:


The Committee on Committees shall meet on a regular, scheduled basis, so that all five of the members appointed by the Senate president can participate in the process of nominating to fill committees. The solicitation for volunteers shall include a description of the nature and duties of the designated committee, and the length of the term of office. Faculty applicants shall be requested to submit a short statement of their qualifications and reasons for wishing to serve, including their membership on other committees. In its recommendations to the Senate, the Committee on Committees shall attempt to show preference for applicants who have fewer committee assignments. When there are more applicants than openings, the Senate shall vote by secret ballot. The applicant with the highest number of votes shall be awarded the longer term, if this circumstance arises.


Clarification is needed on the following issues raised by the faculty council on the same issue:


Do we wish to continue the current practice of having the entire Senate vote on all committee appointments?


When filling committee vacancies where there is divisional representation:

a.                    If we can’t find a divisional volunteer, should we take anyone we can find (current practice) or leave the position vacant?

b.                   If a committee member is appointed as above and a vacancy in that member’s division representation occurs, should that member continue serving their appointed term or should they be re-appointed to the other slot representing their division? (This could become a logistical nightmare).


Senate members also discussed whether the issue should be sent to the current Committee on Committees, or a Task Force consisting of as many previous Committee on Committees chairs we can find. It was suggested that the issue be forwarded to the Committee on Committees with invitations to all the previous chairs to participate in the decision-making. Discussion followed.


This item will be brought back for Senate Action on September 15.


Dan Finkenthal voiced concern with regard to the process used in the past for committee appointments. Dan stated that many problems could be resolved if everything is kept as an open and transparent process. Judy Cater responded that the Senate’s Personnel Standards and Practices committee chaired by Bill Bedford is reviewing the process used for committee appointments and the concerns addressed by Dan.  Judy asked that the committee be allowed to handle the matter and that the Senate waits to get information back from the committee.


Listing June Intersession

Classes in Spring Schedule

& Change in Student

Parking Fee Terms:              This item was postponed.


Move “Reports”:                 Senate members discussed a change in the Agenda to move the “Reports” Section right after the approval of minutes. Often there isn’t enough time in the meeting to complete the agenda and/or having guests present to make reports being required to sit through the entire meeting.


                                                There was some concern expressed on making a formal change to the Agenda. Our Constitution allows 50 minutes for the Senate to meet and take action, which is the most important business the Senate does each week. By moving reports before action, there is a chance that there will not be enough time to deal with all the Action and Information items. It was suggested that it be dealt with week by week rather than making such a change. Senate members always have the option of making a motion to suspend the agenda if there are guests present who wish to make a report. Or, those individuals wishing to assure that their reports are made public could provide a written copy, which will be included in the minutes.


President Amador/

Governing Board:                 Steve Spear announced that a copy of the Facilities Master Plan has been provided and will be kept in SU-30 for any faculty members who wish to take a look at it.


ADJOURNED:                      The meeting was adjourned at 3:37 p.m.


                                                Respectfully submitted,


                                                Bonnie Ann Dowd, Secretary