Minutes of the

MEETING OF THE FACULTY SENATE

March 17, 2003

 

APPROVED

 

PRESENT:                             Mike Arguello, Chris Barkley, Bill Bedford, Judy Dolan, Bonnie Ann Dowd, MaryAnn Drinan, Teresa Laughlin, Stan Levy, Dennis Lutz, Mario Mendez, Maria Miller, Marilee Nebelsick-Tagg, Sue Norton, Jose Rangel, Steve Spear, Joe Stanford, Dan Sourbeer, Fari Towfiq, Rocco Versaci, Anne Voth, Lori Waite

 

ABSENT:                               Judy Cater, Sara Thompson

 

GUESTS:                                Andrea Bell, Martha Evans, Pam McDonough, Haryo Praborro, Jack Quintero

                                               

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

 

Approval of Minutes:         The minutes of March 10, 2003, were approved as amended.

 

Proxy votes:                          Bonnie Ann Dowd announced that Dan Sourbeer is holding a proxy for Sara Thompson, and Anne Voth is holding a proxy for Judy Cater.

 

Poll Request:                         Maria Miller presented a request that she received from over 10 percent of the faculty requesting that a poll be distributed to all contract faculty. The wording is as follows:

 

                                                As a full-time contract member of the Palomar College Faculty, do you have confidence in the leadership style and management skills of President Sherrill Amador?

 

                                                                No, I do not have confidence in Dr. Amador as a leader.

                                                                Yes, I do have confidence in Dr. Amador as a leader.

 

                                                She anticipated that the poll would be distributed later in the week. As requested in the petition, the two-envelope procedure used in the past will be utilized. The results of the poll will be announced at the first possible Faculty Senate meeting and at the first possible Governing Board meeting after its completion.

 

                                                Bill Bedford asked whether adjunct faculty members could participate in such a poll. Chris Barkley indicated that they could be polled separately using the electronic ballot system we have in place.

 

Motion 1                                MS Bedford, Sourbeer: The Faculty Senate directs the Senate Elections Committee to send out an electronic poll to adjunct faculty members asking if they have confidence in the leadership style and management skills of President Sherrill Amador.

 

Discussion followed on how many adjunct faculty members utilize Palomar College’s email system, and the number who would be able to participate. Some Senate members suggested that Chris Barkley contact Information Systems and Chris Norcross to find out how many adjuncts are registered users. In response to a question about how many adjunct faculty participate in the elections when distributed on paper ballots, Stan Levy indicated that the response rate was low, at approximately 15 – 25 percent.

 

Motion 2                                MSC Versaci, Levy: To Postpone Motion 1 until March 24, 2003.

 

Election Results:                  Stan Levy announced that as a result of the recent elections, Lori Waite has been elected to serve on the Senate through May, 2003. She was welcomed by those present.

 

Committee

Appointments:

 

Motion 3                                MSC Voth, Dolan: Faculty Senate approval of the following committee appointments:

 

                                                Institutional Review

                                                Lori Waite, DSP&S

 

                                                Educational and Facilities Master Plan Task Force

                                                Neil Bruington, Graphic Communications

 

                                                Program Review Task Force

                                                Clifford Meyer, T & I

                                                Ed Kirk, ROP

                                                Bruce Gan, ROP

 

                                                Volunteers for the District Compliance Representative (Compliance Officer)

                                                Chris Barkley

                                                Judy Cater

                                                Bonnie Ann Dowd

                                                Dan Finkenthal

                                                Lois Galloway

                                                Shannon Lienhart

                                                Sue Norton

                                                Sara Thompson

 

Holiday Schedule:               

 

Motion 4                                MSC Dowd, Stanford: Faculty Senate approval of the 2003-04 Holiday Schedule.

 

                                                There was some discussion on the placement of Spring Break. MaryAnn Drinan indicated that the PFF determined the date based on input from faculty members and the Senate regarding concern about Spring semester ending right around Memorial Day and Spring semester starting at the end of January. The proposed calendar is a compromise to move Spring Break to the middle of the semester in exchange for the semester beginning sooner. It also gives those faculty members teaching in June a little longer break between semesters. In response to another question about Spring Break, MaryAnn Drinan indicated that several schools and community colleges in the area were contacted and all had various placement of the holiday week. She added that a Calendar Committee is being formed and will take a look at all the aspects of the calendar for future proposals.

 

AT & PD

Coordinator Positions:

 

Motion 5                                MSCU Dowd, Dolan:

 

WHEREAS

The Faculty Senate is against the concept of combining the Professional

Development Coordinator position with the Academic Technology Coordinator position.

 

AND WHEREAS

Professional Development is an Academic and Professional matter as defined by AB1725 (Chapter 973, Statues of 1988) and (Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 53200).  And, professional development policies at Palomar College are a Faculty Senate issue in accordance with the Constitution of the Faculty of Palomar College, Article II, Section 2, Senate Duties: number 1, item 8.  

 

AND WHEREAS

As an A & P, matter policies for professional development falls under the purview of the Faculty Senate. 

 

AND WHEREAS

The Professional Development Coordinator position is funded as an 80% reassigned time faculty coordinator position in accordance with AB1725.  This position is funded by General Fund budget to support self-designed activities, workshops, seminars, mini-conferences, innovative projects, teacher exchanges, study circles, training and retraining activities, orientations, video/teleconferences, and teaching resources.  The duties of the Professional Development Coordinator include 14 specific items that were adopted and identified in BP167 and Procedure 167 by the Palomar College Governing Board, which relies primarily upon the Faculty Senate on A & P matters. 

 

AND WHEREAS

The Professional Development program emphasizes pedagogical and discipline specific peer support of teaching and faculty.  

 

AND WHEREAS

The Professional Development program is unequalled throughout the nation and Canada as evidenced by being recognized with awards of excellence on two occasions by NCSPOD, National Council of Staff, Professional and Organizational Development.  It has been identified in the current and previous Accreditation Reports as working very well and demonstrating clear evidence of faculty involvement.  According to the most recent Accreditation Report, Professional Development will be integral in the training and preparation for meeting the new accreditation standards.

 

AND WHEREAS

The Academic Technology Coordinator was created as a result of the work of the

Technology Governance Committee in an attempt to support technology training for

Faculty including the creation of on-line distance learning classes.  The position was created internally in a concerted effort to provide software training for faculty.  Such training is an approved activity for faculty professional development.

 

AND WHEREAS

The Academic Technology program has received recognition from the recent Accreditation Report and from the College Institutional Review process for the outstanding levels of services provided to faculty, staff, and administrators in the maintenance of the College Web Page, and the services provided to faculty and students in the development and expansion of on-line educational programs.

 

AND WHEREAS

 The Academic Technology Coordinator position has been partially funded from General Funds with the balance from technology grants for 80% full-time faculty reassignment to provide skills based training, which requires competencies in software and applications. 

 

AND WHEREAS

The Faculty Senate recognizes that issues such as reassigned time for each of these Coordinators are negotiable items that should be addressed in the negotiation process with PFF. 

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED

The Faculty Senate of Palomar College objects to the combining of these two faculty coordinator positions as the intent, responsibilities and required skills of each position, while complementary, vary significantly thus requiring two separate positions.

 

Closed Session Policy:

 

Motion 6                                MSCU Versaci, Laughlin: That the following statement be read as part of the Faculty Senate report at the March 25, 2003, Governing Board meeting; that copies of this statement and supporting materials be given to all Governing Board members; and that a copy of this statement be delivered to Barbara Baldridge for insertion, verbatim, into the official minutes of that meeting:

 

The Office of the Attorney General of the State of California has written extensively about legal interpretations of the Ralph M. Brown Act, which establishes open meeting laws in this state.  According to this office, "the authority for [closed] sessions has been narrowly construed…the fact that material may be sensitive, embarrassing, or controversial does not justify application of a closed session…rather, in many circumstances these characteristics may be further evidence of the need for public scrutiny and participation in discussing such matters" ("The Brown Act – Permissible Closed Sessions" sec. 1A).

What the President and Governing Board often state is that closed sessions are necessary in order to discuss confidential personnel matters, and on this matter, the Attorney General has this to say:  "The courts and this office have consistently maintained that the personnel exception must be used in connection with the consideration of a particular employee.  The exemption is not available for across-the-board decisions or evaluations of employees, classifications, salary structures, etc.  In Santa Clara Federation of Teachers v. Governing Board (1981), 116 Cal.App.3d 831, the court concluded that a board's consideration of a hearing officer's decision concerning teacher layoff policy must be conducted in open session" ("The Brown Act – Permissible Closed Sessions" sec. 2A).

Using the Attorney General’s summary of case law as background, the Faculty Senate would like to inform the Governing Board that if any discussion concerning faculty layoffs and/or academic program reduction takes place in closed session, then the President and Governing Board members are probably in violation of the Brown Act, and they make themselves vulnerable to legal action.  It should be noted that a "meeting," as defined in The Brown Act, does not necessitate that a vote be taken ("Open Meeting Laws in California:  The Brown Act").  The Faculty Senate maintains the unequivocal position that all such discussion take place in open session.

In the interests of fairness and legality, the Faculty Senate hereby requests that members of the Governing Board familiarize themselves with the Brown Act and case law regarding closed sessions.  The Faculty Senate also requests that while in closed session, members of the Governing Board object to topics of discussion that might be inappropriate for such sessions.  Finally, the Faculty Senate wants members of the Governing Board to be aware that in cases where Governing Boards have been found to be in violation of The Brown Act, courts have forced districts "to make and preserve tapes of closed sessions…declare[d] actions taken null and void…[and] award[ed] costs and attorneys fees" ("What To Do If…").

References

 

1.  "The Brown Act:  Permissible Closed Sessions."  Website of the Office of Attorney General, State of California.  March 3, 2003.

<http://caag.state.ca.us/consumers/text/bapcs.txt>

2        "Open Meeting Laws in California:  The Brown Act."  The First Amendment Project Website.  March 3, 2003. http://www.thefirstamendment.org/thebrownact.html

3        "What to Do If…"  The First Amendment Project Website.  March 3, 2003. http://www.thefirstamendment.org/whattodoif.html

 

Motion  7                               MSC Spear, Levy: To suspend the Agenda and move the subject of the Academic Department Assistants to Action.

 

Motion 8                                MSCU Spear, Bedford: As a matter of collegiality, fiscal sanity, and decency, and due to the potential negative impact on the educational program, the Faculty Senate urges the district not to lay off or otherwise reduce the number of Academic Department Assistants until such time as the total number of faculty, administrators, and classified staff taking advantage of any supplemental early retirement programs has been determined.

 

                                                Lengthy discussion followed on the lack of communication to department chairs on the actions of the district in relation to giving 30-day notices to Academic Department Assistants (ADA’s) and other classified personnel. When the issue of ADA layoffs came up earlier this semester, the district assured everyone that these were just rumors, and that no one would be losing their jobs. It was also noted that at the March 13, 2003, CCE/AFT meeting, Jack Miyamoto assured those present that if they had not received a potential layoff notice by then, they would not be receiving one. PFF leaders as well as CCE/AFT leaders were assured that talk on campus of ADA layoffs were just rumors. Just a day later on March 14, 2003, several classified staff members were told that their jobs could be eliminated as early as May of this year.

 

                                                Chris Barkley added that this issue will be discussed at the Instructional Planning Council meeting this Wednesday, March 19th, and any suggestions for reduction in force would come from that group, and be forwarded to the Strategic Planning Council prior to their April 1st meeting.

 

                                                Additional discussion occurred on a list of cost-saving possibilities distributed at a recent Chair/Directors meeting, which was presented as brainstorming ideas rather than actual cuts. Concern about rumor versus fact was expressed. Also, all agreed that significant cost cutting has already happened by not replacing faculty or hiring the approved positions. It was suggested that other areas in which cost savings could occur should be explored so that we are not crippling the support system needed to serve our students by reducing the number of classified staff.

 

Motion 9                                MSC Dowd, Nebelsick-Tagg: To extend the meeting.

 

Curriculum:                            Following up on discussion which occurred at the Senate last week, Teresa Laughlin provided an update on the General Studies degree. The AA is being modified and the student has the option of selecting one emphasis from Arts and Humanities, Science and Mathematics, or Social and Behavioral Sciences. Only three units may double-count between the AA general education requirements and the selected emphasis. Also, students may receive only one General Studies major.

 

                                                This will be presented for Senate action on March 24, 2003.

 

Rally & Letter Writing

Campaign:                             Chris Barkley reported that many faculty, staff, and students attended the rally earlier in the day to oppose the proposed budget cuts. The letter writing campaign is underway, but more faculty members are needed to volunteer to send letters to local newspapers.

 

Joint Council Motion:         Anne Voth read the following Motion from the members of the Joint Council:

 

                                                The Faculty Senate respects the role of the PFF to negotiate the specifics of working conditions, but has a responsibility of its own to comment on all issues relating to academic and professional matters. Palomar College is committed to educational excellence and student success. District proposals to increase workload and class size run counter to this culture and will negatively impact faculty morale, curriculum and program delivery, and student success. The Faculty Senate supports PFF and urges the District to work with PFF to maintain this commitment.

 

                                                This will be presented for Senate action on March 24, 2003.

 

Other:                                     Senators discussed the need for ongoing communications between faculty members who serve on the Planning Councils and the Senate. Those councils that do not have Senators as members should have a liaison appointed by the Senate to attend those meetings and provide reports.

 

Motion 10                              MSC Voth, Dowd: Faculty Senate approval of the appointment of Judy Dolan to the Administrative Services Planning Council.

 

Governing Board:                 Chris Barkley reported that Dr. Amador’s evaluation was presented to the Governing Board in closed session at the March 11th board meeting. In response to a question on the outcome of presenting these evaluations, Chris Barkley indicated that the board members stated that they do take the evaluation process seriously, but they did not indicate what, if any, action would be taken based on the results of the evaluations.

 

                                                The Governing Board was also given a draft of the district’s educational master plan by Mark Vernoy. He explained that this plan will guide the development of the combined educational and facilities master plan currently being prepared.

 

                                                A summary of the accreditation team’s exit report was also presented to the board by Dr. Amador, who were complimentary toward the team’s analysis and report.

 

Other:                                     Also briefly discussed was the Senate’s request to Dr. Amador several months ago to provide the rationale used to make these decisions. She has yet to do so and the Senate renews its request that rationale be provided for all decisions.

 

ADJOURNMENT:               The meeting was adjourned at 3:22 p.m.

 

                                                Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                Bonnie Ann Dowd, Secretary