Minutes of the

MEETING OF THE FACULTY SENATE

September 15, 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, Sue Norton, Perry Snyder, Dan Sourbeer, Steve Spear, Sara Thompson, Fari Towfiq, Katie Townsend-Merino, Anne Voth, Tamara Weintraub

 

ABSENT:                               Marilee Nebelsick-Tagg

 

GUESTS:                                Bruce Bishop, Judy Eckhart, Dan Finkenthal, Candi Francis, Shannon Lienhart

                                               

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:         The minutes of August 25, 2003, were approved as amended.

 

                                                The minutes of September 8, 2003, were approved as amended.

 

Motion 1                                MSC Dowd, Levy: To suspend the Agenda to discuss Information Item N, the Brown Act and Faculty Senate Actions.

 

The Brown Act and

Faculty Senate Actions:     Bonnie Ann Dowd stated that she discussed with the Faculty Council prior to this meeting that in her mind, the Senate should be guided at all times by the Faculty Constitution, The Brown Act, which is legal legislation, and Roberts Rules of Order, which provides a process for conducting business so that we can remain professional. She also stated that she felt it is important that Senate members remember that they are elected officials representing the entire faculty, not their respective departments or personal perspectives.

 

Shannon Lienhart read and requested that the following statement be included verbatim in the minutes:

 

                                                Our current academic freedom policy includes the statement that we have the right “to question and challenge, without fear of censorship or discipline, those actions originating from within the institution which seriously affect the total academic environment”. State Law reinforces this policy in its statement that a legislative body cannot prohibit criticism of its policies, procedures, nor of its officials.

 

                                                I have prepared this statement to tell you that academic freedom, the right to challenge the actions of elected officials, and free speech are in grave danger on this campus. Do not challenge the actions of the President. Do not challenge the actions of the Board members. Do not challenge the actions of your fellow Senators. If you do, you will be punished.

 

                                                I am deeply saddened that the people whom we have elected to fight for our faculty rights, to fight for our academic freedom – for our right to speak out against injustices – are precisely the ones that have joined with the administration in an effort to censor faculty and to stop such speech.

 

                                                I am eager to bring forth a proposal that I think will be a positive contribution towards having the Senate acknowledge and embrace basic principles of democracy, due process, and free speech. However, I would like to request that my proposal be moved to next week’s agenda. My attorney and I need time to gather information regarding my rights before speaking to this body.

 

                                                I hope to elaborate more on this subject soon. But, at this time I am unable to discuss the matter further as the District has placed a gag order on me. The legitimacy of that gag order is something that is currently being researched.

 

                                                Bonnie Ann Dowd requested that Shannon Lienhart’s proposal be presented as the first item on our agenda under, “Information” at the Senate meeting of September 22nd.

 

                                                A Senator stated her uncertainty in communicating to other Senators via email based upon recent discussions of The Brown Act and requested that there be further clarification. A request was made that the Senate President arrange for an  outside authority to be invited to a future Senate meeting to clarify exactly what Senate members can and cannot do particularly with regard to email.

 

Dan Finkenthal voiced concern as to why the Senate needed to turn to The Brown Act to decide whether there had been a violation with regard to an email exchange regarding a colleague who he felt had been displaced from a particular committee.  He asked why the Senate’s own rules of ethics and conduct didn’t indicate that perhaps violations had taken place.  Discussion followed then on the matter of the claim that the colleague had been displaced.  The matter had been referred to the Personnel Standards and Practices Committee for a final recommendation to the Senate. Dan F. was concerned as to why the Senate would appear to condone the fact that a Senator defended the outcome by putting out all the information to the Senate at large and lobbying for support.  Dan F. asked if it was decided to be handled in committee why wasn’t the committee given the opportunity to handle it in committee before the issue becomes further politicized?  Dan F. said that he was convinced that such action by a Senator was a violation of The Brown Act, but hoped that it was also against the Senate’s own ethics policy to circumvent the committee that had been delegated to handle this matter.  Further discussion continued including recent statements about a Statewide Academic Senate session on The Brown Act.  It was suggested that perhaps this expert or another should be invited to Palomar.  Sara Thompson stated that the Senate intended to do so and a request has been made to the Statewide Academic Senate leadership.  

 

Steve Spear stated that in fact there was an email sent last May by a Senator but reminded all that he as Senate President sent emails to all Senators last week. He raised the question that if the email in May violates The Brown Act, then every email he has sent Senators violates The Brown Act. Furthermore, Steve said that it was his understanding that one person cannot violate The Brown Act. That is a legal impossibility because one person cannot make a conspiracy.  If there has been a violation of The Brown Act, Steve asked that the claimants state who were involved in this conspiracy, and he would like to see documented proof.   

 

Anne Voth voiced concern that the same issue keeps coming up over and over again.  Anne stated that in her case, she also believed The Brown Act had been violated because she was not allowed an opportunity to respond to the accusations or to check her records. The issue was sent directly to committee.  Anne stated that she was tired of being accused of something that she did not do.  Dan Sourbeer stated that transparency worked both ways and that he appreciated the explanation Anne had given.  Dan S. felt the information sent to all Senators helped him and others to understand the situation.  He also felt that this matter should be handled in committee, which should then draw its conclusions and recommendations based on the input of all interested parties.

 

Bonnie Dowd stated that she concurred with the need to bring in some individuals from outside the Palomar organization to speak about The Brown Act.  Bonnie also voiced concern that she didn’t recall having a report from the Personnel Standards & Practices as to what the outcome was regarding the issue we keep going back to regarding Susan Snow’s appointment or displacement from a committee.  Bonnie said that she would like to see the matter put to rest once and for all and is concerned that there doesn’t appear to have been any final report brought to the Senate.  Bonnie asked that such a report be requested and that the matter be dealt with in committee.

 

Bonnie further stated that perhaps the Senate needs to convene a sub-group of the Senate, a Senate Committee to address issues of integrity, credibility, and ethics with regard to the Senate and its sub-committee procedures and operations. Bonnie suggested that the issue go back to the same committee or another committee be convened to discuss these issues regarding Susan Snow’s appointment or lack thereof rather than taking further time of this body when there are so many pressing action items. It was agreed that the Senate has got to put an end to discussing this issue.

 

Dan F. stated that he was glad that the Senate may appreciate the extra information provided by Anne Voth to the Senate but that while Anne was given the opportunity to present information, Susan was not given the same opportunity.  Dan F. felt that the Senate’s response to this discussion indicated that it was perhaps already colored by Anne’s email and hoped that the Senate would find such emails as unacceptable.  He also asked how the Senate could not see anything more important than the Senate’s own conduct and the way it does business.  Dan F. requested that the Senate agree to discuss all Senate business openly and publicly where everybody gets a chance to see what’s going on, to make sure cases/concerns are heard to avoid bitter conflicts and resentments that arise because individuals do not feel that they are getting adequate redress with the current procedures.   

 

Bill Bedford apologized for having left the last Senate meeting prior to giving a final report from the committee, which is actually in two forms: one was in the form of recommendations for constitutional and operation of the Committee on Committees and the other was a comment which he provided last week with his recommendation that since Susan Snow seems to have apparently been slighted in the committee process, and that we make every effort to put her on a committee and to try to redress what she feels to have been a wrong done to her.  

 

Bruce Bishop offered his expertise and experience regarding The Brown Act.  Bruce corrected an earlier statement stating that one person can indeed violate The Brown Act, but it requires a concerted effort on that person’s part to do so. Bruce stated that if the information was sent out in an attempt to influence the process and the discussion, it is a violation. If it was information only then it was not a violation of The Brown Act. Bruce said the problem is that we still do not been able to definitively differentiate between that communication which is information and that which is argumentation. We don’t have a clear distinction between those two things. Bruce stated that communication that attempts to form consensus or is argumentative or deliberative is a violation. However, if it is just information it is not by definition, by any interpretation of The Brown Act, to be in violation.

 

Anne Voth voiced concern that she was now apparently being accused of colluding with the Personnel Standards and Practices committee. Anne voiced concern that when she attended the committee meeting it was clear to her that the chair had already spoken to some members of the committee about the issue, which she felt indicated some bias. She stated that she and others had been at the meeting, a transcript existed and that her recollection was that no one at any time during that committee meeting said that Susan Snow was slighted.  Anne stated that she had personally received a letter from Matthews Chakkanakuzhi who served on the committee stating that he had been at the meeting that dealt with the Susan Snow committee appointment and there was agreement that there was no merit to Susan’s complaint.

 

 Bonnie Dowd said that she believed she had heard from the chair of this committee said that an error had been made and asked if this was the findings of the committee.  Bill Bedford stated that in his opinion, Susan had been slighted Anne Voth stated that was not the committee’s opinion.  Bonnie repeated her concern that this issue should not be being addressed at the Senate meeting but resolved in committee with a final recommendation and report brought to the Senate.  Bonnie voiced concern about the conflicting reports and stated that it was imperative for the Senate to ensure that it is operating above reproach. The integrity of the Senate is at risk as there appear to be differences in opinions as to the committee’s decisions.  Bonnie restated her request that this issue be sent back to the original committee with a request that a report be given to the Senate.   Bonnie also restated interest in the formation of a sub-committee to deal with issues of procedures and operations of the Senate’s sub-committees to address integrity issues and some of the ethics issues and asked that it be brought back for action at the next meeting.

 

Motion 2                                MSC Dowd, Barkley: To extend the meeting.

 

Barb Kelber similarly requested that more education of the Senate be done on the Brown Act by an outside person to help the Senate to understand what it can and can’t do.  Barb also voiced concern about a handout that Steve gave to each Senator at the beginning of the meeting about The Brown Act.  Discussion followed on the fact that the Senate can condemn the fact that there was exposure of people’s emails but we cannot as intelligent people pretend we didn’t see what we saw and everybody is going to have to allow each other to accept that, accommodate that, and recognize that what we saw there has created this moment where we cannot get past.  Discussion followed on the need to be careful about power, about who has proximity to power, who has the ear of the president, who has the ear of administrators, who is talking to administrators, the very situation that our faculty faces is built on a binary opposition that is evident.

 

It was suggested that we remember in our teaching, we ask students to think critically about binary opposition and about how oftentimes there aren’t just two sides but we’re in the middle of contract negotiation, we are in a binary opposition that requires that we recognize the sides that we are on, and that perhaps faculty ought to have a clear recognition of this, and move to a place where we make a commitment about where we’ve been, agree to not go there again, and operate with clarity. It was suggested that perhaps we could find some words to which we could affix our signatures, that we not ignore what we’ve all seen, what we’ve all heard, and the loss of trust that we’re grappling with right now but that we move on and deal with the issues we need to face as a faculty regarding negotiations with the district.

 

Nominations for

Faculty Vice President:       Steve Spear announced that the ballot for Faculty Vice President would be distributed to faculty members in the next few days.

 

Approval of Minutes:         An updated version of the minutes of August 25, 2003, were presented to Senators which includes initial discussion about how we would operate as a Senate this year.

 

Motion 3                                MS Dowd, Dolan: To approve the minutes of August 25, 2003, as amended.

 

                                                The following amended substitute to Motion 3 was presented:

 

Motion 3                                MSC Dowd, Kelber: To approve the minutes of August 25, 2003, to include some of the amendments proposed by Dan Finkenthal.

 

                                                Bonnie Dowd also requested that an Action item be placed on the agenda of September 22nd to discuss some procedural suggestions for the Senate minutes.

 

                                                The minutes of September 8, 2003, were approved as presented.

 

                                                There was brief discussion on the need for a set time for the Senate meetings to end. Some Senators have other commitments later in the afternoon and have to leave before all of the agenda items have been discussed. There was overall agreement that the meetings should end by 3:30 p.m.

 

Committee

Appointments:                     Copies of a list of the probationary faculty who have applied to serve on committees was distributed. This information was provided to Senate members as requested last semester for those who wanted to familiarize themselves with those new faculty members who have expressed interested in participating on committees.

 

Motion   4                              MSC That the Faculty Senate accepts the results of the ballot for the following committee appointments:

 

                                                Campus Police Advisory Committee

                                                Chantal Maher, Foreign Languages

 

                                                Computer Coordinating Committee

                                                Tamara Weintraub, Library

 

                                                Equivalency Committee

                                                Gracie Fowler, Graphic Communications

 

                                                Institutional Review Committee

                                                Deborah Dozier, American Indian Studies (elected for longer term)

                                               

                                                International Education Advisory Committee

                                                Lee Chen, ESL

 

                                                Sabbatical Leave Committee

                                                Chantal Maher, Foreign Languages

 

                                                Safety and Security Committee

                                                Kris Fukunaga, Chemistry

                                                Jon Stone

 

                                                Student Equity Committee

                                                Debbie Bennett, Nursing

                                                Cliff Meyer

                                                Susan Miller

                                                Mike Mumford, Math

                                                Colleen Weldele, ESL

 

                                                Student Equity Committee

                                                P.J. DeMaris, Counselor

 

                                                Technology Committee

                                                Steve Perry, CSIS

 

                                                Vocational and Technical Act Planning and Advisory Committee

                                                Debbie Bennett, Nursing

                                                Morgan Peterson, Public Safety Programs

                                                Wade Rollins, Graphic Communications

                                                Joe Schaeffer, Trade & Industry

 

                                                Elections Committee

                                                Judy Cater, Library/Media Center, Library Technology

                                                Mark Clark, Mathematics and the Natural and Health Sciences, Math

                                                Martha Evans, Languages and Literature, Foreign Languages

                                                Chantal Maher, Languages and Literature, Foreign Languages

 

Bonnie Dowd expressed her concern with the current process of electing/voting for committee appointments. She suggested that the Committee on Committees members should have some process in place on how Senators should be electing faculty members to committees, or that information should be provided on each candidate to aid in the voting process. Judy Cater indicated that the committee will be looking at this issue and hopes to bring forward suggestions soon.

 

Motion 5                                MSC Dowd, Levy: Faculty Senate approval of the following Committee appointments:

 

                                                Tenure & Evaluations Review Board

                                                Bahram Alidaee, Mathematics and the Natural and Health Sciences, Math

                                                Jerry Houser, Mathematics and the Natural and Health Sciences, Math (at-large)

                                                Teresa Laughlin, Social and Behavioral Sciences, EPS

Gil Noble, Arts, Media, Business and Computing Systems

                                                Larry Roberts, Career, Technical and Extended Education, Public Safety

 

Motion 6                                MSC Barkley, Dowd: Faculty Senate approval of the following committee appointments:

 

                                                Academic Review Committee – 1 vacancy

                                                Bruce Orton - Languages and Literature, English

 

                                                Curriculum Committee

                                                Gracie Fowler - Arts, Media, Business and Computing Systems, Graphics              

                                Ed Kirk - Career, Technical and Extended Education, ROP

                                Rafiki Jenkins -  Languages and Literature, English

                                Michael Newbrough - Social and Behavioral Sciences, EHPS

                                Karan Huskey - Student Services, Counseling

 

                                                Financial Aid Advisory and Appeals  Committee                               

                                                P.J. DeMaris – Financial Aid Counseling, Counseling

                                                Susan Miller - Social and Behavioral Sciences, Behavioral Sciences

                                                Theresa Egkan – Counseling and Matriculation, Counseling

 

                                                Institutional Review Committee

                                                Lisa Cecere - Arts, Media, Business and Computing Systems

                                               

                                                Instructional Planning Council – 3 vacancies from: divisional representation

                                                Jennifer Paris – Library Media Center, Library Technology

                                                Susan Snow – Mathematics and the Natural and Health Sciences, At-Large

 

                                                International Education Advisory Committee

                                                Beverly Gardner - Student Services, Counseling and Matriculation, Counselor

 

                                                Matriculation and Transfer Advisory Committee

                                                Gloria Kerckhoff - Student Services, Counselor

               

                                                Professional Development Review Board

                                                Rand Green, Arts, Media, Business and Computing Systems

                                                Mike Newbrough - Social and Behavioral Sciences, EHPS

 

                                                Staff Equity Committee

                                                Byung Kang - Library Media Center, Library Technology

               

                                                Student Services Planning Council

                                                Jane Mills - Student Services, DSP&S

 

                                                Vocational and Technical Act Planning and Advisory Committee                                                            

                                                Renee Roth – Career Center Director

 

ADA Replacement/

Attrition:                                Steve Spear provided a statement on a summary of his discussions with Dr. Amador on the matter of Academic Department Assistants. He provided the Senate with a summary of Dr. Amador’s position on the matter:

 

                                                No final decisions will be made concerning replacement or increasing or decreasing the workload of ADAs or combining positions until such time as the workload criteria have been formally recommended. These criteria will be agreed to in IPC and the recommendation will be forwarded to SPC. Faculty will have input into these recommendations through IPC and SPC. However, in the meantime, someone has to do the work. Thus, there will be temporary fixes that may involve hiring new full-time or part-time staff or spreading some of the work among other ADAs. Some of these temporary fixes may become permanent once the criteria have been recommended.

 

                                                Steve added that that this issue is coming to the Instructional Planning Council on September 24th. Sue Norton added that members of the committee agreed that this process may take several meetings and ADAs and Department Chairs will be invited to attend and provide input. Outlines of each department’s responsibilities as it relates to their ADAs will also be provided.

 

                                                Senate members agreed to wait to take action on this issue until the members of the Instructional Planning Council have met.

 

Motion 7                                MSC Kelber, Levy: The Faculty Senate directs its representatives on the Instructional Planning Council to put the greatest weight on the ADA positions from input provided by Department Chairs.

 

                                                There was some discussion on the criteria being developed by the Instructional Planning Council and the importance of not only the Department Chair’s input but their opinion which will provide a campus-wide view rather than just a departmental view because members of the council may have information that the department chair may not have. Bonnie Dowd suggested that some members of the committee, Department Chairs, as well as ADA’s address the Senate on this issue. There was some concern about adequately addressing this issue at next week’s meeting due to the length of the agenda.

 

Motion 8                                MS Dowd, Sourbeer: To postpone Motion 7 and that it be addressed at the September 22, 2003, Senate meeting.

 

Motion 8 (amended)            MSF Dowd, Sourbeer: To postpone Motion 7 and that it be addressed no later than September 29, 2003. Motion failed.

 

 

Accreditation Outcomes

Task Force:

 

Motion 9                                MSCU Laughlin, Cater: When determining the structure of the assessment of student learning outcomes, it is crucial that the expertise of the faculty be recognized and utilized; therefore, we move that the number of faculty in the student learning outcomes taskforce be increased from seven faculty, one from each division, to twenty-one faculty, three from each division. If divisional representation cannot be satisfied at-large members will fill those vacancies.

 

                                                Senate members agreed that although having a large group like this for a task force may appear to be inefficient, student learning outcomes is a critical matter that needs to be as inclusive as possible, and besides, we are in no rush and we should not have to be rushed. This task force is setting up the architecture of assessing student learning outcomes and a matter of this importance needs the expertise of teachers.

 

Motion 10                              MSC Barkley, Laughlin: To postpone agenda action items D & E until September 22, 2003.

 

Elections Report:                  Due to a tie for the Academic Standards & Practices Committee and the Distinguished Faculty Award Committee, Anne Voth reported that another election would occur.

 

Because a number of Senators had already left the meeting, Bonnie Dowd suggested that the run-off election  be held next week.

 

Motion 11                              MSC Dowd, Kelber: To postpone the run-off election for committee appointments on the Distinguished Faculty Award Committee and the Academic Standards & Practices Committee until the September 22nd meeting.

 

Past President

Designee of The Faculty:  

 

Motion 12                              MS Barkley, Sourbeer: That a ballot be distributed to fill the position on the Faculty Council as Past President of The Faculty designee.

                                               

                                                Chris Barkley provided a rough draft of a copy of the Faculty Constitution which outlines the duties of the position of Faculty Vice President. After some discussion, because there was some dispute on which version of the constitution faculty are currently using because there are different versions on the web page and in the last printed copy of the faculty manual. Senate members requested that an updated version be provided for the Senate to take action at the September 22, meeting.

 

Motion 13:                             MSC Cater, Norton: To postpone the issue of filling the position of Past President of The Faculty Designee.

 

Other:                                     Senate members expressed concern in not having information that affects one of our faculty members. There was also concern about rumors and things being taken out of context. It was suggested that if there is a need to discuss this matter further, an Executive Session could be called at the September 22, meeting, and/or a motion could be proposed regarding freedom of expression on this campus.

 

Motion 14:                             MSC Cater, Levy: To adjourn the meeting.

 

                                                The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.

 

                                                Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

                                                Bonnie Ann Dowd, Secretary