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Chaparral 2011-2012: Speaking of the Senate

Mike Scott, Academic Senate President

by Mike Scott, Academic Senate President
When summer session began, it seemed GCC would have an uneventful term. We had received good news on the accreditation front, and all other areas were humming along just fine. Then, the dormitory opportunity presented itself in July. It was presented at a Board meeting and was intended to be a simple Letter of Interest (LOI). Simple it was not. The debates so far concerning the LOI have been less than enlightening. The Senate, Team B, Team A, and Campus Development have all weighed in on a document that none of these groups has ever seen. It has raised about 100 questions, with no answers to date. You see, they can be answered only if we sign the LOI, which as of this writing is not finished. It resides with the attorneys. The more we discuss this LOI, the more it morphs into a huge LOL. More fun to come.

Distance Education
The Distance Education program that was approved by the Senate last May will now move forward through the governance process this year by first going to Academic Affairs for their supporting vote. Once approved there, it goes to Campus Executive. The Distance Education program creates a new Online Committee to oversee the program. The Online Committee will replace the TMI committee and will consist of 14 members, one member from each division. It also entails creation of divisional IT leads who will work with the Online Committee to implement the Online Committee’s recommendations.

Enrollment Management
Looking forward, we must face the reality that things are going to change, possibly in a dramatic way. To deal with ever shrinking budgets, the newly formed Enrollment Management Committee will have the unpleasant task of recommending changes that will not be popular. Enrollment Management will be dealing with issues such as, what programs may or may not be reduced, changes to divisional allotment of FTEF, which courses to emphasize, i.e., transfer, degree, certificate, basic skills and so on. These are all contentious issues that will be debated at multiple levels before being implemented. Students’ educational needs, determined by their educational plans, will be analyzed and the data used to make these decisions. Unfortunately, some decisions may be mandated by legislation. We have seen this already with SB 1440 that has given us the transfer degrees.

Transfer Degrees
Speaking of transfer degrees, GCC now has three of them approved. We have transfer degrees in Math, Sociology and Communications. Work will begin in October on new transfer degrees throughout the state in the following disciplines: Anthropology, Engineering, Geography, Information Systems, Journalism, Nursing, Philosophy, Radio/Television/Film, Social Work, and Spanish. If anyone is interested in working on any of the transfer degrees for these disciplines, please contact me at and I will give you the information to register for the upcoming conference on October 14th.

Lastly, the Senate meets the first and third Thursdays of the month (except in the winter) at 1:40 in LR 105. Your concerns and comments are important to the Senate. Please contact your division senator or one of the at-large senators or myself on any academic and professional matter. You can find me in the Governance Office (AD 249) every day and can also contact me at extension 5394 or at

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