First off: Congratulations to our student Senate Scholars, Michael (Vicken) Mouradian, Pamela Flores, and Demi Fae Avilla who all received $1000 thanks to your continuing donations! And to our Exceptional Adjunct Faculty winner, Izabela Boyajyan. By the time you read this, the 2019 Parker Award winner and Distinguished Faculty Award winner will have been named: Congratulations go to all, and to their colleagues who enthusiastically nominated them!
The Academic Senate never sleeps, but it does take a recess, and this summer, as in winter, the regular meetings of the GCC Senate are in suspense – which is much more relaxing that it sounds.
Senate Executive continues its work; this summer, we’ll be revising the Senate’s Constitution and By-Laws to incorporate new committees, Distance Education and Open Educational Resources, and to expand the voting membership by adding a Librarian to the voter rolls, and two more At-Large Adjunct representatives. We will also work on the adaptation of our Student Equity Committee to meet the new, integrated demands of the Chancellor’s Office’s “Student Equity and Achievement” (SEA) Committee. This last will absorb four existing committees: Noncredit Student Success and Support Program (SSSP), Credit SSSP, Basic Skills, and Student Equity. The membership of the new SEA committee will be debated and confirmed this summer, ready to begin its work as the fall semester begins.
On the state level, Governor Newsom appointed Kim Perigo, Professor of Communications at Mesa College, San Diego, to the Board of Governors. This was significant because Kim led the “No Confidence” movement in the 114 California Community Colleges. Ultimately, only fourteen CCCs’ Academic Senates, ours included, passed votes of no confidence in Chancellor Eloy Oakley. However, earlier this month, the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges’ Board of Governors passed its own vote of no confidence in the Chancellor for the same reasons that Kim’s Senate and our own cited: "a lack of transparency, disregard for shared governance, lack of prior consultation with faculty and other stakeholders on major initiatives, deficient oversight and fiscal accountability with the online college, and administration of a punitive funding formula that has created a system of winners and losers."
Nevertheless – or perhaps because of these votes – the Board of Governors chose to renew Chancellor Oakley’s contract on May 22nd for a further four years. The press release makes for depressing reading, lauding some of Oakley’s more pernicious initiatives, such as the new funding formula which is basically performance based. (You may have seen Nicholas Hillman’s bracing article on the demerits of this failed funding design.) We know that this method of funding colleges is fundamentally inequitable and should be opposed. We will see what kind of resistance to Oakley’s initiatives proves productive, now that the Board of Governors has closed ranks around him. This work, too, will continue through summer.
Before I sign off till September, I’d like to thank the Senate Executive, Beth Kronbeck – first VP, Cindy Pollack – second VP, Rob Mauk – Treasurer, Roger Dickes – Secretary, and Kevin Mack – Budget Rep, along with the incomparable Frankie Strong – All Things Governance, for their work and support this year. I hope we have moved in directions that the electorate feels support their work, and their students’ goals.