Members of the Calendar Standing Committee asked the Board of Trustees on Wednesday to reinstate winter session during the next year.
A formal statement was presented to the Board discussing the significance of a winter session after the committee voted unanimously on a model calendar including winter at a special Calendar Committee meeting March 12.
“Based on our charge, the Calendar Committee is recommending to the Board of Trustees that the configuration of the calendar for the 2013-14 includes the winter session,” said Calendar Committee member and math Instructor Matthew Henes.
Henes supported the request with data that showed the need for a winter term.
“On average about 5,000 more students actually enrolled in winter and summer sessions combined than enrolled in summer when there was no winter,” he said. “From Fall 1992 through summer 2012, average retention and success rates for fall, spring and summer terms are significantly higher since the first year we scheduled a winter session [in 2004].”
Prior to the Board meeting, Senior Vice President and Calendar Committee Co-Chair Robert Bell sent out an email to the committee indicating that the committee needs to complete its mission, and that “the Board of Trustees has acted and approved the Fall/Spring/Summer calendar for 2013-14. It is upon this calendar that the district must now move forward.”
Henes questioned this claim.
“The Calendar Committee would like to know when that occurred,” said Henes. “The Board imposed its own calendar without consultation of any shared governance committee in violation of AB 1725.”
There have been no minutes from any meeting since the approval of a 2012-13 calendar that reference a 2013-14 calendar, according to Henes.
“We are in a pedagogical and operational crisis here at this college due at least in part to the mismanagement of the calendar,” said Henes. “The current imposed calendar without winter is not a calendar for student success…[and] is not within the framework of negotiated agreements.”
Bell did not attend Tuesday’s special committee meeting, as well as the previous meeting on Feb. 28, which was held anyway after he cancelled it.
Bell indicated to Co-Chair Krista Walter that he cancelled the Feb. 28 meeting because the committee was unable to complete the urgent task of approving the Board’s 2013-2014 calendar due to the number of concerned public comments regarding the pedagogical and practical merits of winter and the blatant violation of shared governance, according to Henes.
“In other words, we couldn’t meet to do our work because we hadn’t done enough work,” said Henes.
The committee’s statement specified the importance of a calendar that supports the needs of students, faculty and staff within negotiated agreements between collective bargaining units and the district. That is, a calendar with winter.