The faculty reaffirmed its support for the current Academic Senate leadership as it re-elected the incumbent slate in a decisive victory against their challengers, a slate which included former two-time senate president Eduardo Cairo, who has campaigned for the senate presidency each of the last four years.
The final vote tally released to faculty last Thursday showed all winning slate members received at least 59 percent support of the voting faculty. The same slate won the presidency by only four votes in last year’s election.
Faculty voted last week to retain the senate executive committee of President Valerie Foster, natural sciences; Vice President Shelagh Rose, languages and ESL; Secretary Stephanie Fleming, performing arts; and Treasurer Jay Cho, math and computer science.
“[W]e believe we have made significant progress in helping PCC move forward by encouraging diversification in shared governance, improving collegiality, and addressing the accreditation recommendations to get PCC off probation. We are honored to be awarded the opportunity to continue this work,” Foster wrote in an email to faculty on Monday.
Their opposition was a slate that fielded Cairo, social sciences, for president, Dave Cuatt, engineering and technology, for vice president, Tim Melnarik, English, for secretary and Lauren Arenson, social sciences, for treasurer.
In an email after the results were announced, the challengers thanked their colleagues who voted for them and vowed to continue working toward a senate that is “responsive to faculty,” adding that their support in a losing effort gave them a “mandate” to do so.
In a response addressed to “those who did not win the Senate election,” mathematics instructor Matthew Henes expressed his hope that “a perceived mandate from a minority of voters would not interfere with the focus and collegiality that we were supporting in voting for the incumbents.”
“It is my sincere hope that you will find ways to channel your well-intentioned energy into continuing the healing process we have been enjoying,” Henes wrote.
The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges in their accreditation report last June recommended that the school “model collegial communication, specifically among the Board, President, and Academic Senate,” an issue that was at the heart of many other accreditation recommendations.
Foster in her email said that her slate would reach out to the opposing slate this week.
“Our goal is to move forward as a unified faculty, so I think it is important for our groups to meet to discuss our different perspectives,” the email read.
This story has been updated.