The Academic Senate voted to approve President Eduardo Cairo’s decision to boycott the Committee on Academic and Professional Matters (CAPM) meetings, asserting that it would be willing to return if the meetings became more transparent.

The Senate was conflicted in this decision made at its Nov. 4 meeting, with a vote of 16 in favor, nine opposed, and three abstained. The decision is not permanent and could be revisited later, said Cairo.

Robert Miller, senior vice president of business and college services and one of the designees of CAPM, expressed his disappointment with the Senate’s decision.

“The Council for Academic and Professional Matters is the primary communication mechanism between the faculty, administration, and the Board of Trustees,” Miller wrote in an email. “CAPM is a forum for discussion and mutual agreement.”

“The decision of the Academic Senate leadership to not participate in CAPM meetings makes it very difficult to transact the business of the college which is to support teaching, learning and students,” he continued. “This action places students and faculty in jeopardy and places the college’s accreditation at risk.”

There will be other meetings, such as College Council, where the Senate will be able to communicate with the administration on the record, according to Cairo.

The Senate was concerned about when and under what conditions it would agree to return to the meetings. Some of the senators expressed concerns about how “transparency” would be defined.

“Your idea of transparency might be different from mine,” said senator Mark Whitworth.

According to Pat Rose, Senate secretary, the CAPM meetings are closed-door meetings. “It was open dialogue and [everything] was essentially private,” she said.

Senator Gloria Horton expressed her confusion as to the significance of CAPM meetings that would be conducted off the record.

“I’m wondering where is the credibility? What’s the point if the meetings are unofficial?,” she asked.

The Senate seemed to be in agreement that the result of the meetings should at least be recorded in minutes.

“I think it would be a reasonable request to make these meetings public,” said senator Manny Perea.

Another concern was that the Senate was missing out on a chance to be able to communicate and work things out with the administration.

“I think these meetings are an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed,” said senator Russ Di Fiori. “We could use these meetings to our advantage.”

One of the concerns was that by not going to CAPM meetings, it would discredit the Senate’s Town Hall plans.

“I wonder if this contradicts the Town Halls?,” asked senator Stephanie Fleming. “[It seems to] contradict the very nature of them.”

Others echoed her statement, worrying about the message this decision might send.

“Are we shooting ourselves in the foot?” asked Horton. “Are we doing this out of pride and principle or to actually accomplish something?”

Cairo feared this decision could turn into a power play in an attempt to get the Senate to return to the meetings.

“It might turn into a pissing contest and I don’t want that,” he said. “I always try to be collegial.”

One Reply to “Academic Senate wants transparency before resuming CAPM”

  1. The author failed to mention WHY the Senate decided not to participate in CAPM anymore. It’s because Rocha lied to the Senate, the meetings are not transparent and Rocha chooses not to keep a record of them.

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