The Academic Senate agreed to the administration’s request for a technical assistance visit by the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) and Community College League of California (CCLC) in an effort to improve collegiality on campus ahead of next year’s accreditation process.
“We are hoping that this technical visit from the ASCCC/CCLC will help to clarify what should have been happening (regarding shared governance), what is happening and what we need to do to rectify the situation,” said Daniel Haley, treasurer of the Academic Senate.
Matthew Jordan, interim associate dean of General Education, said he approached the Academic Senate with the solution of a technical visit last July because he knew this is a common solution colleges turn to when they are cited with certain types of issues and accreditation evaluations.
However, the Academic Senate rejected the administration’s initial request for a technical visit.
“As explained to us, (the technical visit team) was going to meet with the Board of Trustees in one meeting and the Academic Senate in another, and then go back and issue a report,” Haley said. “That sounded very much like the status quo that we’ve had on campus where we aren’t able to communicate directly with the Board of Trustees.”
The Academic Senate continued to investigate how a technical visit could be helpful, culminating in a presentation by ASCCC Representative Melissa Grimes-Hillman to the Academic Senate on Jan. 13.
According to Haley, Grimes-Hillman suggested that a technical visit might help resolve some of the issues they’ve been having and noted that a request can be made for a joint meeting between the Board of Trustees and the Academic Senate.
“At that point, we said OK, let’s do this,” Haley said.
And if the ASCCC says a joint meeting is not possible?
“Meeting separately may not be what we prefer, but it is better than no meeting at all,” said Senator Manny Perea.
Patricia Rose, Secretary of the Academic Senate, said Matt Jordan and Academic Senate President Eduardo Cairo are now in the process of arranging the technical visit.
“We want to have a collegial conversation with the Board of Trustees,” said Rose. “That is the only way we can create a productive working environment.”