Several Academic Senate (AS) representatives were nominated for the 2016-2017 executive board this past week and the nominees said they plan to pursue the executive board positions together due to their shared values of solidarity and student and faculty success.

Social sciences professor Lauren Arenson is nominated for treasurer, social sciences associate professor and former AS president Eduardo Cairo for president, engineering and technology assistant professor David Cuatt for vice president, and English assistant professor Tim Melnarik for secretary.

The nominees are running as a slate against the current board. Cuatt stepped down from the election and nomination committee to run for VP.

“So I am a firm believer that faculty needs to represent the voice of faculty and I’m running because I want to bring back stability to this campus,” said Arenson.

The nominees believe that the current board needs to change in order to better address the issues on campus, such as accreditation and new faculty hires.

Cairo, as well as the other nominees, want the AS to be more clear on what role they play in accreditation and how the process is going. Cairo previously served as AS president before he was defeated in elections last year by current president Valerie Foster.

Current board members Foster, vice president Shelagh Rose, secretary Stephanie Fleming, and treasurer Jay Cho are running for reelection.

“I think that the general sentiment on campus are things are better,” said Foster who has had several faculty members tell her that the board has been doing a good job.

The challengers are also concerned about the discussion the AS has been having about an additional 50 new faculty members.

“If we are going to be discussing 50 additional faculty, is the college prepared to have 50 additional offices or who are these people going to be sharing an office with and that’s a concern,” said Cairo.

According to Cairo, the current senate leadership has taken the AS in the wrong direction.

“There’s a lot of topics, such as [accreditation and new faculty], that we should be discussing to have a better college atmosphere,” said Cairo.

Cho disagrees with the notion that the board is doing a poor job in their leadership.

“I feel that last year we had good dynamics and a common goal to work together,” said Cho. “So I think it was a kind of productive year.”

Arenson believes that faculty isn’t being heard and there has been an atmosphere of contentiousness at past meetings.

“We want to bring back the idea that your position may be different from mine, but I still respect you as an individual and that’s something that’s been lost,” said Arenson.

Election results will be announced April 18.

This story was contributed by John Orona.

15 Replies to “Nominees for Academic Senate run on platform of solidarity”

  1. Anthro Faculty is correct; even with the misspelled word. Both “camps” are composed of odd balls. Most off us who will vote know the candidates and they are strange. That being said, I think Aronson is a bipolar lunatic who would definitely benefit from intense therapy.

  2. What an incestuous group of do nothings. Their all the same recycled idiots who have nothing going on in their lives. What is sad is that which ever group wins, nothing changes.

    1. You spelled “They’re” wrong.
      Nice try, troll.
      Probably typed from a free computer in a public library in Long Beach.

  3. If some of the incumbents try “dropping in” on you to plead for votes–
    Q: How can they do this — where can they find the time?
    A: They aren’t teaching students!

  4. Please remember to vote–
    To paraphrase the famous quote:
    “All that is necessary for inanity to continue is for Good Faculty to do nothing.”

  5. I’m voting for Cairo, Cuatt, Melnarik, and Arenson–and I’m asking thinking colleagues to do the same.
    I’ll never forget visiting a Senate meeting this year where a cogent, thoughtful message was brought from a key member of the Hiring Priorities Committee. The committee was concerned that weeks of work had been thrown out, the faculty hiring procedure ignored. This was done in violation of PCC’s written policy and years of past practice.
    The present Senate officers simply gave a blank look, and their President V. read a sunny, smiling “All is swell” sentence.
    I’ve had it with the four who’ve wasted this year.
    The challengers I can trust.
    There’s genuine concern for the college, honest communication, and, well, they teach students.

  6. Finally, a group of Senate leaders who can do their job PROFESSIONALLY without visibly rolling their eyes, whispering trash talk to eachother, facepalming or groaning every time somebody who is not on “their” side voices an opinion or asks a question at a meeting!! Watching the current Academic Senate Executive crew during a meeting is like watching the “mean girls” table at lunch in high school.

  7. I can think of no better way to bring PCC forward than to replace the present Senate’s “do-nothing” leadership.
    PCC has seen enough of Foster and those other Rocha devotees.
    We need these four new people who speak up for faculty and students — Cairo, Cuatt, Arenson, Melnarik.

  8. A better college atmosphere would be great! Senate meetings are contentious and being conducted with dubious means and no transparency. These four faculty are advocates for transparency, fairness and working together with the whole college. Their voting record will attest to that.

  9. I would like a change in the Senate leadership. After attending a few senate meetings after being in the dark about what is really going on, I realized this.

    I want faculty leaders, who were hired as faculty and are not mini-administrators on 100% reassigned time (with one single class or online classes) to be our faculty leaders. The current Executive Senate are out of touch with faculty/the classroom/and non-Pathways students. They think of themselves as ideas-people, designing Flex days, organizing Valentine’s parties, designing Pathways programs, designing new faculty training modules, working on Title V grants, drafting Accreditation language that is whitewashed and inaccurate in an effort to make PCC look good. They are good at using big words to scare the campus (ex: “compliance”) and good at overstepping their bounds on shared governance, just like the good ol’ days of Rocha.

    The contentiousness in Senate committees from what I hear is starting of flare up. It’s time to let a new group with different experiences take on the task.

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