SCC Faculty Senate


To:                   Dr. Jacobs, Personnel-Curriculum Committee, and Board of Trustees

From:              Pam Chambers, President, Cindy Beckett, Vice-President, and Fred Thomas, Secretary

Date:               March 23, 2004

Winter Faculty Assembly

The Winter Faculty Assembly meeting was held on Feb. 18th, 2004. Pam Chambers introduced Ned Young of the Faculty Issues Team (FITS) who summarized the results of the fall Faculty Compensation Survey. Faculty satisfaction has increased since the previous year, particularly in the areas of overload and summer pay; however, significant gaps remain. Cost of health care was the item on the survey with the largest gap, followed by overload pay, salary and summer pay. Ned identified current FITS issues as including distance learning compensation, starting salaries, retirement incentives, possible changes in the distribution of salary increases, merit and health care costs. There was extensive discussion about these issues. The survey and results are available at http://people.sinclair.edu/nedyoung/fits2003/.

Pam presented updates on several other matters, including:

·           Workload issues, particularly with regard to the 66- and 72-payhour limits on teaching, the 60-40 and 80-20 ratios, and the planned elimination of Special Adjunct positions,
·           AQUIP,
·           Activities of Faculty Senate’s Personnel and Resource Committees with regard to possible calendar changes, and
·           The need for additional faculty to become active in faculty governance.

Senate Activities

Senate met formally five times during Winter Quarter. Minutes from each meeting are available (or will be when approved) at http://ourold.sinclair.edu/sites/fac_sen/. Major topics and action items during the quarter included:

Sinclair’s Role as a Regional Community College

Faculty Senate’s meeting of January 28th was devoted exclusively to a discussion with President Johnson about possible changes in Sinclair’s role as a regional community college. President Johnson shared an extensive collection of information, much of it material from the Board of Trustees’ Advance four days earlier. The discussion included several suggestions from Senators about ways to use existing space more effectively, about ways to maintain and strengthen Sinclair’s internal cohesion and its role in unifying the community, and about possible ways to adapt the College’s organizational and physical structure to serve a larger and more geographically diverse community.

Changing Lives

Senate met with Dr. Sifferlen to discuss the Changing Lives campaign. Senators voiced strong support for the campaign during the meeting and afterwards distributed information packets to faculty in their divisions.

Handbook Changes

Senate considered and acted on a variety of proposed changes to the Faculty Handbook. The most extensive discussions involved the Handbook sections on Faculty Workload (2.4.5), Faculty/Administrative Performance Reviews (2.6.1) and Division Merit (2.6.12.1).

Program Evaluation

Senate discussed issues related to the use of student exit interviews as a component of program evaluation. There was concern that such exit interviews need to be structured and used carefully to provide information that is useful for program improvement without focusing unduly on the performance of individual faculty members.

Calendar Changes

Faculty Senate received a white paper from its combined Personnel/Resource Committee. After extensive discussion, Senate recommended that all academic year quarters be 11 weeks long, including Fall Quarter. Senate also recommended that Fall Quarter begin in time to finish by the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Senators felt that a more consistent calendar would be more effective educationally. They also felt that the earlier conclusion to Fall Quarter would allow both more flexibility for students and more opportunities for alternative educational offerings in December.

Attendance Policy

Faculty Senate met with Colleen Whittington, Mary McGirr, Teresa Prosser, Dean Cole, Al Giambrone and Derek Allen who reported on their extensive work in researching and developing a proposed college-wide attendance policy. After discussion, Senate voted to support the proposed policy with one minor change in wording.

AQUIP

Particularly through a detailed report by Cindy Beckett, Faculty Senate has stayed informed about Sinclair’s reaccreditation with NCA. Senate is ready to play a major role in what it expects will be a much improved process.

Other Topics

Faculty Senate meetings routinely include an opportunity during “Open Forum” for Senators to raise non-agenda items for discussion. Topics in Open Forum during Winter Quarter included office hours, College-Wide Learning Day and Sinclair’s Grow Our Own program.