College Council -- March 4, 2011

(there were no February meetings)

Quick Jump to Sections: Accreditation, Student Engagement Survey, Construction, Budget+Enrollment Management, Luminis, College Goals, Other Things, Next Meetings.

Accreditation

Most of the self-study committees now have faculty co-chairs and several members---see the list on the Accreditation website. Still needed (as of March 4th) are faculty co-chairs for Instructional Programs, Physical Resources, and Financial Resources. Financial Resources also did not have anyone besides LaMont Schiers on it as of March 4th). The Accreditation Steering Committee has a draft philosophy statement that will be approved by Academic Senate and College Council after time for comment. What do you think of it?

Student Engagement Survey

Classes identified for the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) will be identified the week of March 7th. See my January report for background on the CCSSE. The number of sections identified will be smaller than you might expect. I think the number is around just 60 sections. To see what the questions will be, go to the student report page on the CCSE site. Though the number of sections will be small, ALL faculty will be invited to do the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (CCFSSE). You can see what the Faculty questions are from that link.

 

Construction

For the status on the LA building elevator, here's the email from LaMont Schiers about that sent on March 3rd:

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On Friday it will be six weeks since we declared the repair of the LA elevator an emergency.  The repairs are completed as for the car or elevator itself, but with any remodel or upgrade we are required to bring equipment up to current code.  In addition to this repair/remodel we are required to install smoke/fire detection and this has proven quite time consuming in that to install this detection system we are having to deal with asbestos in the ceilings of the LA building.  We are working through solutions to avoid abatement which would require the evacuation of the building before, during and after the work is done for monitoring purposes.  Since this is a safety issue we now have to involve the state’s architect office, and this takes time because of the volume the state architects office deals with.
Long story short…best case scenario we can hand walk the documentation through the state architect’s office and have authorization for use within 2 weeks, worst case scenario, it will take another 8 weeks.
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Construction on the new GET terminal at the college on Panorama Drive will start May/June and it will take six months so parking along Panorama Drive will disrupted for that length of time. If you have drive on Panorama between Mt Vernon and Haley, budget extra time!

Regarding the Thermal Energy Storage (TES) for saving cooling costs: it is still in litigation and we do not know if repairs can be done while it is in litigation. For reminder on all of the troubles with the TES project, see my September 3, 2010 and September 17, 2010 reports. Other facility status reports are available in the March 2nd facilities update (Word doc). After you log into Outlook Web, the Word document should download to your computer. If this link does not work for you, please let me know---I'm assuming you all have access to the college council public folder on Exchange.

Budget + Enrollment Management

In my previous report from the January meeting, I gave three scenarios we're planning for: (1) the June tax package passes the voters (labeled "bad"), (2) the June tax package fails and Prop 98 is funded at the minimum level (labeled "worst case"), (3) the June tax package fails and Prop 98 is suspended (labeled "doomsday"). In that report I said that we would be able to handle the first two scenarios with "no problem" because we had already built in a $10 million cut to our budgets. Well, I misunderstood---it will NOT be without pain. Sections will be cut and the staff who will bear the brunt of the cuts will be our adjuncts. Below is a table listing the scenarios with the cuts to KCCD, the cuts in FTES for Bakersfield College (not KCCD) from our cap (beyond which the state does not pay), and cuts in BC student headcount. To figure BC's dollar share of the cuts to the KCCD budget, multiply the $$ numbers by about 2/3rd.

Scenario
KCCD budget cut to next year's budget
Bakersfield College FTES cut from cap
Bakersfield College cut to student headcount
"bad"= June tax passes
$5.160 Million
593
1600
"worst case"= June tax fails, Prop 98 min funding
$9.1 Million
1042
2813
"doomsday"= June tax fails, Prop 98 suspended
$14.1 Million
1870
5049

The "doomsday" scenario would have us look for another $4 million cut to the KCCD budget than we had already planned for. That would probably lead to further layoffs down the line. Such a cut would have us spend down our reserves faster than anticipated and we would have to look at layoffs in three to four years. Another result of the "doomsday" scenario is that several other college districts would stop functioning so mergers would happen, putting further strain on the stronger districts like us. KCCD would probably pick up College of the Sequoias in Visalia. It would also mean a significant re-structuring of the Master Plan for higher education in the state of California.

Budget Allocation Model evaluation

Bakersfield College is in favor of the recommendations listed in the BAM evaluation document in the public folders. After you log into Outlook Web, the 1 MB PDF should download to your computer (or appear in your web browser). Note that one of the recommendations includes using an outside consultant. See the BAM evaluation report for the justification of this consultant. Cerro Coso has objected to the hiring of an outside consultant. A couple of reasons we need an outside consultant: (1) The expertise required for this particular type of analysis does NOT exist in the district (according to one of the BAM evaluation members, Lynn Krauss); and (2) a neutral third party would better ensure buy-in by all of the stakeholders of the conclusions---the alternative would more likely lead to charges of bias. Both Porterville and Cerro Coso have raised objections to the District Office having a carryover. BC reps on the BAM evaluation study are: Lynn Krauss, Kate Pluta, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, and Stefanie McWilliams (left off my previous list and representing CSEA).

Budget Committee Criteria

The Budget Committee is working on criteria for budget decisions. Although the criteria list is not yet "ready for prime-time", I'm going to list below the current draft to get some feedback from you as one of the faculty reps. I will tell you that I see the current draft more as areas to consider for making a budget decision instead of criteria. For me, criteria are what would enable you to decide what is a better decision than another like a rubric or one that meets minimum qualifications for further consideration. However, the concern expressed by administration is that we cannot expect the criteria to be used like a computer algorithm that with a given $ input determines how much department X gets. So where is the middle ground between the current draft and a mechanistic computer algorithm? I would appreciate your feedback!

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Criteria from Feb 25th working document -- first draft!

With the goal of maintaining quality programs and services in all administrative, instructional and student support areas, the following criteria will be considered in making budget recommendations and decisions.  Recommendations and decisions [at all levels of the college hierarchy] will be data-informed and clearly articulated to the college community.

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My personal thoughts (not necessarily shared by anyone else on the Budget Committee):

Since we are an educational institution, I think that whatever budget decision is made (at whatever level) that it will maintain (at a minimum) or improve student success in one or more of the three areas of the college's core mission identified by the state: transfer, basic skills, and career/technical. The budget decision will satisfy the identified need in the community of our service area for an educated workforce that can think critically and adapt to the conditions of a rapidly changing environment (we're not just churning out economic widgets for a particular cog, or we will have those students having to repeatedly come back at ever-increasing frequency for re-tooling when the cog changes or we will have businesses complaining that we're like a diploma mill spitting out graduates who cannot think things through nor articulate their ideas). As one need for adaptability, think of this: five years ago hardly anyone knew about Facebook, but now there are over 600 million active users. Also, the US Labor Department states that today's students will have had 10-14 jobs by their 38th birthday. Other things to consider along the lines of the need to create adaptable and critically-thinking students are found in the "Did You Know" presentation on The Fischbowl. There are also identified needs in our community for particular skill sets beyond critical thinking and adaptability. One need brought up many times is the looming shortage of qualified health care workers (particularly as all those baby boomers become elderly). The facilities needs, personnel needs, and technology will be those that enable the college to maintain or improve student success and satisfy the community needs both now and into the future, i.e., position us so that we can meet future needs as well as current needs of our students and service area.

At a minimum all budget decisions will not endanger the health and safety of our students and employees and we will, of course, follow all legal requirements. We will also weigh the costs and benefits of following state mandates. There may be times when following a state mandate may be less cost effective in the long run than absorbing the fine from not following the mandate. An example from K12 would be the state mandated class-size reduction for grades K-3. Some school districts have found that it is better to increase the class sizes, pay the fine, and use the balance of any cost savings toward other school programs. Legal mandates can also include those for possible grants. If the grant would have too many strings attached or require too high of a cost in the long run to institutionalize the grant requirements, we will not apply for the grant. (It is my hope that whenever a grant is not pursued despite faculty desires to do so, that the administration will share the details of the cost-benefit analysis with the faculty involved with the grant application so they aren't left wondering why. There have been several times in my time at BC when a lot of time and creative energy have gone into a grant application only to have the grant application process stopped at a higher level with few to zero reasons why.)

I'm not sure what is the reasoning behind including program and service sustainability in the list since I wasn't able to attend the last Budget Committee meeting. I'm speculating that it includes the need to ensure that the college is able to continue offering a broad range of courses while still focusing on our core mission of transfer, basic skills, and career/technical education. Also, budget decisions cannot by defacto discontinue a program without going through the process determined by the Program Discontinuance Procedure created by the Academic Senate a few years ago.

 

Luminis

Believe it or not, it looks like Luminis is going to arrive this year. A pilot was done in the Fall 2010 with about 300 students in a dozen or so sections, followed by a second expanded pilot this semester with about 1300 students in online and face-to-face courses. Faculty of face-to-face courses in the second pilot are using the "Course Studio" feature to provide a web presence for their classes. The most recent load-testing of hardware was a great success (the system has to be able to handle up to 3000 concurrent-simultaneous users). For faculty teaching summer classes, there will be training offered before the summer session for how to use Luminis in their courses. Yes, they plan on going live in summer! There will be training for the rest of us before the fall semester during flex week and then throughout the rest of the semester.

Want to try it out before summer? Here's how to take it out for a test spin (though keep in mind that Luminis is still in "pilot testing mode" so some links may not work but they will be resolved by summer).

Logging In

  1. Before you can successfully login to Luminis, you need to synchronize your passwords on your various accounts. This can be easily done at https://accountmanager.kccd.edu (note the https). Once you've gone through this process, you will now have a universal password for logging into your workstation, Luminis, BanWeb, and Outlook Web.

  2. Assuming that step #1 was successful, you can now login to Luminis at http://inside.bakersfieldcollege.edu. Your "Email Address" is your full email address (including the "@bakersfieldcollege.edu"). Your password is the universal password you created in step #1. Note: If you put in your credentials (access codes) wrong and click on the link to "login again", it will take you to the wrong page. This will be fixed in the final (production) version of Luminis but for now you will need to re-type http://inside.bakersfieldcollege.edu into your browser.

Feedback

Once you login, there is a box in the bottom right corner called "Help Us Get Better". Any feedback for improvements, suggestions, or problems can be submitted via that box.

Faculty tutorial

If you are a faculty member, there is a quick-start guide called "Course Studio for Instructors" on the login page (http://inside.bakersfieldcollege.edu) which will give some more in-depth information for getting around the Luminis Portal and Course Studio (no, you do NOT need to be logged into Luminis to view it!).

Any further questions about the test-drive, please contact Todd Coston or David Barnett.

College Goals

An on-going work group is being formed to gather feedback on the previous years College Goals and will make recommendations for new goals for adoption at College Council.

Other Things We Need to Know

Next meetings

March 18, April 1 + 15, and May 6 all at 8:30 to 10:30 AM.

Go to main BC College Council website

Back to Sciences/Health-PE reports archive


Last updated: March 6, 2011

Document author: Nick Strobel