College Council -- May 4, 2012

Quick Jump to Sections: Accreditation, Strategic Collegewide Planning, Enrollment Management, Evaluation of College Council and DMD, College Re-Organization, Other Things, Next Meetings.


One minor correction in previous report: President Jensen sent the Self Evaluation report to the district on the Friday of the last College Council meeting (April 20th). The Self Evaluation Committee and ASC are still waiting to get the report back with the comments from the chancellor and vice-chancellors and the three-member accreditation committee of the trustees. The district people are taking a bit longer than originally scheduled in getting the report back with their comments so it looks like the SEC and ASC folks will be reviewing the comments and revising the document as appropriate during finals week.

Strategic Collegewide Planning

Objective 1.6 is about the student success in English and Math is the KCCD Strategic Plan goal 1.2 and cannot be changed by us ("Increase the percentage of students who, within a one-year period, successfully complete English or Math courses both one level below transfer and at the transfer level").

There was A LOT of discussion on the Outcome Measures for Objective 1.6, particularly how to respond to the change in the wording of the outcome measure by the Academic Senate that broadened it way beyond the English and Math transfer and one-level below courses. The senators from English and Math departments at the Senate meeting were not satisfied with revised wording from the previous College Council meeting that clarified that the Math and English departments have not been singled out (faculty targeted) and that they are not alone in meeting this objective of skills fundamental to success in the other college transfer courses offered by the rest of the college. In order to get consensus, the Academic Senate expanded the scope for the Outcome Measure section of Outcome 1.6 to look at all courses at transfer and one level below using a baseline established in 2011-12. After much discussion it was decided to go with a slightly tweaked version of the draft before the Senate's change. The tweaked version states:

Develop collaborative efforts among Academic Development, Counseling, ESL, English, and Math with the support of district office resources to increase the percentage of successful completions using a baseline established in 2011-12.

Use for baseline: total successful completions fall 2011 through summer 2012 in:
1.6.1 Math 1 level below transfer (MATH BD)
1.6.2 Math transfer level (B2, B4a, B16, B22, B23, B5, B1a, B1b, B6a) + PSYC B5
1.6.3 English 1 level below transfer (ENGL B50, ENSL B50)
1.6.4 English transfer level  (ENGL B1a)
1.6.5 Reading 1 level below transfer (ACDV B50, ENSL B51) + Reading transfer level (ENSL B31) [I'm not sure about all of the courses in 1.6.5—I heard ACDV B50 and ENSL B31 lumped together but the catalog shows them as two different levels and ENSL B51 is parallel to ACDV B50 for the ENSL students.]

The President will receive two recommendations for the Strategic Plan: one from the Academic Senate that has the Senate's version of the Outcome Measure for Outcome 1.6 and one from the College Council and he will decide. Reasons given for rejecting the Senate's version and focusing on the Math, English, and Reading courses include:

  1. Research has shown across the state (and probably across the nation too) that students who successfully complete the college level Math and English courses are MUCH more likely to complete their college education and get a degree.
  2. Writing, reading, and math skills at the college level are critical/essential to success in college-level courses in other disciplines.
  3. We do not have the resources to look at all courses at transfer and one level below. We need to focus on particular areas. The Senate's recommendation is too unfocussed and impractical (a focus on all courses is actually unfocussed—too fuzzy as to be useful).
  4. The Accreditation team from ACCJC visiting us in October will be focussing on the English, Math, and Reading course success rates and our plans to improve those success rates. Look at the college's self evaluation report for our response to Standard IIA.1.a and you'll see the emphasis on those areas.
  5. The district's strategic plan focusses on the English and Math courses so extra resources will be devoted to and available for the English and Math departments to use if they choose. Those extra resources will not be available for the other disciplines.
  6. The college's focus on the English and Math students is not targeting the faculty in those departments to lower course standards and academic rigor. Students with grades of "C" or higher in the English and Math courses have to do well in the institutions they transfer to, so lowering standards at BC would come back to bite us. We have to improve student success while maintaining our academic rigor or the public and state legislature will realize that we're gaming the system and lose credibility.
  7. The college's focus on the English and Math students is not targeting the faculty in those departments but instead is targeting the students. One analogy used to describe this is that even the best coaches will lose their games if the players are poor. The coaches have to work with the players they are given—that come to them, ready or not.

With that said, though, the Math department's concern that they are feeling pressure to lower academic standards may not be unjustified. A conversation with one of the math faculty leaders brought up the case of a math course in the recent past approved by the Curriculum Committee that was not forwarded on to the trustees by the president's office because it had too many units despite the fact that the unit change requested was made to have the units match the student contact hours as in the other math courses. Reasons given for the refusal to forward the math course have not reached the rest of the math department. Also, there is some mistrust of the administration among the math faculty due to the administration's change in what they'll support in the Math department's plans with the STEM grant even though the department's plans were written in the grant proposal, signed off by administration, and approved by the granting agency (the federal government Education Department). Perhaps there is a misunderstanding of the administration rationale but mistrust happens when administration doesn't take the time to dialogue (back and forth face-to-face) with the faculty leaders in a department—communication, communication, communication!

The strategic planning task force includes: Primavera Arvizu (chair), Ann Morgan, Corny Rodriguez, Kate Pluta, and Jennifer Marden. You can send them feedback directly by clicking on strategic planning task force link.

Enrollment Management

Registration for summer courses is proceeding fine with 86% of the available slots filled up already. Full-Time Equivalent Students / Full-time Equivalent Faculty (FTES/FTEF) productivity number = 17 and the goal is 18. Some low enrollment sections may be canceled or combined with others to boost the productivity number.

Evaluation of College Council and DMD

The group working on the evaluation of College Council will be analyzing the survey responses by employee groups and comparing that with the previous college council survey before the restructure. All of the budget cuts work and finals preparation prevented the group from working on it after the April 13th meeting. The work group will present their analysis at the June 8th meeting.

Nothing further has been done with respect to the evaluation of the Decision-Making Document (DMD) after the January 20th meeting. Work on that will start back up in the fall. Feedback will be gathered on what needs to be updated and improved in the DMD as well as improvement in our decision-making processes.

College Re-Organization

President Jensen presented a new Organization Chart for the college. This was the first airing of the Re-Org and even though it says "draft" and is dated April 15, 2012, the new Org Chart it is pretty much final. When asked why we were not going through the usual, expected dialogue process on developing the Org Chart, Pres. Jensen noted that in ordinary times he would have given time for people to digest the new Org Chart and give feedback but the budget cuts discussions did not leave time for that. Also, he did note that we were warned of upcoming changes via the budget cuts forums and College Council meetings, particularly when he said that replacements from retirements or resignations would not happen. With Stephen Eaton leaving, there is re-shuffling of departments among the remaining deans. The dean workload will be equalized as much as possible and each dean will be doing more. Besides handling the budget cuts, Pres. Jensen's other major assigned task from the chancellor was the re-organization of Student Services. The Financial Aid director position will not be replaced after Joan Wegner retires. Financial Aid will now be handled by the director of EOPS&CARE, Primavera Arvizu. Here's a summary of the changes that I see when comparing the new Org Chart with the August 2011 version posted on the DMD site.

Student Services

Academic Affairs

Administrative Services

Here is a color-coded version of the new Org Chart I prepared from the April 15th Org Chart given to us at College Council. This is not an "official BC" chart but it does have the correct connections between the boxes and it's not quite so cramped. Select the image to view a full-size graphic version. Link to PDF that can print on legal-size (8.5 x 14in) paper.

BC Org Chart April 15,2012

Other Things

Next meetings

Tentatively scheduled June 8 and July 20 for summer meetings all at 10 AM. I will not be in town for the June 8 meeting. If any of you would like to represent our area for that meeting, please let me know!

Go to main BC College Council website

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Last updated: May 6, 2012

Document author: Nick Strobel