College Council -- October 20, 2011

Quick Jump to Sections: Accreditation, Integrated Collegewide Planning, Budget, Student Success, Construction, Shake-Out Feedback, Next Meetings.


The college sent off a huge document to our accrediting agency Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) to seek approval for offering degrees online. According to the rules, if more than 50% of a degree can accomplished online, then the college has to send in special documentation proving that the college has sufficient service for all those online students. It turns out that when you add in the general education courses that could have an online component—have sought distance education approval—that a number of our degrees would be over the 50% threshold. It has been standard procedure to try and seek distance education approval as part of the curriculum review process even if the course is not being taught via distance ed at the time. Seeking distance ed approval gave us the flexibility with our courses to offer them via distance ed if the faculty chose to do so in the future. Well, an unintended consequence of that policy was that we have a number of courses that could be taught online and the number is large enough to trigger needing to get special approval from ACCJC.

Integrated Collegewide Planning

Discussion continues on the topic of integrated collegewide planning and the piece today was about the graphic in Decision Making Document on p. 9 with narrative on p. 8. That tries to describe the process and flow of information that the President uses to make decisions on collegewide issues. It does not describe the process for decisions made at department levels, for example. It was noted, though, that there needs to be an explicit connection (via an arrow) between the Standing Committees box and the box with the Academic Senate since many of the standing committees have membership appointed by the Senate and faculty co-chairs who sit on the Academic Senate Executive Board and send reports to the Academic Senate.


A bit of discussion on the Faculty Obligation Number (FON) which is the number of full-time faculty that we must have districtwide as set by the Board of Governors (BOG). (Link to the FON worksheet Greg gave us.) If the district falls below the FON, it must pay a large monetary penalty that is about the same as the number of full-time faculty it is short of. The FON is based on the amount of funded credit FTES (full-time equivalent students), so the FON can increase or decrease depending on how much the state decides to pay us for. Note that "funded" is italicized since the state does not pay us for all of the FTES we generate (remember, we've been above "cap" for several years). Because of the state budget cuts, the BOG has voted at their November meeting to freeze the FON for the past few years. Every year they have to vote to freeze it and have done so since Fall 2008. The FON is currently frozen at 372.8. However, there has been the possibility that the BOG could unfreeze it. In past years, unfreezing the cap could have meant the district having to hire up to 40+ additional full-time faculty. For 2012, the best estimate of the FON for KCCD is 377.80 if the BOG does not freeze again. It may increase or decrease by one or so depending on the final value of the FTES for this school year. The 377.80 number means the district would need to hire five additional full-time faculty if the BOG decided to unfreeze the FON in 2012 at their November 2011 meeting. In the previous year (2010/11 academic year), the projected FON was about 405 and so the district was having to figure in the possibility of hiring around 32 additional full-time faculty (with all the fringe benefits that would go with them). Because of the "workload reduction" happening statewide (reduction in state funding leading to cut-backs in how many sections we would offer => how many students we would enroll), the FON dropped to an estimated 377.80 for 2012 for KCCD. Because the FON is now so close to the frozen FON of 372.80, there is a "50-50" chance that the BOG will decide to not freeze the FON. If BOG does not freeze the FON, then the district will go out for 6 or 7 new full-time faculty positions (i.e., over and beyond any retirements and replacements) and not just 5. The extra 1 or 2 positions takes into account the possibility that a search might not be successful (a,s for example, happened at Cerro Coso in one recent hiring cycle).

The calculation of the FON is based on the funded credit FTES and is a body count of faculty based on a 1.0 load. Overload is NOT included in the calculation but it does take into account that some full-time faculty might be on reduced load (that's why there's that decimal fraction). Every August is a statewide budget workshop ("Advance Budget Workshop" in the FON worksheet) in which college districts get an idea of what the funding will be for the coming calendar year = the current fiscal year, and that includes such things as the projected FON. In November, then, we get an official estimate from our district. For November 2010, the district had 373.60 full-time faculty (0.8 above the FON). We had the full-time equivalent of 202.53 part-time faculty (adjunct) so the total full-time equivalent faculty was 576.13. Do the math and you'll see we have 64.8% full-time faculty districtwide. Of the 72 college districts in the state, 15 have an equal or higher percentage of full-time faculty. If we were at the goal of 75% full-time faculty, we'd have 432.10 districtwide. (Link to the FON worksheet Greg gave us.)

Student Success

The California Community College Board of Governor’s Student Success Task Force has released the draft of its recommendations to improve student success in the California community colleges. These recommendations will have far-reaching effects across the state and will significantly affect future state funding priorities so make sure you look them over and give feedback either online or in person to the statewide task force members. A new Student Success section of the College Council website has a copy of the draft of the recommendations, a link to the online feedback, and a schedule of the face-to-face meetings happening across the state. Any feedback to the statewide task force needs to be given by November 1st.

At the next College Council we will be listing what departments are currently doing or planning to implement to improve student success in their department. SO: please tell me what your department is doing or planning to do to improve student success. This is just information gathering and no department should feel they have to come up with something or they'll be penalized. I suspect some of this at least will be in the Annual Program Review but I don't have access to them (and I wouldn't have time to sift through all of them anyway!). Please let me know what your department is doing (if anything) or planning to do to improve student success in your department before November 4th.


Next month we go out for bids on the SAM remodeling project with possible start date of December 2011 but more probably January 2012. Expected to be a 18-month project with June 2014 move-in (completion) date. GET terminal expected to be finished by January 17, 2012 (start of spring semester). Levinson Hall had leaks in the roof with some water damage in Lev 40. Undergoing repairs now. The Library also had some roof leaks. BC is investigating contracting with Garland Company to repair our roofs (link goes to the company website). The initial repair would be more than a regular repair with other companies would be BUT the materials are higher-quality and would be guaranteed for 30 years. So there's cost-benefit analysis in whether or not we'll save more money in the long-term by going with the higher-quality product.

Shake-Out Feedback

Please send any feedback on the campus-wide earthquake drill and fire drill we had on Thursday, October 20th to Amber Chiang. What needs to be fixed for next time? The more we practice, the more bugs can be removed from the system, so let Amber know.

Next meetings

First and third Fridays of the month at 8:30 to 10:30 AM.

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Last updated: October 23, 2011

Document author: Nick Strobel