College Council -- September 17, 2010

Quick Jump to Sections: Accreditation, Decision-Making Task Force, College Goals, Construction, Budget, Next Meetings.

Accreditation

The Accreditation Steering Committee (ASC) co-chair Kate Pluta presented the timeline for the upcoming Accreditation self-study and implementation of embedding accreditation in our ongoing processes. Accreditation will become part of every committee's charge including whatever reports and analyses of the issues they have worked on must easily accessible. The gathering of evidence and whatever plans are made by the committees and implementation must be clearly spelled out. The ASC will start with the committees that match the eleven sub-sets of the four high-level accreditation standards. There are four basic accreditation standards and some of them are sub-divided into more focussed "sub-standards".

There will be training of key campus leaders (including chairs of Curriculum Comm, Assessment Comm, Accreditation Steering Comm, Institutional Effectiveness Comm, and the library) by our accrediting body ACCJC on September 20th from 9 AM to 3 PM at the Weill. Later this fall the ASC will write the charge for the Self-Study Committee (SSC) and assemble the SSC.

Decision-Making Task Force

College Council took another look at the DMTF latest draft of the document that describes how decisions are made at Bakersfield College plus recommendations on how to improve our processes to make them more transparent. Greg Chamberlain expressed his concern that the campus has not been made aware of the DMTF report and all of the many opportunities to comment on various iterations of the document as it has been developed over the past year. Apparently, there are some parts of the campus that feel that the college president has been hiding things from them, especially when the DMTF document was not presented on Opening Day. It was not presented on Opening Day because College Council had not approved the recommendations and evaluation components yet and other parts of the committee descriptions and definitions had not been completed yet.

There were also concerns raised by those groups about the information flow chart diagram on page 9 of the report that it looked like a hierarchical power structure with College Council above everybody else except the President. That was certainly not the intent of the graphic created by our faculty in the Graphic Arts department and the narrative on the previous page makes that clear.

The following statements in this paragraph are going to sound a bit "preachy" but I don't know how else to say it. (Also, this is NOT really directed at faculty in my college council area but other "problem departments".) The responsibility for clear communication goes both ways. Participatory governance can only work if the campus faculty and staff provide their input-feedback to their representatives in a timely manner and carefully consider the information given to them by their representatives. Faculty have no right to complain if they do not do the homework required in their professional duties and engage in the processes. We require it of our students to succeed in our classes, so we should model that outside the classroom in our interactions with each other. In the case of the DMTF document, various iterations have been distributed by the college council reps and posted on the DMTF website. <<getting off soap box>>

One definition that will be changed is the "Rely primarily upon" term (p. 15 of the document). It will be changed to read more like the language of AB1725 that includes the areas for which the Academic Senate has purview and when the administration goes against the recommendation of the Academic Senate for those particular areas, the administration must supply a written, logical rationale.

At the end of the DMTF document is an evaluation piece (p. 48) and their recommendations (pp. 49-50). The grammar of the evaluation piece on p. 48 needs to be tweaked but do you have any comments on the substance of the evaluation piece? The recommendations from the latest draft are given below. Any comments/feedback on these?

Recommendation 1

Adopt the following process developed by the Task Force when making a decision or approaching problems and issues:

Identify:

Solve

Communicate

Recommendation 2

All governance committees should develop a process for forwarding written input, suggestions and proposals to College Council to assist the president in the decision-making process. The Bakersfield College Academic Senate “Guide for Effective Senate Proposals for Change” (located in Public Folders under Academic Senate---select the link to download the Senate's change proposal Word document; you'll need to login to Outlook Web first) is one tool that could be used to generate a written proposal.

Recommendation 3

All governance committees should provide an update or annual report to College Council that may include recommendations generated throughout the year, explanations of the committee’s progress toward implementation, or a list of the work that should continue into the next academic year. Written annual reports will be placed on the College Council website, making them available for consultation purposes.

Recommendation 4

Based on review, analysis, and comparison of results of the surveys conducted in spring 2010 and subsequent years, College Council should re-evaluate all of the following:

  1. the decision-making process;
  2. the utility of this document; and
  3. related training and communication

Recommendation 5

College Council or the president should share examples of successes related to the decision-making process with the campus community in an appropriate venue.

Recommendation 6

Review and update governance committee charges, scope and authority in accordance with the college goals and values.

College Goals

The latest draft of the college goals for 2010-11 were distributed and are ready for feedback from the general committee. Here are proposed goals. Give me feedback before October 1st. The college goals will be discussed and approved at the October 1st College Council meeting.

1.  Previous: Student Excellence

Research various prerequisites, assessment testing, placement, and retention methods to improve student success.

1. Proposed: Student Excellence

Encourage student excellence by addressing basic skills at all course levels, research various prerequisites, placement and retention methods, and use results to improve student success.

Goals 2 through 6 are being carried forward from the previous year because we have not completed them:

2.  Communication

Develop a protocol with procedures and training that ensures all College constituents will receive and use the information essential for their work, study or participation in campus processes.

3.  Oversight & Accountability

Establish mechanisms and training that ensure employees understand their role in the college and the concept of accountability, both individually and collectively, a positive expression of which is “Renegade pride”.

4.  Fiscal Responsibility

Create and adopt a Bakersfield College campus-wide budget development process that maximizes transparency, which includes an evaluation of that process. [Note that a task force has almost finalized a draft of the proposed process that will go to the College Council and Academic Senate almost simultaneously for review and comment. The process will have to be approved by the Academic Senate before it is implemented. The draft of the process from the task force should be completed by September 24th.]

5.  Facilities

Develop and implement strategies for effective maintenance and beautification of campus.

6.  Images

Identify and support specific projects, activities and programs that enhance the college's reputation within the institution and in the community.

7.  Previous: Linkages

Create a document that clearly outlines how decisions are made. [That's the DMTF document]

7. Proposed: Linkages

Provide training to college wide committees, departments, programs, and staff/student organizations on how to effectively utilize the Decision Making Document (DMD) and participate in a year end evaluation of the plan and training.

Give me feedback before October 1st.

Construction

We will miss being able to use the Thermal Energy Storage unit for this cooling season. The final payment to the contractor has been withheld as stated in the performance-based contract because the contractor did not satisfactorily complete the project in time for us to get the sizable PG&E rebate.

The solar PV field in the northeast parking lot is still on schedule to go live in October. One half of the lot is open while panels are being put in the other half of the lot. This week or next, the open-closed halves will switch as the panels are installed on the other half. When the PV field goes live, it will generate up to 1.1 Megawatts of power for the campus, or about a third of the total power used by the campus.

Budget

Last Friday we reached a record---we are now in the longest time without a state budget. There is a window of opportunity in the first week of October for approving the budget. If it is not approved then, the budget will be approved after the November elections. Note that there have been reports that the state is flush with cash. That is because the state hasn't paid its bills. The KCCD has been paying the Cal Grants (students use them to pay for such things as their textbooks and class supplies) from district reserves. There is still a $19 BILLION deficit the state legislature and governor have to deal with. There was some discussion about whether or not we could advocate for or against Proposition 25 that would lower the requirement for approving a state budget to 50%+1 (the percentage required to raise taxes would remain at 2/3rds). Any advocacy efforts should be done off campus and not using campus resources, so however you feel about the proposition, use your personal/home email and phone service.

Regarding our own college's budget development process: A task force has almost finalized a draft of the proposed process that will go to the College Council and Academic Senate almost simultaneously for review and comment. The process will have to be approved by the Academic Senate before it is implemented. The draft of the process from the task force should be completed by September 24th.

Regarding faculty hiring: the Faculty Chairs and Directors Council (FCDC) will hear faculty hiring requests (new and/or replacements) at their October 5th meeting and the decisions by the college president should be made by (or in) November.

Next meetings

October 1 + 15, November 5 + 19, December 3, January 21, February 4, March 4 + 18, April 1 + 15, and May 6 all at 8:30 to 10:30 AM.

Go to main BC College Council website

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Last updated: September 20, 2010

Document author: Nick Strobel