College Council -- September 18, 2009

Quick Jump to Sections: Accreditation 2012, Construction, IEC-Program Review follow-ups, Budget, Enrollment Management (class caps), Open Forums, Dean of Students, Next Meetings.

Accreditation 2012

Even though it seems like 2012 is far away in the future, we need to begin work on the self-study NOW. As a start, Greg Chamberlain is looking for 4-5 people who would be tasked to figure out how we will do the self-study. This group would need to meet just one or two times to determine how BC should proceed. Those 4-5 people would NOT be committed to be on the steering committee. The discussion at the college council meeting included the recommendation that all of the evidence for statements made in the self-study be included in the draft rather than be separate items that have to be hunted down by people reviewing the drafts of the self-study.

Construction

The tennis courts will available for staff parking in about a week. The berm on Panorama is going forward. The water pumps for the Thermal Exchange System had some problems so there is no water flowing into the huge tank yet. The pumps will be replaced very soon.

IEC-Program Review Follow-up

One of the major tasks of the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) is to collect and analyze the Program Review documents and make recommendations on what the institution should do to address any challenges or problems in the departments that did the program review self-study. The major question was what happened to those recommendations and also what should a department do if it felt that IEC did not properly address the concerns raised in the department's program review report. In previous incarnations of the College Council, the department and IEC would give brief reports on the department and the recommendations to the entire College Council. However, this communication went primarily one-way---there wasn't feedback from the College Council or administration as to follow-through on those IEC recommendations.

In the latest incarnation of College Council we haven't even had any presentations from the departments and IEC. This needs to start up again, but I'm still not sure if a formal feedback mechanism from the college president about those recommendations has been worked out or even promised yet.

The Decision-Making Task Force did present a draft flow-chart for the decision-making process at BC but all of the arrows go toward the college president and there is nothing in it that formalizes feedback from the president to any groups making formal recommendations. Another missing component in practically all of our decision-making processes is an assessment mechanism to evaluate the quality or effectiveness of decisions made. Further work needs to be done...

Budget

Greg Chamberlain wants to create a group that will help him identify more budget cuts that will undoubtedly need to be made mid-year. This ad-hoc group will be used while we continue working on creating a formal Budget - Planning Committee. The first meeting of this year's ad-hoc budget task force will be in the third week of October. Membership will consist of: 2 classified (appointed by CSEA), 5 faculty (appointed by the Academic Senate), 4 or 5 administrators (at least Greg, Lamont Schiers, Nan, Mildred), and 1 student (appointed by SGA). This task force will create a plan for this year's budget. Members need to have a global perspective rather than a narrow department-only or program-only perspective. If you know of faculty who have knowledge and experience with budgets and could honestly operate from a college-wide perspective, let the Academic Senate office know SOON.

Enrollment Management (class caps)

Here's the formal statement from Nan Gomez-Heitzenberg about class caps this past summer and what we'll do in the future. We and the Academic Senate asked for an official statement we could share with the rest of the campus community and the general public.

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This has been a pivotal time in California community college history. The state’s economic crisis has resulted in the community college system reducing the number of students that will be funded and therefore can be served.  This “workload reduction” is not expected to change over the next several years.  In years past when the college was over its enrollment target of full-time equivalent students, there was the potential of growth funding to help offset costs. For this year—or the next several years—there will be no growth funding.

In response to this state action, Bakersfield College initiated the following strategic actions:

  1. Over the summer, the number of fall sections being offered was reduced to better manage the total number of students who would be on campus, not just sitting in the classrooms but using the services as well.
  2. Once the total number of sections was reduced, department chairs and educational administrators made decisions about class sizes to maximize the number of students who could literally be served. 
  3. The number of sections that can be strategically offered in spring and summer will be determined in order to live within the budget and to balance the total enrollment for the full academic year.

As each action was taken, the overall goal remained the same: to operate within the reduced state allocation and to balance offerings across the disciplines. The general scheduling parameters also remain the same. 1) The courses offered will continue to reflect the mission of the community college (general education, transfer, basic skills, and workforce development). 2)  Emphasis will be placed on offering those courses that will serve the most students and help them reach their educational goals. 3) Appropriate maximum enrollment and waitlist limits will be set for the spring semester before registration begins so that faculty, students and staff can be informed.

These challenges come at a particularly difficult time.  Unemployment rates are high in the communities served by Bakersfield College and people naturally look to our college for education and training.  The reality is that we will not be able to serve everyone who wants to attend, but we can continue to maintain quality educational programs and services for those who are able to enroll.

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Open Forums

Greg Chamberlain will be holding open forums for anyone to talk to him about any campus concerns or questions on October 19th in the Fireside Room. One time will be in the morning and another will be in the afternoon from 5 to 6 PM. Our chancellor, Sandra Serrano, will hold an open forum for the BC community on November 30th from 11:30 to 1 PM (I think it will also be in the Fireside room).

Dean of Students

The announcement of the new Dean of Students will be made on October 1st after the Board of Trustees meeting (at which the Board will formally approve the hiring). The new dean will start work on October 5th.

Next meetings

For year 2009/10, meetings will be on 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month 8:30 to 10:30 unless it is a holiday or finals week. Next meeting is October 2nd and then October 23rd (Greg out of town on the 16th).

Go to main BC College Council website

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Last updated: September 21, 2009

Document author: Nick Strobel