Notes - March 10th, 2008
he De Anza Academic Senate
Approved Notes for the meeting of
March 10th, 2008
Senators and Officers present: Argyriou, Bambhania, Chang, Chenoweth, Coleman, Dolen, Goodwin, Guevara, Hanna, Kessler, Kramer, Lathers, Lee-Klawender, Maynard, Miller, Mitchell, Paicius, Schaffer, Setziol, Shively, Walton, and White, and Winters
Senators and Officers absent: Gallegos, Glapion, Hughes, LaManque, Ng-Lee, and Schafer-Braun
DASB: Andrei Fomento Classified Senate: Al Guevara
Guests: Julie Chou, Karen Chow, Diana Alves de Lima, and Jay Donde
Curriculum Co Chair: Anu Khanna SLO Coordinator: Maryalice Bonilla
[NOTE: Item numbers are reflective of agenda numbers in the order they
are actually taken up at the meeting.]
The meeting was called to order at 2:33 a quorum being present.
I. Approval of Agenda and Notes: The agenda was approved as distributed with the change in the title of Item IV from University Studies Degree to Vocational Education Conference Report.
The notes of February 25th, 2008 were approved as distributed with a small addition.
II. Needs and Confirmations: Alan Simes was confirmed for service on the Catalyst Features Committee. Kramer went on to remind the Senators of the timely need for an Elections Committee.
III. Writing and Reading Center: Although the title of the item was "Writing and Reading Center", it became apparent that a more indicative title would have called for many more words, perhaps something like "The Writing and Reading Center and the Tutorial and Academic Skills Center and past, present, and potential linkages between the two". A handout outlining their presentation was distributed.
A collaboration between the two which has been somewhat funded by the Strategic Planning Initiative was referred to as the Student Success Center. The basic strategy of the center is to start with a premise that the student has strengths upon which academic achievement can be built. These strengths are revealed through dialogues, parts of which focus on real areas of need. The center utilizes 200 peer tutors and covers many disciplines.
Major challenges include over crowding (which is supposedly going to be alleviated through a move to a new facility), the lack of stable funding for peer tutors and student assistants, and, said to be most critical, no ongoing funding commitment for the necessary faculty leadership. At present, funding is only secured through Spring, 2008. Chow and Alves de Lima ended their well received presentation by pointing to the contact information on the handout.
IV. Voc. Ed. Conference: Maynard gave an account of some of the highlights of the conference. Budgetary items dominated his report. Foothill-De Anza salaries and benefits are among the highest in the state. The District's cash balance coming into the current academic year was reported to be a double whopper $40,000,000, second highest in the state. The latter revelation prompted more than raised eyebrows, it began a spirited conversation that left the Voc. Ed. Conference far behind. Responses included a sense that the group had not been kept informed about budget matters, a sense that, in very close proximity, reports of large cash balances are always followed by doom and gloom budget cutting, and a fear that a large reserve makes the governor's plan to cut funding difficult to defend against.
Generalized talk of budgets prompted announcement of a town hall meeting on the District's budget situation being in conflict with the Senate meeting of March 17th. Outrage, consternation, and concern were among the responses to this information. After a motion was made, discussed, and withdrawn on the question of whether or not the Senate should somehow compromise, the item was concluded by Chenoweth saying he would attempt to get the time of the town hall meeting moved. [NOTE: after the meeting Chenoweth was able to get the town hall meeting rescheduled.]
V. Senate Officer Reorganization: The officers brought up the possibility of going back to some form of a President elect system for Senate presidential succession, citing the perhaps daunting task of preparing for that office. A brief history of arguments given for moving to the current system was given. After a spirited discussion, during which salient points were made in favor and against a change from the current system, Mitchell, Khanna, and Kramer volunteered to be an ad hoc committee to propose a change. A change might also be to a kind of hybrid between the current and previous systems.
VI. Load: A new document from the officers on the topic of creating a system for changing the load factor of existing courses reduced the number of variables presented compared to the document distributed March 3rd. Proposed was an ad hoc committee with two administrators and two faculty plus three principles to inform the work of that group. After another spirited discussion, the proposal was approved.
VII. End of Quarter Celebration: A number of ideas were presented. It was the sense of the Senate to have a very modest (cost less than $50) celebration this quarter and a more lavish one at the end of Spring.
VIII. State/District Policies/Updates: The item was held over due to a lack of time.
IX. Good of the Order and announcements: - The Classified Senate sent a message of thanks to Chenoweth for the Academic Senate's message of support read at a recent Board meeting.
- Chenoweth announced a training session on Open Educational Resources at Foothill..
- The Spring Area B meeting in San Francisco was announced and Senators were invited to attend.
- The annual community college Lobby Day was announced as being March 12th.
- The Dance department's Dancestry production was again announced. This time Gallegos made it clear what an important fund raising event the performance was.
- There was a reminder to participating Senators of the General Education Review Steering committee meeting of March 11th.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:34.
The De Anza College Academic Senate subcommittee on Professional Relations is a group charged with A) mediating faculty to faculty conflicts (and others, narrowly defined), B) assessing unprofessional or unethical behavior, and C) recommending accountability actions. Recently, the group has been asked to reexamine its own charge, in part gathering information from other Academic Senates.
Please respond to the below at your earliest convenience. If you have a faculty driven or faculty/administration collaborative process for dealing with faculty to faculty conflicts and or faculty to classified conflicts (and or special non contractual condition faculty to administration or faculty to student conflicts) please respond to questions in the A group below. If you do not have such processes, please respond to the B group below.
A1 Is your process done by? 1) faculty exclusively, 2) faculty and administrator(s) (please delete the one that doesn't apply)
A2 Is your process done by? 1) a standing committee of the Academic Senate, 2 an ad hoc function of the Academic Senate, 3) a standing joint Senate/Administrator committee, 4 an ad hoc joint Senate/Admin. Function (please delete the ones that don't apply)
A3 Does your process? 1) include both conflict resolution and finding of unprofessional or unethical behavior, 2) conflict resolution only, 3) finding of unprofessional or unethical behavior only, 4) promotes good relations and professional and ethical behavior but doesn't deal with individual cases (please delete the ones that don't apply)
A4 If your process includes both conflict resolution in some form of mediation and finding of unprofessional or unethical behavior are they? 1) dealt with by the same group including individual cases where both may be included, 2) dealt with by separate groups
B1 How are good relations among faculty and between faculty and others promoted?
B2 What is the college policy/procedure/protocol for faculty to faculty conflict resolution?
B3 What is the college policy/procedure/protocol for faculty to others conflict resolution?
B4 What is the college policy/procedure/protocol for unprofessional or unethical behavior?
Results of the De Anza College
Professional Relations Committee 2008 Survey of
California Community Colleges and
of internet postings
Results of a questionnaire sent to all California Community College Academic Senate Presidents
Because of the variety of answers to the questions posed and the number of unsolicited topics included in responses, the following is a compilation of responses but not limited to a literal recitation of the original questions followed by simple categorical or numerical answer for each.
Of the 56 Academic Senate responses -
- Six colleges reported that good relations among faculty were not specifically promoted while one reported that they were.
- In terms of dealing with faculty to faculty conflicts, 12 reported that there was no process available, 6 reported that a faculty committee or faculty person was charged with the responsibility, 1 reported that it was entirely a union matter, 6 reported that it was entirely an administrative matter, and 4 reported that there was a joint faculty and administration committee to deal with such situations.
- In terms of dealing with faculty to other than faculty conflicts, 9 reported that there was no process available, 3 reported that there was a faculty committee or faculty person charged with the responsibility, 2 reported that it was entirely a union matter, 3 reported that it was entirely an administrative matter, and 4 reported that there was a joint faculty and administration committee to deal with such situations.
- In terms of dealing with alleged unethical or unprofessional behavior on the part of faculty, 10 reported that there was no process available, 5 reported that a faculty committee or faculty person was charged with the responsibility, no one reported that it was entirely a union matter, 5 reported that it was entirely an administrative matter, and 4 reported that there was a joint faculty and administration committee to deal with such situations.
- In terms of dealing with relations (conflict resolution) separately from unprofessional or unethical behavior or dealing with one or the other only, 1 college reported dealing with unprofessional or unethical behavior only, 4 reported dealing with conflict resolution only, 2 reported that unethical behavior was dealt with informally through the union, and 3 reported that it was entirely an administrative matter.
- Although not solicited, 11 colleges expressed dissatisfaction with their process or lack thereof and 1 college expressed satisfaction with their process (chalking it up to the small size of their institution).
- Of the 7 colleges indicating an all faculty committee dealing with conflict resolution and unethical behavior, 5 indicated that this was an Academic Senate sub committee.
- Two colleges interpreted the phrase "faculty to faculty conflict" as meaning Senate versus Union conflict.
- Three colleges reported that promoting good faculty relations was a function of "robust shared governance" (to quote one of the respondents).
[NOTE: Our questionnaire format makes reasonable the assumption that a non response on one question coupled with a response on a closely related question means that a college does not deal with or does not have a specific mechanism for dealing with a particular issue.]
Summary of Web Search Findings
Many "conversations" about conflict resolution were found. However, most were just that: conversations without indications of action, resolutions, plans, etc.
No conflict resolution policies were found for community colleges.
Conflict resolution policies found on line were most often from private colleges and universities.
Of colleges found to have a conflict resolution process, most called for a faculty committee. Few included administrators and those that did usually added administrators after a faculty process had been conducted.
Many colleges use mediators. Some were professionals, i.e. not otherwise affiliated with the college. Most were faculty mediators. College (faculty) mediators almost always had a required training of approximately 36-40 hours.
The University of New Mexico is really active in the area of conflict resolution and has generated a newsletter for faculty for over 7 years. Mediation training is actively promoted and published evaluation data show a high level of success with 92% of faculty served recommending the process to others.
The most well described policy is that of Texas Christian University (TCU).
Macon State's closely mirrors TCUs but is not as completely spelled out.
Several other colleges listed something similar to the following, with each step following an unsuccessful resolution:
1. Attempt to resolve between affected faculty
2. Complaint goes to department chair
3. Complaint goes to dean of division/college of the department
4. Complaint goes to Provost
5. Complaint goes to college grievance committee
6. Appeals repeat process.
The University of Virginia uses a statewide mediation program (free and available to all state employees).
Several Universities have faculty committees in the vicinity of 7 tenured faculty in number. This group makes decisions.
Paid Ombudspersons were referred to but no specific policies were found.
A number of colleges and universities posted codes of ethics (or referred to them) but did not post any description of a process for either conflict resolution or dealing with unethical and or unprofessional behavior.
Several public and private mediator development/training services for college and university faculty were found.
Recommendations to the Executive Committee:
1. That the basic scope and charge of the committee remain as at present but with a revised charge that includes detailed operational information, reasonable expectations as to disposition of the committee's recommendations, and steps to be taken to ensure the involvement of all parties to a dispute.
2. That the members of the Professional Relations Committee get professional level mediation training from outside mediation training services and prepare a high quality description of newly devised mediation services for dissemination as appropriate
3. That the college community be made much more aware of the availability of mediation, good practices with regard to good professional relations, and ethical and professional expectations of faculty by faculty as well as by the larger college and civic communities;
4. That the Executive Committee consider a sanction of "Censure" in cases where it is warranted and clearly define what censure entails and then make the college community aware that such sanction exists and that some number of levels of consequences including differentiating Censure be developed either by the Professional Relations Committee or the Executive Committee;
5. That the Executive Committee create a clear definition of what constitutes unprofessional and unethical behavior; and
6. That the charge to the committee include the charge to create a list of criteria for discerning unethical and or unprofessional behavior as well as for determining various levels of success or failure in mediation or remedy of behavior. In addition "Threshold criteria" should be developed to ensure that frivolous accusations are left to mold while Senate presidents and future committees are required to take up legitimate but difficult cases;