Notes - March 7, 2005 Joint Senate

Joint Foothill and De Anza Academic Senates
Approved Notes for the meeting of
March 7th, 2005

Senators and Officers present: Argyriou, Bryant, Chenoweth, Cole, Cordero, Fritz, Illowsky, Jensen Sullivan, Joplin, Lopez-Morgan, Mitchell, Moreno, Pierce, Setziol, and Zarecky,
Senators and Officers absent: Bresnan, Dolen, Dunn, Goodwin, Hearn, Hrycyk, Logvinenko, Mosh, Salah, Sheirich, and Winters
Classified Senate:
Administrative Liaison:
Guests: Martha Kanter, Kee Hoon, Bernie Day, and Renee Augenstein

[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 3:00 p.m. in Room 3402 at Foothill Community College, located in Los Altos Hills, a small, affluent community approximately 35 miles South of San Francisco, California, USA, by Paul Starer, currently serving as both the Foothill College Academic Senate President and the Foothill – De Anza Community Colleges District Academic Senate President.

Prior to the first printed agenda item, attendees introduced themselves to everyone else.

Also prior to the first printed item, Martha Kanter presented the group with a detailed and significant update on some of her activities and concerns of late. She focused on state level activities related to curriculum, budget, accountability, and lobbying. There has been proposed a new curriculum advisory committee in the state chancellor's office. A significant item occupying much of her time has been equalization because the currently proposed equalization formula would put the District in a more unfair position than it is in currently. The good news is that state revenues are up enough ($2 billion) to be promising some relief from previously projected state shortfalls. Currently, the District is obliged to make 623 reports to the state with more being proposed. Kanter hopes to get the number reduced. Faculty Lobby Day is March 14th. Contacting state legislators is as important as ever.

I. Senate Goals and Accomplishments: Starer named Basic Skills, Cost of Textbooks, Curriculum Processes, and Academic Freedom as the areas of recent significant interest to the Foothill group. Mitchell named Scheduling of Classes, Environmental Issues, Curriculum Committee actions and relationships, and, much like Foothill, Textbooks (although that later was presented as being much broader in scope than the Foothill interest). Kee Hoon, President of the Foothill Associated Students, added, with regard to textbooks, that the Foothill student interests were simultaneously in lowering cost and maintaining high quality.

II. Opening Day Activities: Paul Starer, Mitchell, and Martha Kanter are soliciting input as to opening day activities and possible guest speakers. Several comments were made. There was little or no response to them. Kanter said that any faculty member is welcome to contribute to the work of or even join the Opening Day Planning Committee.

IV. Articulation Issues: Bernie Day, Foothill College Articulation Officer and Renee Augenstein, De Anza Articulation Officer, made a well organized presentation and distributed an informative packet of materials. The two presented information about a host of articulation tracking systems and efforts aimed at facilitating transfer. Some of the things presented, taken together, demonstrated the strength of the movement towards standardization and state level, centralized curriculum development and approval. The basic results of the presentation were enhanced understanding and heightened awareness. There were no specific actions suggested.

III. Plus Minus Update: First Numbers: Mitchell presented an introduction to the first research data on plus minus grading since the Board approved preliminary steps towards full implementation. 13-15% of Fall quarter 2004 grade scanners had plus and or minus symbols. Nothing in the preliminary data shows anything dramatically different than that which has been predicted by faculty leadership. Both Senates need to make relevant faculty development activities and increased faculty participation a higher priority for action.

V. Smoking Policy: Bob Cormia presented the results of a survey conducted on both campuses and in the Central Services offices. There were 6,800 respondents to the survey. Faculty, staff, administrators, and students were all represented with students accounting for 6,300 of the 6,800 number. 80% of the respondents said they wanted a stricter policy than the current policy. The current policy calls for no smoking within 25 feet of any District building. Questions were raised about raising the number of feet to 40 and more rigorous enforcement of the current policy. Cormia answered by suggesting that both 25 feet and 40 feet were inferior to and more difficult to enforce than a total ban of smoking on campus. Cormia announced that the Foothill student association voted for the ban. He also announced that the De Anza Academic Senate will be approached for an endorsement of the ban in the near future. The meeting was adjourned at 4:35 p.m.

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