Responses to 2020 Survey

  • Group name: Academic Senate
  • Group chair: Karen Chow
  • Discussion date: July 27

Members participating: So Kam Lee, Karen Chow, Mary Pape, Nellie E. Vargas, Dawn Lee Tu, Kimberly Lam (DASB Rep), Erik Woodbury, Mary Donahue, Marc Coronado, Bob Stockwell, Shagun Kaur, Pete Vernazza, Laura Chin, Lisa Mesh, Bob Kalpin, Terrence Mullens, Louise Madrigal, cecilia hui, Lauren Gordon, Tom Dolen, Kevin Glapion, Rusty Johnson, mae lee, Rich Booher, Thomas Ray (administrator liaison), Scott Olsen (Classified Senate Rep), Mary Sullivan, Bob Stockwell, Lauren Gordon, Nellie E. Vargas, Bob Kalpin, Lisa Mesh, mae lee, Shagun Kaur, Danny Solomon

Guests participating: Wil Byars, Chesa Caparas, Kulwant Singh, Eric Mendoza, Diana Alves de Lima, Jim Nguyen, Randy Bryant, Mallory Newell, Amy Leonard, Mary Bennett, Monica Ganesh, Lori Clinchard, Elvin T. Ramos, Sarah Lisha

Note: The following includes responses provided separately by different individuals and groups within the Academic Senate. Those responses are separated here by grey dividing lines.

Questions and Responses

Question 1: What do you believe works well about the current governance system? Please list.


  1. Moved on to more transparency. Information is disseminated well, expanding awareness of current issues. Getting the email updates from Senator reps is very useful!
  2. Shared governance is ***ACTUALLY*** shared and faculty are a part of the decision-making processes. Faculty voices are heard loudly...usually appropriately
  3. Much more participation from faculty, including volunteering; Substantial participation from faculty members - many want to contribute. Faculty from every division and PT faculty are represented. Networking and team building within the physically distant faculty...It brings together faculty from diverse parts of the campus (like STEM and Art and Career tech). AS leadership has skill to encourage and foster all to speak up and to listen
  4. DASB reps are more engaged and empowered. Students are involved... this is huge!
  5. Very productive Academic Senate achieves a lot when faculty are a part of the decision-making processes. This is too rare for some decisions, especially concerning budget and class cancellation policies.
  6. The intentions are good. The idea and goal of Shared Governance is something worthy of pursuing. There are broad invites to participate in many instances. Current system provides governed groups with a degree of self-determination. Each group is given respect, responsibility, and a voice in larger campus conversations.
  7. Great to have (Thomas Ray) Div Dean there to voice in with policies/procedures from their perspective (ie ed code, budget,...) Practical views

Question 2: What do you believe does not work well about the current governance system? Please list.


  1. Senate still lacks diversity.
  2. Processes need to be clearer and streamlined.
  3. Harness in-house talents.

  1. Criteria with which classroom/non-classroom faculty positions are ranked seems very mysterious, subjective, and puts some programs at an unfair disadvantage.
  2. Major decisions (such as program viability and elimination) are made with very little input from faculty, and very little communication about reasoning/criteria. Faulty metrics are often used.
  3. Positions on major shared governance groups (such as IPBT and the Presidential Search Committee) were only voted on by Academic Senate... it would be better if those positions are voted on by the faculty as a whole.

When faculty input is disregard. Or when only top-down decisions are made.

  1. Decisions are often made in a top-down manner. Faculty input is often restricted to rubber-stamping decisions already made by the higher administration. There is often not enough room for faculty voiced in decision making.
  2. Information needed to make an informed decision is often not made available to the relevant committees by the administration. This was a serious problem with the last round of budget cuts.
  3. There are committees that should have places reserved for members of each division, as well as for part-time faculty, but which lack such a requirement.

  1. Selection/election processes do not seem well designed to achieve our goals of equity and inclusion
  2. Communication in the form of emails or official minutes is not always accurate and are often not timely.
  3. Certain constituencies are either under- or not represented. Part of this is a failure to engage and support these groups.
  4. FT faculty have the freedom to disengage with neither stick or carrot to encourage participation in college matters outside their departments.

  1. Communication between groups is significantly lacking. Websites are frequently in need of repair and updates. Often we get notified of essential decisions needing to be made without much notice. Other times our input is not solicited at all (when it certainly should be) i.e Facilities Master Plan 2019-2020.
  2. What is DDEAC, and where do they get so much control?

  1. when 1 or 2 senators over use the committee's time, talking at cross purposes, using this as a stage to push their agenda. They seem to miss the point that it is a college wide focus. I appreciate how graciously AS leadership strives to remind the verbose senators to stay on topic. We need more clearly communicated agreements and more forceful action to maintain behavioral protocol. (Can you remove a senator who continues to use negative/shame/disrespect voice?)
  2. It is the same individuals year in/year out - is this part of the division structuring? the electing to committees feels that it lacks inclusivity; we need to find a way to mentor more new people so there is more diversity on committees; we aren't able to build relationships/community in the same way we could when we were on campus.

  1. At all shared governance groups, including Academic Senate (AS): belittling of student voices when students show up at governance meetings to express a concern, especially when the voice does not fit a certain mold (ex: when an international student with non-standard American English speaks or writes, they are mocked and not taken seriously)
  2. At AS: meetings for new persons feel intimidating due to the technocratic emphasis of participation (ex: you need to know Robert's Rules, how and when to vote, etc.) and there is no training for new people when joining....this results in a handful of people whose voices are louder because they know the "rules of the game",
  3. the time demand of serving on AS does not necessarily invite more participation

Question 3: Ideally, how would governance groups and processes be structured at De Anza? How would this work in practice? Please provide a summary.


  1. Set-up so there is more input and inclusiveness.
  2. All PBTs should have same degree of transparency.
  3. Calendar tasks
  4. Develop clear time-lines.
  5. Bridge part-time faculty and classified staff into shared governance.
  6. Do know that all shared governance groups are open meetings but people do not know when.
  7. Clearing house of info for shared governance groups on website.

  1. Major decisions are made with involvement from as many people as possible (bottom-up leadership).
  2. There would be at least one or two meetings a year where all major shared governance groups meet together (possibly to vote on decisions as mentioned above).
  3. Greater diversity in terms of who is involved... many times it's just "the usual suspects." I think this would be a collaborative effort between faculty and administrators. All the groups need to be more equitable. We need to meet our goals untied together if we are going to serve our students.

  1. Governance groups would be more equitable. Attention to gender, race, and ethnicity would be taken into account when selecting members of committees to ensure all committees are diverse and representative.
  2. Governance decisions would be made in a collaborative and participatory manner that involves all stakeholders at every part of the process. Decisions would be made in a manner that is bottom-up, rather than top-down.
  3. Committees and governance groups would include members of all divisions on campus, where this is possible.

Shared governance must ultimately be used to inform and advise the college president in their pursuit of supporting De Anza's excellence. The challenge is how to channel the best resources our college has to offer to that point in an efficient and accessible manner. To do this effectively, we need to build an empowered and representative body that is able to speak on behalf and in support of their various constituencies. This Group should replace College Council. It should include representatives from 1) Academic Senate/faculty with a breadth of backgrounds (2-3) 2) Classified Senate (2-3) 3) Sr Staff Rep (1) 4) Dean's Rep (1) 5) General Equity (1) 6) Student Support Programs (1) 7) Facilities Rep (1)? 8) Marketing and/or Research Rep (1)? 9) Curriculum (1) 10) DASB representative The above need not all necessarily be This group should be the final advisory committee and should not be a significant repetition of any other committees on campus. Instead it should be a body that can represent the work and recommendations of other committees on campus in order to facilitate the recommendation to the President. Under this group I believe we need more focused committees to do more detail work to prepare the reports and recommendations that will be brought to the revamped College Council. These groups should cover areas of budgeting, planning/scheduling, curriculum, student concerns... etc. What structure? Is there is a hierarchy among gov. groups? We wouldn't know. Transparency- meeting notes easy to find and up to date!

  1. Clearly describe why decisions are made (i.e. some depts. allowed multiple hires, others denied any)
  2. Timely communication between groups
  3. To what extent do we have to do what Foothill does?

It is cognitively difficult for individuals within the system to see the structure issues What would inspire widespread trust ...even in the cynics... to be accepted/hear/seen. More exchange going out to the "community" like DARE - going to divisions - to hear their concerns. More perspectives in...and more out. You get the voices of those not at the table. More attention to process. A deep training (this is needed across all campus groups) to increase participation, motivation, engagement, shared commitment...excitement/energy amid all of the uncertainty and crisis

The inclusion of more part timers in governance organizations and parallel institutions. **Something closer to proportional representation is what we need!**

  1. TRAINING TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD: there should be training on the "rules" of each group for new people,
  2. COMPENSATION: good to have compensation either in time or money (in addition to PAA service for those at that level), especially for adjunct faculty to participate,
  3. INSTITUTIONALIZE TIME FOR STUDENT VOICES: include specific time in meetings for students to raise issues and questions (in addition to the Public Comment period and Good of the Order),
  4. TOWN HALL ON EQUITY: a regular/quarterly campus-wide meeting to discuss equity issues that shared governance group members attend as well as open to the whole campus,
  5. ACTUAL DELIBERATION: create process so governance groups are not just "rubber stamping",
  6. CULTURE OF DECISION-MAKING THAT AVOIDS PERSONALIZING VOTES: creating an environment in which people feel comfortable voting based on who they represent and their own choice, as opposed to who they want to vote like (or fear)

Question 4: In the ideal structure you suggested above, how would members of the governance groups be selected? Please provide a summary.


Solicit participation from all stakeholders especially on issues where some groups will have more Insight. Committees with "minor" impacts (i.e. Tenure Review Committees, department/division level committees, etc) would be selected as they currently are. However committees with "major" campus-wide implications (i.e. IPBT, College Council, Academic Senate Executive Committee, etc) would be directly voted on by the entire faculty body (give them a week to view candidate statements and cast their votes), rather than only being voted on by Executive Committee. Perhaps Academic Senate could do general call-outs but then prioritize who we need to serve (like women, people of color). So, something similar to what we do already but perhaps have some specifics. Perhaps we can be more collaborative in shared governance together.

  1. Divisions and other groups should select members by a faculty vote, when that is fitting. Equity and representation should be a factor in the selection of members.
  2. A general opportunity for people to submit their interest in serving on all decision-making committees. This can be by means of a general email invitation. Votes by the relevant groups - departments, divisions, or academic senate in most cases.

I think we need to have very intentional design in order to ensure and support inclusivity and equity-minded practices. I think we need to give extra weight to areas on campus that have felt left behind and under-represented. We need to strive to have a diversity of all kinds of voices, including the variety of diverse backgrounds and identities and broad experiences of background and expertise. Frankly put, I do not think that straight popular votes for individual candidates will support that. I think we need to consider slates of candidates for supporting committees with the leaders of those committees serving on the updated College Council. I am not sure of the best solution, but what we are currently doing is not working and seems to result in the same dozen people showing up. For example, I think the Academic Senate President serves on too many committees and that those responsibilities must be shared more broadly.

Prior to official vote, use a straw poll to gauge majority/minority opinion(s). This would guide discussion. Official vote should be ranked choice.

Desire to serve is a strong criteria...and the yummy goodies you sometime provide. Incentify participation by providing real benefits in learning/higher skill development/leadership opportunities beyond the college.

The inclusion of more part timers in governance organizations and parallel institutions. **Something closer to proportional representation is what we need!**

  1. REALITY VS. IDEAL: although the existing process for AS reps presumes divisions vote on an elected representative, divisions in reality seem to have to "pull teeth" right now...and the same folks often are the reps without much rotation among division members...this goes back to COMPENSATION for participation on AS,
  2. CAMPUS INFORMATION/PRESENTATION: public presentation/information about what share governance groups do and what they decide, at start of year for De Anza, would be helpful to faculty participation.

Question 5: All other recommendations and comments


(None submitted)

The above includes responses provided separately by different individuals and groups within the Academic Senate. Those responses are separated here by grey dividing lines.

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