THE SENATE STANDARD – ISSUE 2.15
Dear Faculty Colleagues,
Final course grades are due Wednesday 12/16, so we are barreling towards semester’s end. Phew! Today’s most important announcement is that we cancelled the 12/11 Full-Time Faculty Senate meeting. See details below. Since we won’t be meeting, I’ve offered below some of the issues I’d be reporting on at the meeting. And, we have a “scoop” on the ACC NISOD and League for Innovation awards for our full-time colleagues. Find the names and congratulations below. Also in the Newsworthy section, see reports and updates on the most recent Board of Trustees meeting, our special election that is in progress, a heads up about a very important event we are working on for next semester, and the usual updates and notices.
Classes end this week, grades are due next Wednesday. Britain has launched its COVID-19 vaccination program, and US first responders and medical personnel should start getting theirs soon. But our medical professionals are telling us to prepare for the worst surge yet. As several have been saying, we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the light is faint and far away. Hang in there!
Stay safe. Stay well. Take care of yourselves and others.
Senate Meetings / Minutes / Agendas
12/11/20 Senate Meeting, noon – 1:30 pm –We have cancelled the 12/11/20 senate meeting. We have not received agenda or action items for a vote, and such cancellations are permitted by our bylaws. Given we’re at the busy end of a tough semester in a rough year, we determined it would be a better use of senator time to focus on closing out F20. Our next meeting is Friday, January 22nd, 2021.
Full-Time Faculty Award Winners: The following full-time faculty members have been recognized by NISOD or the League for Innovation for their exemplary efforts as professors and chairs. A special shout out to current senators Sharon Goh and Jason Vidrine!
- Sharon Butler, General Studies and Student Development, Teaching Excellence Award – Full-Time (League for Innovation)
- Curtis Eckerman, Biology, Piper Award Nominee (League for Innovation)
- Richard Espinosa, Allied Health Sciences, eFaculty of the Year (NISOD)
- Sharon Goh, Student Development, NISOD Excellence – Adjunct (Goh is a full-time counselor associate professor, but she was recognized for her role as an adjunct in Student Development)
- Nabeel Kahn, Computer Information Technology, NISOD Excellence Award
- Vanessa Lazo, Foreign Language, Faculty Leader of the Year (League for Innovation)
- Kimberly McDougall, Nursing, NISOD Excellence – Full-time
- Jack O’Grady, Biology, NISOD Excellence – Full-time
- Christopher “Jason” Vidrine, Communication Studies, NISOD Excellence – Full-time
Congratulations to our full-time colleagues!
12/7 Board of Trustees Meeting Report: The meeting opened with the swearing in of two returning and one new trustee and then the election of Board officers. The board greeted new trustee Ms. Dana Walker, who replaces trustee Mark Williams. Dr. Nan McRaven has assumed chair duties, replacing Ms. Gigi Edward Bryant, who remains a trustee. EVP for Finance and Administration Neil Vickers reported on the findings of an external audit firm and introduced the auditors. ACC remains fiscally healthy, and the auditors found only a few minor areas of improvement. During my address to the board (all association presidents get five minutes at each board meeting), I thanked leadership for their efforts during the pandemic and shared a short list of wishes for the new year. I broached future topics such as the impact of the pandemic on faculty and staff mental health, as well as starting to think about the post-pandemic world and faculty’s role in choosing and using instructional technologies, ones we’ll all need to become more comfortable and competent with. Chancellor Rhodes offered an update on his goals number 3, 4, and 5, and all milestones and measures indicate we’re on-track to meet the goals. Of particular interest is the newly released data on award completions. Overall, 33% more students completed awards in 19-20 than did the previous year. 77% more completed awards as compared to 5 years ago. 45% of earned AAs and 48% earned certificates. Visit the Board of Trustees home page to find agendas, minutes, and video recordings of past meetings.
Special Elections: We have openings for several at-large senators. The special election nominations ended on 12/7. Our Nominations and our Elections and Audit committees are collaborating to get the ballots out soon.
Video Conference Platform Summit: Your FTFS leaders, in consultation with AFA leadership, are leading up an effort to host a virtual summit early next semester. We’ll bring together representatives from TLED, IT, Student Affairs, and other stakeholder groups to discuss how many and which video conference platforms (Meet, Zoom, Collaborate, WebEx) ACC will support and which ones might be integrated into Blackboard going forward. All full-time and adjunct faculty will be invited to a virtual information session/QA hosted by each stakeholder group to share out their perspectives on the issue. The goal is to provide crucial context from various perspectives so we can negotiate a win-win for faculty and students that take into consideration considerable technological, financial, and support issues.
Fall Graduation will be held online on Saturday December 12th. Visit the Commencement homepage for details. Tune in and cheer for the largest Fall graduation class (3,400) in ACC history. You helped get them there, so come out and celebrate with all!
Back to Campus: Student Affairs has announced a limited return to campus on limited campuses by select student affairs staff to aid those students who already are visiting our campuses for advising and registration, as well as for labs and other hands on learning experiences. We have been assured all precautions are being taken and protocols followed. FTFS President-Elect Dr. Samantha Croft sits on the committee and will have an update for us after the next meeting.
Cross-College Internal Communications Team Launched: FTFS Communications Officer Julia “Julz” Decker has become a founding member of the newly assembled Cross-College Internal Communications Team. CCICT is spearheaded by VP of Communications and Marketing Brette Lea. The goals include:
- Maximize effective and transparent communications across the college;
- Increase understanding of ACC’s mission, goals and priorities;
- Improve access to relevant information and minimize noise;
- Promote a sense of belonging, community and respect;
- Foster employee and cross-unit engagement; and
- Ensure employees are equipped with the information they need to work effectively and understand their role in student success.
ACC Awarded 2 National Grants Totaling More Than $3.8 Million to Target Equity Gaps: Learn more about the 5-year grants
Annual #GivingTuesday Campaign Raises More Than $8,000 for ACC Foundation: The proceeds will go directly to student scholarships and emergency aid
ACC Selected as Early Adopter for State OER Digital Repository: Carrie Gits, Highland Campus head librarian, shares what this means for ACC
Current Action Items (These are reminders for things I’ve already sent out):
Faculty Interest Group Applications Now Open for Spring 2021 [Due Dec. 10ß LAST REMINDER] – Apply by Thursday, December 10th to join the following FIGs:
All meetings will be held virtually beginning Spring 2021.
New Fellowships Pilot [Due Dec. 11ß LAST REMINDER] – TLED has created a comprehensive pilot faculty fellowship program focused on course redesign. These fellowships are designed to support faculty in the redesign of courses employing high-impact and best practices in specific instructional methods and strategies that support equitable outcomes in student success and build on the scholarship of the teaching profession. They are currently recruiting eligible applicants for Level 2 Fellowships and the deadline to apply is December 11th. Click here to learn more.