THE SENATE STANDARD – ISSUE 2.17
Dear Faculty Colleagues,
Welcome back! We pick up the Spring 2021 semester where we left off in 2020. The pandemic and elections remain at the forefront of current events. If it can be taught online, it will be taught online. Hopefully you were able to recharge your batteries during the break. This Standard offers an update the Video Conference Virtual Summit, Spring Development Day, a reminder about ACC’s mental health resources, and notes about the most recent Board of Trustees meeting. The Upward Evaluation process, which was abandoned for technical reasons, is back on the agenda. See the call for focus group volunteers so you can chime in with your thoughts on what the next iteration of the process might look like. The VC Summit and Upward Evaluation initiatives address two issues the Full-Time Faculty Senate brought to leadership’s attention, and the progress on these two initiatives demonstrate shared governance at work.
Here’s to an outstanding 2021!
Senate Meetings / Minutes / Agendas
1/22/21 Senate Meeting, noon – 1:30 pm – This is the last call for agenda items for our next monthly Senate meeting. Please send items for consideration to me at email@example.com or to your campus senator by Friday, January 15th. Find details on how to join this meeting online on the Senate Calendar. You can also add the event (and online joining details) to your own calendar by clicking on the 1/22/21 Senate Meeting link above.
Video Conference Platform Summit Date Set [Friday, February 5th, 1-3P]: We have just received confirmation from leadership and various stakeholders to host a virtual summit to discuss what video conferencing tools, i.e., Collaborate, Meet, WebEx, and Zoom, the college will support going forward. Representatives from TLED, IT, Student Services, the Adjunct Faculty Association and the Full-Time Faculty Senate will host the virtual summit meeting from 1-3P on Friday, February 5th. Preliminary plans call for presentations with QA from IT, TLED, Student Services, and the faculty groups to share their positions to address how many and which video conference platforms, as well as the degree to which they can be integrated into Blackboard, as we continue to teach virtually for the remainder of the pandemic, and perhaps beyond. Keep your eyes open for updates and details as they emerge.
Spring Development Day is Friday, January 15, 2021: TLED welcomes all ACC faculty and staff to Spring Development Day. We offer a full day of inspiring sessions to enhance your practices and processes, improve creativity and wellness, and develop new technical talents, teaching techniques, and interpersonal skills. The 2021 theme, “Remote Delivery, Meaningful Learning,” invites all employees to discover meaningful ways to support student learning, even when our teaching and services are delivered remotely. This year, for the first time ever, Spring Development Day will be entirely online.
New Mental Health Resources: ACC Wellness
Through the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health has become increasingly important. We would also like to remind you that ACC employees have access to a variety of resources to support you with your wellness needs. We have compiled a list HERE to highlight the options available to you. If you need any information, email Mauri Winters, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board of Trustee Meeting Notes [Monday, January 11, 2021]: The first Board of Trustees meeting of 2021 opened with The Austin American Statesman’s Robert Poirier acknowledging ACC’s Nursing program as the “Best of the Best.” During his comments and updates, Chancellor Rhodes reported that the fall 2020 graduation was a success, with a record-setting 3400 students earning awards. 14,000 guests visited the virtual event. ACC has been fortunate in that we’ve had 0 reports of COVID-19 on campuses. ACC will continue monitoring pandemic events and while keeping in mind the health and safety of ACC community members. Spring 2021 registrations are down some, but still strong, especially in the light of 6-10% declines in community college enrollments nationwide. The Open Education Resource (OER) initiative has saved ACC students $8.5 million, and 1000+ sections are now using some form of OER. Student Services surveyed ACC students to learn about their needs as the pandemic continues. Of the 800 respondents, approximately 2/3 desired more on campus services, with Highland the #1 destination preference. Neil Vickers shared updates on two projects, the Riverside campus bus stop move and issues related to Highland Campus Building 5000. During the Chancellor’s report on his strategic priorities #1 (Reduce Equity Gaps) and #6 (Foster a Safe Physical and Cultural Environment), Mr. Larry Davis offered updates on the progress of the Equity Council, Cultural Proficiency training, and the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Campus Center initiatives. Dr. Shasta Buchanan offered an update on the Strategic Enrollment Plan, an initiative designed to close the gap between the THECB’s 60X30 goals (works out to approximately 85K registrations at ACC by 2030) and projected registrations in light of the pandemic and demographic changes. Visit the Board of Trustees home page to find agendas, minutes, and video recordings of past meetings.
New Online Meeting Backgrounds: Graphic Designer/Front-End Developer Amanda Trimble has created some beautiful new online meeting backgrounds to celebrate the ACC Faculty Values! Check them out on the TLED Faculty Values webpage under “Faculty Values in Action” >> “Online Meeting Backgrounds.”
New Course Evaluation Report Format Approved: The Faculty Development and Evaluation Committee and Academic Student Affairs Council have approved a new format for course evaluation reports. Visit the Course Evaluation Results page for the details.
Austin Community College District Hosts a virtual Campus Conversation on Equity Training at ACC [Thursday, January 21]: The offices of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion and Human Resources discuss new equity-focused training opportunities for ACC employees in 2021. The new programs align with the chancellor’s 2021 priorities to reduce equity gaps. Visit the Campus Conversation website to find the registration link when it becomes available.
New Action Items [please check due dates below!]
Upward Evaluation Focus Group Volunteers [Due Friday, January 22]: HR’s Staff Professional Development and Evaluation office is looking at the possibility of bringing back the upward evaluation of managers here at ACC. As part of the charge, we are looking to partner with the Associations to better understand some of the needs and pain points they see from their point of view. We need 3 FT faculty volunteers to be a part of a faculty focus group conversation (3 FT faculty/3 Adjunct) sometime between February 8-12. If interested, please complete the volunteer form.