By | February 26, 2021
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THE SENATE STANDARD – ISSUE 2.22

ACC Full-Time Faculty Senate Website 

ACC Coronavirus page

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

So, how many times have you uttered or heard, “What’s next?  Toads?!  Locusts?!” A weather disaster on top of a global pandemic?  Approaching surreal, indeed. Here’s a quick down and dirty edition of the Standard. Like you, this week the Faculty Senate Leadership Team members are triaging our courses and stabilizing our lists of things to do as we prepare for the rest of the school year. But we’ve got the conversations going again regarding some issues we’ve been working on such as the Video (Web) Conference Summit outcomes, putting the final touches on the senator nomination and voting process to seat the ’21-’22 senators, and meeting with leadership to get updates and to keep the concerns of the full-time faculty in the forefront of leadership agendas.

The Faculty Senate Leadership team will meet with Provost Charles Cook 2/25/21 and participate in a joint association meeting with the Chancellor and his cabinet 3/4/21. I’ll attend the rescheduled Board of Trustee meeting on 3/1/21. The agenda has an item called, “FY 2022 Budget Study- Mr. Neil Vickers.”  I’ll be sure to listen to that presentation closely, and I’ll try to report out in next Tuesday’s Standard.

I hope each of you has recovered or are well on your way to recovery. In the meanwhile, find below a few timely notices coming from leadership this week as we patch up the good ship ACC (again!) to get us through what’s left of the semester.

Wayne

Senate Meetings / Minutes / Agendas

2/12/21 Senate Meeting – The minutes have been delayed due to the shutdown, but we’re working on these now. Once approved by the senators, we’ll share those here.

The next Full-Time Faculty Senate meeting is Friday 3/12 from noon to 1:30PM. Please send agenda items to me at wbutler@austincc.edu

Newsworthy

Updated CARES website: The mission of Austin Community College’s Campus Assessment Response Evaluation and Support (CARES) is to promote the health and safety of its students and college community. The CARES program is dedicated to the prevention, early intervention, and response to students’ concerning, disruptive, and threatening behaviors. The college has created a special landing page for CARES information. Faculty are encouraged to visit the page, check out the video, and share the info with students.

Roster Certification for 12-week sections [February 25th (today!) deadline]: ACC leadership asks you to do the following regarding certifying attendance in 12-week sections:

  • Certify all your 12-weeks students as “attending” by the deadline of February 25.
  • Monitor attendance – however you define attendance – and “uncertify” any students who have never attended by March 6. To do this, you must send an email to attendance-certification@austincc.edu from your ACCmail account and include the student’s name and ID number and the course, synonym, and section number.
  • Because we are under a disaster declaration, March 6 is the extended deadline granted by the Department of Education to certify whether any student in our 12-week session has attended class.  However, we can’t easily reprogram our systems to match that date.
  • So please certify all students as attended by Feb. 25, and refine that certification as needed for any given student by March 6.

The Communications and Marketing Creates “Safety & Emergency Communications” site:  We have developed a “Safety & Emergency Communications” webpage for additional ACC details during the ongoing fallout from the winter weather event. The page is now live and includes student, employee, and resource information. 

Campus Conversations with the Chancellor [Tuesday, February 16 at 10 a.m.]: This event has been posteponed due to the winter weather disaster. When the event is rescheduled (TBD), plan to join the ACC community for the next Campus Conversation with the Chancellor. The topic is important and timely: transitioning to a “new normal.” As ACC continues to monitor the changing dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic, the leadership team provides an update on how the college is adapting and colleagues share their experiences. Join the livestream broadcast to keep abreast of the college’s “back to campus” plans. 

Faculty and Staff Mental Health Resources: Stress, anxiety, social isolation, and financial pressures are all on the rise due to COVID-19 and the current pandemic we are facing. This may have an impact on your mental and physical health. ACC HR & the Employee Wellness Program has put together some webinars and additional resources to help you during this challenging time.

2021 Eco Conference [March 29-30, 2021] – This year’s Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability (TRACS) conference will be VIRTUAL (surprise!) and free to all students and employees. This year, we are featuring UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Earth Week [April 19-23] – It is that time of year again! This year we are celebrating the 51st Anniversary of “Earth Day,” VIRTUALLY! We have put together a list of potential SAFE activities to get ideas flowing. Click Here to Host your own event.

New Action Items [please check due dates below!]

Fall ’21 Teaching Preferences Survey [Due 2/28]: ACC is interested in your teaching preferences for different types of courses, such as online, face-to-face, and a hybrid combination. We need your input to help us plan the course schedule for fall 2021. Go here to participate in the survey. The survey closes at midnight on February 28. The survey is confidential. All reports will contain summary data only, and no individual data will be shared. If you have questions regarding the survey, please contact Dr. Richard Griffiths (rgriffit@austincc.edu).

Current Action Items (These are reminders for things I’ve already sent out):

Call for Volunteers! MyACC Portal Testers [Deadline Extended to Monday 3/1]: IT’s John Wilsonmay seeks five (5) full-time faculty members to test out the new MyACC portal designed to offer the functionality of Online Services in a central, more user-friendly portal. The first call resulted in 2 FTF volunteers. This phase of testing will focus on Class Roster functions, including Roster, Certify Attendance, Prerequisites, Instructor Initiated Withdrawal, and Grading. Participants can expect a 2-hour time commitment.

  • The initial group meeting is targeted for the week of Feb 22 or Mar 1 (TBD)and will last an hour.
  • During this meeting, Wilsonmay will show the testers how to access the testing system and will walk through a few test scenarios together.
  • Wilsonmay will also introduce a tracking sheet for the testers to record their findings, ideas and suggestions.
  • Each person will then have 2-4 weeks (depending on other business priorities) to test their own scenarios and “play with the system.”  
  • Wilsonmay asks the testers spend at least 1 hour outside of the meeting (divided however they choose) to do testing. They are welcome to do more than 1 hour.
  • After this time, Wilsonmay will follow up with volunteer testers to gather their feedback and suggestions. We will prioritize them and start planning for the live launch (date TBD).
  • Interested? Go the Full-Time Faculty Senate Volunteer form to sign up!  

Nominate Students for The Chancellor’s Student Achievement Award [Deadline: March 12, 2021] The Chancellor’s Student Achievement Award is the most prestigious student award given by ACC. The recipient must demonstrate academic excellence, service to the college and community, and commitment to ACC values and vision. Perks of this award include a $500 check, a plaque, and the opportunity to deliver the student address at commencement. In order to be eligible for this award, students must meet the following requirements (Student Life Staff will verify eligibility upon submission. Don’t worry about checking these yourself): Minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA; Attended ACC a minimum of two consecutive semesters; Graduating in Spring 2021. Nominate your outstanding students by March 12, 2021. You can also find additional information about eligibility requirements and the selection process on the Student Life CSAA web page.

Wayne Butler, Ph.D.