THE SENATE STANDARD – ISSUE 36
Dear Faculty Colleagues,
Once again, I write to you with a mixed bag. We get to celebrate our students this weekend at our online commencement, and this week marks a return to the joy of working with our students. It is important to recognize these lovely things because it helps us keep our sense of purpose when there are challenges.
Right now, our country is in crisis. There is no easy way to say it – systematic racism is an ever-present issue. The current events of the last few weeks have made it clear that not everyone shares in the promise of the United States equally. ACC is committed to equity, and next week at our Senate meeting, we will discuss how full-time faculty want to speak to all that is going on. For now, I can only speak for myself and say that I want to be a part of dismantling injustice and ensuring that all people are safe. I offer all of you my warmest regards for comfort in navigating these difficult times.
This week’s standard shares some difficult news too, about some financial challenges ahead for ACC. I’m pleased to report that the college is committed to keeping our jobs safe, but as a result, will likely not be able to provide raises next year. Review the Board meeting item for more on that.
On the happier side of things, the college wants to ensure that all of us have the training and resources we need to be successful this summer and in the fall, so there are some surveys to complete to ensure the faculty voice is heard on those issues.
As always, I am honored to call myself a colleague to such an incredible group of faculty. I know we will do all we can to help our students, our ACC family, and our community in these unprecedented times. Thank you for all you do.
Senate Meetings / Minutes / Agendas
6/12/20 Senate Meeting noon -2pm – The agenda for this meeting is in development and it will be posted next week. Details for how to join this meeting online can be found on the Senate Calendar. You can also add the event (and online joining details) to your own calendar by clicking the link above.
6/1/20 Board Meeting – Several important topics were covered at this meeting. You may wish to watch a recording of it. You can access the recording (starting June 4) by finding the correct date on the Board Meetings page (linked above). I’ve highlighted a few key topics below.
President’s Report – President Rhodes shared good news about our summer enrollments, which are actually UP! He also talked about the status of our CARES funds – As of May 20, we’ve given out $3.4 million to students. We are also using some of the funds to help pay for faculty and staff resources to help us with our transition to online. He shared ACC’s plans for a small number of classes returning to campus starting July 6. Lastly, President Rhodes expressed his concern over the racial injustice we’ve seen recently on the national stage. He explained that he was prioritizing finding a chief equity officer despite ACC’s hiring freeze as one of the ways ACC will work to help ensure that ACC is helping with healing at this time.
Budget Study – Neil Vickers updated his budget plan for 2020-21. He explained that given the likelihood of changes to our funding next year, ACC will be in a budget deficit. Since the college is committed to trying to keep everyone employed, he is suggesting that raises NOT be given in next year’s budget. The board members were concerned, and asked if there were ways to give a small raise, or stipends for all the extra work that faculty and staff have been doing. They also asked if our increased enrollments could make raises possible. Neil explained that increased enrollments do not change our bottom line very much. When we have more students, we have to hire more faculty. Unfortunately, higher enrollments don’t help pay for raises. Neil promised to do additional calculations and bring those to the next special board meeting on June 22.
New Action Items [please check due dates below!]
Professional Development and Faculty Needs [Survey due June 10th @ 5:00pm] – Provost Charles Cook has asked the FT Faculty Senate to collect ideas for faculty development opportunities regarding our transition to online education. Please complete this form by June 10th at 5:00pm.
Review New Faculty Portal and Provide Feedback [June 12th @ 5:00pm] – The college is very close to launching our new faculty portal. Faculty now have preview access for MyACC for Faculty: https://facportal.apps.austincc.edu/. Please review the site and the request below from project lead John Wilsonmay.
MyACC is the personalized and customized approach to finding what you need, when you need it. While we are just getting started, MyACC includes commonly referenced online resources (Quick Links) as well as a host of options to get things done faster so you can focus more of your time on what is important.
MyACC Faculty is designed to:
• Help you quickly find the information you need
• Display resources by categories so it is easier to find & and easier to communicate where to find it for leaders
• Keep you informed by providing relevant and updated content
Current Action Items (These are reminders for things I’ve already sent out):
ACC Online Commencement – ACC graduation is going online! Please join us on Saturday, June 6, 2020 @11am as we celebrate the class of 2020. They’ve been through a lot, and deserve to be recognized. Follow the link above to learn more. Remember to share this information with your students, too. Hope to see you there!
Teaching and Learning Academy [applications due June 15] – You might want to consider participating in the 2020-2021 Teaching and Learning Academy. Anchored in the ACC Faculty Values and developed by twenty-five faculty for faculty, the Teaching and Learning Academy (TLA) contributes to student success by expanding faculty teaching practices. Essential to the Teaching and Learning Academy is the creation of a cohort of faculty who will learn from each other by exploring the scholarship, art, and passion of teaching.
The Teaching and Learning Academy offers faculty 4 courses. Each course is 15 hours that includes 12 hours of asynchronous online coursework. The remaining 3 hours are completed in a Cohort Meeting the last Friday of each course from 8:30 to 11:30 AM. Applications are now being accepted for Fall 2020.
2020-2021 Committee Service Preferences Form [July 15th @ 5:00pm] – Submit your preferences to serve on crucial 2020-2021 committees and councils! Your service will ensure faculty members are heard in many policy-making meetings throughout the year. Please visit ACC Shared Governance for details about our role in shaping ACC policies and procedures. For more information about the councils/committees, and to express your interest to serve on one or more of them, please complete THIS FORM by July 15, 2020.
Annual Educational Level Adjustment [due July 31] – Human Resources is now going through the process of updating faculty education levels. If you received a new degree this year, please review the announcement and the form for more details.