Senate Standard 2.20
Dear Faculty Colleagues,
The semester is in full swing, meeting calendars are filling up fast, and our collective lists of things to do are growing. This edition of the Standard, delivered to you by TLED while our own mass mail distribution program is under repair, reflects many the projects and initiatives from across the college. I’m soliciting agenda items for the next FTFS meeting on January 22, a meeting that will include a senate wide debrief and articulation of next steps following the VC Summit. Find information and links to the summit Zoom, the TLED Web Conference (the terms video conference and web conference are interchangeable for our purposes) comparison table, and a quick pre-summit survey collecting data on what faculty are actually using. Even if you can’t make it to the summit (which will be recorded for future viewing), we’d appreciate it if you completed the pre-summit survey.
The “big” news is that we’re temporarily suspending the senator nomination process after discovering a problem with the new nomination form reflecting the new bylaws. We’re working on revising the process and form to reflect new constituent group definitions and senator categories. We’ll re-launch the nomination process as soon as we have made the necessary revisions. So, keep your eyes open for an announcement over the next few days when we’ve got the process working again.
Senate Meetings / Minutes / Agendas
Video Conference Platform Summit Date Set [Friday, February 5th, 1-3P]: All faculty are invited to this virtual gathering representing various stakeholders to share perspectives on how the college will go forward with video conference (also referred to web conferencing) platforms. Representatives from TLED, IT, Student Services, the Adjunct Faculty Association and the Full-Time Faculty Senate will co-host the virtual summit meeting from 1-3P on Friday, February 5th.
The meeting will be recorded and available after the summit for those who can’t make it to the live event.
Key Links and Resources:
FSLT/Chancellor’s Cabinet Meeting: The Full-Time Faculty Senate Leadership Team (FSLT) met with the Chancellor and his cabinet members on Friday, January 29th. Our agenda included:
- Updates on the revision process of the Full-Time
Faculty Handbook and the Faculty Evaluation Handbook.
- During a meeting between the FSLT and TLED AVP Dr. Susy Thomason, we learned the revisions are in progress but slowed by the pandemic disruption and observations made while revisions were implemented. During the process, the revision teams realized the handbooks required an entire overhaul rather than mere updating. Reconceiving the handbooks led to meetings with process holders and experts. For example, the Faculty Development and Evaluation shared governance committee is engaged in a comprehensive review of faculty evaluation processes. The Faculty Evaluation handbook cannot be completed until all the new policies and practices are in place.
- A solid draft of the Full-Time Faculty Handbook will be posted for public review and comment in the near future. While the Faculty Evaluation revision process grows out a shared governance committee, we don’t have a similar structure in place to ensure a strong faculty voice in the handbook revisions. FSLT will be sharing with the Chancellor’s Cabinet ideas on how the full-time faculty voice can be amplified in the handbook revision process.
- The new target date for both is fall ’21.
- Updates on several technology issues: 1) a
portal for non-shared governance where workgroups and task forces can share
their agendas, activities, and minutes of their meetings so all have access, 2)
a centralized, college-wide volunteer request portal based on the processes the
FTFS uses to solicit volunteers, 3) the conversion of what had been triplicate
paper forms (grade change, change of schedule, incompletes) to fully online
forms, and 4) progress on the Preferred Name utility for faculty and staff
- The non-shared governance reporting portal has been designed and implementation continues
- The centralized Volunteer sign-up is in progress. We need to clarify if this tool will exist in the soon-to-be released faculty portal or as part of the centralized cross-college communications area.
- Roll outs of these tools are contingent on the roll out of the new Faculty Online Services portal, with phase one released April 2021 and phase two released July 2021
- Digital replacements for triplicate hard copy forms are scheduled for roll out February 2021.
- The Preferred Name Change tool for faculty and staff has been designed. HR is working through some policy and legal issues related to employee privacy rights.
- Updates on the VC Summit: We offered an update on the VC Summit planning. We’re close to set for the Friday, February 5 event.
- Faculty Well-Being
mental health services
- Based on reports from full-time faculty members regarding poor or inadequate access to mental health services through EAP or Blue Cross/Blue Shield, we suggested the college could be doing more to support faculty well-being and success. HR will explore how it may share more information via their personnel who promote employee physical health. FSLT suggested ACC use new federal relief funds to address this need. To be continued …
coronavirus vaccination support
- As noted in Dr. Molly Beth Malcom’s 1/27 email to ACC staff and faculty, the major issue remains supply. She represents the college on many local and regional workgroups focused on pandemic strategies. She will keep the ACC community in the conversation and updated as the vaccination campaign continues.
- Enhanced mental health services
Board of Trustee Meeting Notes [Monday, February 1, 2021]: The agenda included reports from community groups (UFCU, Austin Chamber of Commerce, and Educate Texas) that work with ACC to enhance student access and success. Several internal ACC deans and workgroups (Alumni Network, the Fast Track initiative, the Equity Council, Texas Student Success Council) reported on the progress of various student success initiatives. None of the agenda items broached issues of primary concern to faculty such as budgets or new policies. Visit the Board of Trustees home page to find agendas, minutes, and video recordings of past meetings for the nitty gritty details.
New Textbook Selection Platform: We at TLED are excited for our upcoming launch of the Adoption & Insights Portal, your new source for researching, adopting, and sharing insights about textbooks and course materials. Access to Faculty Enlight, the current textbook selection platform, will no longer be available after Friday, February 5. Keep your eyes open for a future announcement with the link to the new portal.
This new portal will help us achieve our goals of student success and retention by ensuring course material adoptions are submitted at a 100% submission rate by our adoption deadline. Submitting your adoptions early and directly to the bookstore ensures that students will get the right course materials for their course at the most affordable price. With the new platform faculty and department administrators can:
- Save time with the one-click re-adopt feature
- Research and adopt course materials in one convenient place
- Compare estimated student price and available formats before adopting
- Review affordable alternatives to your selection, like OER and BNC OER+ Courseware
- Learn about affordable options for your students like Price Match and First Day
- Receive 24/7 support
US Office of Civil Rights and Online Accessibility: EVP Dr. Gaye Lynn Scott passes along this link to a short video from the federal Office of Civil Rights (OCR). As you know, we have legal as well as mission-driven obligations to ensure that all students can access our educational programs, including students with disabilities. Students with disabilities who want to learn and achieve a credential are not expected to accommodate us – we are expected to accommodate our students. This video provides an overview of the legal obligations under which ACC and its faculty and staff operate. Please take a few minutes to be reminded of our obligations, and pass this along to your faculty as you think appropriate. And of course always remember that Dr. Lauren Sebel, Director of Student Accessibility Services, and her staff are available to assist, answer questions, provide services to faculty, and brainstorm appropriate solutions as needed.
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!]
Faculty Evaluation Feedback [Deadline: February 8th by 5:00 PM]:Building on the Faculty Development and Evaluation Committee’s work over the past two years, the charge of the Committee and the Faculty Evaluation Office this year is to review our faculty evaluation procedures. This gives all of us -faculty (adjunct and full time) and administrators – an opportunity to see what’s working and what should be changed. More significantly, it provides us a chance to create a stellar faculty evaluation process that is meaningful, ensures equity in how it is administered and reflects research-based teaching practices. Your ideas will be helpful in moving this work forward. Please complete this survey by February 8th at 5:00 pm.
2021-2022 Full-Time Faculty Senate Nominations [Due March 1, 2021 by 5:00PM]: The nomination process has been postponed. This is the first year of our new bylaws that articulate how many seats are open to which groups (Dean area, campus, at large), and we discovered after releasing the new nomination some questions arose. The FSLT is working with the Nominating committee chair to revise the form to best capture the revised structures. Stand by for announcements indicating when the nomination process will resume.
Current Action Items (These are reminders for things I’ve already sent out):
Call for Participation [No deadline provided] : The Center for Peace & Conflict Studies (PACS) is working with students in PSYC 2389: Internship in Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding to collect data about conflicts at ACC. Specifically, we are looking to interview students, faculty and staff about conflicts in which at least one of the parties was a student. Please note that these interviews only aim to understand your experiences. We will not make any attempts to resolve the conflict (if it’s still outstanding), or to guide you toward a resolution. You can read more about this opportunity and sign up for an interview by completing this form. For more details, contact Laila Taraghi at email@example.com
Nominate Students for The Chancellor’s Student Achievement Award [Deadline: March 12, 2021] The Chancellor’s Student Achievement Awardis 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.