By | March 10, 2021
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THE SENATE STANDARD – ISSUE 2.24

ACC Full-Time Faculty Senate Website 

ACC Coronavirus page

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

Greetings! Only a few more days to a well-deserved Spring Break.  Phew.  It will be nice to have a few days off, this time with electricity, heat, and water!  But before you go, a few important reminders.  The most important issue before us now is the nomination process for the next President-Elect and the ’21-’22 senators.  As you will remember, we struggled a bit to adapt our old processes to the new bylaws all in a virtual environment.  But we have it worked out now.  The first round nominations are due by 5PM on March 10th.  After the first round of nominations, our Nomination Committee will identify gaps in the nominations and re-open the nomination process.  For the details about the roles and processes, visit the FTFS by-laws.  Find more details and nomination links below under Current Action Items.  Also under the Current Action Items you’ll find the opportunity to nominate your outstanding students for the Chancellor’s Student Achievement Award.  Under New Action Items, discover your opportunity to provide input and feedback about the emerging Upward Evaluation system. Restoration of the Upward Evaluation process is a senate initiative, so we’d love to see high participation from full-time faculty members. Thanks to all who volunteered to sit on the Upward Evaluation focus group.  If you didn’t have a chance to volunteer or were not selected, the survey will be your best chance to make your wishes known.

Wayne

Senate Meetings / Minutes / Agendas

2/12/21 Senate Meeting – The minutes have been approved.  17 senators approved with slight changes, 1 approved with no changes, none disapproved, and none abstained.

The next Full-Time Faculty Senate meeting is this Friday 3/12 from noon to 1:30PM. Click the link above to add this meeting to your Google calendar. See the agenda here.

Newsworthy

Video (Web) Conferencing Summit Video Available Now! TLED’s Courtney Grams has created a “Web Conferencing Summit Event Recap” page where you can view the summit recording, read a version of the preliminary report FTFS Wayne Butler shared in the Standard immediately following the event, and see TLED’s recommendations.  At the most recent Chancellor’s Cabinet Joint Association meeting, the FTFS representatives thanked leadership and TLED for their supporting our call for such an event, but did not immediately endorse the recommendations.  We noted the process was not yet complete, and we would reserve the FTF response until we could discuss the event and recommendations with the faculty senate to get a “sense” of the senate, share the “sense” of the senate with full-time faculty, and confer with the Adjunct Faculty Association to ensure all faculty voices are heard and included. Sharing the recording with those who could not attend in person was the first step. A discussion among the senators is on the agenda for the March 12 Full-Time Faculty Senate meeting.

March 1st Board of Trustees Meeting Recap:  Unfortunately, I had technical issues with the live stream of the Board meeting, so I’m unable to offer a synopsis.  To check out the meeting yourself, Board meetings are recorded.  Visit the Board Meetings page and scroll through the list of meetings to find agendas, minutes, and recordings.

Chancellor Conversation on “The New Normal”:  Chancellor Richard Rhodes hosted a virtual college conversation and tapped a number of his cabinet members to discuss and share updates on what the college is doing to prepare for the post-pandemic era.  Find the recording on the Campus Conversations page.

Explore Law Program Opportunities for Students: We are currently recruiting ACC students for the summer Explore Law program that is a joint effort of the University of Texas, Huston-Tillotson, and ACC.  ACC students participated in this program in 2019 and 2020, and they uniformly praise the opportunity. For an overview, please look at this website.  We are fortunate this year to have Dr. Eileen Bumphus assisting us with the recruitment of interested students.  Dr. Bumphus has offered to have information sessions or to work with students one-on-one as they consider and apply for this opportunity.  Students are paid a stipend for the four-week intensive program, and they can also do some follow-up engagement work in the Fall and Spring semester after the summer program (e.g., mentoring from law students, possible internships, etc.).

The beauty of this program is partly the multi-institutional focus, but also the “non-traditional” recruitment.  We don’t just want students majoring in Government or Criminal Justice to consider applying – we would love to see students applying from a variety of majors to see what it might be like to go to law school.  Please encourage students to consider this opportunity, and ask them to contact Dr. Bumphus if they have questions.

The Communications and Marketing Creates “Safety & Emergency Communications” site – We have developed a “Safety & Emergency Communications” web page 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.

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!]

Upward Feedback Survey [Due March 12] – The Office of Staff Professional Development and Evaluation is conducting a survey to better understand the needs of employees and the College as it pertains to upward feedback for supervisors and administrators. The following survey will be open from March 8 through March 12.  Click the link to start this quick survey – Upward Feedback Survey. Contact Cameron Keel (ckeel@austincc.edu), Performance Management Coordinator, for questions or comments.

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

2021-2022 Full-Time Faculty Senate Nominations [Due March 10th by 5PM ß LAST REMINDER]: The nomination process for our next president-elect for the 21-22 senate is in process now. All Full-Time Faculty should have received the nomination email by now, but just in case you haven’t seen it yet, you will find the following links helpful:

  • Current President-Elect and incoming President Dr. Samantha Croft has created a video offering details about her goals for the 21-22 Senate and why you should consider running. We highly recommend you take a look.
  • Nominations for Faculty Senate Seat
  • Nominations for President-Elect Seat
  • For questions about the nomination process or forms, contact Nominations Committee Chair Professor Jennifer Brimberry at jbrimber@austincc.edu

Nominate Students for The Chancellor’s Student Achievement Award [Deadline: March 12, 2021 ß LAST REMINDER] 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

Best,

Wayne