THE SENATE STANDARD – ISSUE 2.27
Dear Faculty Colleagues,
Spring is here, “shots in arms” increasing dramatically, and 6 or so weeks left in the semester. Feels like we’re getting closer to the end. Hopefully we can wait it out a bit longer and avoid a new surge.
In the meanwhile, see below to get some important information from VP for Instruction Mike Midgley about some policy clarifications you’ve been asking for. Also, find ample opportunities to learn more about what’s going on around the college, volunteer opportunities, and a few tremendous professional development opportunities. When scanning this edition, be sure to keep an eye open for registration and RSVP deadlines. For instance, the QEP Campus Conversation is tomorrow, Th 4/8, 10-11AM.
Election Update: We extended the publication deadline for this Standard, hoping we’d have the ballot link to share. Unfortunately, we’re still not quite there, yet. After consulting with other association presidents to learn how they are tackling the challenges of pandemic elections, exploring several new voting tools, and working closely with IT, we’re on the verge of hosting the election on SurveyMonkey. Just a couple of wrinkles to work out before we can launch, so keep your eyes open for a special email announcement. A special thanks to Nominations chair Jennifer Brimberry and Election chair David Haney for their efforts to translate our policies into practice in the time of COVID-19.
Senate Meetings / Minutes / Agendas
3/12/21 Senate Meeting – The minutes have been approved. You can view them here.
The next Full-Time Faculty Senate meeting is Friday, April 9th from noon to 1:30PM.
Chair Elections, Fall 21 Modes, Quality Matters Certification
Over the last several weeks, full-time faculty members have had questions about department chair election processes, the distribution and staffing of class modes for Fall 21, and the status of Quality Matters certification for online instructors. FTFS President Wayne Butler shared the questions with Chancellor’s Cabinet, and VP Instruction Mike Midgley provided the following responses (edited for brevity).
- Chair Elections: Administrative Rule (AR 3.02.003) for Department Chair Elections describes paper ballot processes that would be difficult, if not impossible, to implement during COVID-19… [T]he two primary issues that the rule addresses are to ensure both the integrity of the vote and the anonymity of how any particular faculty member voted. Several departments scheduled for elections this Spring have addressed these concerns by using a software called Election Buddy (https://electionbuddy.com/) that is encrypted, uses the voter’s email (so only one vote, all votes legitimate, etc.), but does not then link a voter with a specific vote. While it obviously doesn’t follow the AR literally, with the double envelope, etc., it does seem to satisfy the spirit of the Rule with voter integrity and anonymity.
- Fall ’21 Modes: We expect to have around 25% of our Fall 2021 sections as F2F or Hybrid (with a significant F2F component), with some Hy-flex (although this will largely be a pilot for this modality, and so we would not expect large numbers of these sections for the fall.) The remainder of our sections will be split between Synchronous and Asynchronous, similar to the current semester. This will translate roughly to around 9,000 -10,000 students on campus for the Fall semester. We are not targeting 25% of sections by department, or Area of Study. Since the beginning, we have tried to focus on F2F/Hybrid courses being those that either couldn’t reasonably be done virtually, or were less effective in that modality. We are still doing this.
- Staffing: We are not changing our normal staffing protocols. Full-time faculty continue to be staffed prior to adjuncts, which has been the case since we began bringing courses back to campus last summer. Remaining sections, whatever their modality, are then available for adjuncts during the eStaffing process.
- FTF Online Load Waiver: The waiver of the requirement that Full-time faculty teach 40% of their load on campus in Fall and Spring semesters will remain in effect at least for the Fall.
- Hyflex Defined: Hy-flex model is essentially offering both F2F and virtual sessions. A student in a Hy-flex section can attend any scheduled class either in-person or virtually.
- Quality Matters Certification: We are extending the QM exemption and not requiring that all faculty teaching DL courses for Fall 2021 be QM certified. However, 100% QM certification remains our long-term goal, and will be reinstated as a requirement for faculty teaching DL in Fall 2022.
- QM Training Continues: We have continued to offer QM training and encourage our faculty to participate, and we saw great participation last summer, with more than 850 faculty having completed QM training to date. We will be offering significant professional development opportunities for faculty to begin the QM certification process again this summer, and we expect that many more faculty members will take advantage of this opportunity.
- SACS Required Distance Learning Training: In addition to QM Certification, we have a required online DL training course, developed to meet SACSCOC requirements prior to our last accreditation visit to help meet their concerns/requirements. We are suspending this requirement for Fall 2021 as well.
Campus Conversation on the QEP [Thursday, April 8, 10-11AM]
Join Austin Community College District for a conversation about the college’s new QEP (Quality Enhancement Plan), an integral component of the reaffirmation of accreditation process. ACC Chancellor, Dr. Richard Rhodes, joins QEP co-chairs, Dr. Missi Patterson and Misty Rasmussen, to share information about the Quality Enhancement Plan and how you can get involved. Topic submissions are being accepted now. Join the conversation!
April Student Affairs Forum [April 16th]: The next Student Affairs Forum will be held Friday, April 16th, from 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. virtually. Please register for the forum ahead of time through the professional development event registration page. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with anything needing to be shared on the Advising listserv. Please take the time to complete the March forum evaluation.
NISOD’s International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence (Virtual) , April 28th-30th, 2021 [Registration Deadline April 20, 2021] Teaching & Learning Excellence Division (TLED) has obtained institutional access for Austin Community College, which means it is FREE to attend for all ACC faculty and staff! Visit the conference webpage for more details and registration information.
Open Forum on Faculty Evaluation [Friday, April 23 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm.] This open forum is an opportunity for faculty to hear updates from the Shared Governance Faculty Development and Evaluation Committee, and the TLED Faculty Development and Evaluation Office. You will be able to ask questions, share feedback, and provide insight on the current evolution of faculty evaluation for all faculty groups. You will also learn about the next steps in making the faculty evaluation process more equitable, more meaningful, and more relevant to faculty, department chairs, and students. Register for the event on ACC’s Workshop and Event Registration page.
Fac Staff Info Hub – The new FacStaff InfoHub is coming online. This new portal features the latest news and updates that ACC employees need to know. Get a first look at the InfoHub and share your feedback in the form on the right side of the page. Check it out at https://austincc.wpengine.com/
COVID-19 + SNOVID-19 Student Data Update – This edition of the COVID-19 student data update explores the positive effects of these major disruptions on withdrawal behavior.
Student Chosen Name Project Complete! Teams across the college (including IT, LGBT eQuity, and Student Affairs) have continued to work diligently since the release of Phase I: Chosen Name Process this summer to expand the chosen name process to include ACCmail. We are pleased to announce that in addition to the chosen name populating in Blackboard, the Self Service User Profile, and Official Class Rosters — this process is now available for ACCmail thru the MyACC portal. Please note, the name will undergo a brief review process before populating in the system. The college reserves the right to deny requests for chosen names that are offensive, derogatory, or involve repeated requests. Once reviewed, the chosen name should populate within 24 hours. Visit https://conta.cc/3ckmqZi to learn more.
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.
Faculty and Staff Mental Health Resources (Stress Awareness Month): Did you know that April is Stress Awareness Month? It is important now as much as ever to keep your wellness in the forefront, and the ACC HR- Employee Wellness Program has a TON of new workshops coming up that will be addressing Stress, Anxiety, Burnout and other concepts around improving our Mental Health. We have 8 NEW, LIVE webinars in April alone dedicated to helping employees manage stress and anxiety! Check out this flyer for a glance at what we’ve got coming up this month. Full details and descriptions can be viewed HERE. We hope you will take advantage of these opportunities to invest in your mental well-being. If you have any questions, reach out to Mauri Winters at email@example.com.
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.
ACC Student Rights & Responsibilities Conference [Friday, April 30, 2021]: I wanted to reach out and share with you the upcoming conference Student Affairs is hosting focused on student rights and responsibilities. The goal is to provide the ACC community the opportunity to deepen the understanding of topics related to student rights and responsibilities (SR&R) and broaden network connections among ACC staff, faculty, and students. Register HERE!
Current Action Items (These are reminders for things I’ve already sent out):
Invitation for Input – Roundtable Discussions on “3 Cs” Tools & Resources [ASAP]: We hope you’ve heard about the College’s 3 Cs initiative, one of Chancellor Rhodes’ top priorities. It aims to improve ACC’s climate by asking all employees to focus on COLLABORATION, CONNECTION, and CARING in their work with students, colleagues, and supervisors. A cross-functional subcommittee working on this priority is developing 3 Cs tools & resources for ACC employees. Your input would be very valuable in this effort. Our goal is to get feedback from you about how to make ACC an even better place to work and learn. You are cordially invited to participate in a one-hour roundtable discussion with other members of the ACC family. We are excited to work with you and hope you’ll join us in this leadership effort. This opportunity will be limited to the first 50 employees who respond, so grab your spot now. If you have any questions, please email Missi Patterson (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thanks so much for considering this!
ATD Equity in Teaching & Learning Institute [Event May 6th and 7th; ACC registration deadline – NEW: April 15th] – Colleges and universities have a growing need to center equity-minded approaches in teaching in learning to facilitate the academic success of all students. To support institutions in this imperative work, ATD is offering an immersive, two-day virtual learning event (May 6th and 7th). Provost Charles Cook has authorized ACC to pay the registration fees for ten (10) full-time faculty members! If you would like to participate, please complete the Full-Time Faculty Volunteer form on the Full-Time Faculty Senate homepage. Wayne Butler will compile the list of those interested in participating and share it with Provost Cook so his admin team can process a group registration.
Participate in the QEP topic selection process [deadline – April 23] – ACC is in the process of selecting a topic for our QEP (Quality Enhancement Plan). This is a five year project that will be an important part of our SACSCOC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges) reaffirmation. It will ensure that we maintain our accreditation, and affirms ACC’s commitment to enhance overall institutional quality and effectiveness by focusing on an issue the College considers important to improving student learning outcomes and/or student success.
Right now, there are TWO WAYS you can get involved with this project. Choose one or both of the options below.
- Complete this brief survey: The survey will take you no more than FIVE minutes to complete, and will help us get a sense of what type of project would benefit our students and college community.
- Submit a QEP Topic Idea: Submitting a topic idea requires a bit more time and will give you the opportunity to submit a suggestion that will be reviewed by our topic selection committee. If you have a specific idea that you want to be considered as our QEP topic, this is the option for you!
2021-2022 Faculty Learning Communities [Deadline April 30th] – ACC International Programs in collaboration with the University of Texas-Austin Hemispheres Consortium hosts two global education Faculty Learning Communities (FLC) on global education and global gender and women’s studies each year through a unique partnership. These programs engage a small interdisciplinary group of ACC faculty members in high-quality programming and collaborative discussions on globalizing community college courses. Find more information below on each FLC.