THE SENATE STANDARD – ISSUE 2.43
Dear Faculty Colleagues,
Only a few more Standards left for me and the ’20-’21 Senate will not be meeting again this term, but neither I nor your Senate (FTFS) have taken much of a break this summer keeping your concerns in front of ACC leadership. In that vein, the current Faculty Senate Leadership Team (FSLT) has continued to monitor policy change announcements leadership has rolled out this summer as we all strive to prevail over this pandemic. You may have noticed revised rules about duplication services and testing center usage. We have pushed these policies back to leadership for clarifications and with questions how these decisions were made and by whom. The last meeting of the FSLT with the Chancellor’s Cabinet is Friday, July 30th, and we’ll highlight these issues. We’ll also address a rumor shared with me by our colleagues. The rumor is that faculty are expected to teach virtually from their campus offices. Personally, I have not heard any official announcements about such a policy, but we will make inquiries. Another common question I’ve fielded recently has to do with the proposed Spring ‘22 25/25/25/25 mode blend. My understanding is the ratio is aspirational, giving deans and chairs discretion at their levels of decision making to consider the specific needs of their programs and students, but some of our colleagues are getting the impression the ratio is a hard quota. I hope to get clear, definitive interpretations of all the above and report back before my administration ends. Additionally, I have been asked, in my role as FTFS President, to give the new Faculty Handbook a final look by Friday, July 30th, and I’m focusing on getting clarifications on some of the issues faculty have brought to my and the senate’s attention. I’ve caught a couple of comma splices, too, but that’s what I do!
In closing, I draw your attention to a few key Newsworthy and Action Items that should interest you. The FTFS has shared our response in the form of a memorandum of recommendations on web conferencing platforms with the Chancellor’s Cabinet. We haven’t had time, yet, to discuss this document with leadership, but I share the link to it below. You won’t want to miss the Conversation with the Chancellor on Friday, July 30th at 11:30 AM as he and his leadership team members share details about returning to campus this fall. I’m sure we all have scores of questions, but know we can not ask them in real time. In order to get your questions posted prior to the event, be sure to visit the Campus Conversations with the Chancellor website at the information below. Finally, all faculty are invited to comment on the second draft of the emerging policy on teleworking. The policy is working its way through the formal Shared Governance process, and your comments on this draft are crucial. Commenting on drafts is one of the ways our voices are invited, heard, and documented.
Looks like summer has arrived in earnest. Seasonally hot and dry until the next Standard is scheduled. Let’s hope we keep our electricity, AC, and Internet and avoid a “HeatVid” event. I think I can safely say we’ve all had it with “vids.”
In the meanwhile, stay cool, stay safe.
And thanks for all you do for our students and for one another. #WeAreACC
Senate Meetings / Minutes / Agendas
The July 9th Full-Time Faculty Senate meeting minutes have been approved. You can view them here.
The 20-21 Full-Time Faculty Senate will not meet in August, per the bylaws requiring only two summer meetings. The new senators will gather for their training retreat August 20.
The Full-Time Faculty Senate’s Web Conferencing Recommendation Statement: This year’s senate dedicated much time to leadership’s recommendations about phasing out certain web conferencing systems. In the spirit of shared governance, we requested and were granted a college-wide summit on the topic wherein faculty were able to hear directly from and ask questions of the key decision makers. Much virtual and physical dialogue ensued between members of the Faculty Senate Leadership Team and the Chancellor’s Cabinet. The Faculty Senate Leadership Team solicited input from senators. Given the fluid nature of the pandemic and the college’s responses to it, few key issues have been resolved, but we have made what we consider to be significant progress. On July 23rd, Full-Time Faculty Senate President Wayne Butler shared with the Chancellor’s Cabinet via our cabinet liaison Provost Charles Cook a memorandum of recommendations. These recommendations were discussed by the senators and were endorsed via a vote of the senators. The memorandum was also shared with the Adjunct Faculty Association President Don Morris and Vice President Herb Coleman. Coleman endorsed the document. We have not yet had an opportunity to discuss our recommendations with the Chancellor or the cabinet. This item will carry over to the next senate term, with the memorandum as the starting place.
Austin Community College District Hosts a Virtual Campus Conversation with the Chancellor on the College’s Return to Campus Plans. [Friday, July 30th, 11:30AM]: College leadership, members of the Return to Campus Committee, and student representatives will discuss how ACC is balancing the needs of its employees and students to fully reopen this fall. Click the link below to join the conversation live. Visit the Campus Conversations with the Chancellor website for details and the live streaming link.
New Faculty Orientation Updates: Please see this page for a message from Michelle Costanzo (Assistant Dean, Faculty Development) on Mentor and Mentee Forms, Orientation, and Department/Division/AoS Meetings.
3C’s conversation – CONNECTION with Mr. Larry Davis and Dr. Sam Echevarria Cruz [August 13, 2021, @ 10 am.] Join us to discuss how Equity and our college values connect to the everyday work we do.
ACC Student Success Report, 2020-2021 is Now Available: Download Provost Cook’s presentation to the board. As the Provost noted in his cover email to the association presidents, “The report documents the amazing success of ACC students during this past very difficult year. I emphasized to the Board that this success would not have been possible without the incredible dedication of our faculty and staff and the countless hours you have all spent in terms of professional development, adaptation of pedagogies and technologies, and acts of empathy and care for our students.”
HR Compensation Announces Annual Educational Adjustment Process for Qualifying Full-Time Faculty [Deadline, July 31, 2021ß LAST REMINDER]: The Annual Educational Adjustment Process for Qualifying Full-Time Faculty is now being conducted by HR Compensation. If you have completed a higher degree or completed additional graduate hours (either 24, or 45 or more) in your teaching discipline or in the discipline of Education in this academic year (FY21), those additional hours or degree qualifies your salary to be reviewed for a higher salary level. See attached for more details. Contact Carla Dykstra at email@example.com with questions.
New Action Items:
Feedback Requested by the Administrative Services Council (ASC) on Teleworking [Due August 17th, 2021]: Following posting in May 2021, the Administrative Services Council (ASC) has conducted a second review of the following draft proposed Administrative Rule (AR) and Guideline/Procedure (G/P) and has approved the drafts to be posted for comments from ACC employees: Telework (AR and G/P)
The documents have been edited significantly in order to provide concise terms and conditions, expectations, definitions, and responsibilities. The drafts are available for viewing and adding comments here:
Please read the instructions before adding comments. The deadline for comments is August 17, 2021.
Current Action Items (These are reminders for things I’ve already sent out):
Teaching and Learning Academy (TLA) [Application deadline August 1ß LAST REMINDER]: Registration is now open for the Fall 2021-Spring 2022 cohort. Watch Samantha Croft’s short video for her take on why now is the right time to join this program. You have plenty of time before the deadline to apply, but please keep TLA in mind over the summer. Please mark your calendar to submit your application by August 1, 2021. Learn more and apply here.