THE SENATE STANDARD – ISSUE 2.44
Dear Faculty Colleagues,
As we prepare to re-open campuses across the district, a number of questions have arisen about policies ranging from course delivery modes to expectations for virtual teaching and on campus presence for full-time faculty members. Since the last Standard, Chancellor Richard Rhodes hosted a Campus Conversation with the Chancellor about back to campus issues and Vice President for Instruction Mike Midgley has circulated an email to all full-time faculty clarifying issues. After several faculty members reached out to the Senate with questions about and issues with the policies, I requested further clarifications via our Chancellor Cabinet liaison Provost Charles Cook, who forwarded the request to VP Midgley. Midgley and I had a phone conversation and he shared with me via email further clarifications. Find below the issues, including VP Midgely’s additional commentary as warranted.
25/25/25/25 Mode Blend: The blend of LEC, HYC, DIL, and DLS modes is aspirational, not a hard quota. Deans and chairs have discretion regarding the blend based on their program and students’ needs.
60/40 Online/Classroom Teaching Load Rule: Per Administrative Rule 4.03.004 (Guideline), full-time faculty online class assignments are limited to 60% of the full-time faculty load, including overloads. This guideline also states, “Instructional faculty are expected to share responsibilities related to the total concern of the college, including curriculum development, department meetings, student advising, professional development and service on shared governance councils and committees.”However, the 60/40 rule has been waived until the end of Fall ’21 to accommodate the need for online classes. The rule will go back into effect Spring ’22. Starting Spring ’22, faculty wishing to teach more than 60% online will need to seek approval via the Telework AR process.
Telework Agreements: VP Midgely informed me that, “a telework agreement or other approval is not necessary for … normal and routine, non-COVID related schedules.” A telework agreement is also not necessary for adjunct faculty teaching an online course. However, “a full-time faculty member who wants all their work responsibilities to be virtual, teaching and working only online, with no on-campus responsibilities would require an approved telework agreement…. This statement is intended to provide guidance for faculty who do not want to return to campus in any capacity. While I expect that very few full-time faculty would request this exception, I wanted to be clear that there would be an approval process for these requests (to be 100% virtual), as this would not comply with current administrative rule.”
Campus-Based Virtual Teaching: No ACC rule exists requiring professors to teach virtual sections from campus offices or facilities. As VP Midgley explained, “Faculty members regularly work from home or elsewhere during times when they do not have specific on-campus responsibilities.” However, activities and events requiring face to face interaction, particularly with students, may require full-time faculty to attend campus events as deemed necessary. As Midgely wrote in his email to me, “Faculty are not expected to be on campus 40 hours per week. This was not the case before COVID, and is not the case now. They may choose to do so, but it is not required by ACC policy. This was included in last Friday’s memo, which went to all Department Chairs, Deans and Associate Vice Presidents. However, we will follow up and provide additional clarification to instructional administration.”
My thanks to the Chancellor’s Cabinet members as we all try to work our way through the corona virus gauntlet with its fluid variables and for their communiques, their sensitivity to faculty feedback, and their patient, multiple attempts to clarify emerging policies and procedures.
Ten week and 5B section grades are due on the 11th, so we’re almost done. Then, we’re back “on contract” Monday, August 16th, and Fall ’21 classes commence Monday, August 23rd. So, this summer is just about in the books, and while we’ve gotten a bit of a break from the oppressive Austin summer heat, the pandemic is not through with us by any stretch of the imagination. As you prepare for Fall ’21 classes, be aware a new Master Syllabus template with the up-to-date corona virus policies and procedures is in the works and will be released sometime late next week.
In the meanwhile, stay safe, stay well.
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.
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.
Current Action Items (These are reminders for things I’ve already sent out):
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: https://sites.google.com/a/austincc.edu/asc-internal/admin_rules_drafts
- Please read the instructions before adding comments. The deadline for comments is August 17, 2021.
Teaching and Learning Academy (TLA) [Application deadline extended to August 20th]: 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.