Wednesday, October 18, 2017

New Core Curriculum Review Committee Formed to Study Proposed Changes to 090 Component Area Option, and Proposal to Remove Non-Science Major Science Courses from the Associate of Science Degree



At the October 16 meeting of The Instructional Leadership Team (TILT), the Academic Vice Presidents and the Faculty Council agreed to re-convene the Core Curriculum Review Committee (CCRC) to study a proposal to revise the 090 Component Area Option of the Core Curriculum, and a proposal to remove “Non-Science Major” science courses from the Associate of Science degrees, in response to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board removing courses from the DCCCD Core beginning in Fall 2018.

Specifically, the THECB has expired Math 2342 and Math 2442 from the ACGM, and thus those courses must be removed. Second, and more significantly, the THECB has mandated that first year foreign language courses and sign language courses may not be included in the DCCCD Core Curriculum. This effectively means that, absent changes, students entering the DCCCD in Fall 2018 or thereafter would only be able to take a Speech class (SPCH 1311, 1315, or 1321) and a Physical Education course (PHED 1164), to complete the 090 Component Area Option of the DCCCD Core.   Of the 15,894 DCCCD college students who completed the Core Curriculum in 2014, 2015 and 2016 academic years, only 3,251 (20%) completed the Core with a Speech course—80% of the students took other courses that are now not able to be used to meet Core 2014 requirements in Fall, 2018 and later catalogs.  With the only option to complete the Core with Speech and Physical Education, it is projected that many fewer students would choose to complete the DCCCD Core and thus complete an Associate degree. Despite the data above, it could also mean that students will opt to compete the Core with us, using the only courses available to them in SPCH and PHED. This would push course need beyond our capacity.

Given these two possibilities, TILT agreed that the CCRC would be co-chaired by Shawnda Floyd, Vice President of Instruction at North Lake College, and Matt Hinckley, President of the Eastfield College Faculty Association. Floyd has served as a member of CCSST from 2014-2016 and has extensive experience working with the Guided Pathways initiative whose work will inform the CCRC. Hinckley co-chaired the Core Curriculum Steering Team from 2011 to 2014, and the Core Curriculum Review Committee from 2013 to 2015, and also has worked with Guided Pathways.

In keeping with the process and membership standards set by previous CCRCs, the CCRC will be composed of one faculty member from each of the nine Learning Categories of the DCCCD Core, plus one faculty member from each of the pre-Core disciplines of Learning Framework, Computer Literacy, ESOL, Developmental English, and Developmental Math. The CCRC will also add additional STEM, Allied Health, and CTE faculty to form a subcommittee to study the recommendation for the change to the AS degree. Faculty will be invited to participate by the co-chairs, and will be chosen to ensure a broad and diverse spectrum of perspectives, disciplines, longevity, ethnicities, and that all seven colleges, are represented. The co-chairs will use technology to ensure that faculty commitment to this initiative is not overly burdensome or time-consuming. To augment the knowledge base available to the CCRC, the CCRC will also include the following individuals: Nancy Faris, District Director of Academic and Student Records; Anna Mays, Associate Vice Chancellor for Educational Policy; Joyce Williams, Associate Vice Chancellor for Workforce Education, Meredithe Greer, District Director, Curriculum Management; Don Perry, Executive Director, Compliance & Policy Formation & THECB Liaison; a Core Objective Assessment expert from one college; and an instructional dean with significant Core Curriculum experience from one college. Executive Vice Chancellor Justin Lonon will serve as ex-officio to the CCRC.
Charges to the CCRC:

The CCRC will be charged to:

1.            De-emphasize concerns over individual disciplines, colleges, and enrollment patterns, in favor of a global and network approach focused on student success and preparing students to succeed in transfer and in the workforce, to take a broad view of the organic whole of the Core Curriculum to develop, and provide opportunities to assess the student attainment of, the six Core Objectives (critical thinking, communication, empirical and quantitative skills, teamwork, social responsibility, and personal responsibility);

2.            Review research materials provided by the District Office for Educational Policy, including 60x30 Goals, and the Guided Pathways initiatives;

3.            Review foundational, philosophical, and historical documents and perspectives for the 2009 and 2014 Core Curricula and Core Revision process, including relevant AAC&U principles for general education learning and assessment.

4.            Review THECB requirements for the Texas Core Curriculum and study emerging trends from the THECB and other public Texas community colleges and universities.

5.            Conduct information gathering efforts electronically from discipline committees and faculty at all seven colleges to obtain broad stakeholder input, and consider input from major Dallas County employers provided through the Office of Workforce Education;

6.            Provide a set of recommendations for the 090 Component Area Option, and the inclusion or exclusion of non-science major science courses from the AS degree prior to January 29, 2018, for the Vice Presidents Council and Chancellors Staff to review and approve in advance of submission to THECB for possible adoption in the 2018-2019 DCCCD catalog. The CCRC is not to recommend any changes to any of the Foundational Component Areas of the Core.

In the coming days, CCRC Co-chairs Shawnda Floyd and Matt Hinckley will work to identify and recruit a broad and representative sample of faculty, with no less than two and no more than four faculty from each college, to populate the CCRC. The CCRC tentatively will convene for a first meeting on or around December 1, 2017, and a second meeting on or around January 19, 2018. Stakeholder District discipline committees should expect to receive charges in early December. Questions can be directed to Anna Mays, Shawnda Floyd, or Matt Hinckley . Academic Vice Presidents also can provide background information to their respective faculty.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Pre-Convention Update

In accordance with bylaws approved at the 2016 DCCFA convention, designed in part to increase member participation in all facets of the governance of the association, the Faculty Council this year undertook a process to accept budget requests from the seven standing committees that were developed during the Sept. 22 standing committee meetings. It should be noted that the DCCFA bylaws now stipulate that all seven college chapters must elect their representatives to each of the seven standing committees, a practice that previously was not uniformly followed in all seven college chapters.

The Welfare and Benefits committee, chaired by CVCFA President Shaun Gilligan, submitted these minutes of their 9/22/17 meeting, as well as this list of compensation priorities for 2017-2018, and a longer compendium of compensation concerns. The Welfare and Benefits committee did not have any specific requests from the DCCFA budget.

The Instructional Goals and Academic Freedom committee, chaired by MVCFA President Margo Silva, submitted these minutes of their 9/22/17 meeting. The Instructional Goals and Academic Freedom Committee did not have any specific requests from the DCCFA budget.

The Communications committee, chaired by RLCFA President Matt Henry, submitted these minutes of their 9/22/17 meeting.

The Political Information committee, chaired by EFCFA President Matt Hinckley, submitted these minutes of their 9/22/17 meeting.

The Convention Planning committee, chaired by BHCFA President Bill Hammerschlag, submitted these minutes of their 9/22/17 meeting.

The Membership committee, chaired by ECCFA President Pam Crawford, and the Budget and Finance committee, chaired by NLCFA President Brett Dyer, submitted these minutes of their 9/22/17 joint meeting.

The Faculty Council has reviewed the recommendations of the committees, and in accordance with the bylaws that require it to publish a proposed budget 30 days before the association convenes for the annual convention, hereby publishes this proposed budget for fiscal year 2017-2018.

The final budget is subject to change, per new information that may be received between now and the November 10 convention, the final membership totals to be tabulated at the convention, as well as pending a vote to approve by the members gathered at the convention. Questions about the process, the committee reports, or the convention, may be directed to your respective faculty association president, and/or your local college chapter representative on each standing committee.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Faculty Climate Survey, Part 1

Dear Colleagues,

The District Faculty Council is once again conducting the biennial Faculty Climate Survey, which provides an opportunity to gather feedback from Faculty Association members. The survey is designed to gauge faculty perceptions on a number of important issues related to compensation and academic freedom and to assess faculty views about the overall climate at our colleges and the District.

As before, the Faculty Climate Survey is being conducted online and is being done in two parts. Part 1 is coming to you now (Fall 2017); Part 2 will be conducted in Spring 2018. Part 1 of the survey has 40 questions and should take no more than 20 minutes to complete. The feedback you provide will remain completely anonymous.

The results of the survey will be shared with you, your College President, and the Chancellor. Please bear in mind that the Faculty Climate Survey is one way to ensure that your voice is heard and your interests are represented. The data gathered from the survey will inform the priority of issues for the District Faculty Council to address, and we will use the data to advance our interests with college and District officials.

Please take the time to provide your feedback by clicking on the Faculty Climate Survey link below. Part 1 of the survey is due Friday, October 13, 2017.

Here is the link:

Thank you.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Concerns Regarding Accuracy of Payroll for Milestone Increases

The Faculty Council has been made aware that milestone increases have not been accurately recorded or applied to payroll this month for some faculty members in the district. We encourage you to double-check your information as soon as possible.

As a reminder, this month:
·         All full-time faculty who were full-time employees prior to June 1, 2017, are to receive a $2,150 increase to base salary. There does not seem to be a problem with this, but please check it anyway.
·         All faculty eligible for one of the milestone increases approved in 2015 are to receive that adjustment. Please take careful note of the minimum number of years and salary ranges for eligibility in the following milestones:

o   5% adjustment to base after completion of first three one-year contracts
o   5% adjustment to base after completion of 10 years of consecutive service as a faculty member with a minimum of 5 years at Range 2 or higher
o   3% adjustment to base after completion of 15 years of consecutive service as a faculty member with a minimum of 5 years at Range 3 or higher
o   3% adjustment to base after completion of 20 years of consecutive service as a faculty member with a minimum of 10 years at Range 3 or higher

These adjustments will be made in this order: the milestone percentage is applied first (based on your salary as of 8/31/2017) and then the $2,150 is applied.

Please review your Payroll Preview information and do the calculations necessary to see if the information is correct. If you discover any errors, please inform your campus Faculty Association President and contact your campus HR director. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Update on Faculty Evaluation System Review

The Faculty Evaluation System Review Task Force, co-chaired by MVC President Bobby Garza and CVC Faculty Member President Tommy Thompson, was formed to in the Spring of 2017 to review and update the DCCCD Faculty Evaluation System.

The initial purpose of this Task Force was noted in this previous blog post: http://dccfa.blogspot.com/2016/09/preliminary-information-on-task-forces.html

The specific charges to the Task Force and an update on its first two meetings can be found here (http://dccfa.blogspot.com/2017/04/faculty-evaluation-system-review-update.html

An update on a subsequent meeting is available here (http://dccfa.blogspot.com/2017/04/faculty-job-description-update.html)

The members of the Task Force agreed that little could be done by the subcommittees on Academic Forms and Contractual Forms until a new Faculty Job Description was in place, so our work concentrated on that particular task. 

The Task Force held its last meeting on May 3, 2017. At that meeting, the group reviewed and approved a final draft of the Faculty Job Description. The final draft is available for review here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5H8D6yQDi_BdWs3MVJvNU1qUVk  

Please note that proposed Job Description is still a draft at this point and pending consideration; it is in no way an official document.

A report on the work done by the Task Force and copy of the proposed draft of the Faculty Job Description was submitted by co-chairs Garza and Thomson to Susan Hall at District HR at the end of the spring semester. 

To date, we have not had a response to the report and do not know the status of the Task Force going forward. We hope to reconstitute the group to continue the important work started in the spring semester. As soon as any more information is known, it will be posted here and shared with all faculty. 

Letter to DCCCD Faculty from DCCFA President Bill Hammerschlag on our response to those displaced by Hurricane Harvey



Colleagues-

Your Faculty Association has been in close contact with the Administration as we prepare for an influx of students displaced by Hurricane Harvey. Two students from the Houston area have already joined our rosters.

We are well aware that these incoming students need to have stability in shelter, food, clothing and money before they can successfully complete schoolwork. The DCCCD is taking unprecedented steps toward helping those in need receive aid and social services as they try to put their lives back together. This aid is targeted for both short term immediate needs as well as longer term support.

Faculty can do our part as well. Should any Harvey refugees make it into your classes this semester, please consider flexibility with due dates and deadlines where appropriate. While our academic standards remain as high and firm as ever, we know that some people need a little extra time with their work while they adjust to a new life in a new place.

Thanks for your support.

On behalf of the District Faculty Council, with Regards,
Bill Hammerschlag
President, DCCFA

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

FLRG Report #8: Final Recommendations from the 2016-2017 Faculty Load Review Group



FLRG tri-chairs Ken Alfers, Zarina Blankenbaker, and Matt Hinckley, presented the Faculty Load Review Group (FLRG) recommendation report and supporting documentation (including the Work Group ALPHA, BRAVO, and CHARLIE recommendations) to Chancellor May, Vice Chancellor Lonon, and Chief Talent Officer Susan Hall, in May 2017. Specifically, the FLRG report recommended that lecture and lab instruction be equalized in the calculation of full-time faculty load, that class sizes be made more equitable by discipline and course across the District according to discipline committee recommendations, and that compensation for coordinator/chair duties be made more equitable across the District. Upon initial review, Dr. May agreed the recommendations, if implemented, would bring about greater equity and consistency in the calculation of full-time faculty load.

Dr. May also said he will have Boston Consulting Group review the FLRG recommendations (and the Faculty Hiring Process committee recommendations) in the context of efforts to increase faculty diversity as well as the likely need to increase the overall number of full-time faculty in the District and refine our compensation models to retain faculty. Therefore, it is likely that any final decisions to implement FLRG recommendations would take several months, depending on the time frame of the work of the Boston Consulting Group.

Both the FLRG tri-chairs, and the Faculty Council, have recommended to Dr. May that FLRG be recommissioned in 2017-2018 to help write the guideline documents to implement the recommendations (should they ultimately be accepted), and to study and recommend other ways to increase equity in overall faculty work load, particularly in non-teaching institutional service, differing telecommuting definitions and arrangements (particularly on-campus office hour and institutional service expectations for faculty who teach online for load), and professional development experiences to promote range advancement.

While we counsel continued patience as we wait for the Boston Consulting Group review to progress, we reiterate that Dr. May wants faculty and instructional leaders to avail themselves of forthcoming opportunities to engage with the Boston Consulting Group.

Previous Advance Blog posts on FLRG can be found at this link.