Friday, February 24, 2017

Faculty Hiring Process Task Force Update

The DCCFA Faculty Hiring Process Task Force completed its work this month and send its final report to Susan Hall at district HR.

The Task Force initially identified six areas for research by subcommittees:

  • Recruitment
  • Search Teams
  • Credentialing
  • Internal Transfer
  • Onboarding
  • Tools and Timelines 

The subcommittees each gathered information last fall, and this provided the basis for discussion as the work of the Task Force progressed. The final report can be accessed at this link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5H8D6yQDi_BVDJSOWlnM3ptXzA

The charges to the Task Force are on pages 2-3. The recommendations from the Task Force are on pages 4-12. The remainder of the document ins comprised of the research done by the various subcommittees.

The Task Force members were: Jean Conway (co-chair); Matthew Henry (co-chair), Ruben Johnson, Stephanie Scroggins, Claire Bambrough, Joan Becker, Jacqueline Bryant, Ray Canham, Ceaser Espinoza,  David Evans, Jesse Fox, Shaun Gilligan, Nicole Mabine, Brian Roffino, Kathryn Wetzel, Dawn Segroves.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Faculty Council proposes 2017-2018 compensation adjustment for preliminary budget building process



The DCCFA Faculty Council has submitted to District Talent Central, its preliminary proposal for faculty compensation adjustments for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. That document is available at this link. All faculty are encouraged and invited to review it. DCCFA members are invited to ask questions of their Welfare and Benefits representative and/or their Faculty Association president.

The first draft of the preliminary proposal was developed by the DCCFA Welfare and Benefits Committee, and then refined by the Council.

The proposal only addresses the 2017-2018 budget. The Welfare and Benefits Committee, and the Council, continue to work on a document that would address more long-term, structural issues in faculty compensation. 

Compression has been a problem 30+ years in the making, and it cannot be solved in one or two years.

In addition, our research has revealed, and Chancellor May reported to the Board last summer, that compression has been a significant drag on our efforts to increase diversity in the faculty ranks. While we have done a good job hiring diverse faculty, Board agendas/minutes back to 2006 revealed faculty resignations during that time disproportionately have been African-American and Latino faculty members.

This proposal again seeks to ameliorate compression in the 2017-2018 compensation adjustment through an across-the-board flat dollar increase, and a second flat-dollar increase for those whose salaries are compressed and who never will be able to benefit from the new three-year milestone increase. We also hope to realize an increase in the premium pay rate and hours.

The Council looks forward to productive and constructive dialogue as the 2017-2018 budget is built and figures evolve from theoretical to ballpark to actual.

All faculty should understand that state appropriations (as determined by the Texas Legislature), the local Taxable Assessed Value (as determined by the Dallas County Tax Assessor), and the DCCCD property tax rate (as determined by the DCCCD Board of Trustees), will determine the 2017-2018 DCCCD revenue and thus the DCCCD budget, and consequently the dollars available for compensation adjustments.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

DISD Academies Update

The information below was provided by Patti Burks, the faculty representative to the DISD Collegiate Academies Steering Team, on January 30, 2017

Here are some items of interest for faculty regarding the DISD Collegiate Academies:

Cohort 1
  • Over 300 students from the cohort 1 schools were enrolled in a college course in Fall 2016. While final grades have not been tallied, preliminary indications are that over 90% successfully completed their college course. 
  • Revisions to some of the pathways are underway and DISD is working with DCCCD to identify the high school courses that correspond to each college course. The pathways should be updated on the website in the next month or so.
  • Faculty in the cohort 1 pathways should have already identified the textbooks needed for 2017-2018. You should also be communicating with the high schools to finalize schedules, software and equipment needs.
Cohort 2
  • Ten additional collegiate academies are planned to open in Fall 2017. Some of these pathways include AS or AA degrees as well as AAS degrees which include more liberal arts courses.
  • Recruitment efforts are underway now and the application process has begun. There appears to be a lot of interest in the academies and plenty of applicants.
  • Many of the cohort 2 academies only have 2 pathways rather than 3. It is not known at this time what the split of students will be at each school. Faculty are encouraged to meet with their dual credit liaisons and affiliated high schools to coordinate this effort and ensure that the colleges have the resources to support the number of students in each pathway.
  • You should receive a request for textbook, software and equipment requirements in the next 2-3 weeks for the cohort 2 academies. Our goal is to communicate the needs early enough to make sure that the courses are ready to go on day 1.
Staffing
  • The budget allocation from the District Office includes an assumption that the staffing for the academies will be 40% full-time faculty and 60% adjunct faculty.
  • Finding qualified adjunct faculty to teach in the academies is proving to be very difficult. 
    • Classes must be held during the day.
    • In several of the technical programs, the contact hours for the courses are high (6-7 hrs per week) which means that an adjunct can only teach 1 course per semester per our employment rules
    • Classes are very specialized – particularly in years 3 and 4 – which means there are fewer qualified applicants, particularly who are not already working full-time.
    • In many cases, the academies are competing with each other for the same applicants.
  • Faculty are encouraged to discuss with your VPAA and VPBS the need for full-time faculty dedicated to the academies for the programs to be successful and not negatively impact our current students.
  • We are investigating ways to help with the staffing issue including centralized advertising specifically for the academies, recruitment from DISD teachers and retirees, discussions with industry partners, etc. 
Industry Partners
  • All cohort 1 and cohort 2 schools have at least one industry partner and most have more.
  • Discussions are underway with each industry partner to fully define their role and relationship with the academy and the college.
Professional Development
  • A second dual credit professional development session was held in January prior to the semester with over 70 attendees.
  • All dual credit faculty are encouraged to join the Blackboard Early College High School Dual Credit Community site which includes many policies and procedures for dual credit, the professional development materials, etc.
    • Login to Blackboard
    • Click on Community
    • Enter Dual Credit in the search box
    • Click on “Early College High School Dual Credit” community
    • Click Enroll to self enroll
Please share with all faculty and let me know if you have any questions.

Patti

Monday, January 23, 2017

FLRG Update #7: January 2017 FLRG Status Report



The Faculty Load Review Group (FLRG) would like to provide an update to all DCCCD constituents on the work it has completed to date. To do that, it is important that we restate the purpose of our work, including the charge we received.

WHAT WAS THE CHARGE TO FLRG / WHY WAS FLRG CONVENED?

  • To identify opportunities to improve student success through consistent processes for the assignment of faculty load;
  • To document current DCCCD procedures, to research best practices, and to recommend systemic improvements;
  • While compensation methods are inherent in this review, careful consideration should be directed to the time/effort required in the instructional delivery, the formulas for calculation of load, and not to the amount of that compensation.



WHO ARE THE MEMBERS OF FLRG?
Tri-chairs: Ken Alfers (MVC faculty), Zarina Blankenbaker (RLC VP), Matt Hinckley (EFC, DCCFA president)

Members: Audra Barrett (CVC VP), Shawnda Floyd (NLC dean), Michael Gutierrez (EFC VP), Bill Hammerschlag (BHC faculty, BHCFA president), Vernon Hawkins (BHC dean), Greg Morris (ECC VP), Fred Newbury (RLC faculty), Richard Plott (DO, data analytics), Jamie Templeton (DO, Colleague/IT), Margo Silva (MVC faculty, MVCFA president), Eddie Tealer (NLC VP), Shirley Thompson (NLC faculty, NLCFA president).

HOW HAS FLRG PROCEEDED IN ITS WORK?
FLRG members unanimously agreed that the largest and most systemic improvements in faculty load could be gained by addressing how lab instruction is calculated relative to lecture instruction. Current practice counts each lab hour as 2/3rds of a lecture hour in full-time faculty load, even though lecture and lab hours are considered equal in both premium pay and extra service/adjunct pay. Therefore, faculty who teach labs must spend more hours teaching within their 30 hour work week than faculty who do not teach labs. Faculty Climate Survey data, and information gathered by the DCCFA Welfare and Benefits Committee, further supports the claim that the lecture/lab inequity is one of the most prevalent and persistent concerns of faculty. In addition, the current lecture/lab calculation negatively impacts faculty who teach in the STEM and CTE fields where it can be most difficult to find qualified faculty. Finally, FLRG determined that the lecture/lab disparity was both cleanly different from, and yet logically the first step that needed to be addressed before considering, other aspects of faculty load such as class size and modality issues.

Consequently, FLRG developed three-sub groups: ALPHA, BRAVO, and CHARLIE. ALPHA Group, co-chaired by Fred Newbury and Michael Gutierrez, was charged to investigate and recommend possible solutions to the lecture/lab inequity. After much benchmarking and study, ALPHA Group is bringing forward a recommendation to treat lecture and lab instruction the same – one lab hour is equal to one lecture hour. In addition, the ALHPA Group is bringing forward a corollary recommendation to allow Continuing Education contact hours to count toward full-time faculty load. BRAVO Group, co-chaired by Shirley Thompson and Eddie Tealer, is learning more about our modality and class size practices across the District. Based on data BRAVO is gathering from stakeholders, and student success and other relevant data to be gathered by the CHARLIE group, co-chaired by Shawnda Floyd and Bill Hammerschlag, FLRG hopes to make additional recommendations to Chief Talent Officer (CTO) Susan Hall and Chancellor May.

WHY SHOULD WE SUPPORT THIS PROCESS?
In addition to FLRG, Chancellor May and Talent Central commissioned other task forces to review other areas where inequities may exist across the District. The work of the Chancellors Faculty Fellows Task Force (which was comprised of faculty and instructional leaders across the District) was submitted to CTO Hall and Chancellor May in November. Chancellor May has agreed with most recommendations from the Task Force, and has directed CTO Hall to develop policy and procedure guidelines to implement them. The Chancellors Faculty Fellows Program will be paused temporarily to allow these recommendations to be operationalized. Similarly, the Performance Pay Incentive Task Force (which likewise was comprised of faculty and instructional leaders across the District) submitted recommendations to CTO Hall and Chancellor May, who has agreed with all of the recommendations and has directed them to be operationalized immediately. The work of the Faculty Hiring Process Task Force is ongoing, and a task force to undertake the periodic scheduled review of the Faculty Evaluation Process will launch in early Spring 2017. Both of these task forces also will be led and populated by faculty and instructional leaders.

WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDATION PROCESS?
It is important to understand that the Board of Trustees is the only entity which makes policy, and it is the role of the Chancellor both to recommend policies to the Board, and to enforce them by establishing and enacting guidelines and processes. In that regard, FLRG is an advisory task force, not a decision-making task force. Nevertheless, FLRG neither has suggested, nor been directed to consider, any proposals not within the scope of our work or documented in our reports and updates. There are no suggestions that faculty be required to teach more sections to make load. There are no suggestions that faculty be required to teach more students in each section. There are no suggestions that large group instruction – or any other modality – should be eliminated. There are no suggestions that extra service limits be changed. Lending credence to other possibilities not mentioned in our charges, reports, and updates may undermine the careful work that faculty and instructional leaders are doing to make recommendations that would increase equity, fairness, and transparency, in faculty load.

UPDATE: Please see this link for notes taken during the FLRG meetings of Dec. 9, 2016, and Jan. 20, 2017.

Monday, December 12, 2016

December 2016 Update on Chancellors Faculty Fellows and Performance Pay

Chancellor May has responded to the recommendations submitted by the task forces assembled to make recommendations for improvement to the Chancellors Faculty Fellows program and Performance Pay Initiative program. Each of these two task forces has benefited from the vigorous and robust participation of both faculty and instructional leaders.

You may read Dr. May's response to the recommendations for the Chancellors Faculty Fellows program in the PDF document at this link. To give time to develop policy language and budget processes to implement the recommendations with which Dr. May agrees, the Chancellors Faculty Fellows program is on pause for this year's faculty hiring cycle (new faculty to start Fall 2017). The program, with the accepted recommendations in place, is then expected to be reactivated during Fall 2017 for faculty hires to begin in Fall 2018.

Chancellor May also has accepted all of the recommendations from the Performance Pay Incentive task force. According to Dr. May, "we will move forward to announce the 2nd year (spring 2017) of the pilot (with proposals due on January 23, 2017), followed closely by the call for projects to be considered for action during 2017-2018 (with proposals due on March 1, 2017)." You may review the newly revised Chancellors Authorized Operating Procedure for PPI, the Employee Desktop Guide on PPI, the PPI proposal form, and the PPI evaluation form. 

The Faculty Council thanks all of the faculty and instructional leaders who have worked hard on these task forces to refine these programs.





Thursday, December 8, 2016

FLRG Update #6: Dec. 2 meeting minutes, BRAVO update, Dec. 9 agenda

Those interested in the ongoing work of the Faculty Load Review Group (FLRG) are encouraged to read the FLRG meeting minutes of Dec. 2, 2016.

The work of the BRAVO sub-group continues, and is captured in this description of the members and roles of further subcommittees, and these minutes from Dec. 5.

FLRG next meets Dec. 9, to discuss the items on this agenda.

Questions about the work of FLRG can be directed to your faculty association president, or one of your colleagues who serves on FLRG.

These documents, and previous FLRG updates, are being shared to ensure that all faculty have access to the most updated and accurate information. Rumors that contradict what is in these public documents should be treated as uninformed speculation.

Just as with the other task forces that have been working this semester (such as those assembled to make recommendations to improve Performance Pay, and the Chancellors Faculty Fellows programs), all recommendations that emerge from the FLRG group will be sent to Chief Talent Officer Susan Hall to deliver to Chancellor May, who will make the final decisions on whether to accept or reject the recommendations.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

2016 DCCFA Convention Summary

The Nov. 11, 2016 annual convention of the DCCFA was a success. Faculty are invited and encouraged to peruse these linked documents:

Agenda of the Convention

Minutes of the Convention

State of the Association Address

Communications Committee Report

Political Information Committee Report

Welfare and Benefits Committee Report

Instructional Goals and Academic Freedom Committee Report

Membership Committee Report and Approved Addendum Introduced by Elizabeth Huston


DCCFA Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Budget, Adopted by majority vote

Newly revised DCCFA Bylaws, Adopted by unanimous consent


In addition to voting to approve the motions adopting the agenda and convention rules for debate, adopting the annual DCCFA budget, and adopting the Bylaws revisions, the convention unanimously approved the following motions:



To charge Faculty Association officers at all DCCCD Colleges to review and revise their Constitutions and By-Laws to ensure compliance with the DCCFA Constitution and By-Laws.



To express the DCCFA’s sympathy to the DCCCD Community, especially the DCCCD Police, related to the tragic events of July 7, 2016.


To thank Chancellor Joe May for changing his travel plans specifically to address the DCCFA convention.