Friday, March 6, 2020

Chancellor Provides Update on PIT Project; Updated ACH Calculator Available for Faculty to Test


This blog post has been written and posted by Matt Hinckley, with the expressed verbal permission of DCCFA President Carlos Martinez, to:

Provide an update on the overall FLRG/PIT project broadly;

Share an updated Beta ACH Excel Calculator with faculty;

Provide an update on the ongoing work actively to seek, to solicit, and to incorporate faculty input directly, regarding the calculator specifically and the FLRG/PIT project broadly;

Answer a few frequently asked questions regarding the calculator specifically and the FLRG/PIT project broadly.

UPDATE ON THE FLRG/PIT PROJECT BROADLY
Chancellor May on Feb. 28 wrote to the PIT members to thank them for their ongoing work. In that email, he said that he and his DCCCD leadership team…

“have also worked with the finance office to estimate the budgetary impact of the recommendations. Initial estimates show the recommendations costing more than $50M annually above our existing faculty budget. This is equivalent to a 40% increase over our annual faculty salary spend. Any combination or bundle of policy changes will significantly increase (spending) on faculty load and compensation; however, given the many priorities and constraints faced by the district at this time of change, we need to align timing and investment across the many priorities. I am working closely with the finance office and the rest of the district leadership to figure out how to fund the recommended policy changes. Our process will likely include identifying ways to make the changes more affordable while maintaining the spirit of the task force's recommendations.”

Chancellor May also added that he encourages faculty to continue learning more about the PIT recommendations and the Beta ACH Excel Calculator, and that he is “looking forward to seeing (the overall initiative) through into action.”

As more information is made available to members of PIT, that information will be shared with faculty at large. The important takeaways are that this estimated cost confirms the previous claims that implementing the FLRG and PIT recommendations would require a significant allocation of additional resources into instruction, which is something all faculty should support, and that the chancellor intends to work toward implementation.

UPDATED BETA ACH CALCULATOR
Hereis a link to the most recent iteration of the Beta ACH Excel Calculator. Please click the link and download the Excel workbook to your local hard drive/desktop, save the file, and then begin inputting projected information.

Many thanks go to Kate Mosle and Simonas Matulionas with Boston Consulting Group, who as part of their support of the PIT task forces and project have been building the Beta ACH Excel calculator as a tool to help faculty understand how the PIT recommendations would work together. According to Mosle,

“I know faculty continue to have questions about the calculator. They’ve raised lots of good points of input, and I’d love to provide them with an updated version of the calculator that fixes some of the bugs.”

“I know there will be revisions to the Master Course Table before it is fully operationalized, specifically around splitting out lecture and lab portions of certain sections. Since those MCT revisions have not yet been made… I included a note on the title page specifically calling out the fact that the MCT does not yet split out lectures and lab, but it will in the future. So, this version of the calculator is still a draft, but I do think it addresses some of the other faculty concerns that have come up, and it may help ease some of the confusion around how it works.”

Note that many of the issues and concerns that have arisen from faculty regarding the Beta ACH Excel calculator have to do with course maximums and minimums, and contact hour (ACH) values associated with classes. In addition, many science faculty specifically have requested the ability to enter the lecture and lab segments/portions of course sections separately. For instance, several science District discipline committees have official positions that it should be permitted to have the lecture and lab segments/portions of their courses taught by different instructors (even as many faculty in those disciplines still have the academic freedom to teach both the lecture and the lab of a given section).

These particular issues actually are part of the underlying data set programmed into the Master Course Table (MCT), not the calculator itself. Specifically, the ability to enter lecture and lab separately, and have each segment/portion of the course section apply the correct ACH, needs to be programmed into the MCT. Given the sheer number of courses in the DCCCD catalog that have labs, those changes have not yet been accomplished, nor – because there are budgetary implications to class sizes – is the exact timeline clear, but it is the intent for courses with labs to have three separate entries on the MCT, as follows:

  •       One entry for lecture and lab combined with the total correct course ACH;
  •       One entry for only the lecture segment/portion with only the correct lecture ACH;
  •       One entry for only the lab segment/portion with only the correct lab ACH.

While we wait for these updates to the MCT, and while we wait for District leadership to decide which recommendations to implement for Fall 2020 given budget realities, we can continue to learn about how the calculator would work generally in a model where load, extra service, and reassigned time, are denominated in the “single currency” of ACH.

Also, note that on the “Policy Levers” tab in the Excel workbook, the default adjunct/extra service rate is set to $62.50 per ACH. Note that this $62.50 rate is what is proposed in the PIT recommendations. The current DCCCD adjunct/extra service rate is $48.42. On the Policy Levers tab, you can set the adjunct/extra service teaching rate to any value. This is a draft, designed to show how ACH would work. It is not designed to represent what PIT recommendations will or will not be operationalized for Fall 2020 because again, that decision rests with the chancellor.

HOW FACULTY INPUT CONTINUES TO REFINE THE BETA ACH EXCEL CALCULATOR
Other than the issues with the Master Course Table listed above, ongoing feedback from faculty via email, phone calls, and in person, has been processed and in many cases incorporated into updates to the Beta ACH Excel Calculator.

As with earlier drafts, the updated Excel workbook linked above allows us to see how changes stemming from the Policy Initiative Taskforce (PIT) work might look in operation. Faculty can input various scenarios of load, enrollment, and reassigned time to see how load and compensation would be impacted under potential policy changes. Please note this calculator remains in beta form. We are posting it in the hopes of helping faculty begin to become familiar with Adjusted Contact Hours (ACH) as well as gather feedback on the functionality of the calculator. This updated version has incorporated faculty input for a variety of improvements. However, the PIT recommendations are still under review, so this document only calculates what potential changes may be. This is still a draft. Some changes of note between the previous iteration and this version include:


  • Flexibility for a “teaching minimum” requirement to be met across Fall and Spring semesters rather than limits in both semesters;
  • Technical difficulties in entering course numbers that begin with zero are now fixed (can now be selected using a drop-down menu) and enter the correct ACH;
  • Fixes issues with the replication of release time between fall and spring.

DOES THE CALCULATOR INCLUDE PREMIUM PAY?
At present, the Beta ACH Excel Calculator does not include Premium Pay. This is not an oversight, nor is it a thinly-veiled attempt to remove Premium Pay. Indeed, at the Dec. 12 PIT Leadership Council meeting, Chancellor May reiterated that Premium Pay exists in order to incentivize faculty to teach during non-traditional terms. Subsequent recommendations from BCG and PIT have removed any/all suggestions to trade Premium Pay for a higher extra service rate, and the issue has not been discussed after that Dec. 12 meeting. The only proposed change to Premium Pay that emerged in the PIT recommendations on Jan. 29, mentioned on pages 25 and 34, suggests that under certain circumstances, “…deans should be empowered to offer Premium Pay to faculty to teach extra courses in fall or spring, when both student demand warrants and where enrollment makes summer (or winter) Premium Pay earnings impossible or unlikely.” Again, this is a recommendation and there has been no decision yet as to whether or not it will be implemented.

That said, Mosle and Matulionis of BCG continue to try to develop a means by which Premium Pay can be automatically included in a future edition of the Beta ACH Excel Calculator. The fact that the Premium Pay ACH rate of $81.25/ACH (for up to 96 ACH) is different from the adjunct/extra service rate, and does not apply during fall or spring, makes the programming particularly challenging for Excel.

HOW CAN I CONTINUE TO HAVE MY FEEDBACK HEARD AND CONSIDERED?
Please continue to work with the ACH calculator, review the PIT recommendations, and send concerns of the following types to the following individuals:

  • Class size maximums and minimums, and ACH values for individual courses: Master Course Table Task Force co-chairs, Angela Nino and Shawnda Floyd;
  • How ACH is calculated in the various types of reassigned time: Reassigned Time Task Force co-chairs: Becky Heiskell and Audra Barrett;
  • ACH Calculator functionality issues, compensation issues in the ACH Calculator, and other compensation issues brought up in the PIT report: Compensation Practices Task Force co-chairs, Matt Hinckley and Lori Doddy;
  • Faculty Contracts (not reflected the ACH Calculator): Faculty Contracts Task Force Co-chairs, Matt Henry and Greg Morris. (Note that the draft contact in the PIT report was just a draft and several subsequent iterations have been produced by the task force.)


Also, share your thoughts with your local faculty association president.

WHY ISN’T THE FACULTY COUNCIL TAKING THE LEAD ON COMMUNICATING THIS, AND/OR WHY ARE NON-COUNCIL MEMBERS USING THE DCCFA ADVANCE BLOG TO SHARE THIS INFORMATION?
FLRG (2016-2017) and PIT (2019-2020) were both requested by, and in part staffed by members of, the Faculty Council. The FLRG and PIT projects have been informed and influenced by Faculty Council input, which in turn was influenced by years of input from faculty broadly on issues of inequities with compensation and load calculation. And at many times throughout both processes, FLRG and PIT have worked closely with the Faculty Council. At the same time, as official DCCCD projects, the FLRG and PIT projects were/are also separate from the Faculty Council (just as the DCCFA itself is a separate entity from the DCCCD).

In 2016-2017, FLRG updates were shared via the DCCFA Advance Blog. Here in 2020, ongoing PIT updates are being shared via the DCCFA Advance Blog. The DCCCD SharePoint is also being used, but in the interests of getting as much information as possible through as many means as possible to as many members as possible as quickly as possible, DCCFA President Carlos Martinez authorized Matt Henry and Matt Hinckley, as PIT task force co-chairs, to continue to use the DCCFA Advance Blog to communicate PIT information. Moreover, continuing to use the Advance Blog for this purpose allows members instantly, through the use of the FLRG and PIT labels, to peruse the historical context for this work since 2016.


Tuesday, March 3, 2020

DCCFA Council Response to the One College Reorganization

DCCFA Council Response to the One College Reorganization


Dear DCCFA Colleagues:

As we all know, the DCCCD Board of Trustees has approved a plan to seek accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), as a single institution. This is but one step in the ongoing process of consolidation from seven colleges into one. Key steps that have been taken to date:
  • In June 2019, the Board of Trustees asked for recommendations to address gaps in meeting the needs of students, the community, and businesses.
  • In August 2019, having identified that our present organizational structure has been an impediment to student success the Board approved a resolution with the charge to address those gaps by becoming “One College.”
  • At the August 23, 2019, DCCCD Conference Day, Chancellor May spoke publicly about the coming consolidation being designed to remove roadblocks to student success. At the same event, DCCCD Board of Trustees Chair Diana Flores said, “The Board fully supports the Chancellor as he moves the organization forward in these areas because…he is doing what the Board has asked him to do.”
  • Finally, having reviewed the Jan. 17, 2020 “One College” work session presentation, the Board subsequently decided on Feb. 4, 2020, to name the single college, Dallas College, which was voted on at the Mar. 3, 2020, board meeting.
The DCCFA council (council) understands that some faculty believes that things are moving very fast. The council further understands that the speed is causing anxiety and raises many legitimate and important questions among faculty.  That said, there are some important considerations that are driving the current timeline.  First, the Board of Trustees supports the current timeline.  Second, according to Danielle Valle of Brookhaven College, who is the lead writer of the prospectus for SACSCOC, the current timeline is due to the type of substantive change required for the consolidation and the level change necessary for the early childhood education baccalaureate program. She further noted that “there are some very specific rules and if/then scenarios with SACSCOC that caused our executive leadership to move forward with the SACSCOC leadership’s recommendation that we submit both changes at the same time.” Valle said that the details surrounding this are “somewhat tedious, but they are not a secret,” and offered to talk with faculty regarding the technical details.  Third, according to Valle, SACSCOC itself advised the DCCCD that the path of least resistance, and of least risk to the 2023 regular reaffirmation, is to combine and complete both the Level change (to allow the baccalaureate program), and the consolidation, within the same significant substantive change application process, before undertaking the regular 2023 regular reaffirmation process.

The prospectus that outlines the plan to consolidate into a single college, and to convert into an institution that can offer baccalaureate degrees, is due to SACSCOC on March 15, 2020. SACSCOC would then review the prospectus and issue its approval, potentially with recommendations, in June. Then, SACSCOC would visit Dallas College in Fall 2020 to ascertain the extent to which we are accomplishing the consolidation and level change. All of this means that whatever is submitted on March 15, is not cast into concrete.

According to Valle, what we submit “is our good faith statement of how we plan to move forward as of March 15, 2020. There are MANY operational details that we will be continuing to work through for the next several months and years. SACSCOC is fully aware and even expects that we will modify some of the plans submitted in the prospectus. It would be unrealistic to expect that we have everything figured out at this point. Submitting plans in the prospectus is not the end of any conversation.”

In other words, even as a prospectus plan is submitted on March 15, stakeholders will still be giving input and plans and proposed organizational charts are likely to change based on that input. According to Valle, “it’s not so much an issue of showing a certain number of levels. It’s more that we need to give a detailed enough picture to the reviewers so they can see how we intend to operate and can feel comfortable that we’ll maintain our accreditation standards.”

All of that considered, then, the Faculty Council agrees that we should continue to collaborate with the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees to accomplish these changes, rather than attempt to stop or slow them.

The application to SACSCOC for single accreditation must include – among many other parts – a proposed organizational structure for the academic operations of the consolidated Dallas College. As part of this consolidation plan, and based on input from stakeholders, Chancellor May unveiled the top three levels of the proposed Dallas College organizational structure to the Board of Trustees in executive session on Friday, Jan. 17, and to the DCCCD community on Friday, Jan. 24.

The Faculty Council recommended that the creation of a strong Provost role, to support the entire learning enterprise of Dallas College, which fulfills a years-long vision of many former and current Council members. It should be noted that, in particular, CVCFA president Tommy Thompson has been an indefatigable proponent of a strong Provost, and all faculty owe Tommy a debt of gratitude for his advocacy to this effect. The Council also believes that the new organizational structure is a major win for faculty, in that faculty now have a direct and unfettered line straight to the Chancellor, through the Provost. The Faculty Council also believes that locating non-instructional support services such as Human Resources, Finance, and Legal, under the leadership of Executive Vice Chancellor Justin Lonon, also is to the benefit of instructional concerns generally and faculty in particular, as Lonon has been an indispensable ally in the advancement of instructional and faculty interests. The Council also believes that the creation of a central dual credit/ECHS office within the consolidated administrative structure is a major win for faculty and students, as it was one of the principal recommendations of the DCCFA Dual Credit/ECHS report that the Council delivered to Dr. May in early February 2020.

Note that the consolidation plan also calls for instructional programs to be grouped into “Schools.” Each School is to be aligned with one of the seven Guided Pathways. It is important to note that while the Schools may have support offices located at one or more physical campuses, each School is likely to have some instructional programs or disciplines at all seven main campuses (and many of the various satellite campuses). Each School will be supported by a Vice Provost. With Level 1 (Chancellor), Level 2 (Provost) and Level 3 (Vice Provosts) having been identified, faculty have understandably wondered about their own immediate reporting relationships. Because similar questions exist regarding reporting relationships under the Vice Provost of Student Services, on Thursday, Feb. 13, Vice Chancellor Justin Lonon convened a cross-functional team consisting of employees from both student services and instruction. Representing instruction were several vice presidents, several deans, and five faculty members: Wade Hyde, Keith Baker, Sharon Jackson, Sharon Manna, and Matt Hinckley. This group discussed ideas, options, and scenarios for possible administrative structures for both student services and instruction. No decisions were made, and the assembled faculty members agreed that it would be important to solicit stakeholder feedback.

Based on the invitation to that Feb. 13 meeting, DCCFA Faculty Council members Wade Hyde (El Centro) and Keith Baker (North Lake) began consolidating a possible response presented to the DCCFA and other faculty in attendance during a strategy session on Feb. 12. This included assembled preliminary conducted research into alternative models for instructional administration, and thereafter shared – in real time – the results of their research, to various DCCCD college faculty association meetings, such as at the MVCFA meeting on Feb. 19, the RLCFA and NLCFA meetings on Feb. 25, and the BHCFA meeting on Feb. 26. Hyde and Baker also shared their growing body of research with Lonon’s cross-functional team on Monday, Feb. 24. After that meeting, Chancellor May personally asked Hyde and Baker to share their research with him on Thursday, Feb. 27.

One model for the levels below the Vice Provosts was offered by the instructional vice presidents. Their plan proposes a Level 4 (dean) and a Level 5 (associate deans) that are heavy with administrators. Hyde and Baker, on the other hand, have envisioned a model where the current dean and associate dean position would be eliminated. In their place, a system of faculty chairs would provide leadership and support to disciplines/programs, or clusters of related disciplines/programs, at Level 4 (reporting directly to the Vice Provost of the particular School). In the case of a very large discipline, such as English, there would be a District-wide Chair of English. Then, each campus would have a Coordinator of English, to coordinate adjunct instruction. Smaller related disciplines, such as Psychology, Sociology, and Anthropology, might be led and supported by a Chair of Social Science, with a Coordinator at each campus. Related small CTE programs might all be aligned under a particular Chair drawn from one of those programs. There may even be situations where related academic disciplines and CTE/CE programs might be aligned with a Chair. All the Chairs would be drawn from among the Faculty in that discipline/program or cluster of related discipline/clusters.

Parallel to the Chairs on Level 4, within each of the seven Schools would be a set of one to six deans, each of whom would be responsible for providing project management support to one of more of the six areas that SACS-COC identifies as within the purview of faculty. These six areas are teaching, assessment, institutional service and professional development, research or creative activities, advising, and curriculum. It is envisioned that within a given School, for instance, as dean of assessment could work to support and assist the Chair in convening faculty in the discipline/program or discipline/program cluster, to develop a common assessment plan and cycle.

According to Valle, “the submission of the prospectus does not end the work on the structure or planning. March 15th is not the deadline for decision-making. It’s the deadline for the submission of the current draft of our plan.” Valle also advises “faculty who are feeling like they’re not part of the process,” to please “send their concerns and questions to OneCollege@DCCCD.edu.” Valle even has offered that those who want to remain anonymous may send their concerns directly to her, and she will forward those concerns with no identifying information.

Whatever proposed instructional administrative model the chancellor chooses to include in the prospectus – the model envisioned by the instructional VPs, the model envisioned by Hyde and Baker, a hybrid of both, or a separate model entirely – there will still be ample opportunity to faculty to play a role in the ongoing conversations to design, implement, and refine whatever model ultimately is adopted. The Council also will continue to engage with the membership directly through surveys of all members, and through the existing campus faculty associations. Members should feel free to share their concerns with their respective college faculty association presidents.

Finally, while the speed of these processes is bewildering, this is also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be engaged in the conversations that will shape the next 50 years of our District. The influence of the DCCFA already has been strong, and we are making major gains for faculty. To sideline ourselves now, because the process or timeline is not to our ideal preferences, would be to abdicate our responsibility to advocate for the interests of teaching and learning, for faculty and for students.

 

Friday, February 14, 2020

Historical Context and Additional Information on Faculty Load Review Group/Policy Initiative Team Project and Recommendations to Chancellor May


This post has been co-authored by Carlos Martinez and Matt Hinckley, with additional edits by Matt Henry. It is designed to provide additional context, and to answer additional questions, that have arisen since this Advance Blog post was made on Jan. 19, 2020, regarding the years-long project to bring equity to the calculation of faculty load.

WHAT IS THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT? WHY IS THIS BEING DISCUSSED NOW?

First, this is a brief narrative on the historical context of the project. You may find additional detail by clicking the Load label on the Advance Blog, in order to read previous posts on these issues.

In 2015 or 2016, the DCCCD Human Resources Operational Guidelines (HROGs) were de-published by District Human Resources, in the hopes of incentivizing innovation. Unfortunately, this had the opposite effect, as departments, divisions, faculty, coordinators, and deans, wrestled with conflicting interpretations that often were informed by different iterations and generations of previous HROG documents that existed electronically or even on paper in various offices throughout the District. (For additional documentation of some of the concerns, please visit the Advance Blog to read posts labeled under HR or Talent Central.)

In Spring 2016, the then-Chief Talent Officer, Susan Hall, attempted to convene three compression planning sessions that were believed to be an effort to reduce extra service teaching limits throughout all terms. This prompted the Faculty Council to intervene directly to Chancellor May, to convene a more representative group to study inequities, inconsistencies, and interpretative concerns in how faculty load was being calculated across the District. In Fall 2016, at the request of the DCCFA Faculty Council, the chancellor commissioned the Faculty Load Review Group (FLRG). At the request of the then-Council, Council president Matt Hinckley served as one of three tri-chairs of FLRG, along with Ken Alfers (MVC History faculty) and Zarina Blankenbaker (RLC VPAASS). Upon convening, FLRG organized itself into three sub groups to investigate the three areas in which faculty and deans both reported the greatest inequities in faculty load calculation and compensation. These areas were lab/lecture inequity, class size inequity, and coordination compensation inequity. The FLRG report was delivered to Chancellor May in Spring 2017.

It was clear that, if implemented in full, the FLRG recommendations would require significant additional resources to be invested into instruction. Consequently, in Fall 2017, Chancellor May asked the DCCCD Board of Trustees to approve a contract with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), to review the FLRG recommendations (as well as other areas of concern), and to provide an outside perspective. The contract was executed in January 2018, and BCG met with the Faculty Council once, in Spring 2018, before its first report was delivered to the Board of Trustees in June 2018.

While BCG endorsed adoption of many of the FLRG recommendations (including lab/lecture equity, class size consistency, and coordination compensation equity), there were other areas of concern that clearly had not first emerged from FLRG. Most concerning was the fact that it was apparent that numerous assumptions in that BCG report were the result of apparently incorrect or possibly misleading input from the then-Chief Talent Officer. Faculty input broadly at all seven colleges objecting to the errors, and the sustained efforts of the 2018-2019 Faculty Council, prevailed upon Chancellor May and BCG to begin a process both to re-review the initial incorrect assumptions, as well as develop plans to implement the FLRG recommendations that BCG independently endorsed. This effort was known as the Policy Initiative Team (PIT).

The Policy Initiative Team (PIT) was convened in Summer 2019, with four task forces to develop recommendations in four related areas: Faculty Contracts, Compensation Practices, Master Course Table, and Institutional Service and Reassigned Time. Faculty with extensive experience in the issues were encouraged to apply to co-chair one of the four task forces. These four PIT task forces solicited faculty input throughout Fall 2019 to develop recommendations that were also vetted by a Steering Team. Reports from the task forces were shared on the Policy Initiative Share Point Site, and eventually were coordinated and combined into a set of recommendations delivered to Chancellor May and his Leadership Team on Jan. 29, 2020.

In summation, FLRG in 2016-2017 identified the inequities and recommended broad solutions. The Chancellor in 2017 agreed to further study of the FLRG findings. BCG in 2018 endorsed the FLRG findings and made some recommendations on how to implement them in 2019. And finally, the PIT process begun in 2019 delivered recommendations in January 2020 how to implement the needed changes.

It is important to note that, as of Feb. 14, 2020, no decisions have been made, but the decision to implement any/all of these recommendations rests solely with Chancellor May.

WHAT ARE ACH/ADJUSTED CONTACT HOURS?

One of the principal recommendations to emerge, as a means to equalize lecture and lab, class sizes, and coordination, was to denominate faculty load in a single currency known as Adjusted Contact Hours (ACH). Most simply, ACH is based on the catalog/WECM/ACGM defined contact hours for a course. The current working definition of ACH is:

“Hours faculty is required to spend delivering instruction associated with a course. Used as the unit of measure for determining faculty load and corresponding compensation. In most circumstances, 1 ACH equals 1 contact hour (exceptions will be determined for areas such as clinicals). Typically, adjusted contact hours represent the time a faculty member spends in instruction.”

Using ACH as the single currency of load allows:

  • Lecture and lab instruction to be treated as equal*
  • Load to be calculated down to the contact hour, rather than in blocks of 20% or 13%;
  • Reassigned time to be calculated precisely, rather than in blocks of 20% or 13%;
  • Extra service contracts to be paid on the basis of the exact number of ACH one is teaching/working over the 240 per traditional semester (240 = 15 hours/week * 16 weeks) or 480 per academic year;
  • Setting standard class sizes, regardless of modality, for each course in the DCCCD catalog, using a Master Course Table;
  • Faculty to be compensated equitably for teaching additional students in their face-to-face classes even if the room cannot accommodate a “double LGI” section, again calculating compensation down to the contact hour, rather than in blocks of 20% or 13%;
  • Optionally, calculate over-enrollment compensation in terms of ACH.


*Note that for many decades lab has been discounted compared to lecture by one-third. In practice this meant that, within the 30 hour work week, a faculty member teaching lab courses in their regular load would have to spend more than 15 hours teaching each week. This meant that those faculty members teaching labs had less time for students outside of the classroom, for institutional service, and for grading and class preparation. Under the new system, every faculty member’s teaching load is met by teaching an average of 15 hours per week over the 16 week semester, with one lab contact hour equaling one lecture contact hour, for a total of 240 ACH over one semester, or 480 ACH across the fall and spring semester.

HOW ARE ACH PROPOSED TO BE CALCULATED?

Beyond the Master Course Table that is being developed, the “assumptions” that are built into the Beta ACH Excel Calculator can be found by clicking the “Policy Levers” tab in the Excel Workbook. Please note that these are simply assumptions designed to demonstrate how the calculator works. Some “assumptions” are based on current Board Policy. Others are based on recommendations. The inclusion of a given assumption is not an indication or prediction of what the chancellor will choose to implement.

If you wish to test the Beta ACH Excel Calculator, please DOWNLOAD the Excel file to your local computer, and SAVE it under a custom file name, BEFORE you begin entering courses and enrollments.

If you are interested in comparing your current extra service earnings to hypothetical values on the Beta ACH Excel Calculator, one way to do so is to find copies of your extra service contracts from the Fall 2019 semester, and/or use the eConnect “My Payroll Information” tool (click “Special Pay & Deduction Details” at the bottom of your monthly summary).

WHAT SHOULD WE KEEP IN MIND RIGHT NOW?

Please note that this Beta ACH Excel calculator is not final. Another version will be produced in the coming days that will include Premium Pay. Draft versions of the ACH calculator are purposely being shared to help stakeholders become more familiar with how the new proposed load calculation guidelines fit together into a coherent whole.

In addition, please note that the Beta ACH Excel calculator demonstrates the “portfolio” model for over-enrollment compensation. The “section” model is still under consideration, but as it would just be an adaptation of the existing DL grid, there was no need to demonstrate it. For more information on the differences between the “portfolio” and “section” models, please see the set of recommendations delivered to Chancellor May and his Leadership Team on Jan. 29, 2020.

Also, please note that the intent is for any faculty member who reaches 240 contact hours through the sections they teach regardless of enrollment in those sections, will have “made load.” Likewise, please note that the 86-page PDF document from Jan. 29 represents a broad summary of recommendations to the chancellor, and in some cases there are multiple options for him to consider. If/when he makes his decisions, hundreds of pages of new guidelines will need to be written, as those guidelines will be replacing the 1200+ pages of HROGs that were de-published in 2015. All that to say, the absence of a specific provision in these recommendations does not mean that such a provision has been rejected or ignored. That said, Page 33 of the PDF document, on Under-Enrolled Compensation Practices, recommends,

“(A)n “under enrolled section” will be compensated as if it were a “full” section, whether as a full portion of load (equal to the adjusted contact hours of course), or as a full extra service contract.”

The idea is that if an instructor’s sections make – even if they are not full and even if one or more of them has fewer students than the recommended minimum – then they make for a full portion of load for each of those sections. That language does not appear within the Beta ACH Excel calculator, to be sure, but the final version of the new HROGs should stipulate that no faculty member whose sections are not full, would ever have to teach extra sections just to make their load.

NOTE/UPDATE AS OF THURSDAY, FEB. 20: In response to concerns raised by faculty who teach in disciplines with lab courses, the next iteration of the Beta ACH Excel calculator is expected to include the functionality to enter lecture and lab ACH separately. This may require additional updates to the Master Course Table, to have separate line items (and student maximums and minimums) for the lecture and lab portions of each course. Since these are fundamentally pedagogical issues, it is important that faculty in the discipline/program have robust discussions among themselves about the practice of separating lecture and lab (specifically if different instructors should be permitted to teach the lecture and lab portions of a given course), and convey their recommendations to their respective faculty association president, and/or a member of the PIT steering team. 

WHAT ABOUT EXTRA SERVICE TEACHING LIMITS?

That said, one of the issues that has been most hotly debated is the issue of extra service teaching limits. First, faculty are most familiar with “14.7” as the abbreviation for extra service limits. In a model where all load and extra service is denominated in ACH, the ACH equivalent to 14.7 is 235.2 ACH, (14.7 is 98% of 15; 235.2 is 98% of 240), as was most recently also explained in this Advance Blog post.

It is important to note that changes to extra service limitations in Fall, Spring, Summer 1, and Summer 2, are not being proposed or discussed. What is under discussion is extra service teaching limits during May Term and Winter Term only. One option presented to the chancellor is to leave May Term and Winter Term extra service teaching limits as is, at 235.2 ACH. Another option presented to the chancellor is to reduce May Term and Winter Term extra service teaching limits to 117.6 ACH (one half of 235.2). Here are some relevant facts:

For the past nine mini terms (Winter Terms and May Terms), between 13% and 15% of faculty who were teaching during those terms, actually exceeded 117.6 ACH. This represents between 4.3% and 7.6% of all 950 full time DCCCD faculty. By term:

  • In Winter Term 2016, 41 exceeded 117.6 ACH;
  • In May Term 2016, 63 exceeded 117.6 ACH;
  • In Winter Term 2017, 46 exceeded 117.6 ACH;
  • In May Term 2017, 59 exceeded 117.6 ACH;
  • In Winter Term 2018, 49 exceeded 117.6 ACH;
  • In May Term 2018, 72 exceeded 117.6 ACH;
  • In Winter Term 2019, 49 exceeded 117.6 ACH;
  • In May Term 2019, 70 exceeded 117.6 ACH;
  • In Winter Term 2020, 47 exceeded 117.6 ACH;


In addition, in any given May Term or Winter Term, between 454 (47.7%) and 630 (66.3%) of the 950 full time DCCCD faculty were not teaching any sections.

Moreover, the practice of teaching extra service above 117.6 ACH in May Terms and Winter Terms is not equitably distributed across the DCCCD campuses. For instance, the smallest campus in the District by enrollment, Cedar Valley, regularly accounts for 18-29% of those who are teaching more than 50% load in a May Term or Winter Term, likely due in large measure to the CVC Vet Tech program's routine practice of teaching high contact-hour courses over 12 week summer terms, which stretch across May Term, Summer 1, and Summer 2. The practice of teaching high contact hour courses that stretch across multiple summer terms would continue to be permitted under the PIT recommendations before the Chancellor, provided that the summer maximum of 588 ACH (117.6 for May Term, plus 235.2 for Summer 1, plus 235.2 for Summer 2) not be exceeded.
The practice of teaching more than 117.6 ACH in Winter Terms or May Terms also appears to be more common in certain disciplines or discipline clusters at some campuses. For instance, during the most recent Winter Term, the practice seemed most common in the Math departments at Cedar Valley and Eastfield, the Social Sciences at Brookhaven and Eastfield, and the Sciences at Mountain View and North Lake. Further study will be needed as the seven DCCCD colleges consolidate into One College, to determine the extent to which individual campuses may need more faculty in certain disciplines. Put another way:

  • In any given May Term, the number of faculty who get no sections to teach is six times larger than the number of faculty who take more than 117.6 ACH;
  • In any given Winter Tem, the number of faculty who get no sections to teach is 15 times larger than the number of faculty who take more than 117.6 ACH.


HOW WOULD THE PROPOSED NEW LIMITS AFFECT MY EXTRA SERVICE EARNING POTENTIAL?

If Winter Term and May Term extra service teaching limits were reduced to 117.6 ACH (resulting in an maximum limit of 1,176 ACH across all terms of an academic year), and the portfolio model for over-enrollment compensation were adopted, the following assumptions can be made regarding extra service income potential, according to the Beta ACH Excel calculator:

At the current adjunct/extra service rate of $48.42 ($2324 for a regular 3-hour course), one could earn a maximum of $56,941.92 in extra service teaching income in an academic year. (1,176 x $48.42 = $56,941.92)

At the proposed adjunct/extra service rate of $62.50 ($3000 for a regular 3-hour course), one could earn a maximum of $73,500 in extra service teaching income in an academic year. (1,176 x $62.50 = $73,500)

Note that these estimates do not include Premium Pay. Subsequent iterations of the Beta ACH Excel Calculator will include Premium Pay, which is payable at $81.25 per ACH for up to 96 ACH. Moreover, the PIT recommendations even include a proposal to allow Premium Pay to be earned during the Fall and Spring semester under certain limited circumstances, such as instances where enrollment demands are high in Fall or Spring, but insufficient enrollment in the Winter or Summer Terms to allow Premium Pay presently to be earned. There is no proposal to limit or reduce Premium Pay, or to make it unavailable in May Term or Winter Term.

WHAT ABOUT STAKEHOLDER INPUT?

Some faculty have understandably asked about stakeholder input.

There was robust stakeholder input throughout the FLRG process. All three sub groups - Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie - vetted their findings and recommendations through the Faculty Council, and faculty were able to share their feedback both through the Council and with the sub groups.

Some among the BCG “Student Centric Transformation” set of recommendations initially suffered for a lack of stakeholder input on some provisions, even as it also endorsed many of the FLRG recommendations (lab/lecture equity, class size consistency and compensation for over-enrollment regardless of morality, equity in coordination compensation). Indeed, BCG had falsely been led to believe that sufficient stakeholder input and/or DCCFA Faculty Council input had taken place. When this lack of stakeholder input became apparent, the Council prevailed upon District leadership and BCG to conduct the various town hall meetings during the Spring 2019 semester.

Throughout Fall 2019, the four PIT task forces solicited and received robust stakeholder input. With regards to compensation practices specifically, the task force intentionally expanded its membership to ensure that there was faculty representation from each campus. The master course table task force worked directly with the faculty program/discipline chairs to ensure the recommendations were based on pedagogical considerations. The reassigned time and institutional service task force accepted robust input and made its recommendations based on best practices from around the District. And the faculty contracts task force has incorporated years of faculty concerns into improving both the full-time and adjunct/extra service teaching contract documents.

WHAT IS THE BIG PICTURE?

While individual faculty and even some individual campus disciplines or discipline clusters object to some of the specific recommendations to emerge within the overall FLRG/PIT project, largely on the basis of a perceived/predicted negative effect on their individual earning potential, taken as a whole, the FLRG/PIT recommendations - if implemented - will result in significantly more resources being devoted to instruction. Specifically:

·       More full time faculty will need to be hired;
·       Previously uncompensated work finally will be compensated;
·       More faculty – full time faculty and adjunct faculty – will see their earnings increase.

All of these are big wins for the faculty of the DCCCD broadly. And most importantly, these are big wins for the students we serve, who would be the ones to benefit from faculty who are not trying to take on as much extra work as possible and thus are able to devote more time to individual students.

To delay the implementation of the FLRG/PIT recommendations would only perpetuate the inequities that have plagued us for decades, and commit those hundreds of DCCCD faculty – who teach labs for reduced compensation, who teach extra students without compensation, who coordinate without compensation – to another year (or more) of the indignity of being compensated inequitably or even to be forced to perform uncompensated work, like more hours in the lab at reduced compensation, or teaching extra students in larger classrooms without compensation, or performing coordination work without compensation.

Instead of passing resolutions objecting to, or seeking delay of implementation of, FLRG/PIT recommendations – before the chancellor has even decided – faculty can and should use this time to study the recommendations learn how they work together using the ACH Beta Excel calculator. Having the recommendations and calculator freely available for all faculty to try has specifically been done further to gather stakeholder input.

In addition, once the chancellor makes his decisions, guidelines will need to be written. There will then be further opportunity for stakeholder input to ensure the guideline language does not result in unintended consequences.

In the interest of the greater good of faculty broadly, and in the interest of solidarity with those faculty who have labored for inequitable compensation for decades, the Council strongly urges all its members to support the FLRG/PIT recommendations.

WHAT IF I HAVE FURTHER QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS?

The time is now for all stakeholders, including faculty, to review all of the recommendations in context, and to share their concerns with their respective faculty association president.