Saturday, December 1, 2018

December 1, 2018 Updates as Per DCCFA General Convention Resolutions


At the November 9, 2018 DCCFA General Convention, several resolutions were adopted, calling on the Faculty Council to give progress reports via this Blog every 60 days beginning December 1, 2018. Those initial progress reports are below:

--Progress Report as per “DCCFA Resolution on HR Issues”: The HR issues designated for progress reporting by this resolution were issues for which other resolutions – stating the DCCFA positions on those issues – were also passed at the Convention. Those resolutions were transmitted to DCCCD Chancellor Joe May prior to the Faculty Council’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting with him on 11/16. During our discussion of the resolutions, and the process through which those resolutions came about, Chancellor May noted that he was open to having conversations on the various issues of concern, and that he would need to take the resolutions to the Board of Trustees.

In addition to discussions with Chancellor May, the Faculty Council has also engaged with the Academic Vice Presidents on these HR issues in an effort to find common ground. The Faculty Council and the AVPs meet monthly as the TILT group to address instructional issues and initiatives, and, given that several of these HR issues affect core instructional operations/functions – including professional development, range advancement, and assignment of extra service – the Council welcomes continued efforts to collaborate on them with our instructional leadership

--Progress Report as per “DCCFA Resolution on LMS Selection Process”: Based on communication with CIO Tim Marshall, the Council can report that, while there is not funding in this fiscal year for a replacement, we can use this time to determine how to craft an approach that addresses the concerns that came out of the Faculty LMS Survey (from Spring 2018) and others that may come up from different stakeholders.  CIO Marshall has expressed support for putting together an exploratory group that can be available to attend demos of other LMS products, prior to determining if we decide to move, so that at the least, faculty and staff will know, from a comparison standpoint, what would be prudent.  Potentially, such a group could be convened at any time, and once demos are complete can, if commanded, release an RFP for the next evolution of learning management systems in the late spring with a Fall 2019 vendor selection. The Faculty Council intends to invite the CIO to a business meeting in the near future to discuss these matters in more depth.

In addition, as the Faculty Council’s representative to the Instructional Technology Users Committee, ECC Faculty Association President and DCCFA Vice President Pam Crawford will, in collaboration with Deputy CIO Pamela Luckett, meet with representatives from Blackboard in the next week to discuss the issues the Faculty Council outlined as common themes/requirements coming out of the Spring 2018 faculty LMS survey.

Those issues include:
  1. Enhanced grading/commentary on assignments
  2. Plagiarism detection
  3. Timed release of content
  4. Mobile access for faculty and students
  5. Integration of MS Office documents (Word, Ppt, etc.)
  6. Monitoring/Early Alert for students 
  

--Progress Report as per “DCCFA Resolution on Work Group DELTA”: The Faculty Council has discussed the timeline for reconvening Work Group DELTA, and expect that group to begin work at the start of the Spring 2019 semester. The members of the Faculty Council will nominate an FA member from his/her campus to serve on Work Group DELTA, and a member of the Faculty Council will be chosen to serve as chair of this special committee.

Monday, November 19, 2018

2018 DCCFA Convention Summary


The November 9, 2018 DCCFA General Convention was a success. The minutes for the Convention can be found here: 2018 DCCFA General Convention Minutes. In addition to the reports from the Standing Committees, whose meeting minutes can be found in this earlier post, DCCFA Faculty Council President Shaun Gilligan delivered the 2018 DCCFA State of the Association Address.

The proposed 2018-2019 DCCFA Budget was passed by unanimous consent.

As a result of vigorous, constructive, and respectful debate, the Convention membership approved this list of resolutions related to many of the pressing concerns recently expressed by the membership of the DCCFA.

This year, the Convention, again, ended with a wonderful reception hosted by the El Centro Food and Hospitality Institute, which featured delicious hors d'oeuvres, hot foods, desserts, and drinks.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

DCCFA Pre-Convention Update 2

The Faculty Council would like to again extends its invitation to members to attend the DCCFA Convention. Please peruse the previous Pre-Convention Update for information relevant for the Convention, including the proposed 2018-2019 DCCFA Budget. 

Here is a link to the proposed agenda for the Convention. The Faculty Council looks forward to this opportunity for us to meet, and to discuss the issues of greatest concern to faculty.

Please find the invitation to the Convention below:


DCCFA Annual Convention
Friday, November 9, 2018
2:00-4:30 p.m.

All DCCFA Faculty Association Members are invited!

Guest Speakers:
Richard Moore, Executive Director of TCCTA
Beaman Floyd, Higher Education Lobbyist 

Dallas County Commissioners Court
(in the Dallas County Administration Building)
411 Elm Street, Dallas, TX 75202

Parking/Transportation:
Several lots are available close to the building, nominal fee for parking.
DART Rail: West End Station

Reception
4:30-6:30 p.m.

MENU:
Hors d'oeuvres along with delicious hot foods prepared by the famous El Centro Food and Hospitality Institute, plus an assortment of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

WHERE:
El Centro College
 801 Main Street, Dallas, TX 75202
Dining Room, C100

Parking Information:
Several lots are available close to ECC; nominal fee for parking.
DART Rail: West End Station

Sponsors:
Damien Caruso, K.W. Gutshall & Associates
Amine Rizek, AXA Advisors



Thursday, October 11, 2018

Pre-Convention Update and DCCFA Budget for 2018-19


In accordance with the DCCFA Bylaws, designed in part to increase member participation in all facets of the governance of the association, the Faculty Council again this year undertook a process to accept budget requests from the seven standing committees that were developed during the Sept. 21 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. Several campuses, though, have not updated their constitutions/bylaws to accomplish this, which deprives those campuses of the opportunity to participate fully in this committee process.


The Welfare and Benefits Committee, chaired by MVCFA President Ryan Pettengill, submitted these minutes of their 9/21/18 meeting. The Welfare and Benefits Committee did not have any specific requests from the DCCFA budget.

The Instructional Goals and Academic Freedom Committee, chaired by RLCFA President Carlos Martinez, submitted these minutes of their 9/21/18 meeting. The Instructional Goals and Academic Freedom Committee did not have any specific requests from the DCCFA budget.

The Communications Committee, chaired by BHCFA President Scott Sires, submitted these minutes of their 9/21/18 meeting. The Communications Committee requests $2500 in the DCCFA budget for development of a new DCCFA website, to include a Blog, as well as portals for individual campus FA pages.

The Political Information Committee, chaired by EFCFA President Stacey Jurhree, submitted these minutes of their 9/21/18 meeting. The Political Information Committee did not have any specific requests from the DCCFA budget.


The Convention Planning Committee, chaired by CVCFA President Shaun Gilligan, submitted these minutes of their 9/21/18 meeting. The Convention Planning Committee requests $1500 in the DCCFA budget for the 2018 Convention and Reception.

The Membership Committee, chaired by ECCFA President Pam Crawford submitted these minutes of their 9/21/18 meeting. The Membership Committee did not have any specific requests from the DCCFA budget.
The Budget and Finance Committee, chaired by NLCFA President Brett Dyer, submitted these minutes of their 9/21/18 joint meeting, as well as this packet of priorities and goals for the committee.

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 2018-2019.

The final budget is subject to change, per new information that may be received between now and the November 9 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 8, 2018

Do you want to know what's REALLY going on in the District? Read this:


The DCCFA Council met with Chancellor May on Friday, October 5th.  As we discussed the state of the District and our colleges, our conversations centered mostly around the following categories:

·       8-week courses
·       Student Centric Network Implementation
·       10 Year Up or Out & Professional Development
·       Follett Book Program.


8-week courses:

At District, fresh analysis is taking place as more research is studied over the idea of 8-week courses.  The research comes from the College of Charleston which implemented an 8-week schedule about seven years ago and has experienced higher student success from this change.  We also have our own data from RLC, NLC, and EFC who all currently offer 8-week courses during the Fall and Spring semesters. 

There has been rumor circulating around the District that EFC is at a 100% 8-week schedule, however, this is not true.  For Fall 2018, EFC is at 60% 8-week courses and plans to be closer to 80% 8-week courses in Fall 2019.

Chancellor May indicated that the decisions regarding length of classes is a campus-level matter.  However, we have strong data that shows, in most courses, students prefer the 8-week schedule.  The District wants the colleges to have options and to be flexible with trying new approaches to scheduling to improve the success of our students.

As of now, about 18% of our students do not complete the courses they sign up for.  We can do better than this!  We need to focus on where we are losing students.  In addition to more flexible scheduling, the District hopes the Follett Deal will put books and needed supplies in our students’ hands on the first day of class improving their possibility of success in the courses from the very first day of class.  The District also wants students to be able to finish any degree or program within two years.

Finding the perfect solution to scheduling will take up to ten years.  As of now, the District is looking into ways that students can give their preferences in addition to the colleges.  No one currently owns this process.  The District wants to make sure that both students and faculty are not hurt in the process of change.  We will all have input, and there will be better communication.  The key word is collaboration.

The colleges can expect information sessions coming from District very soon regarding scheduling possibilities and the data that supports a flexible schedule for students.


Student Centric Network Implementation:

On September 4th, at the Board of Trustees Committee Meetings, a presentation was shared titled “Implementing a Student Centric Network”.  This presentation was shared across the District over the next month.  The DCCCFA created a blog post about it as well:  http://dccfa.blogspot.com/2018/09/the-dccfa-is-your-associationyour-voice.html

This presentation has received good and bad feedback from faculty.  The Chancellor helped dismiss a lot of speculation, assumption, and paranoia surrounding this presentation.  First, this presentation was developed from data collected from the Boston Consulting Group meeting with faculty, the Faculty Council, staff, and administrators.  In addition to meeting with faculty, the group was given our Faculty Climate Survey results, committee reports on load (created by the Faculty Load Research Group), and a survey that they created and had faculty complete.

The two phrases that have caused the most concern were “High-Performing Faculty” and “Current faculty members may choose to leave instead of adjusting to new policy”.  In giving feedback to the Boston Consulting Group via survey and focus group, many faculty reported that equity is very low when it comes to workload, class load, extra service, committee work, student service, and other forms of institutional service. Ironically, then, much of the Boston Consulting Group’s focus on these items regarding faculty performance came from their research of faculty talking about other faculty.  The Chancellor wants the District to do a better job in the future capturing data about equity in terms of workload, extra service, and institutional service, and he is strongly committed to equity and fair treatment of faculty.  The Chancellor said his goal is to make all of our faculty great.  Unfortunately, there is a lot of variance across the colleges, and District hopes that master faculty and professional development will help with this.  There is NO plan of weeding out any faculty.  We do need more rigorous standards in evaluating faculty and teaching.  The Chancellor wants this initiative to be “faculty-led”.  We will always need new faculty and master faculty to make our colleges and District continue to grow and succeed.

Regarding extra service, questions in the research came from faculty mostly.  Faculty claim extra service is not divided equally or by any logical or merit-based system.  The District researched these concerns and found them to be generally true.  We will see this become more equitable because soon it will be inputted electronically and not by hand anymore.  The process of scheduling should become more transparent, logical, and equitable.

Main Goal:  The Chancellor wants to have the best faculty in front of our students.  The Chancellor, District, and colleges under no circumstances want any faculty giving grades away that are not rightfully earned by students.

As of now, the Boston Consulting Group is not writing any policy.  An RFP will go out for implementation assistance for the various phases of this student centric network implementation plan, and District will accept bids from several consulting groups.  However, BCG has done good, thorough work, and BCG does want to do continued business with DCCCD.  As new policy is being written, District wants to have faculty involved in that draft review process, and the Chancellor wants to continue his practice of submitting completed policy proposals a month in advance to the Board prior to the Board voting on that item the next month.

The full Boston Consulting Group Report will soon be made available to faculty.

To learn more about how faculty have been involved in the process of developing the Student Centric Plan, please follow the following links to the DCCFA Blog:

Faculty input with the Boston Consulting Group during the development of the Student Centric Plan:

Faculty input regarding evaluation processes:
Faculty input regarding scheduling and load:

10 Year Up or Out & Professional Development:

The 10 Year Up or Out Policy only applies to faculty hired in Range 1 or 2 after September 1, 2015.  The policy requires affected faculty advance one salary range within their first 10 years of employment. Furthermore, in order to be eligible for a 10-year milestone raise, one must have achieved that range advancement within the first 5 years of employment.

That range advancement is required to maintain one's employment with the District, and can be achieved either through education or through an approved discipline-specific development plan (where one credit hour would be equivalent to 16 clock hours) {see DEA (LOCAL) for full policy}. If faculty opt for the discipline-specific development plan, they are supposed to come up with a plan with their dean to be documented and submitted to HR. Unfortunately, there are no guidelines from the District on how to do this. While some have already done this in the District, some have not been able to create such plans due to lack of procedures to guide the faculty and deans. There is a possibility for professional development and other institutional service activities to count towards this, but procedures need to be developed.

The District wants to meet with the Faculty Council and more faculty to whiteboard ideas to develop a strong process.  This plan was meant to grow and develop faculty to better enhance student success.  The District does not see this policy that would lead to all faculty getting Ph.D.’s.  The District wants there to be several packages to choose from.

A first step will be making sure there are Professional Development Centers at each college.  Ideally faculty will be able to take Professional Development courses at all colleges in our District just like our students are able to take our courses at any campus.  We will also see more offerings and opportunities come out of LeCroy.

In the process of researching the procedures for changing ranges, it was discovered there are a few terminal degrees equivalent to Ph.D.’s currently in Range 1 and 2.  One such example would be the Master of Fine Arts.  This is currently being evaluated by the District, and we should see a solution to these terminal degrees being excused from this requirement and/or be moved into the appropriate range based on the content of the degrees.

Faculty have also wondered why the District has not provided tuition reimbursement when advancing in salary range via education. In the past, the Faculty Council recommended to the Chancellor that receiving a raise when advancing a range was preferable to tuition reimbursement, since that raise would forever be built into a faculty's salary and would compound with future raises. The Faculty Council is interested in exploring whether faculty currently have those same preferences


Follett Book Program:

At the September 4th, Board of Trustees Committee Meetings, the District presented a program that it had already developed with Follett to the colleges for the first time. {Please see the attached file for the original Follett Program PowerPoint.}  Since this program is still in the early stages, we do not have all of the details regarding how the program will work practically as of now.  District within the last week formed a committee to work out all of the details regarding implementation of the program.  Faculty will be represented on this committee.  Brett Dyer (NLC FA President & Art Faculty) and Shaun Gilligan (CVA FA President, DCCFA President, and Government Faculty) are both on the committee, along with Dr. Shawnda Floyd the current Vice President of Instruction at NLC and Dr. Greg Morris the current Vice President of Instruction at ECC.


There are a lot of details to be worked out, but as of now these are some of the things we know:

·       CFO John Robertson will oversee implementation.  For a proposed Summer I 2019 rollout, we have until March, effectively, to work out the implementation plan specifics.
·       Faculty will still be able to choose their textbooks, and will have the same range of choices they have now.
·       Digital books will be encouraged since they help to drive costs down, but hard copies and a print-on-demand option may be available.
·       There will be an additional fee most likely for printing unless the students print themselves.
·       OERs are still encouraged, and more resources from District will be put towards this.
·       Submission of textbook orders by the deadlines will be crucial in the process.  
·       This will help with 8-week classes insuring students have books/materials in hand on the first day of class.
·       Tentatively, once students register for classes, they will have access to their online “book shelf”, and they will be contacted where and when to pick up any printed or hard copies of texts or materials.
·       We may be able to negotiate lab kits for courses that may require blueprints, art supplies, and lab equipment, etc.  Regular supplies like notebook paper, pens, pencils, etc. will not be included.
·       All students will be charged $20/credit hour that will be added to their tuition to cover this service.  This charge will be applied to all courses whether textbooks (free or not) are required or not.
·       Even after this tuition increase, DCCCD students' tuition and books cost will still be substantially less than the other "Big 6" Community Colleges. {Please see slide 6 of Follett Program PPt Update}.

In the recent past, faculty were included in the discussion for a plan like this: 

In Closing:

The Faculty Council knows there are a lot of changes happening constantly at our colleges and within our District.  We ask faculty to be flexible, involved, and confident that their voice is always welcome and heard.  Please know the Faculty Association, YOUR association, will always support and fight for faculty rights and academic freedom.

We also believe the District and Chancellor want what is best for our students.  Did you know that Chancellor May was a first-generation college student, and he would not have been able to finish school without the care and support of his professors?  This is one of the many reasons why he is so focused on the student experience and having the best faculty.  Many of you might also recall that Dr. May also started his educational career as an adjunct faculty member at Cedar Valley College.

The Faculty Council wants to encourage us all to collaborate to better the experience of our students, improve their success, and create the strongest and best college district in the nation.

Thank you for all that you do!


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The DCCCD Student Centric Network


The DCCFA is your Association, your voice. The Council is comprised of those elected to represent your voice.  There has been significant change occurring at the district level that affect us all.  The Council is encouraged by developments in the environment of problem-solving with our participation.

We have shared many accomplishments recently as part of The Instructional Leadership Team (TILT).  Many of the recommendations made by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) were based upon the Council meeting with BCG and our work adopted from information provided by our Faculty Load Review Group (FLRG).  We also actively worked on Student Progress Reporting (SPR), and we are continuing to assist with the ongoing implementation of Professional Development (PD).

While it is clear that there are underlying beliefs by both administration and faculty which speak to the need for improved communication and understanding regarding faculty performance and scheduling preferences, the Council is committed to interfacing with District administration on these topics. Chancellor May has signaled he will engage with us on the topics that will affect faculty most directly, and he has been transparent with us regarding his overall vision and plans. The proposed timeline for many items to be developed is included in several spots in the “Implementing a Student Centric Network” presentation; please see link below.


 Several items that affect faculty directly are expected to be developed over the next three years. It will be incumbent upon us as a Council to be actively involved in this process. The Council, of course, welcomes any questions or concerns from our constituents, as our duty is to express the opinions and priorities of our members.

As the Chancellor’s recommendations for a “Student Centric Network” have been made public, there has been some concern about the possible centralization of some services within the District. There has been no direct avocation of moving to a singularly accredited entity. The colleges remain individually accredited. The overall goal from both the Faculty Association perspective and the administrative leaders are to have collaboration and utilization of systems and infrastructure and increasing the efficiency of classroom management and scheduling.

Our collective voice is important as members of our organization. If you have not yet joined or renewed your membership, please do soon.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Student Progress Reporting Procedure


The 2018-19 Academic Year marks the initial year of the Student Progress Reporting system, implemented as a result of the Board of Trustees revisions to Policy EGA (LOCAL), which among other things establishes that the District "shall provide periodic course reporting" on student performance and that such progress reporting "shall be conducted in accordance with administrative regulations promulgated by the Chancellor." Over the Summer, the SPR Implementation Team – which was chaired by El Centro VPI Greg Morris, and included Faculty Council members Shaun Gilligan, Brett Dyer, Carlos Martinez, and Ryan Pettengill – worked to design the SPR system and a progress reporting schedule that would be most effective from a pedagogical perspective to enhance students’ chances for success. The District administration has adopted the recommendations of the Implementation Team for this prototype year.

As per those recommendations, the reporting schedule will vary depending on the length of the class:

        Courses 15 weeks or longer will have TWO student progress reports. The first report will be between weeks 5 and 6 and the second will be between weeks 9 and 10.
        Courses 5 weeks to 14 weeks long (including 8-week courses) will have ONE student progress report near the midpoint of the course.
        Courses 4 weeks long or less will have NO student progress reporting requirements.

Faculty will be notified two business days before your class’s progress report period(s) begin by e-mail to notify you about the upcoming reporting period(s). You will then have two weeks to submit your progress report for each student. More information on the specifics of the SPR system, and instructions for use can be found in the below attached files.


If you have questions, please contact the student progress contact at your college (listed below) or the faculty helpdesk at helpdesk@dcccd.edu or by phone at 972-669-6460.


College
Contact(s)
Email
Phone
Brookhaven College (BHC)
Bob Smith
Scott Sires
972-860-4169
972-860-4362
Cedar Valley College (CVC)
Tim Xeriland
972-860-8239
Eastfield College (EFC)
AZ Bashet
Jason Busbin
972-860-7158
972-860-8362
El Centro College
Marco Martinez
214-860-2287
214-860-2157
Mountain View College
Steve Sosa
214-860-3600
Northlake College
Kristopher Copeland
Matthew Dempsey
David Evans
Tim Samuels       
972-273-3482
972-273-3500
972-273-3561
972-273-3364
Richland College
Andy Tubbs
Susan Long
972-238-6141
972-238-6981