Thursday, March 8, 2018

2018 BOARD OF TRUSTEES ELECTION UPDATE #3 - DCCFA Plans Candidate Forums in March and April at Four DCCCD Colleges

The DCCFA is pleased to announce plans to conduct four forums for the two candidates for the District 7 seat on the DCCCD Board of Trustees, Charletta Rogers Compton and Micheal Jackson, to engage with the community and the issues in advance of the May 5 election.

1. 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, in the Community Room at the Eastfield College Pleasant Grove Campus, 802 S. Buckner Road, Dallas, 75217;

2. 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 5, in Room B149 at Mountain View College, 4849 W. Illinois Ave., Dallas, 75211;

3. 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, in Room C100 at El Centro College, 801 Main St., Dallas, 75202;

4. 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 24, in the Performance Hall at Cedar Valley College, 3030 N. Dallas Avenue, Lancaster, 75134.

Faculty, students, staff, and community members all are invited and encouraged to attend.

District 7 has been represented by Charletta Rogers Compton since 2000. Trustee Compton also has served as Chair of the Board since June 2014. Micheal Jackson previously served as vice president of instruction at El Centro College.

This map shows the locations of all seven DCCCD Board Districts. This link can be used to find voting precinct information, and DCCCD Trustee District, for all residents of Dallas County.

Early voting will be available Monday, April 23 through Tuesday, May 1.

Tuesday, April 24, is the last day applications for early voting by mail are accepted by the Dallas County elections department.

You can obtain a voter registration application at this link.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

District Web Services Seeks Faculty Input on New Browsable Class Schedule

District Web Services is working on a new Browsable Class Schedule. They are asking for faculty input, suggestions, and feedback on what we think of the prototype. They have set up a test environment where faculty can explore and formulate suggestions for further improvement.

If you are interested in evaluating the Browsable Class Schedule environment, please see below. We know Spring Break is upon us so the cutoff date is March 28.

The test site is at ( . You are welcome to comment on:
Look and Feel
Data Integrity
Anything else

Provide your feedback by using this link:

Friday, March 2, 2018

SECOND REMINDER: Please Participate in Part 2 of the DCCFA Climate Survey by Friday, March 9

Every two years the DCCFA gathers feedback from members through a Climate Survey. Many of you took Part 1 of the Climate Survey in Fall 2017 to convey attitudes on controversial issues such as compensation. We thank you for your input, as it has helped inform and shape our ongoing conversations with our college and district leadership in our shared governance model.

Now we are conducting Part 2 of the Climate Survey, which includes the ongoing questions that are asked every two years, in the Spring semester of even numbered years. The questions are adapted from the American Association of Community Colleges “Competencies for Community College Leaders.” The questions should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Your participation helps us represent your interests. The survey is housed on a web server owned and operated by a DCCCD faculty member, and only the cumulative results are shared, so your responses are anonymous.

As has been practice for each previous administration of the climate survey, your faculty association president will share the quantitative results with you and your College President, and the DCCFA Faculty Council will share the results with the Chancellor.

Please take the time to provide your feedback by clicking on the link below to complete the survey before Friday, March 9, 2018:

Please note that recent rain events and power and internet service outages - including those that may not affect your home or campus, but rather could affect telecommunications equipment somewhere between your computer and where the survey server is located - may sporadically interrupt one's ability to complete the Climate Survey. To minimize possible disruptions, please plan to take the complete survey as soon as you click the survey link.

Monday, February 26, 2018

2018 BOARD OF TRUSTEES ELECTION UPDATE #2 - Sonny Williams Unopposed in District 1; Two Candidates Vie for District 7

With the Feb. 16 filing deadline having passed, the shape of the 2018 DCCCD Board of Trustees races in District 1 and District 7 has been determined.

Incumbent District 1 Trustee Sonny Williams is unopposed in seeking a third term to the seat.

In District 7, incumbent trustee Charletta Rogers Compton will face Micheal Jackson.

Compton has served as Board chair since 2014. Jackson previously served as vice president of instruction at El Centro College.

Filing documents for all three candidates can be found on this link on the DCCCD Board of Trustees web site.

Faculty Council discusses Student Progress Reporting Survey Results with Academic VPs and District Leaders

The Faculty Council received 526 responses on the Student Progress Reporting Survey conducted Feb. 1-15, of which 338 were from full-time faculty, representing over one-third of the DCCCD full-time faculty. An executive summary of the survey results is linked here. (Previous Advance Blog posts on this evolving discussion can be found at this link.) In addition to the quantitative results, many respondents provided comments, which broadly can be summarized as follows:

1. Many respondents noted that progress reporting is an activity they are already engaged in by keeping the grade center up-to-date; they are, therefore, resistant to further reporting in eConnect.

2. Many comments also indicated that faculty widely assumed that the grade center in eCampus was used by all faculty in the same fashion regardless of course and subject area, i.e., frequently updated, kept current and available to students.

3. A number of faculty viewed progress reporting as means of removing more responsibility on the part of students. Some comments indicated that many faculty believe students are responsible for the monitoring of their own progress.

4. Some faculty expressed concern that progress reporting would result in an increased workload for both faculty and student services staff.

5. There is a clear split in preference, among those who want the ability to project an estimated letter grade (ABCDF), and those who prefer to record that the student is making Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory progress.

6. There is a strong preference for the ability to provide comments, including the ability to write custom comments in addition to having preset comments available to select.

In addition, the following observations were noted by those who analyzed the survey data and have been involved on the Student Progress Reporting task force:

1. The problem that Student Progress Reporting is designed to solve is that not all DCCCD students are consistently and equitably receiving information about their progress in the course.

2. Assumptions about the use of eCampus grade center do not reflect the diverse practices of all full-time, adjunct, and dual credit faculty, across a diverse array of learning environments, and the assessment practices they opt to incorporate in their courses. More specifically, even faculty who use eCampus grade center use it in a variety of ways. Many faculty provide their students with assignment and assessment grades in publisher-provided or industry-specific learning environments. A discussion about the consistent use of eCampus generally and eCampus grade center specifically is outside the scope of the Student Progress Reporting project.

3. Addressing the faculty role in Student Progress Reporting is only one step in what is envisioned as a multi-stage, multi-faceted, and complex activity designed that among other things will include intrusive interventions designed to address student challenges that go beyond the scope of what is happening in the classroom (and therefore is outside of the ability of faculty to address). This therefore requires input and participation by a broad array of stakeholders (including student services, business services, and information technology support services, and even outside social service partners), which in turn requires prototyping and collection of data from faculty and students to ensure long-term success.


Consequently, the Faculty Council has achieved consensus regarding the following recommendations:

1. Student Progress Reporting will be implemented in the DCCCD beginning in the 2018-2019 academic year.

2. Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 will serve as testing periods for the Student Progress Reporting prototype. The review of data and outcomes will begin as soon as possible, starting in late fall and continuing throughout the spring.

3. The approval of a general LOCAL Board policy on Student Progress Reporting is supported, but REGULATION language (that requires Chancellors Staff approval, but not Board approval) that specifies in detail a Student Progress Reporting approach, should be paused until the end of the prototyping activity (with a view to such policy being developed in early 2019 for the 2019-2020 academic year).

4. Student Progress Reporting is but one step - but the crucial first step - in an intrusive intervention strategy that will involve student services reaching out to students to help them with challenges that faculty are not equipped to address, even as faculty do work with students who are struggling academically with the specific course material.

5. A senior level administrator should be assigned to serve as the accountability lead for the prototype period and implementation of Student Progress Reporting.

6. There will be a single Student Progress Reporting interval for each section - the survey findings indicate that this should occur at between the 25% and 50% point of a section.

7. Student Progress Reporting will be allow faculty to report a letter grade (ABCDF) or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) progress. Should faculty choose to report progress using the Unsatisfactory label or a D or F letter grate, they will also need to supply at least one comment, either selected from a pull-down menu of pre-written comments, or writing their own comment in a text-entry box.

The Council shared these recommendations with The Instructional Leadership Team (TILT), and the Student Progress Reporting Task Force, on Monday, Feb. 19.


The Council is still gathering stakeholder input on the preferred system(s) for generating Student Progress Reports. There are advantages and disadvantages to both eCampus/Blackboard and eConnect/Colleague. Among the considerations are the extent to which each system is used by faculty, the extent to which each system is user-friendly, the extent to which training would be required on each system, the extent to which each system can be configured to do what Student Progress Reporting is designed to do, and the extent to which each of these issues can be resolved in time for the beginning of the prototype cycle that will commence with the Fall 2018 semester.

As further information is gathered, conversations will continue with the Student Progress Reporting committee, academic vice presidents, and District officials.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Faculty Climate Survey, Part 2

The second half of the the biennial DCCFA Faculty Climate Survey is now being administered. As a reminder, this half of our survey is designed to gauge faculty perceptions of District upper-level leadership (Chancellor and Vice Chancellors), Campus upper-level leadership (President and Vice Presidents), and the District Faculty Association leadership (DCCFA Council). 

Part 2 of the survey is relatively brief and should not take long to complete.  The Faculty Council encourages all members to participate in the Climate Survey, as faculty feedback is of vital importance. As before, your feedback will remain completely anonymous. The results of the survey will be shared with faculty, the seven college presidents, and the chancellor.

Part 2 of the survey will be open until Monday, March 5, 2018.

Thank you for your ongoing participation. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

KERA: ICE officials make more arrests in Dallas than any other US city

According to KERA, officials from the US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) made more arrests in the Dallas area than any other municipality in the country in 2017.

See this linked story for more information.

The Faculty Council has encouraged the DCCCD legal office to send specific instructions to all DCCCD employees, including faculty, regarding what to do in the event that ICE attempts to arrest DCCCD students on our campuses or in our classrooms.

2018 BOARD OF TRUSTEES ELECTION UPDATE #1 - Filing deadline looms for candidates to file for DCCCD Board of Trustees seats in District 1 and District 7

The deadline for candidates to file to seek election to the Board of Trustees in DCCCD Distict 1 and District 7 is this Friday, Feb. 16.

This map shows the locations of all seven DCCCD Board Districts. This link can be used to find voting precinct information, and DCCCD District, for all residents of Dallas County.

District 1 has been represented by JL Sonny Williams since 2006.

District 7 has been represented by Charletta Rogers Compton since 2000. Trustee Compton also has served as Chair of the Board since June 2014.

Provided more than one candidate files to run, elections will be conducted Saturday, May 5, 2018. Should no candidate win a majority in the regular election, a runoff election would be conducted on Saturday, June 16.

Drawing for ballot position occurs at 10 a.m., Friday, Feb. 23.

Monday, April 23 is the first day of early voting. Tuesday, May 1, is the last day of early voting.

Tuesday, April 24, is the last day applications for early voting by mail are accepted by the Dallas County elections department.

You can obtain a voter registration application at this link.

The DCCFA Political Information Committee will provide all members with election information via the Advance Blog, much as was done during the 2016 Board elections.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Faculty Council working with District Talent Development to offer new “Academic Dean Academy”

For several years, the Faculty Council has encouraged Chancellor May and other District officials to re-inaugurate a “dean training academy,” given the ongoing turnover in the instructional dean positions at some colleges, as well as the increasing number of retirements or promotions of experienced deans at other colleges.

The Council is pleased to report that District Talent Development has heard our concerns, and following a May 2017 Compression Planning session on the topic, in recent weeks has invited DCCFA President Bill Hammerschlag, in consultation with the Faculty Council, to be involved in the writing of a training curriculum for new and prospective instructional deans.

It is envisioned that the training program, titled "Academic Dean Academy," will include elements from the “Instructional Administration Career Institute” program that the District offered some years ago, including and especially training in how properly to conduct the faculty evaluation process.

DCCFA members who wish to provide input are encouraged to contact their respective college faculty association president.

Monday, February 12, 2018

FLRG Report #9: Faculty Council meets with Boston Consulting Group to discuss May 2017 FLRG report and additional context

The Faculty Council met Friday, Feb. 9, with members of the Boston Consulting Group, to discuss recommendations generated from the Faculty Load Review Group (FLRG) during the 2016-2017 academic year.

Recall from previous Advance Blog posts that faculty predominated both on FLRG and on the three FLRG sub-groups (ALPHA, BRAVO, and CHARLIE), and FLRG ordered its work on the basis of both longstanding faculty concerns about inequities in the calculation of full-time faculty load, and solicited and incorporated robust faculty input on those issues.

Summarized briefly, FLRG made three broad recommendations to increase equity and consistency in faculty load. First, lab and lecture instruction should be compensated equally in full-time load calculation. Second, discipline committee recommendations on class sizes should be adopted District-wide. Third, compensation for coordinator/chair duties should be made more equitable across the District. The Faculty Council agreed with these priorities based on repeated, consistent input from members. Upon receiving the FLRG recommendations, Chancellor May said he agreed that the recommendations would enhance equity and consistency. However, the recommendations would also increase costs to the District. Therefore, the chancellor sought and secured approval from the Board of Trustees in Fall 2017 for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to study the FLRG recommendations (as well as other recommendations pertinent to faculty hiring processes and diversity concerns) and issue its own independent recommendations to the District. The Council asked, and Dr. May agreed, that the Council should meet with BCG representatives during their study

Four representatives from BCG, all of whom are based at their Dallas office, on Feb. 9, 2018, met with the seven members of the Faculty Council. Rather than giving a report of their unfinished work, the BCG team directly solicited the Council’s feedback with open-ended questions and seemed genuinely interested in what the Council had to say. They asked about what was working well in the DCCCD, as well as what needed improvement.

A robust, wide-ranging discussion ensued, in which the Council provided both ample broad philosophical justification and poignant specific examples to support the adoption of the FLRG recommendations. The Council also explained in detail why the current Board policy regarding extra service teaching works well in giving the colleges and programs flexibility to meet student and community educational needs.

The Council also explained that the DCCFA endorses the hiring of additional full-time faculty throughout the District, particularly to meet currently unmet community educational needs given recent and projected growth in enrollment and program diversity and complexity, including and especially the dual credit collegiate academies.

Finally, the Council articulated that the DCCFA wants to diversify faculty ranks, but that structural issues like salary compression for those hired between 1981 and 2012, and lack of a coordinated recruitment effort, have prevented the District from significantly increasing the percentage of faculty from historically underrepresented groups. (Specifically, the Council shared with BCG that both the Chancellor’s Faculty Fellows Task Force, and the Faculty Hiring Process Task Force, in 2017 recommended that District Talent Central hire a full-time recruiter to help recruit candidates from historically underrepresented backgrounds to apply for DCCCD faculty vacancies.)

The BCG team members took copious notes throughout the conversation, and asked thoughtful follow-up questions both to clarify their understanding of the issues and to gather additional supporting information. As a result, the Council remains hopeful that the conversations with BCG were productive and will culminate in BCG recommending the District adopt all of the FLRG recommendations as soon as possible.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Clarification on Conflict of Interest Board Policy

Faculty throughout the District recently have expressed concern and asked questions about DCCCD Board Policy DBD(LOCAL), which was updated on 12/20/2017, upon approval by the Board of Trustees on 12/5/2017. The policy generally speaks to issues related to conflict of interest and conflict of commitment.

The most recent changes were sparked to respond to instances of District employees using District resources, such as computers and email, to do work for other entities or run businesses, on District time either on District premises or while at home on a purported telecommuting arrangement.

Chancellor May has repeatedly assured faculty that the policy language is not designed to prohibit employees from teaching as adjunct faculty for other colleges, or to prohibit employees from working in the private sector. Indeed, the Chancellor even said that it is beneficial for faculty to teach at transfer institutions or work in industry as a means to help them stay current in their respective teaching fields.

After a number of DCCFA members raised concerns, members of the Faculty Council met Friday, Jan. 26, with Frank Hill, of Hill-Gilstrap, who has represented many DCCFA members over the years, and is unmatched in higher education labor law. He advised us as follows:

  • The District indeed can prohibit faculty (or any employee) from simultaneously holding two full-time positions at two separate educational institutions. 
  • Some of the language regarding conflict of commitment may be problematic, given its vagueness.

Regarding the second item, DCCFA President Bill Hammerschlag asked Mr. Hill to join us in reaching out to District officials in an effort to correct problematic and confusing language, both in DBD(LOCAL) and other DCCCD Board Policy documents.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Survey Available Feb. 1-15, 2018, for Faculty to Provide Input on Progress Reporting System to Take Effect Fall 2018

Dear Faculty,

Responding to a variety of concerns regarding both student success and completion, the DCCCD administration has charged our instructional leaders to create a consistent, district-wide systematic approach for all faculty to report on student progress in courses during each academic term, beginning in Fall 2018.  This effort at student progress reporting is intended to help students better understand their status in a given course early enough for students to take action to improve that status and for intrusive interventions to be provided, if needed, in order to improve retention and completion. Further background information on the evolution of this process is available at this January 18 post on the DCCFA Advance Blog.

Instructional leaders, including the academic vice presidents and the DCCFA faculty council, believe that it is crucial to gather faculty input, so as to guide the design of a student progress reporting system approach. At present, the plan is to use the eConnect interface for progress reporting.  Specific elements of the design will be determined later, taking into consideration feedback obtained from faculty in a variety of ways, beginning here.

We respect your academic freedom and the institutional responsibility to provide quality teaching and learning experiences for our students, so rest assured that:

  • No aspect of this reporting system will expect, encourage or require you to change or adjust any aspect of your teaching, evaluation or assessment strategies,
  • The design of this system will take into account our many and diverse types of courses, and
  • A primary goal of this system is to provide effective reporting while not being a burdensome or time-consuming activity.

All faculty – full-time and adjunct faculty – are invested in student success and therefore are invited and encouraged to participate in this survey. The survey is being made available between Feb. 1 and Feb. 15, 2018. Please review this “Supplemental Information” document and then complete the survey at this link:

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

DCCFA Offers Two Upcoming Opportunities for Faculty to Provide Input

The Faculty Council plans two initiatives specifically designed to gather input from faculty. 

Student Progress Reporting Survey
From Feb. 1 through Feb. 15, a survey will be made available for faculty to provide both structured and open-ended input on the issue of student progress reporting. Details about that evolving conversation can be found in this post from Jan. 18. All faculty are invited and encouraged to provide input. Messages will be sent by each college’s faculty association president, and academic vice president, when this survey is live. Results gathered from this survey – which will be completely anonymous – will be analyzed in detail by the Faculty Council in order to craft the best possible student progress reporting system to serve our diverse student population while not imposing excessive and unproductive labor burdens on the faculty. These findings will then be shared with The Instructional Leadership Team, which includes the district and college instructional leaders, for implementation.

Part 2, Biennial Faculty Climate Survey
From Feb. 19 through March 2, Part 2 of the biennial Faculty Climate Survey will be administered. Part 1 was administered in Fall 2017, and a selection of results are available at this post on the Advance Blog, in which are links to raw data from each of the seven colleges. Whereas Part 1 of the Faculty Climate Survey gathered faculty input on issues of compensation and shared governance, Part 2 includes questions that are designed to gauge faculty attitudes on the overall climate within the various college chapters of DCCFA, the colleges, and the District. Results gathered from this survey also will be completely individually anonymous, and only aggregated results by college will be reported and shared with the college presidents.

The Faculty Council encourages all members to participate in both the Student Progress Reporting survey, and the DCCFA Biennial Faculty Climate Survey.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

DCCFA Legal Assistance Philosophy and Statement of Purpose

Note: This statement of DCCFA Legal Assistance Philosophy and Statement of Purposes was updated April 4, 2017. More information on DCCFA Legal Assistance can be found on the Legal Assistance page on the DCCFA web site.

The DCCFA is committed to the principles of academic freedom and the right of due process in the settlement of any dispute. If any member of the DCCFA feels that he or she has been dealt with in an unlawful or unfair manner, the member will be provided access to the best information available concerning available avenues for assistance. It continues to be the expressed intent of the DCCFA to provide counsel and assistance to the membership to help work toward a reconciliation of any dispute and to do so (if possible) in a non-adversarial manner. 

Although most disputes can and should be settled with simple collaboration and thoughtful conversation, it is sometimes necessary to seek other remedies. In matters that involve contractual disputes or academic freedom, full time faculty may request—through the Faculty Council—legal counsel and possible representation for unresolved issues. Payment for these services will come from the DCCFA legal defense fund as specified by our Constitution.

When legal assistance is requested it begins with the Faculty Council’s review of the dispute to determine appropriate actions. If it is approved for further consideration, outside legal counsel will be asked to review the details and will probably want to schedule a visit with the faculty member. The attorney will recommend to the Council a course of action.

During the forty-year history of the DCCFA there have been numerous disputes and grievances-- which is not surprising for system as large as the DCCCD. Given the finite resources of the organization it is important that all pertinent information be considered in a given case. It is also important that each member requesting assistance understands both the Association’s philosophy on legal assistance and the manner in which individual cases are evaluated and processed. Most grievance cases can—and should—be resolved without resorting to formal legal action. The Faculty Council has long assisted in these efforts by serving as a detached, “third party” to resolve disputes and to assist all concerned in establishing the facts, clarifying legal principles, generally accepted practices, and offering informal advice regarding possible resolution of issues in conflict. The faculty member should realize, however, that many grievance cases involve issues, which may be seen as unfair or unreasonable, but are not unlawful. The Faculty Council will rely on legal counsel for recommendations for further action on these issues. 

The DCCFA has earned a reputation for fairness, discretion, and effectiveness in assisting its members in grievance matters. Consistent with the philosophy and procedures outlined above, the Association stands ready to provide its members with informed counsel and advice about their specific circumstances while maintaining needed discretion and helping to safeguard the integrity of the academic process.

The necessary forms needed to request legal assistance are found on the DCCFA site which willalso detail the procedures which will be followed.