Monday, September 14, 2015

Faculty Council meets monthly with Chancellor May

The Faculty Council meets monthly with Chancellor Joe May. During his 18 months in the job, the Council has been impressed with the extent to which he has informed us of his vision for the District, engaged with us on many important issues, and listened to the concerns and perspectives we have brought forward from the faculty we have the privilege to represent.

During our Sept. 11 meeting with Chancellor May, we brought him up to date on recent faculty “water cooler” discussions. For instance, we informed him about the various faculty perspectives on the new compensation program. In addition, the new policy in which adjunct instructors (and other part-time staff) are automatically terminated after 60 days of not earning pay has caused consternation for academic divisions and program coordinators. Apparently, this affected many adjuncts and many programs over the summer. We shared with Dr. May that it would help us tremendously if we could have any information to answer questions from adjunct instructors. Talent Central Vice Chancellor Susan Hall joined us for this part of the discussion and shared with us some information about why the automatic termination happens after 60 days, and some developments that might help mitigate problems in the future. Many of the changes are driven by more stringent requirements from the state government regarding the automatic payment of child support and other liens directly withdrawn from affected employees' monthly pay.

Chancellor May and Vice Chancellor Hall also invited the Council to engage in a discussion about reviewing the overall faculty job description in light of the recent changes passed by the Board of Trustees on Sept. 1, particularly regarding professional development expectations for new faculty hired in Range 1 or Range 2 after Sept. 1, 2015, the Chancellors Faculty Fellows program, the Performance Pay Incentive program, and the new longevity step increases.

We also shared with Dr. May that several Faculty Council members will participate in the Compression Planning session on the future role of the LeCroy Center in the academic operations of the seven DCCCD colleges this Friday, Sept. 18, at the LeCroy Center. Pat McNellis, of the Compression Planning Institute, will facilitate the session. Chancellor May shared some of his thoughts on what might best be accomplished during this Compression Planning session.

At a future meeting, the Council plans to discuss with Dr. May the role of faculty in maintaining academic standards and appropriate rigor in our courses and programs in light of the "completion agenda" and the new emphasis on competency based education.

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