Thursday, October 29, 2015

Proposed Amendments to DCCFA Constitution and Bylaws

The DCCFA Political Information Committee will present, at the Nov. 13 annual Convention, the following amendments to the DCCFA Constitution and Bylaws:

1. Proposed Amendment to the DCCFA Constitution:
Amend Article XVI – Local Chapters
Sections 1 and 2:  Delete the word “campus” and replace with the word “college”
As amended, Section 1 will read:  “Each college of the Dallas County Community College District shall be eligible to have a local chapter of the DCCFA.  The membership of the local chapter will be composed of the dues paying members of the DCCFA.”
As amended, Section 2 will read:  “Each college will establish its own structure for the local chapter.  Nothing in the local structure, Constitution, Bylaws, or policies may be in conflict with the DCCFA or in violation of the structure, Constitution, Bylaws, and policies of the DCCFA.”
Rationale for this Constitutional amendment:  Due to the creation of branch campuses at many colleges, the current reading would suggest adding chapters on each of those campuses.  That is not the intention of the organization.

2. Proposed Amendment to the DCCFA Bylaws:
Amend Article IX – Committees
Section 1: Delete “financial information” from the list of standing committees
As amended, Section 1 will read:  “There shall be the following standing committees: instructional goals/academic freedom; economic and faculty welfare; communication; political information; membership.”
Section 7 (jurisdiction of standing committees): Delete section f (which lists the functions of the financial committee)
Rationale for this Bylaws amendment:  The financial committee has not been operational for years and is no longer needed as a standing committee of the DCCFA.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

2015 DCCFA Standing Committee Reports

The DCCFA Standing Committees met Wednesday, Oct. 14 at the Bill J. Priest Campus of El Centro College. Each committee chair submitted a report on behalf of the committees. The reports are linked below:

Welfare and Benefits Committee report

Instructional Goals and Academic Freedom Committee report

Communications Committee report

Membership Committee report

Political Information Committee report

The annual DCCFA Convention will convene 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, at Commissioners Court, 411 Elm Street, Dallas, 75202. All DCCFA members are invited and encouraged to attend. A reception will take place immediately after the Convention at West End Hofbräu Steaks, 311 N. Market Street, Dallas, TX 75202.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Faculty Council Update - Textbooks

The Faculty Council met Friday, Oct. 23 with Chancellor May. Among many topics of discussion, one topic that emerged was a proposed pilot program that Follett bookstore and the DCCCD would offer a “single fee” bundle of tuition plus textbook costs. Some faculty were concerned that such a hypothetical program would necessitate disciplines to adopt a single textbook for use college-wide or District-wide. 

The Chancellor first assured us he has no desire for the District to prescribe textbook selections. Second, he said that while the contract with Follett includes a provision for the District and Follett to pilot “single fee” bundles, no planning is currently underway at any District college.

The Council was quite pleased that Chancellor May and the District agree that faculty alone are responsible to select their textbooks and other class materials. Any common adoptions of textbooks within a discipline would only be made by faculty voluntarily collaborating. 

The Chancellor is pleased with the work we faculty have done, and continue to do, to make textbooks more affordable for our students (without sacrificing academic standards), and he encouraged us to continue to do so.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Faculty Council affirms official DCCCD policy prohibiting firearms on campuses

The recent shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon again has brought to our attention the issue of firearms on campuses.

The District Faculty Council affirms and endorses the official Dallas County Community College District policy regarding firearms on campus, as articulated in the Board of Trustees policy manual, under "Student Rights and Responsibilities," 

All students shall obey the law, show respect for properly constituted authority, and observe correct standards of conduct. In addition to activities prohibited by law...the following types of behavior shall be prohibited:

1. Intentionally causing physical harm to any person on College District premises or at College District sponsored activities, or intentionally or recklessly causing reasonable apprehension of such harm or hazing.

2. Unauthorized use, possession, or storage of any weapon on College District premises or at College District sponsored activities.

3. Intentionally initiating or causing to be initiated any false report, warning, or threat of fire, explosion, or other emergency on College District premises or at College District sponsored activities.

4. Intentionally interfering with normal College District sponsored activities, including but not limited to, studying, teaching, conducting research, duties of the College District administration, or fire, security, or emergency services. 

The Faculty Council also affirms and endorses the following Board of Trustees policy regarding weapons on campus.

Students shall not bring on College District property or to any college or College District sponsored or related activity any gun, weapon, simulated weapon, or any device identified below:


2.Chains; or

3.Any other object,

including school/college supplies, used in a way that threatens or inflicts bodily injury on another person. 

The Faculty Council also affirms and endorses the following purpose for the aforementioned policies:

The purpose of policies about student conduct and discipline are to provide guidelines for the educational environment of the College District. This environment views students in a holistic manner, encouraging and inviting them to learn and grow independently. Such an environment presupposes both rights and responsibilities. Free inquiry and expression are essential parts of this freedom to learn, to grow, and to develop. However, this environment also demands appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community. Students must exercise these freedoms with responsibility.