Monday, June 13, 2016

Update on Chancellor's Staff meeting of June 13, 2016

Faculty Council President Matt Hinckley reported the following from the June 13, 2016 Chancellor's Staff meeting:

At today’s Chancellor’s Staff meeting, Dr. May stated that the proposed changes to the textbook delivery model, “will not affect how faculty select their textbooks.” Moreover, he said, “We hire faculty to make textbook decisions. I know faculty go out of their way, including often at their own expense, to get materials to students (who can’t afford to purchase them), but that’s not the job or role of faculty to do so.” Mary Brumbach also said, “This is not about what materials are chosen; this is about how to get the materials that faculty choose to the students as quickly as possible.”

Dr. May in particular is interested in a model that would get a PDF/digital copy of textbooks to students at no cost to them, with options to purchase print on demand rights and/or printed copies if they choose. Dr. May also said that Vital Source and other providers can work with even small boutique academic publishers to convert materials that faculty choose to PDF format.

Board of Trustees:
Runoff election votes will be canvassed on Wednesday, June 29. New board members will be sworn into office immediately and take their seats at the meeting. Dr. May also plans an orientation for the new board members at a date TBD. John Robertson was asked to provide a more detailed budget work session at a date TBD (when the board members are available to attend).

Handguns on Campus:
Dr. May and Rob Wendland are reviewing the latest developments in the campus carry debate. Specifically, State Rep. Abel Herrero, Democratic chair of the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, has asked Attorney General Ken Paxton to review if public community colleges may be exempt from campus carry because they offer programs for minors, such as Dual Credit and Early College High School. However Paxton rules, the legislature could come under pressure--either from gun rights groups or from concerned parents groups--to modify the law during the January-May 2017 legislative session. Nevertheless, Dr. May said he plans to engage faculty, students, and staff, starting in the Fall 2016 semester, to prepare our colleges to deal with campus carry that. As the law stands right now, we would have to allow CHL holders to carry their handguns on campus starting with the Fall 2017 semester. 

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