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NEWS from your Faculty Organization  (http://academic.pgcc.edu/facultyorganization/)

by Eldon Baldwin and Angie Anderson
(President and Vice President, Faculty Senate)

The Faculty Senate and its committees have been involved in a variety of different issues and activities this fall. You have probably already heard some of the news, but other items may have escaped your notice. We have decided to use this issue to review some highlights of the fall 2003 semester.

Adjunct Delegates
After discussing proposed changes with the administration and The Faculty Organization, the Senate modified our Bylaws during our last meeting of the spring 2003 semester. One significant change was to include all adjunct faculty as voting members in The Faculty Organization, and to elect ten Adjunct Delegates to the Senate. Our intention was to conduct an electronic election of adjunct delegates early in the fall semester, but a variety of snags (including Eldon’s broken leg) have delayed the process. With any luck at all, we will conduct this long awaited "special election" immediately after the Thanksgiving Break.

Given the long delay, the Senate decided that all of the newly elected Adjunct Delegates will be eligible to continue serving beyond the 2003-2004 academic year. The revised Bylaws (see our Web page) specify that five delegates will be elected to two-year terms in even years, and the other five delegates will be elected to two-year terms in odd years. The Senate decision is that elected "odd year" adjunct delegates will serve through May 2005, and elected "even year" adjunct delegates will serve through May 2006.

Adjunct Faculty Committee
The revised Bylaws also establish the Adjunct Faculty Committee as a permanent standing committee of the Senate. Membership of the Adjunct Faculty Committee consists of the ten elected Adjunct Delegates to The Faculty Senate, the Adjunct Faculty Liaison to the Instruction Office, one other designated representative of the vice president of Instruction, and one designated representative of the vice president of Workforce Development and Continuing Education. Meetings of this committee shall be open to all members of The Faculty Organization, both adjunct and full-time.

New Spring Election Procedures
We conducted our first electronic Faculty Organization election last spring, and this was also our last May election. Starting this academic year, we plan to conduct our annual election in February. This will be our most extensive electronic election to date, in which full-time and adjunct faculty elect officers, committee members, and area delegates. As with the coming special election, we will be using Blackboard. The faculty in each area that previously received a ballot box in May instead will be automatically enrolled in their own Blackboard class. The members of each Blackboard class will be enabled to vote in Blackboard for their area delegates and alternates, in addition to voting for all of the collegewide positions.

For this reason, the Nominating Committee has already started soliciting nominations for the spring election. Please nominate candidates for:

  • Faculty Organization President and Vice President [2-year terms]
  • At-large Delegates to the Faculty Senate [2-year terms]
  • Faculty Grievance Committee members [2-year terms; must be tenured]
  • Faculty Salary & Benefits Committee members [3-year terms]
  • Area delegates to the Faculty Senate [2-year terms]

On Thursday, January 15, the first day back after winter break for all 10-month faculty, the Senate will host a "Meet the Candidates" reception. (Yes, we will have food!) This reception will follow Dr. Vera Zdravkovich's semi-annual Instruction Office meeting, and precede other meetings and activities.

Faculty Awards
The Awards Convocation was moved to Professional Development Day this year, and three faculty members received Faculty Excellence Awards:

  1. Beverly Reed (Full-time – Developmental English/Reading)
  2. Karen Sanders (Adjunct – English)
  3. Jackie Lindbeck (Adjunct – Continuing Education)

Following discussion of the Faculty Senate Excellence Awards program, the Senate has decided to appoint an Ad Hoc Excellence Awards Committee to study the current criteria and procedures, and to recommend changes for implementation next spring. Sherman Silverman helped develop the original award procedures, and he has graciously agreed to chair this new ad hoc committee.

Alicia Juarrero was the first recipient of a new award for Outstanding Faculty Scholarship. The purpose of this $2,000 award is to both recognize and financially support the work of our campus scholars. Each recipient’s name will be added to the new Outstanding Faculty Scholarship plaque that hangs in Kent 262. The Instruction Office funds the Outstanding Faculty Scholarship award as an expansion of its existing Pathfinder and Trailblazer awards programs.

Late Registration Proposal
Academic Regulations and Standards is another permanent standing committee that is described in the Bylaws. This committee submitted a proposal to the Senate, recommending that the college modify its late registration procedures so that students are required to register in time to attend the first meeting of each of their classes. This proposal, which passed the Senate unanimously, is designed to be learning-centered rather than punitive. Multiple institutional and national research findings indicate that late registering students tend to complete fewer classes, earn lower grades, and drop out sooner than students who register on time do.

Institutional consideration of this late registration proposal is ongoing. The Learning Centered College (LCC) Committee has discussed this issue once thus far, and plans to meet with President Ronald Williams in December. A great deal remains to be accomplished if this proposal is to be adopted and successfully implemented. The combined efforts of our entire college community are needed to help our large and vulnerable population of late registering students to register on time for appropriate classes, attend those classes, receive effective instruction, do required work, and ultimately succeed.

Pay Increases and Related Issues
We assume that the good news of pending pay increases has not escaped your notice. (Editor’s note: Dr. Williams describes the details of these increases in his article on the Budget Update.)

These increases reflect action taken by the administration in an effort to partially compensate all employees, not just faculty, for the fact that no increases could be provided last spring. Ms. Romaine Reid, our new dean of Human Resources, wants all members of the faculty to know that she intends to continue meeting with the Faculty Salary and Benefits Committee and other appropriate groups to work on a variety of issues. She appreciates the fact that these interim raises and bonuses do not significantly address many long-standing full-time and adjunct faculty salary issues.

In closing, we want to acknowledge some special messages of concern that we received recently from individual members of the full-time faculty. One message expresses regret that students continue to bear the burden of the current round of budget cuts, and that faculty received pay increments rather than students receiving a tuition rollback. A former member of our adjunct faculty recognizes how badly adjunct faculty need salary improvement, and expresses regret that more resources were not devoted to that cause. In these self-centered times, and especially as we approach the winter holiday season, it is refreshing to hear expressions of concern for others.

 

The Instructional Area Newsletter, Volume 19, No. 1

Fall 2003