Employee suspension on Faculty Senate’s list of topics

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By Ryan Johnston

The length of employee suspension with or without pay animated Faculty Senate’s Wednesday meeting.

Members’ concerns centered on a lack of a general timeline for suspensions and how long they had to go before the administration board for punishment. They also questioned the legality of denying a salary increase to an employee.

“I have some serious reservations about that, and if it’s even legal,” political science Professor Christy Woodward-Kaupert said.

Terry Walch, Faculty Senate president, said she would inquire about these problems and e-mail answers to senators so they can vote on a policy to forward to the board.

She added that the policy was initially developed a year ago and new senators had not been on board for the initial discussion and recommendations.

Because this type of disciplinary action happens so rarely, the senate did not get into the policy further, she said.  

Jeff Hunt, theater and speech communications chair, spoke about the common course catalog.

The common catalog will be a way for all the colleges in the Alamo Community College District to form courses in a similar manner for course descriptions and degree requirements, he said.

“From the disciplines that have met, I have only heard positive things,” Hunt said. “We have learned a lot from each other with coming together and finding commonality.”

On the developmental level, he said many departments are taking their time and care with the subject because the change will affect a lot of students.

“They feel this is something that shouldn’t be rushed,” he said.

Woodward-Kaupert also spoke about the policy concerning system-wide e-mail messages, called SACalls, on this campus and the district’s desire to create a procedure for all the colleges.

“The district wants to make uniformed guidelines for SACall’s,” she said. “They would limit the SACall’s to being sent only from the public information officer. Academic Council felt very strongly that this was inappropriate.”

Woodward-Kaupert said it was important for faculty to make rational decisions when sending SACall’s.

“This is one of those situations where you are supposed to use good judgment, but sometimes people don’t,” Woodward-Kaupert said. “We want us to boss our own bodies, but I don’t think it was embraced at the district level.”

She added the official draft of the policy is expected to be submitted to the board by the summer.

Dawn Elmore-McCrary, English professor and Student Government Association adviser, asked permission to allow a student member of the club to attend Faculty Senate meetings.

The student who would attend the meeting would be a nonvoting observer to the meeting, she said.

“My immediate response was that all the meetings are open, unless we go to executive session,” Walch said. “I didn’t see a problem with it.”

In other news, Business Chair Val Calvert said the district Web page does not identify the college name with programs awarded exemplary status.

“It’s not good for morale to work that hard and not get credit for it,” she said.

The senate plans to draft a memo to the district to include the colleges on the district Web site.

The next Faculty Senate meeting is at 2:15 p.m. Feb. 20 with Vice Chancellor James McLaughlin and Ruben Flores, dean of evening, weekend and distance education, in Room 120 of the visual arts center.

For more information, visit http://www.accd.edu/sac/sacmain/fasenate/default.htm.


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