Faculty Senate wants more communication, district voice

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Fine arts Jeff Hunt, expresses the need for usable advising guides during Faculty Senate Oct. 7 in visual arts. Photo by Hillary E. Ratcliff

Fine arts Jeff Hunt, expresses the need for usable advising guides during Faculty Senate Oct. 7 in visual arts. Photo by Hillary E. Ratcliff

Senators request more discussion about new campus carry law.

By Melissa Luna

mluna132@student.alamo.edu

Lisa Black, president of this college’s Faculty Senate, led a discussion about communication and feedback regarding a decision-making retreat Oct. 2 at the Faculty Senate meeting Oct. 7.

“At the end of the day, what I think was good is that everyone’s voice was recognized and heard,” Black said.

Pat Sanaghan, president of Sanaghan Group, headed the retreat.

Black said participants were put into groups and given focus questions such as, “What would it take for you to have trust in this decision-making model?” and “What types of decisions should/should not be utilized in this decision-making model?”

Most discussion centered on open communication and transparency between the college faculty and the district.

A lot of participants said communication is more than just sending emails and links to 65-page documents, Black said.

The answers and discussions would be taken into consideration in the structure of a decision-making model for the Alamo Colleges.

“We want to try to see this through and see it to a point where we have an established process, by which faculty can engage in this college district,” Black said. “That is our goal.”

Black explained how she wishes the district could invest more into the faculty senates of all the Alamo Colleges to ensure that communication and trust could improve.

“Friday was a good first step, but the real work starts now,” Black said.

Criminal justice coordinator Tiffany Cox then described an idea about a pathways process that relies on faculty participation.

“We’re going to push very hard to include this pathways development in a decision-making model type process now, instead of waiting for the decision-making model to be made because it’s imperative for faculty to be involved in the development of pathways, yesterday,” Cox said.

The process would include forming discipline teams with discipline leads and be greatly involved with the curriculum process as well as the transfer process, she said.

Cox also described how faculty can personally interact with their university counterparts to ensure students from Alamo Colleges are transferring successfully.

“If we advocate for us having this opportunity at the table to create this process and engage, then that’s what we have to do,” Black said. “We’re going to have to be really creative about how we support each other to make sure if we ask for it, then we have to hit the deadline.”

Black wants to show college leadership that Faculty Senate can get the work done.

Cox is going to present the idea to college leadership and report back to the senate.

Counselor Steve Samet and English Professor Mariano Aguilar expressed concern about the campus carry law that will take effect August 2017.

“It would make sense for us to have some rationale behind gun-free zones because I sure as heck am not comfortable in the counseling center with the people I’m dealing with to walk in with guns,” Samet said.

Since the campus carry law wasn’t on the agenda, Black assured the senate she would inform President Robert Vela and the presidents and vice chancellors committee that the senate is interested in having a discussion on the issue.

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