A committee is proposing an 80 percent vote for issues to advance.
By Kimberly Caballero
Executive Faculty Council is creating an official work process to establish clearer voting guidelines.
The committee was established in fall 2016 to deliver faculty input to the Presidents and Vice Chancellors committee, also known as the PVC, and the board of trustees.
It was created for faculty “to have communication lines to the PVC and to the board of trustees because that was a place where faculty felt they did not have an avenue for communication,” said Dianna Torres Lee, Executive Faculty Council faculty fellow, in a Feb. 23 interview. She is a math instructor at Northeast Lakeview College.
Past EFC recommendations include suggestions for the Early Alert system to identify struggling students and faculty development. Both recommendations were gathered by ad hoc committees, presented to the PVC and the board and approved.
The committee uses the consensus model to address recommendations from ad hoc committees and to determine which work proposals from United Faculty Senates, formerly Super Senate; Council of Chairs; PVC; or board of trustees it will accept.
A work proposal “puts the Executive Faculty Council into action on an issue,” Lee said. “Those work proposals lay out what the issue is and what the concerns they want addressed by the ad hoc committee are.”
The work proposal is then discussed by the EFC, which determines if an ad hoc committee will be launched and a recommendation created, Lee said.
Lee said The EFC model encourages individual faculty members to work through an issue at their college through discussion with their senate or chair.
“If (the issue brought forth by individual faculty) cannot be settled, or if the senate says ‘we think this is a larger problem that is going to affect all faculty,’ then that issue can come to the United Faculty Senates for discussion,” Lee said in a March 1 interview. “The United Faculty Senates can decide if they feel it is an issue they want to take to Executive Faculty Council.”
With a consensus model, rather than vote, members discuss an issue and work toward a unified decision.
“We are trying to make sure that everybody who is a voting member is comfortable with the that and is OK with us going forward with that action,” Lee said.
Lee said consensus has always been able to be met, and in the past members have had questions or concerns with a recommendation that have been clarified, which moved the recommendation forward.
In the case a consensus cannot be met on a recommendation or work proposal, the committee will vote.
“A vote of 80% is required for acceptance,” according to the work plan proposal.
The voting results will be made public on the council’s website listed under minutes.
The option to submit a “dissenting opinion statement within one (1) week of the vote” is available for members, according to the work plan proposal.
The statement also will be available on the website along with the name of the individual submitting it.
Lee said she prefers the consensus model, but she also understands people’s “fear that consensus becomes a way of dampening voices of concern.”
Lee said while the committee will continue to “seek consensus,” it acknowledges some members might want the option to vote in some cases.
“I think the 80 percent is a good middle ground,” said Antonio Villanueva, psychology professor at Palo Alto College in a Feb. 23 interview.
An evaluation plan is being officiated as well. It will include self-evaluation among the committee and former members along with evaluation from other faculty.
The plan will be made public as well.
The EFC hopes the work process will be voted on March 9 and to have it posted to their website soon after.
All EFC meetings are open to the public, according to a March 5 email from Lee.
The next meeting is 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. March 9 in Room 108/109 at Killen Center, 201 W. Sheridan.