Faculty Senate seeks feedback on faculty concerns

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Senate president expects to deliver a report to administration by March.

By Sergio Medina


Faculty Senate will host a listening session 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 1 in the Fiesta Room of Loftin Student Center to gather feedback from faculty on issues and concerns pertaining to them, Faculty Senate President Lennie Irvin said in an interview Jan. 23.

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“I think there are obviously issues that affect us and our classrooms, our workplace,” Irvin said. “Oftentimes, but not always, there are things that we feel maybe could be done better; so we want to try and see if we can find ways to make things better.

“With the listening sessions, faculty can come, and they can tell us what they’re thinking about certain issues,” Irvin said.

In December, the senate conducted a survey of 153 faculty at this college who were asked for feedback on several matters such as class sizes, scheduling, budget distribution, administration size, sick leave and morale.

The survey asked faculty to answer several questions in degrees of agreeance, from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” Options to remain neutral or abstain from answering were also given.

For example, 82 percent of faculty agreed the budget for district support operations is “too large and out of proportion compared to the separate college’s budgets.”

Compared with this college, which has the largest allocated budget among the five Alamo Colleges, with about $63 million for fiscal year 2018-19, the support operations has a budget of almost $160 million, according to the Alamo Colleges’ annual budget from the same year.

Irvin said the session is meant to provide more meaning behind the survey’s numbers.

“In research, there’s quantitative research and qualitative research,” he said. “So this is more of the qualitative side, where we get more explanations — the thoughts behind the numbers.

“They’ll help us understand what the results mean a little bit better,” Irvin said.

With the feedback obtained from the session, Irvin said the senate’s plan is to create a report on the responses, as well as research, and brainstorm suggestions in how to address the concerns. Ultimately, the report and suggestions will be brought before this college’s administration.

“It’s going to be a little bit of a process because we’ve got to make sense of both the numbers and the qualitative (feedback) around an issue and then put together a fair representation of how faculty feel about the issue,” Irvin said.

Irvin expects the senate to bring the report and suggestions to administration by March.

“Hopefully, it won’t go much beyond March,” he said.

For more information, call Irvin at 210-486-0672 or email lirvin@alamo.edu.



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