Senate approves major proposal

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Prospective student Joe Guilbeau discusses a lack of communication to students on the status of majors and transfers at the Faculty Senate meeting Wednesday.  Photo by Pam Paz

Prospective student Joe Guilbeau discusses a lack of communication to students on the status of majors and transfers at the Faculty Senate meeting Wednesday. Photo by Pam Paz

Presidents prefer district-level committee.

By Cynthia M. Herrera

The Faculty Senate agreed Feb. 18 to present a proposal to Chancellor Bruce Leslie to create a college-based committee on majors.

Lisa Black, vice president of Faculty Senate and sociology and social work professor, discussed where plans and proposals stand.

“I think the big burden of this process, to be honest with you, are not the decisions that have been made, but our fear that you are not aware of decisions that are being made that are going to affect you and that are going to affect our community,” she said.

The need for a new proposal came from the chancellor Feb. 2 when he emailed a timeline along with a description of his proposal for a district process to come together to evaluate majors.

He gave faculty 48 hours to respond to his proposal.

Faculty Senate requested more time and responded Feb. 6 that the plan was complete and will be reviewed by the college presidents.

On Feb. 11, the college presidents decided that a district-level committee would work better to define the problems with transfers, majors and degree completion and could conduct research.

According to an email sent out by English Professor Dawn Elmore, president of Faculty Senate, the reason for a new proposal was presidents were hesitant to support the original proposal in concern that Leslie would not want to look at a “solutions-based” proposal.

The plan consisted of creating four college committees to investigate obstacles unique to each of the Alamo Colleges relative to degree completion and transfers.

Although the Alamo Colleges’ has five colleges, Northeast Lakeview College is not an accredited college and so has separate circumstances.

The college will submit its next accreditation application March 6.

The committees also will look at whether majors impact completion and transfers. Once this is completed, a cross-college committee made up of selected members of the college committees will work with the vice presidents of academic success.

This stage in the proposal will consist of sharing findings and recommendations, and offer a chance for collaboration among the colleges.

After meeting with the vice presidents, curriculum changes will follow procedures for each college.

District administration will be able to provide solutions to problems, such as academic support services, information technology and student support services.

Joe Guilbeau, a prospective student, said he would like to have an associate of arts with a concentration in professional writing but there is no concrete plan to confirm that courses followed will earn him such a degree.

“I’m getting inconstancies across the various campuses,” Guilbeau said. “You’re going to lose and the reason you’re going to lose is because a bureaucracy will manage to the lowest common denominator … I wish you luck, that’s all I’ve got to say.”

Elmore stressed that although the senate had agreed on a proposal, it doesn’t necessarily mean Leslie will accept the proposal.

At the board meeting the night before, a Palo Alto student tore up his diploma to protest the removal of majors from diplomas.

Reference Librarian Celita Avila said the board did not want to have those issues be discussed at the citizens-to-be-heard segment.

“It should make you uncomfortable … it should make all us feel uncomfortable and angry,” Avila said. “The house is on fire, people, now what are we going to do about it?

“When the students and community members show up for a board meeting like after November and December it’s a big embarrassment. It’s a public PR nightmare for the board of trustees.”


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