Affirmative Action Committee Breakout

June
1999
Lina Chen, Chair

The Affirmative Action and Cultural Diversity (AA/CD) Committee presented a breakout at the Spring Plenary Session on the Commitment to Diversity. The following information was disseminated: 1) the Community California College Commitment: Action Plan; 2) Affirmative Action Regulations: Guidelines with Questions and Answers; 3) Guidelines for Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination.

The presenters were Lina Chen from Los Angeles Trade Technical College, (Chair of the AA/CD Committee), Beverly Shue, Los Angeles Harbor College, Virginia Romero, Cerritos College, Edith Conn, Ventura College and Gus Guichard, Vice Chancellor for Human Resources.

The breakout proved to be most informative and clarified concerns. One question raised was, "If all documents indicate the importance of availability data and its impact of hiring diversity, when can we expect this data to be available?" Some have indicated that affirmative action concerns do not need to be addressed because there is no viable data. Gus Guichard responded that there is a committee presently establishing the data and under consideration are several components such as workforce and college graduate availability. He predicts that this data will be available after the summer of 1999. The Plenary Body expressed the importance of this data by passing several resolutions requesting that the Chancellor's Office expedite this report (see Resolutions S99 3.03 and 3.07).

Business necessity was another item of concern. The question was asked regarding the legality of a person holding a position for four years under business necessity. Vice Chancellor Guichard indicated that a position could only be held for one year and then a letter must be sent to the Chancellor 's Office requesting an extension under section 53001(c), but again, this extension can only be for one additional year and must have gone previously to the campus Affirmative Action Advisory Committee.

It was recommended that we create a compliance or accountability task force, in order to assist schools. Vice Chancellor Guichard indicated that the Chancellor has such a task force, but perhaps the campus Affirmative Action Committee could assist more directly. There are funds set aside for this purpose.

The Breakout attendees commented that there is a myth that affirmative action does not exist and questioned how can this be remedied? Vice Chancellor Guichard stated that the continuation of informative workshops, such as the one being presented today, will create more avenues to disseminate correct information about affirmative action and the importance of having a diverse faculty. With a commitment from the Academic Senate Affirmative Action and Cultural Diversity Committee and the Chancellor's Office working together, the Vice Chancellor believes affirmative action and diversity can be accomplished by creating an educational environment that is supportive, inviting and embracing diversity.

Bill Scroggins commented that, "affirmative action are words on paper; we need to now put action behind the words."

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