As you may be aware, the Academic Senate establishes the minimum qualifications for the faculty of California Community Colleges and maintains the Disciplines List setting out the required qualifications. Every three years the list is reviewed to permit faculty and discipline organizations to propose changes. It is now time to begin drafting those changes to the Disciplines List that you may have been considering. Yes, we did that just a year and a half ago, but we are now using a new process, whereby those in the field can recommend changes any time.
Last year the Academic Senate Executive Committee adopted a procedure that encourages those interested in proposing changes to the Disciplines Lists (Minimum Qualifications) to submit their proposals any time, not just during the year when the Senate considers revisions to the Disciplines List and sends those approved on to the Board of Governors. The purpose of this change is to allow more time for dissemination of proposals to the field, especially professional organizations representing discipline faculty, and then more time for discussion and debate at sessions.
The Disciplines List has gone through only two reviews since it was established in 1994. Both reviews resulted in carefully considered changes. Important changes include additions of new disciplines, such as multimedia, and the broadening of minimum qualifications for computer science, allowing more, well qualified faculty to teach courses in that growing discipline. However, because people sometimes develop proposals with the solution to local problems in mind, they neglect thinking about the effects on a discipline statewide. As a result, the Academic Senate has distributed a number of proposals that found almost no support in the field but nevertheless stirred up a lot of anxiety from those who felt that such proposals had a chance of being enacted. Thus the statewide hearings brought many who felt threatened by proposals with no real chance of survival. This, in turn, took time away from discussion of the most viable proposals that deserved serious and sustained deliberation.
Having proposals submitted far before the time that the Academic Senate must consider them officially will eliminate the waste of valuable time and creation of unnecessary angst while ensuring more time to consider important and viable proposals to keep our disciplines current. But, of course, this idea will work only if those with ideas for changes in the Disciplines List will submit their ideas. To obtain a form for proposals, go to the Academic Senate website.