On July 2, 2022, Barbara Schnekler, born Barbara Toston and also known professionally for many years as Barbara Hinkley, passed away after a battle with cancer. Barbara was an important early leader of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges and a voice for faculty throughout the community college system.
Barbara served on the ASCCC executive committee from 1977-1983 and as president in the academic year 1981-82. Her leadership laid the groundwork for many later efforts and initiatives, as her presidential term saw the ASCCC conduct research on the organization and role of local academic senates, the composition and function of curriculum committees, and competency and placement testing. The first statement on English and mathematics competencies issued by the Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates, while technically published shortly after the end of Barbara’s term as president, was developed and completed primarily during her presidency. Barbara also arranged the first meeting of representatives of the ASCCC and the chief instructional officers organization, an essential partnership that has now endured for forty years.
After her time on the ASCCC Executive Committee, Barbara served on the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges from 1986 to 1992. From 1990 to 1992 she became the first faculty member to serve as chair of the accrediting commission.
Barbara’s teaching career at Palomar College spanned for thirty years. She was dedicated to her classroom work as a sociology professor, but she also served three terms as chair of the behavioral sciences department at her college.
Barbara Schnelker, née Hinkley, was a pioneer for faculty in the California Community Colleges system. She represented the faculty voice proudly and effectively in difficult times before the role of academic senates was codified through AB 1725 in 1988 and as the ASCCC was still defining itself and its purposes. The ASCCC salutes her dedication and service to students, to faculty, and to the entire community college system and expresses our sadness at her passing.