Establishing CTE, Legislative, and Noncredit Liaison Positions
Julie Bruno, Vice President
In the past few years the number of new statewide initiatives and programs impacting California community colleges has increased dramatically. As a system, we have addressed the Student Success Task Force recommendations, met requirements for Associate Degrees for Transfer, and established partnerships with our K-12 and adult education colleagues, to name just a few of these activities. Many of these efforts, mandated by legislation or initiated by the Board of Governors, are envisioned in consultation with our system, business, and community partners and rely on faculty and staff at local colleges for implementation. This trend is far from over. With the Board of Governors’ adoption of the recommendations of the Task Force on Work Force, Job Creation, and a Strong Economy and the enactment of legislation affecting open educational resources and basic skills instruction, the need is now even greater for faculty to be informed about and involved in statewide projects, programs, and initiatives.
With so much happening, local senates have often struggled to keep faculty informed of and engaged with statewide issues. As these initiatives and programs are implemented, senate presidents not only assist the ASCCC in finding faculty volunteers to participate in state level activities but also ensure effective faculty participation in local efforts. In response to concerns raised by faculty about the difficulty of remaining active and involved with state matters, delegates at the ASCCC’s Spring 2015 Plenary Session passed three resolutions (17.02 S15, 17.03 S15, and 17.05 S15) calling for local academic senates to identify faculty liaison positions to facilitate communication between the ASCCC and local senates on CTE, legislative, and noncredit issues. Establishing these liaison positions should help to take some of the workload and pressure off of the senate presidents while having the additional benefit of ensuring that the ASCCC will have faculty within these three areas to assist in ensuring statewide faculty representation when necessary.
To provide assistance in implementing the three resolutions, the ASCCC Executive Committee approved liaison guidelines submitted by the CTE Leadership, Legislative and Advocacy, and the Noncredit Committees. The guidelines for each liaison position can be found at the links below. These guidelines are most useful when modified to fit with a local senate’s organizational and governance structure.
When establishing a liaison position, local senates should consider how best to serve the needs and interests of the faculty at their local colleges. For example, a liaison position may be held by one faculty member, shared by two faculty members, or consist of a small group of faculty with one acting as the lead. Senates may also wish to include participation from faculty at the various college campuses, centers, or other locations that would enable the liaison position or positions to reach the largest number of faculty. Any of these models could be well suited to fulfilling the intent of all three resolutions, and therefore senates should choose the model that fits best with local senate policies and practices.
To facilitate the connection to the ASCCC and the CTE, Legislative, and Noncredit Committees, the ASCCC established a listserv for each liaison position. Of course, all ASCCC listservs are open to anyone who wishes to join, but we hope that these three listservs will assist the liaisons in fulfilling the specific responsibility of ensuring that his or her academic senate is informed and actively involved in the statewide CTE, legislative, and noncredit issues and efforts.
Once senates have established the four liaison positions, local senates should inform the ASCCC by email (info [at] asccc.org), including the name, position, and email address of the liaisons. The ASCCC will use this information to expand the listservs and allow the CTE Leadership, Legislative and Advocacy, Noncredit, and Guided Pathways Committees to reach out to their liaisons as necessary. If there are any questions regarding these positions, senate leaders should not hesitate to contact us at info [at] asccc.org.
[The attached article was published in the February 2016 Rostrum]