Enterprise Software and Academic Decisions

Spring
2009
Resolution Number: 
17.01
Contact: 
Assigned to : 
Category: 
Local Senates
Status: 
Completed

Whereas, The position of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges is that districts should include senate participation from the outset in the decision-making processes relative to the selection and adoption of administrative computing systems, and local academic senates should consult collegially with the appropriate district officers and/or administrators regarding decision-making processes related to the selection, adoption, and implementation of administrative computing systems (Resolution 11.05 F99 Administrative Computing Systems);

Whereas, The Academic Senate has taken a position in its document Technology in Education: A Summary of Practical Policy and Workload Language (2000) that instructional technology decisions should not be made in a vacuum nor in a manner where technology is dictating instructional decisions, and that planning should be led by academic considerations above those of technology;

Whereas, The expensive "off the shelf" software applications that many colleges employ, such as Datatel, Banner, or PeopleSoft, can influence academic decisions such as grade forgiveness, repeatability, prerequisite enforcement, registration procedures, transcripts, and maintaining wait-lists, and these administrative computing systems may act as "silent constituents" and thus intrude on the decision making processes at local colleges, initiating attempts to utilize implementation as an excuse to change academic policy; and

Whereas, During times of budget crises, the purchase and implementation of the expensive administrative computing systems can compete with the ability of colleges to maintain existing essential support services and academic programs;

Resolved, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges urge local senates and their administrations to engage in collegial consultation before changing any academic decisions based on the limitations of enterprise software;

Resolved, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges urge local senates to resist any attempt to use the limitations of administrative computing systems to overturn academic decisions or policies without compelling evidence that such policy changes benefit students; and

Resolved, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges urge local senates to engage in collegial consultation with administrators to ensure that the use of administrative computing systems is both cost effective and beneficial to students and the institution.

MSC Disposition: Local Senates

Summary: 
Urge local senates and their administrations to engage in collegial consultation before changing any academic decisions based on the limitations of enterprise software; urge local senates to resist any attempt to use the limitations of administrative computing systems to overturn academic decisions or policies without compelling evidence that such policy changes benefit students; urge local senates to engage in collegial consultation with administrators to ensure that the use of administrative computing systems is both cost effective and beneficial to students and the institution.
Status Report: 

Many colleges have completed implementation of enterprise software on their campus.