During the last academic year, following extensive deliberations and research, the Affirmative Action/Cultural Diversity Committee completed a draft of an Affirmative Action Handbook, which was circulated and discussed during a breakout of the 2001 Spring Plenary Session in San Francisco. After much discussion and debate, the session voted to refer the draft back to the Executive Committee for revision and rewriting.
It's that time again. As some of you may be aware, this fall begins the initial step in the formal review of the Disciplines List. The Disciplines List establishes the minimum qualifications for the faculty of California community colleges. The passage of AB 1725 delegated to the Academic Senate the responsibility of making recommendations to the Board of Governors for professional preparation for instructors in each discipline in the California Community College curriculum. Every three years the list is reviewed to permit faculty and discipline organizations to propose changes.
Since curriculum is the center around which faculty activities circle, the Curriculum Committee is at the heart of the Academic Senate's work. As with all Academic Senate committees, resolutions approved by delegates in session are the engine that drives the work of the Curriculum Committee.
Our Board of Governors recognizes the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges for California Community Colleges as the exclusive representative of the local academic senates in the state's community colleges. To accomplish its charge, the Academic Senate is committed to strengthening connections with the field. Such connections enable the state senate to acquire the collective wisdom of the faculty, to point to exemplary activities, to speak with greater knowledge and hence authority.
For the Academic Senate, the late summer is a period of intensive planning. The first meeting of the academic year is held in mid-August, by which time members of the Executive Committee have been assigned the chair-ship of a major committee or task force, and is responsible for producing a "work plan" in the form of a set of goals and objectives for the coming year.
On a recent release, singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams describes a mendacious lover's speech: Choking on your unplanned words/Coughing up your lies/Tumbling from your mouth a flurry/Of broken butterflies.1 This striking image of abused and damaged beauty seems peculiarly apt when discussing the promise of California's public postsecondary education: In our public documents, we have coughed up the promise of equity; in reality, we have delivered broken butterflies. As in Ms. Williams' song, the issue is whether-and how-the damage can be healed.
Over 100 faculty members, articulation officers, curriculum deans and vice-presidents attended the first annual Academic Senate Curriculum Institute held on July 28 - 30, 1999, at the Disneyland Pacific Hotel. The goal of the Curriculum Institute was to provide resources to colleges to run effective curriculum committees, plan curriculum and programs, and write integrated course outlines as suggested in the many statewide Academic Senate documents on curriculum.
The 1999 Faculty Leadership Institute was held at the Westin Hotel, Horton Plaza, in downtown San Diego on June 24 - 26, 1999. In attendance were sixty-two community college faculty participants, including new senate presidents and many other seasoned senate leaders. The Institute focused on the development and application of effective leadership skills. Participants were provided information on the roles and responsibilities of faculty leaders.
At its September meeting, the Board of Governors honored six programs from community colleges across the State. These programs were submitted as exceptional by local senates to the Academic Senate and ranked by a selection of readers representing community college faculty, students, and administrators.
Development of the State's plan for the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998 (Perkins III) got underway in August when members of the Field Review Committee met in Sacramento for an orientation to key issues. The committee included six faculty members representing the Academic Senate: Jim Casteau, Larry Dutto, Loretta Hernandez, Ellen Ligons, Diana Paque, and Dennis Smith. Acting as project monitor is the Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), under the co-direction of former California Community College Chancellor Gerald Hayward.