Think, Know, Prove–Faculty Council Goals

Think, Know, Prove is a regular Saturday feature, where a topic with both mystery and importance is posted for community discussion. The title is a shortened version of the Investigative Mantra: What do we think, what do we know, what can we prove? and everything from wild speculation to resource referencing fact is welcome here.

UPDATE: Bumped up to increase visibility, catalyze caring, and give MathArt a Monday Morning Howdoyoudo!

On Thursday, April 15th, District Wide Faculty Council (a.k.a., FC4) President Keith McCoy addressed the Board of Directors. This was his statement:

Good afternoon to the Board of Trustees, Officers of the District, and guests.

I want to extend a special welcome to Chairman Chico and Chancellor Hyman. Faculty Council looks forward to working with both of you.

Textbook costs continue to be a concern for Faculty council. We will keep monitoring the practices of faculty and academic departments to ensure that decisions take into account financial impact to students. We hope to leverage our relationships with publishers like Pearson, whose textbooks we voluminously use across the district, to offer lower costs to students.

Faculty Council will continue to collaborate with Academic Affairs in order to provide sound and good academic policies. We will provide Academic Affairs with a list of “good practices” that we would like to see involved in the tenure process. Our goal is to make sure that the process is transparent and fair for all stakeholders.

As CCC prepares to conclude the spring semester, Faculty Council wants to assist the district and faculty with late syllabi or course approvals. As a result, we will hold a special session on May 5 in order to meet these needs.

I wish all a great day. I wish our student trustee, Antony Chungath, much success in his future endeavors. It was a pleasure watching him grow from a student into a leader.

Thank you.

Today’s topic is a forward looking one. Just as it is important to reflect on what has and hasn’t happened in a given year, it is equally important, while still in the thick of things to think about where we want to go; we should ask ourselves whether we hit this year’s goals, but also ask ourselves what new goals have arisen and which old goals remain.

President McCoy, in what I believe will be his last address to the board (Theresa reported that he’s taking a district gig next year), speaks of two areas of concern: text books and “good and sound academic policies,” specifically identifying tenure practices. I’m not sure what he means when he says, “We’ll keep monitoring the practices of faculty and academic departments to ensure that decisions take into account financial impact to students,” nor do I know what he means when he says, “We hope to leverage our relationships with publishers like Pearson, whose textbooks we voluminously use across the district, to offer lower costs to students.”

Not sure what the plan is for developing the “good practices list” either, but as I’ve said before, I’m a big proponent of making changes to that disaster, so I hope their list helps illuminate some of the shortcomings of our current system.

Our concern here, though, is with developing some ideas for next year’s Faculty Council’s (local and/or district wide. What are your most urgent areas of concern, issues that you’d like to see taken up by Faculty Council next year? What do you think Faculty Council (local or FC4) ought to be focused on? What are three things you’d like to see changed?

What do you think? What do you know? What can you prove?