Update on Majors Issue: Meeting on Wed Feb 18 @ 3pm

Below is am email sent to all SAC faculty from Senate chair Dawn Elmore:

Colleagues:

Following is a brief timeline reflecting progression toward where we stand with regard to majors today.

Spring 2014: The move toward removal of majors slowly trickles out through leadership meetings on the campuses; it was communicated as an FYI. Reasons given varied, and no one communicated the process involved in the decision.

Fall 2014: The catalogs of all five colleges are changed to reflect advising guides. Colleges are directed by Christa Emig to remove CIP codes.

November/December 2014: Community outcry at board meetings and board awareness ensues. Board, students, faculty, and community question decision.

Dec 19: Chancellor brokers deal with Super Senate that he will reinstate majors if faculty agrees to come to the table in the spring to discuss/evaluate. Super Senate agrees to take proposal back to respective governing bodies for discussion and feedback.

December 25: Chancellor appeals for public understanding and support through an Express-News editorial advocating the removal of majors.

January 2015: Chancellor sends a timeline through Super Senate stating his model for of evaluating majors. The timeline originated at PVC in response to the need to make changes in the catalog.

January 29, 2015: Super Senate meets with Dr. Leslie to bring forward ideas from college governing bodies. Discussions took place at four of the five colleges. Chancellor elects not to accept ideas because they are solution-oriented rather than open-ended and are college-based rather than District-oriented. The senate statements related faculty view that majors are integral and valuable to each schools. (see attached)

February 2: Chancellor sends his timeline and description of his proposed district process of coming together to evaluate majors. (See attached- the header say faculty senate but this is not super senate) He gave the faculty 48 hours for faculty to respond to his proposed structure. (See attached communication)

In response, senates work across colleges to develop a college-based approach that demonstrated a willingness to address the issues of concern at the college level. (See attached)

Senate leadership meets with their presidents to communicate desire to work with the major at the college level and receive input. Because of the initial positive reaction of presidents and the momentum that built around this cross-college collaboration, senate leadership agrees to advance the cross-college plan through presidents instead of Super Senate.

February 4: Super Senate requests more time to work together and respond to the chancellor.

February 6: Super Senate notifies Dr. Leslie that plan is complete and will be sent to the college presidents.

February 11: Presidents are hesitant to support plan as-is. They are concerned that the chancellor is not willing to look at a “solutions-based” proposal at this time, but would rather create a district-level committee charged with defining the problems with transfer, majors, degree completing, as well as conducting research, before any college or district group moves forward. The presidents propose a concurrent model that would have a cross-colleges committee gathering research on student completion, transfer, retention, and the use of majors working simultaneously with the individual college committees. The District committee would be composed of members from the individual college committees and would not necessarily be majority faculty.

We must decide whether we want to present the original proposal to the chancellor through the Super Senate or if we want to consider the modified plan the college presidents would support.

Ultimately, the impact of this decision will have long term consequences across all colleges and therefore must be considered by a fully informed faculty.

Please attend our meeting on Wednesday, February 18th, at 3pm, NAHC 218.

We will be discussing both proposals (original and revised) and the potential consequences of supporting either one. As representatives of our faculty community, we must responsibly communicate this issue well and thoughtfully consider the opinions of our colleagues.

Thanks,

Dawn

Dawn L. Elmore, PhD
SAC Faculty Senate President/Alamo Colleges Super Senate President
Professor of English/Distance
Education Coordinator
San Antonio College

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