your move, Bruce: faculty send response to Leslie on status of majors

Sent to Chancellor Bruce Leslie, the PVC , the Board of Trustees and all faculty this afternoon. See also: timeline of events surrounding the removal of majors:

Dear Dr. Leslie:

I have attached the faculty response to the status of majors for your consideration. This document and the process of its approval represent hundreds of hours of work by multiple faculty who are genuinely concerned about the education of our students and the betterment of our community. To reach this point, faculty leadership took the following steps:

1. I sent a copy of the agreed-upon language from Super Senate to all faculty and encouraged faculty to work with their senates to provide feedback.

2. Faculty senate leaders consulted with their presidents and sent the plan forward to them for consideration at their February 9th meeting. The presidents approved of the plan but were concerned you might not accept it because of your desire for an overarching District committee. They asked us to consider using both our plan and an overarching District committee that would define the problems we face.

3. All faculty senates consulted their faculty and presented three alternatives: the plan reflecting only an overarching District committee, our plan, and a plan that starts with the District committee and then moves to the colleges. At all five colleges, faculty support was overwhelmingly in favor of presenting you with the original college-based plan.

At this very important crossroads, we acknowledge that the majors issue is complex and transferability of all coursework is a real problem we have to address.  We also recognize this is an issue tied inextricably to the accreditation of each college.  This is why we suggest that research should start with individual colleges’ committees.  It is imperative that each college has a full and clear understanding of the non-negotiable aspects of accreditation, where we are falling short in serving our students, and how to design measurable programs from which all courses transfer.  We welcome open and productive conversations that are informed first with internal research from the collection and assessment of our own data.  The accreditation process has shined the light on areas that deserve our attention, and we are aware that defining problems and divining solutions should be considered in light of these specific problems.

In short, we need space and the support of District to begin the conversation at our individual colleges in order to understand more deeply what is at issue and to gather all of the experts on each campus in order to define our problem areas. Once we identify our own problem areas, we will be ready to move forward with our sister colleges and District to collect and consider additional research, to define problems where they exist across colleges, and to identify common approaches for solving problems where possible.

This is an agenda item at Super Senate today, so we are prepared to begin discussion briefly; however, we would like to have more detailed discussion involving more of the faculty and presidential leadership at all five colleges, particularly those who were crucial in creating the plan. We also would like to include the board of trustees in this dialogue.

We look forward to your written response to our proposal.

Respectfully,

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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