Foothill College Academic Senate Minutes
March 22, 2004; 2:30 – 4:30 pm, Room 6712

Meeting was called to order at 2:36 p.m.

Bea Cashmore will be replaced by Janet Spybrook and Mary Hawkins in Spring and Fall.

Consent calendar was approved.

Part-time faculty issues – Rich Storer discussed the various activities FA has been engaged in to help advance issues and increase benefits for part-time faculty. These include office hours, health care, and comparable pay for comparable work. The part-time equivalency (resolution) would roll PFE into base funds, which will allow COLA and growth funds for part-time pay. FA drew up part-time equivalence, including language to gain support and bring issue to the board of governors. FA noted that the percentage of classes taught by part-time faculty is now equal or greater than 50%. FA has tried to convince the State to hire more towards the 75/25 full-time / part-time faculty ratio, rather than the current 50/50 ratio.

Motion: Proposal to support the resolution passed with two abstentions.

Faculty speaker - Dolores Davison informed the Senate on the activities related to faculty speaker. Included in the latest language was the ability of faculty for nomination and self-nomination. One faculty speaker nomination has moved to the student (services) group. A motion to approve the resolution passed unanimously.

Faculty handbook – Bernadine Fong and Warren Hurd

Bernadine Fong noted that the faculty handbook was the only record of faculty practice and what is covered during faculty orientation. If the plus/minus grading issue is resolved at the April 19th board meeting it should be included in the faculty handbook. Adding a cell-phone policy is another possible inclusion. Stanford is now part of our service area as well. The disclaimer issue was the principle topic discussed. Language to the effect that “Faculty handbook was reviewed but not written by Senate members” was suggested. The Senate discussed language that would say the handbook represented ‘best practice’ the document has been reviewed by the Senate to update (better) faculty practice. The faculty handbook is a descriptive document of best practices. The faculty handbook is the primary document that new faculty are given during orientation (aside from the FA agreement) Senate represents faculty academic issues and past practice. Faculty handbook covers what responsible faculty do – it is a ‘normative document’. The faculty handbook committee will go back discuss some of the language.

Curriculum committee issues – Shirley Treanor Barker addressed the senate on some recent curriculum issues. In particular, some of our courses may not be transferring, even when they have been articulated. Online education, in particular, may not be accepted by some of our educational partners in the CSU and UC system. General education issues have also been a focus of recent curriculum committee activity that faculty should be aware of. Shirley will provide a hyperlink to some recent documents, including a list of classes that can be audited. Parameters are also being developed for online, hybrid, and Web enhanced courses. It was proposed that Shirley meet with the Senate executive leaders to discuss some of these issues, and also to increase the contact between the Senate and the curriculum committee. In the online area, information regarding student success rates, and gathering both student and faculty perspectives of online education were suggested as important areas of focus.

College Committees – Paul Starer will be circulating an urgent message to college committees to see which committees are active, what their charters are, their current membership, etc. This information will be used to update a master committee list, and those committees that are not active will be disbanded. Eventually this information will be available through the Foothill College Senate website.

Plus / minus grading – the plus / minus grading issue will be discussed at the April 19th FHDA board meeting. Draft language will be circulated as soon as we determine what that language has become.