2013-14 Unit Plan
Academic Senate

Mission Statement

The Academic Senate Constitution clearly identifies the Senate’s purpose and mission: to promote the development and maintenance of high standards of teaching and education; to share in the determination of the goals of the college and in the fulfillment of these goals; to promote the welfare of the entire faculty and to represent the entire faculty in its academic and professional relations with the district; to facilitate communication among the entire faculty, classified personnel, student body, college administration, and the governing board of the district; to make recommendations to the college administration and governing board concerning the academic and professional matters enumerated in the Title V of the Educational Code; to concern itself with any legislation relative to the welfare of the college; and to do all that is necessary and proper to achieve a realization of the purposes of the Faculty Association it represents.

Program Description

The Academic Senate is the voice of the faculty when it comes to matters of academic and professional relations. Its membership is comprised of 18 faculty representing all faculty, both full-time as well as Associate, and all areas of instruction, including areas in student services as well as the Library. The Senate’s membership also includes representation from the Associated Students and the College’s Classified Senate. Meetings are held, on average, twice a month, and special forums are held at the beginning of each semester. The Senate supports and encourages campus participation in activities of college-wide significance such as Book in Common, the Basic Skills Initiative and Title III Grant, the ongoing Accreditation process, and Student Learning Outcomes focus and efforts.

California law and Ed code are constantly changing. The California State Academic Senate sponsors two yearly plenary sessions, several training sessions for academic senate officers from the various California state Academic Senates, and an annual Curriculum Institute. Attendance at these sessions is essential in order to remain current regarding legislation and professional practices.

The Senate Executive Committee

The Senate Executive Committee (Senate Exec) currently consists of four officers. The President of the Senate Exec is responsible for much of the day-to-day business of the Academic Senate, including setting the agendas, holding the bi-monthly Senate meetings, and representing the Academic Senate on numerous college committees. The Vice President also serves on numerous committees, supports the President, fills in for the President when necessary, contributes to the formation of the agendas, and stands ready to chair the Senate meetings whenever necessary. The Secretary and Treasurer for the Senate Exec both facilitate the business of the Executive Committee, participating in monthly meetings the Exec holds with the College’s President and Vice-President for Student Learning and Economic Development as well as sitting on committees as needed. Members of the Senate Exec regularly attend the statewide meetings mentioned above, and all share responsibility for disseminating information gained at these meetings as well as from the local Senate’s activities to the Faculty at large, classified staff, students, and Administration. 

Curriculum

The Academic Senate has oversight for all the curriculum and educational programs on the Butte Community College campus (clearly established through law, Ed code, and AB 1725 (Vasconcellos)). The vast majority of this oversight is handled by the Curriculum Committee, an autonomous subcommittee of the Academic Senate. This committee is chaired by the Curriculum Chair who considered a member of Senate leadership. As stated above, California law and Ed code are constantly changing, especially in regards to curriculum standards. The Curriculum Chair’s attendance at Statewide Senate sessions, particularly the Curriculum Institute, is essential.

Future Development Strategy

Strategy 1

Reorganize the Academic Senate and Executive Committee structure to allow for more effective representation and improved succession planning.

Initiatives
  • Inspiring passion through collaboration
  • Enhancing an innovative, responsive, and accountable culture

  • Supporting Rationale
    Currently Executive Committee officers double as area-specific representatives; are renominated and reconfirmed every academic year; and are subject to reelection when their senator term is up, creating the possibility that succession plans could be jeopardiized. By making Executive officers at-large senators with terms contingent upon their officer positions and simplifying the Executive Committee confirmation process, the work of these leaders and thus the entire Senate will be enhanced.

    Supporting Rationale Alignment

    Strategy 2

    Seek additional institutionalized reassign time for the Curriculum Committee Chair.

    Initiatives
  • Inspiring passion through collaboration
  • Focusing on student success
  • Valuing a culture of learning
  • Enhancing an innovative, responsive, and accountable culture

  • Supporting Rationale
    The reassign time for the Curriculum Chair position has long stood at 25%, although in recent years the actual reassign time has fluctuated between 35% and 50%, depending largely on who was serving in the role and how well the VP of Instruction understood the demands of the job. Over the past decade, many changes in procedures and processes have taken place, intended to improve the Curriculum Committee’s effectiveness (e.g. CurricUNET, technical review meetings, departmental trainings and assistance, conference attendance). Additionally, there have been numerous state mandated changes in curriculum and curricular processes (e.g. SB1440, changes to repeatability and repetition, changes to prerequisite processes), and there will undoubtedly be more changes year to year. All of this has resulted in increased demands in terms of both time and energy for the chair, and the reassign time should be adjusted to reflect this.

    Supporting Rationale Alignment
  • Resolving health, life, and safety issues
  • Maintaining core programs and services
  • Increasing student success
  • Strategy 3

    Seek additional reassign time for the Executive Committee.

    Initiatives
  • Inspiring passion through collaboration
  • Focusing on student success
  • Enhancing an innovative, responsive, and accountable culture

  • Supporting Rationale
    Historically, the Academic Senate Executive Committee has operated with 100% reassign time split between its four members (50% to the President, 40% to the Vice-President, and 5% each to the Secretary and Treasurer). Over the past few years, with an increasing number of campus committees, increasing demand for Executive Committee participation in campus planning, and enormous state and federal changes that require leadership from the Senate, the Senate leadership has been stretched very thin in terms of time. The increase in demand for Executive Committee participation over the past several years (i.e College Council, Learning Council, Participatory Governance, Student Success Committee) has resulted in increased load on the Senate President and Vice-President. The increase in Curriculum Committee concerns has had a particularly significant impact upon the Vice-President's position. However, the Secretary and Treasurer have also been tremendously impacted with  weekly Executive Committee meetings as well as required meetings with the President and the VP of Student Learning and Economic Development (the latter two relatively recent demands), yet they benefit little if any from a mere 5% reassign time.   As these additional responsibilities will undoubtedly persist (and well they should), the Academic Senate is requesting additional reassign time for the Executive Committee. Without such additional support, the Executive Committee will need to examine its current duties, eliminating its participation in some institutional activities in order to meet its Academic Senate priorities.

    Supporting Rationale Alignment
  • Resolving health, life, and safety issues
  • Maintaining core programs and services
  • Establishing new initiatives that support the Strategic Direction
  • Required Resources

    Supplies                                                                                     250.00

    Two Senate retreats                                                                    200.00          

    Two All Faculty Senate Forums                                                     125.00

    Supporting SLO Activities (Catering)                                             200.00

    Fall Plenary Session (3 representatives)                                       3780.00

    Spring Plenary Session (3 representatives)                                   3780.00

    Area A Meetings                                                                           500.00

    Summer Leadership Institute (2 representatives)                          2520.00

    Curriculum Summer Institute (3 representatives)                          3780.00

    Increase reassign time for Curriculum Chair to 50%                       6375.00

                 (see justification in Development Strategy)

    Increase reassign time for Executive Committee to 130%               7650.00

                 (see justification in Development Strategy)

      TOTAL                                                                                   29,160.00

    Current Revenue Stream

    The Academic Senate receives no funding other than that provided by the District.

    Augmentation Requests

    Original Priority Funded Program, Unit, Area Resource Type Description Account Number Object Code One-Time Augment Ongoing Augment Supporting Rationale
    1 Yes Academic Senate Personnel Additional Reassign Time for Curriculum Chair 11-000-400-1-603000 $0.00 $6,375.00 The reassign time for the Curriculum Chair position has long stood at 25%, although in recent years the actual reassign time has fluctuated between 35% and 50%, depending largely on who was serving in the role and how well the VP of Instruction understood the demands of the job. Over the past decade, many changes in procedures and processes have taken place, intended to improve the Curriculum Committee’s effectiveness (e.g. CurricUNET, technical review meetings, departmental trainings and assistance, conference attendance). Additionally, there have been numerous state mandated changes in curriculum and curricular processes (e.g. SB1440, changes to repeatability and repetition, changes to prerequisite processes), and there will undoubtedly be more changes year to year. All of this has resulted in increased demands in terms of both time and energy for the chair, and the reassign time should be adjusted to reflect this.
    2 Yes Academic Senate Personnel Additional Reassign time for Executive Committee 11-000-400-1-603000 $0.00 $7,650.00 Historically, the Academic Senate Executive Committee has operated with 100% reassign time split between its four members (50% to the President, 40% to the Vice-President, and 5% each to the Secretary and Treasurer). Over the past few years, with an increasing number of campus committees, increasing demand for Executive Committee participation in campus planning, and enormous state and federal changes that require leadership from the Senate, the Senate leadership has been stretched very thin in terms of time. The increase in demand for Executive Committee participation over the past several years (i.e College Council, Learning Council, Participatory Governance, Student Success Committee) has resulted in increased load on the Senate President and Vice-President. The increase in Curriculum Committee concerns has had a particularly significant impact upon the Vice-President's position. However, the Secretary and Treasurer have also been tremendously impacted with weekly Executive Committee meetings as well as required meetings with the President and the VP of Student Learning and Economic Development (the latter two relatively recent demands), yet they benefit little if any from a mere 5% reassign time. As these additional responsibilities will undoubtedly persist (and well they should), the Academic Senate is requesting additional reassign time for the Executive Committee. Without such additional support, the Executive Committee will need to examine its current duties, eliminating its participation in some institutional activities in order to meet its Academic Senate priorities.
    Total(s) $0.00 $14,025.00