Foothill College Academic Senate Minutes
April 26, 2004; 2:30 – 4:30 pm, Room 6712
Amended May 17, 2004

Called to order at 2:37 pm.

The Foothill Academic Senate is honored to have the Board of Trustees visiting and observing the Senate meeting.  We welcome Chancellor Martha Kanter, Hal Plotkin, Sandy Hay, Betsey Bechtel, and Andrea Leiderman.  Since this was not an annnounced Board meeting, the Board would not be making any statements on any issue, in accordance with the Brown Act.

Minutes for the April 12, 2004 meeting were approved.

The consent calendar was approved unanimously.  

Action and Information Items:

Full-Time Obligation:  Paul Starer presented the letter from Jane Enright where the particulars of the Golden Handshake and the gap in full-time hiring was clearly spelled out.  (See attached letter).  The Senate has been asked to approve this delay in hiring to enable the Golden Handshake to proceed.  Rich Hansen from the FA discussed in detail how the process would work, how retirees are considered in the FT:PT ratio, and that the Golden Handshake as presented would delay hiring from the Spring of 2005 until the Fall of 2005.  The concerns of the De Anza Senate were addressed in that the Senates (both Foothill and De Anza) would be contacted if, in the future, the issues surrounding the proposed hiring plan would be subject to change.  In the ensuing discussion, it was made clear that the process of hiring could occur at any time, and that any gaps in instructional quality would affect the Spring, 2005 quarter only.  Financial concerns were also raised, and addressed in that as a district, we would receive Prop 98 funds, which are linked to the economy, so there is the hope of increases in future funding.  

Voting results:  Deferring full-time hiring for the Spring 2005 in order for the Golden Handshake to proceed:

 In favor of deferral:  12
 Opposed to deferral:  0
 Abstentions:             2

Faculty Speaker:  As of the 4/19/04 deadline, four persons were nominated:  Natalia Menendez, Elizabeth Barkley, James Woolever, Jamie Doll.  These faculty members were then asked for a bio, and three of the four declined after the bios were requested.  The ASFC deferred obtaining the bios to the Senate.  Dolores will obtain the bios and provide them to the ASFC for their consideration and vote and submission to the commencement committee.  A proposal for changing the requirements for prospective speakers was discussed, whereby the Senate would provide the bios for the ASFC.  This may encourage more faculty to be considered as speaker.

A vote was taken in favor of the Senate to obtain the bios, and for all four names to be submitted to the ASFC for consideration of Faculty Speaker for the 2004 Commencement:

 In favor:       11
 Not in favor:  1
 Abstention:    2

Academic Freedom:  Rich Morasci presented preliminary information regarding this important bill.  Discussion ensued regarding the Academic Bill of Rights, proposed changes in the education code, and academic freedom.  The item was tabled until the May 10th meeting so that Rich may gather more information on this critical issue.

Final Exam Schedule:  Several key issues were presented:  1).  Online exams are sometimes scheduled at the same time as “real person” in class exams, creating conflict for many studnets.  This needs to be studied further and clarified to allow final exams to proceed in a more organized fashion.  2).  Faculty need guidance regarding when final exams may be held, and faculty obligation to be present and hold their exams during the allotted time.  
3).  Jan Kuersten (scheduling) is retiring, and should have enough time to train a replacement so that a wealth of corporate knowledge is not lost.  4).  Finals are sometimes scheduled for days on which the course does not normally meet, creating difficulty for work and other schedules.  The administration is considering changing the final exam schedule for the Fall of 2004.  5).  Discussion of “dead week” acceptable activities, concern for final exam “creep”  (finals held during dead week) and that more discussion is needed.  

Senate Constitution:  Due to the number of changes and the discussion that needs to take place concerning these changes, a special senate session will be held on Monday, May 3, 2004 for all those interested in discussing the proposed changes.  The items to be addressed include but are not limited to the following:

1.  The Senate elected positions are changing, consideration of the merging of the popsitions of VP with the Curriculum co-chair.  Is it advisable to go ahead with the upcoming election until the changes in the constitution are approved?  (Roxanne presented)

2.  Representation of the divisions in the Senate – a change from a house of reps to a senate (with only two persons per division, regardless of the size of the division).  All divisions would now be allowed up to two senators. (Andy presented, April also)

3.  Paul’s areas of potential concern:  
 a.  Curric co-chair and Senate VP is same person.  Would the curric cmte approve
  of this?  Shirley (current Curric co-chair) said curric cmte didn’t seem
  that concerned about it.
 b.  No more discrimination between PT and FT faculty voting.  All faculty,
regardless of FT or PT status would have their votes counted as one full vote (previously PT vote was counted as a half vote)

4.  Dolores presented:  Proposed increase of term length might raise discussion / concern.

5.  Ken presented:  Term limits?  Paul responded that the issue is not closed to discussion,
 but the item was declined for incorporation into the constitution at this time.
 Bob- number of successive terms, number of lifetime terms?  

6.  Andy, Lauren:  Voting issues – approval of issues by 2/3 of votes cast,
voting by proxy with proxy substitutions submitted in writing

Diversity Survey:  Kim Chief Elk presented the findings of an institutional research survey for the Foothill De Anza Community.  Three years were spent in developing the survey which was distributed to students, classified employees, faculty and administrators.  Important findings included:  1)  A great diversity of languages exist, 2)  The overall climate score was 1.9 with “1” being the most positive, and 3) no statistical difference existed for ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.  Areas for improvement were also indicated, including 1) comfort with approaching teachers outside the classroom, 2)  increased teacher sensitivity to students needs,  3)  difficulties with the teacher and language if English is not the main language spoken by the student, and 4)  ways to assist students who have a disability which poses a challenge to their learning.   In the discussion period afterwards, Ken Horowitz mentioned that at the board meeting of April 12, Raj Jesudasen presented to the board a document bringing into question the accuracy and interpretation of the data and the numbers in the survey.  This challenge related primarily to the fact that some (number unknown) of faculty and staff did not fill out the survey for fear that they’d be identified.  Kim Chief Elk responded that the challenge to the document was noted, but that the information present in the challenge was not accurate.

Minor Students Policy:  Rose Myers presented to new policy regarding minors taking classes on campus.  SB338 limits the enrollment of minors to high school juniors and seniors only.  Other issues relating to minors, including mandatory reporting of abuse, exposure to R-rated material, etc, will be addressed in the future.  The Senate was reminded that even though the student might me a minor, the instructor cannot discuss any academic issues, including performance and grades, with anyone except the student (no discussion is allowed with the parents).

Committee Members needed:  ETAC needs a representative for the Spam Committee.  
The meeting adjourned at 4:34

Respectfully submitted:
Maureen Mac Dougall