Academic Senate


Student Learning

Let's Talk About
Teaching and Learning

Board Policy

The Ed

Flex Day


President's Notes


February 2, 2012


College Council


Not much news; will meet on Feb 7

Has not yet discussed Doug's 2012-2013 Planning Assumptions


Communications from Doug Garrison


In response to a question from Alan Haffa, Doug gave a nice "state of the college" summary of current enrollment and budgetary issues facing the college.



Thank you for your questions.

Repeatability or “Enrollment Limits” -  This topic is becoming more and more confusing.  There are three elements to “enrollment limits.” The first is a set of regulations that have already been adopted but will first be implemented per state law this summer.  Those limits indicate that a student may enroll in a credit class no more than three times if the student has not received a satisfactory grade in the first two attempts.  The big difference now is that a “W” is considered in this enrollment limit.  This issue impacts two major groups of courses: basic skills and the arts.  Basics skills courses are impacted because it is a cluster of courses in which students have a high frequency of not passing a course in the first one or two attempts.  The arts are impacted because students often repeat the courses after receiving “W” because their interest may be primarily in the experience rather than in a grade.  We have many examples of transcripts showing six or greater attempts at such courses.  Rosaleen is investigating the projected enrollment impact on both of these groups of courses. The basic skills database is nearly complete. The arts database is much more complex, and she is working as quickly as possible on it. Both databases include every enrollment in each of these courses over the last three years.  You can imagine the size of the database.  From this examination, she intends to offer some extrapolated projections concerning what we might expect as an impact on our enrollment. These data are needed to complete development of the fall schedule.


The second “enrollment limit” discussion stems from the recommendations posed by the statewide Academic Senate, which have now been forwarded to the Board of Governors for review.  These recommendations place strict limits on the number of times a performance course may be taken and eliminates repeatability for PE and non-performance courses.  Once we know what the BOG intends to implement, we will be able to project the impact.  However, given MPC’s uniquely high enrollment of older adults – the majority of whom are not pursuing a degree, transfer, or certificate -  the potential for a negative impact on the enrollments in these areas is high.


The third “enrollment limit” discussions is embedded in the Student Success Task Force recommendations.  The primary concern is the intention to limit apportionment only to those courses that “support a student education plan.”  We do not know exactly what that means yet, but the potential exists for elimination of apportionment funding for all non-credit and credit courses that do not figure in student education plans.  Probably, the most practical impact of this change will be the necessity of developing a Continuing Education program at MPC, which would provide fee-based, not-for-credit courses to people interested in the experience rather than college credit in pursuit of an award. Again, once we better understand the definitions intended in the report, we will be able to project the impact.


Savings from Faculty Retirements – The on-going savings from faculty retirements have been assumed in this year’s budget.  The incentive funds were paid from one-time sources, and not all of the retirement incentives were scheduled for payment in one year.  Some faculty chose to space out the incentive payment over a number of years. As a result, there will be no additional savings next year. The on-going deficit for 2012-13 is approximately $2.3m.


Faculty Hiring – The consideration of full-time faculty hiring is increasingly complex.  You are correct that when AAAG and the Council reviewed faculty positions in the fall, we did not have the benefit of knowing the Governor’s proposal or the potential impacts of the SSTF. So, it is reasonable to give some thought to how those issues might impact faculty hiring. As to the FON, your comments indicate that you think we have deferred it in the past. We have not. Our current projected faculty total at June 2012 is 106, not counting the five searches we have underway. Our obligation for November 2012 is projected to be approximately 110; however, that projection may decrease due to the impact of workload reductions and the apportionment deficit factor. Both of those influences can lower our FON obligation. However, there is an option whereby colleges can meet their FON by maintaining the percentage of full-time to part-time faculty hours. Since there is a likelihood that we will reduce part-time hours due to the impact of the enrollment limit regulations, our full-time to part-time ratio will actually be enhanced, thereby satisfying the FON.


I know these discussions become complex, but it is valuable for people to be as informed as possible about the issues affecting the college.


Let me know if you have questions.




Communications from Stave Ma and the Budget Committee (via Suzanne Ammons)

In the meantime, as per today’s conversation, Steve asked for suggestions on possible budget solutions that BC could review/discuss/recommend for consideration in the face of our current $700K deficit.  Please forward your ideas on this to Steve (and myself), prior to our Feb 14th meeting.

Suzanne Ammons

I continue to believe that the Academic Senate's position on these types of questions is that because of the diverse perspectives represented on the Academic Senate, it cannot offer a unified or consensus position on prioritization of budget cuts.


Please tell me if I have misjudged the situation.





There was a report from the Technology Committee about membership of the Technology Committee

Collectively, the members should represent the following functions:

  1. Distance learning technology

  2. Open computer labs (Library, ESSC, etc.)

  3. Alternative platforms and mobile computing

  4. Adaptive technology for students with disabilities

  5. Classroom instructional technology (smart classrooms & instructional computer labs)

  6. Specialized computer instruction (CTE, Auto Tech, Physics, etc.)

  7. Staff use of technology for Student Services, Academic Affairs, and Administrative Services

  8. Institutional technology (data center, infrastructure, telephone & paging, etc.)

  9. Website technology

It has been announced that Sharon Colton will be retiring in August.


My opinion is that the Academic Senate should place its energy in contributing to the dialog about what we would like to see happen to this position after August -- reorg? Same general responsibilities? What do we want here?


Ed Master Plan Committee


New members from Arts, Science, and the community have been added to the committee.


Community Ed Committee


Members are being added; partial list includes Alan Haffa, Kathy Kress (older adult), Jamie Dagdigian(?), Kim Fujii, community member(s).


New Senators and Elections


Divisions for which terms end in Spring 2012

Life Science

Creative Arts

Social Science

Physical Education


The At-large seat formerly held by Susan Joplin (term ends Spring 2012)


Other at-large seats

Catherine will fill the Library seat; sadly Stephanie will be leaving


Bylaws state we should establish membership by March 1.


Senate Officers election is at the second meeting in March; both old and new senators attend and vote.


MPC SLO Committee

A draft of the response to the three SLO accreditation recommendations is coming to you soon. Be ready.


Distance Education


As stated in the ICDE's Strategic Initiative for the Growth and Development of MPC On-Line, some of the goals are "fully on-line degree programs" and "fully on-line certificate programs".


I've spent a bit of time talking with Judee Timm and Lynn Iwamoto this week about the meaning of "fully on-line"


I think we should know and all agree on the definition of this term.


For the CAC, fully on-line means more than 50% is at a distance.

For others, fully on-line means that all instruction, i.e., not assessment, is at a distance.


My opinion is that these distinctions are important. Neither of the above definitions guarantee a truly distant student from completing our fully on-line offerings. Is that what we collectively understand about "fully on line", and is that what we want?


Late Breaking SSTF News


Student Success Act Bill Summary

Student Success Act Proposed Ed Code Language


Dear Local Senate Presidents - The message below and the attachments were forwarded to Consultation Council this morning. As it is early in the process, changes to the language are to be expected. We had planned to do Webinars on the SSTF recommendations in the near future, but will likely schedule some opportunities to discuss this language instead. Please look for more information early next week. 


In the meantime, I encourage you to post your questions and concerns at:


I hope your week is going well,



Michelle L. Pilati, Ph.D.
President, Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (
Professor of Psychology, Rio Hondo College



Possible Future Agenda Items

  1. The Art Department and the Curriculum Committee

  2. Report from Rosaleen Ryan on potential impacts from decreased enrollment in repeatable courses.