Academic Senate


Student Learning


Board Policy

Basic Skills

Flex Day



President's Notes


April, 2013


Future Academic Senate Meetings

Three Academic Senate meetings remain: May 2, 16, and 30.


College Council

1. College Council did not make quorum on March 26. Please continue to let Fred or the Executive Committee know if/when you can't make a meeting. We do not want to waste the effort that goes into preparing all of the background material for one of these meetings because not enough people attend. Please make every effort to attend these meetings and let us know if the agenda items are not worthy of our attention or we can improve the effectiveness of the meetings in some way.


2. College Council met on April 16. Approved the Academic Senate recommendation to put Administrative Procedures in an easily accessible place. We can now watch to see how this progresses to the board.


3. College Council is embarking on discussion about the Planning and Resource Allocation Process (the Cloud Diagram). One emphasis is to get the dates right for program reviews and action plans. A second emphasis is to incorporate the Reflections/SLO process into the diagram.


Here is a proposed draft put forward by the SLO Committee. Note the enhanced presence of the SLO/Reflections process.


The discussion on this diagram was tabled to give PVP a chance to make some adjustments. I understand their concerns are in the area of timing of resource allocation, not the way that the SLO/Reflections are presented.


Expect this to be on our agenda soon. Comments and feedback welcome.


4. College Council discussion about SIS. The crystal ball says that SIS has become inadequate in today's data-centric world, and that the institution will have to make an investment in a more sophisticated system soon. This will be an investment on the order of ~$5 million. I learned a new acronym: Enterprise Resource Program (ERP). One example: SIS has caused MPC to overestimate FTES by ~100.


5. College Council would like to see more Flex breakouts by the BART team and others involved in student mental health.


6. College Council did discuss Fred's suggested changes to the College Council bylaws. Making the SLO/Reflection process more central and visible in the bylaws was the main theme of the substantive changes. The proposed changes were received positively, but word-smithing continues.



AAAG met on Earth Day, April 17. It considered the SLO Committee Plan to guide future actions. This is the same document endorsed by the Academic Senate on March 21. 


AAAG discussed a first draft of a tech plan. Please expect this to be on the Academic Senate agenda soon.



Public Safety Training Center Interim Director Screening Committee

Stephanie Tetter


Vice President of Student Services, interim and permanent Screening Committee (Academic Senate only appoints faculty members)

The Executive Committee, through Fred, have worked collaboratively with Walt on faculty member representation for this search.

Kim Mansfield (not sure if she has been asked yet)

LaRon Johnson

Lyndon Schutzler

Catherine Webb

Mike Gilmartin

Barbara Lee (Chair)

Community Member whose name escapes me right now


College Council

Elizabeth Mullins

Dan Fox


Student Success Planning Group

e-mail from Larry Walker:


We really do appreciate the support from the Academic Senate as MPC begins to address the mandates set forth in the Student Success and Support Program.
I wanted to provide a little background for you. Caroline, Kim, Laura, Alethea and I have been meeting to discuss BSI as well as the Student Success and Support Program (SB1456). Through our discussions, we all realized that we need to broaden the discussion (by involving others) about the Student Success and Support Program. The goal of the group is to get folks from Academic Affairs, Student Services and Administrative Services around the table to begin to dialogue and brainstorm about how MPC may begin to move forward given the mandates outlined in the Student Success and Support Program. The concept has support from P/VP; however, we see it as a planning group and not responsible for any decision-making. At this point, we do not consider it a taskforce or committee, just a planning group with some knowledge and expertise coming together to begin to discuss and understand how the Student Success and Support Program is going to impact MPC.
Given this information, please let me know if you feel the faculty involved should be appointed by the Senate. Here are the individuals that plan to attend the meeting that we are calling the Student Success Planning Group:
John Cristobal-Faculty
Merry Dennehy-Faculty
Alethea DeSoto-Faculty
Heather Faust-Faculty
Molly May-Faculty
Laura Franklin-Administration
Larry Walker-Administration
Julie Osborne-Classified
Rosaleen Ryan-Management
Mike Midkiff-Management
Again, we appreciate the Academic Senate support.



Goal Groups -- Instruction/Student Services

Update from Mike Torres:


"Our subcommittee met this morning and we are making progress on several items.
Regarding the presentation I am collaborating on with Andres and Kevin, it took awhile for meetings to occur but in the end Andres and Kevin thought it best if they put together a survey for their students to identify the topics they want to have addressed. I met with Andres and Kevin separately just before the break and it was decided that the survey should go out this semester and the presentation will take place in the fall. The survey will be distributed more broadly in the Life Science Division than originally planned so they will have a better perspective of what students are interested in learning. The potential areas that could be covered is quite broad, and where Andres and Kevin are comfortable speaking to some of those areas there are other areas they might not.
Some of the areas we mentioned are--- the rigor of courses (and major), the importance of sequencing difficult classes, upper division work vs. lower division work, research opportunities, applying to medical school , careers related to the Life Science majors, what are the best universities for the major, CSU vs. UC vs. Independent, sharing their experiences (Kevin and Andres) going through the major, and more. After talking we were in agreement that taking our time and making sure the presentation is addressing the student’s interests and making it a quality presentation will require the survey and more time.
Since this is our new plan I am going to go to Tom Logan and offer the same opportunity to collaborate with the Social Sciences for a fall presentation as well.
Our subcommittee is also following up on the concept of basic skills level major content courses (300 level). We have had several discussions about this and the more we talk the more it makes sense. These courses could help student in many ways, like making their early experience at MPC more interesting and varied, help them in selecting a major, act as a ramp-up course within a major, avoid students placing themselves in courses they’re not ready to take (because they need units for financial aid), they will not count against the “units attempted” for financial aid, and they could generate more FTES. We met with Sunshine just before the break and she was very encouraging and helped us understand the timelines involved. Our initial thought is to have at least two classes ready for fall 2014. Anita will fill you in on more if the detail."


Contextualizing Date with Rosaleen

The Scorecard with Numbers


The age demographics surprise Fred. How different is this from state averages or similar colleges? What does this imply for MPC course offerings?


SLO Committee

Visited Gavilan College to see their homegrown e-system for recording and managing SLO assessment results. Ours is currently taking too much time on the behalf of Academic Affairs. MPC is looking at electronic systems as a way to make this process more efficient for both faculty members and the office of Academic Affairs.



Area B Meeting was Friday March 29 at the College of San Mateo. Fred attended. Nothing Earth shattering to report. Lots of hand-wringing about MOOCs. Lots of controversy about the new


Spring Plenary is April 18-20 at the SFO Westin. Fred is involved in  two of the breakouts, and will attend on Thursday. A previous commitment to an Earth Science colleague brings him back to MPC on Friday. Catherine will be MPC delegate to the resolution voting on Saturday.


Resolution 9.04. "Resolved that the ASCCC research and investigate massive open online courses (MOOCs) through an evaluation based on formative and summative criteria to determine the appropriateness of this new form of instruction for community college students."


There seems to be controversy on some of the additions to the discipline list.


Resolution 10.01 and 10.02. These involve a proposal to add Kinesiology to the discipline list. There seems to be disagreement between two very well respected groups. Fred has e-mailed Lyndon Schutzler and Mark Clements for advice.


Resolution 10.04. Teacher Education. There is a conflict with Child Development instructors. Upon the advice of Mary Johnson, we plan to vote against this proposal.


Resolutions 10.09 and 10.10. These two indicate that people are frustrated and upset about the disciplines list process and want improvements.


Resolution 19.03. Following on the soon-to-be-published ASCCC paper "Sound Principles for Faculty Evaluations" (19.01), this resolution empowers the ASCCC Executive Committee to work collaboratively "with statewide bargaining organizations and other relevant constituencies to develop training materials and/or other guidance to help local colleges and districts establish effective training processes for faculty engaged in peer evaluation." Fred thinks this resolution jives nicely with the intent of our mentoring group, as well as some of the things the SLO group has been talking about.


Resolution 19.07. Another interesting resolution is one that asks the ASCCC to investigate certification for instructors to teach DE courses This resolution merely empowers the Executive Committee to gather information.


Board Policy Background

E-mail from Anita Johnson:

Brian and I have worked through the Title 5, CCLC proposed policy language, and the current MPC Board Policy on GE, and we have come up with the attached draft. We have tried to incorporate the Title 5 priorities and include some specific points from the current MPC language that did not seem to be part of the CCLC version.
We are not sure if the GE Area Requirements should be included in the official policy – we can see arguments on both sides in regards to the value of specifically stating our criteria as a college for a GE degree in the policy document itself. Any thoughts on that question?
The text in black is drawn directly from the Title 5/CCLC documents – the green text reflects our reworked and revised suggestions for wording. If you feel that the draft is ready for “prime time,” we could present the policy as this week’s meeting (at least as a First reading?). We could have the current MPC policy, the CCLC recommended language, and our draft available for the Senate to review, if you think that would be helpful.
Thanks – let me know if you have any questions –


Continuing Education Background

At the March 21 Academic Senate meeting, we agreed upon a set of questions we'd like to ask Laura. Here's the e-mail Fred sent to Laura:

Laura, At our March 21 Academic Senate meeting, we had a brief discussion about Continuing Education and the topics that concerned us most. At your request, here is a summary of those issues. You may also wish to consult our minutes from the meeting, which are on the Academic Senate website.

  1. We are concerned that there is not a clear, outlined process for CE course approval, so that everybody knows what the process is.

  2. We wonder whether the approval process, which apparently currently goes to one person, is consistent with MPC standard practices and culture, in which committees usually review issues such as these.

  3. We'd like to know how the MPC community could be informed about what potential courses are in the pipeline, and how faculty can participate in the process of ensuring that these courses meet the standards of quality that we want people to associate with MPC.

  4. We're concerned about facilities and equipment use. If a piece of equipment is broken during a CE course, how will this equipment be replaced for use in our credit courses?

  5. We'd like to know how faculty will have input into which CE course proposals might be redundant with existing offerings. On a related note, as this process is being developed, how can faculty members be involved in its development?

  6. Finally, we wonder how the institution will prevent abuse of the system, e.g., an instructor teaching a CE course might imply that the CE course is a pre-requisite to a for-credit course, i.e., "Hey, you'll do a lot better in my regular class if you take the CE course first, and by the way, here's the book that I wrote on the topic that is required for the CE course."

Laura, we'd like to invite you back to the Academic Senate on April 18th for continued discussion on these topics. I hope you can reserve the time in your calendar.