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President's Notes

 

Sept 19, 2013

 

 

 

Committee Items

 

College Council (met on Sept 10)

Although not part of the meeting, Lyndon Schutzler has volunteered to step down from College Council, although he would still like to sit at the table and participate in the discussion. Obviously he would hot have a vote. I'll report again on how this goes after the next College Council meeting.

 

Diane Boynton was selected as co-chair.

 

Stephanie Perkins told us about Loran Walsh. Because of diabetes, he has had a leg amputated below the knee and a big toe amputated from the other leg. Bad news.

 

Walt presented a general guide explaining how he is thinking about reducing the budget deficit:

$900K -- instruction

$600K -- student services

$1,000K -- Health and Welfare Cost Containment, i.e., medical insurance benefits

$300K -- administration / efficiencies

--------

$2.8M

 

College Council is charged with providing guidelines for reductions, not names or positions.

 

On Friday of last week, Diane sent out the following questions...

 

College Council may wind up meeting weekly to get this work done.

 

There was great participation by the newly appointed faculty members Elizabeth Mullins and Dan Fox.

 

Lots of talk at the meeting about access issues -- problems with the website and getting students registered. Everybody recognizes this as a big problem.

In response, Marty Johnson has convened a SABRE (sorry forgot the acronym) group to try and address some of these access issues.

 

In addition, the Tech group working is on Tech Refresh plans, the ERP (Enterprise Resource Program) issue, and the web site RFP (Request For Proposals). There has been talk about the institution getting a loan to buy an ERP, but there is reluctance to do this until the deficit is solved.

 

Walt has asked all groups to have conversations about priorities.

 

There was conversation about DE and the plans for the institution in light of Bruce Wilder's retirement. Walt: "It is the intent of the college to invest more than 50% of a classified position to DE."

 

In a subsequent email, Diane suggested that MPC's goals need to become much more simple and succinct:

1. Create a balanced budget. 2. Increase enrollment. 3. Create a solid infrastructure for future survival and growth.

I asked Diane about the last one. It means making big investments in IT.

"it means that we need to do something radical to shore up IT (and thus the services IT supports). We will not improve our infrastructure by balancing the budget or enrolling more students. Of course, once we short up IT in a BIG way, we will be able to enroll more students… and use them for data."

 

Sept 13th email from College Council Co-Chairs:

Members of Administrative Council:  As you were made aware during our August 21st meeting, MPC is in a precarious financial position. College members can no longer do business as usual; they must explore ways to significantly increase enrollments, cut costs, and explore other revenue sources, while recognizing the need for a more functional Enterprise Resource Program* (ERP) and planning for its high cost and implementation challenges.  

 

College Council has been asked to make recommendations to the President by October 31, 2013 in preparation of balancing the college’s budget by 2014. During this week’s meeting, Dr. Tribley indicated that we may need to cut as much as $600,000 in Student Services, $900,000 in Academic Affairs, $1,000,000 in health and welfare costs, and $300,000 in Administrative Services.

 

As co-chairs of College Council , Stephanie Perkins and I have been charged with enlisting your help in generating budget-balancing ideas. We are asking that every leader of every division, area, and advisory group (AAAG, SSAG, and ASAG) lead a lively discussion of steps to take to:

 

·         Grow enrollment

·         Cut costs (simplify processes, cut low-enrolled classes, cross-train, etc.)

·         Generate revenue

 

As you complete this task, consider answering the following questions:

 

·         What is absolutely core to your area?

·         What actions could you or members of your area take to complete work with fewer resources?

·         What aspects of your area could you cut while still supporting the mission and values of the college?

·         What steps might your area take to generate revenue?

·         How might your area help to increase enrollment and/or retention?

 

To assist you and your team or group in this endeavor, we are attaching documents that describe budgeting basics (the examples are dated, but the budgeting elements remain the same), as well as Steve Ma’s responses to questions about the 2013-2014 budget.  The contingency plan document details suggestions made during our last budget-cutting brainstorming sessions. These ideas may be a good starting place for your discussions. If you would like more information, please let us know. We will do everything we can to provide you with the information you need.

 

We have also attached a document providing rules and guidelines for brainstorming.

 

If at all possible, please begin these discussions at your earliest convenience. Record your group’s ideas, and then send them to one of the College Council co-chairs prior to College Council’s next meeting date (September 24, 2013). Sending your list of ideas earlier would be best, of course, to allow College Council members time to review all ideas prior to its meeting.

 

As representatives of the campus community as well as College Council, we ask that you lead a discussion reflecting the spirit of the college: able and willing to do what is necessary for the sake of student learning.  Let’s discuss with grace and humor and intelligence… and a great deal of creativity!

 

In sum:

 

1.       Meet with your area/group as soon as possible to discuss ways to increase enrollments, generate revenue, and cut costs.

2.       Using the previous contingency plan ideas and the prompts indicated above, brainstorm ways that your area/group might cut costs, increase enrollments, and/or generate revenue.

3.       Create a list of ideas. If your group decides that certain ideas are important, please highlight and/or prioritize these.

4.       Email your list to Stephanie Perkins and Diane Boynton.

 

Since College Council has just begun the process of creating recommendations for the President, we cannot tell you what the next steps will be. However, please be on stand-by; you may be called upon to participate in a task force or to provide clarification regarding one or more of your group’s ideas.

 

Thank you for your service to MPC and its students. Your work is deeply appreciated.

 

At your service,

 

Diane Boynton and Stephanie Perkins

Co-chairs of College Council

 

* An ERP is a data management system that provides the framework for student information, scheduling of classes, etc. The cost for an adequate system is approximately $5 million.

 

 

AAAG

 

Board of Trustees

Have not met since our last meeting 

Scheduling of Academic Senate agenda items

Academic Senate representatives have suggested that we try to have important agenda items earlier in the meeting. We decided that one way to address this issue is to stick more closely to the schedule included on the agenda and try harder to end by 4:15, which is when we have all agreed that we should finish the meeting. If we want to commit to sticking to the schedule within the agenda, then I will need all of your help in ending individual conversations on time.

 

The Executive Committee also reviewed the order of the agenda items in the New Business section to ensure that there is a balance between putting first those items for which we need to complete business, and those important items that will require more discussion.

 

On the other hand, we also recognized that the Academic Senate meetings have long been scheduled 2:30-4:15 and we can reasonably expect faculty representatives to make themselves available during that time to attend the meetings.

Basic Skills Initiative

From Tracie Catania:

 

"I think the MLC instructional specialist position (BSI funded) definitely helped with our success rates.  A lot of other things happened during this time period as well (like the move to the bigger MLC space, mandatory assessment for math, etc.).  It would be extremely hard to prove that any single event caused the increased success - too many variables, no control group, self-selecting participants, etc.

 

I was not surprised to see that Math 261 stood out from our other classes.  It was not the BSI cohort tracking tool that brought this to our attention - it was the MLC data analysis I did with Rosaleen's help earlier in the spring semester.  Math 261 has the lowest success rate, and MLC use has the greatest effect in this course.  The math department discussed this during our flex day SLO reflection time.  We came up with some possible explanations and plans for interventions in this course.  We think the problem is real, but not caused nor cured by any single thing."