MPC Academic Senate
Annual Report for 2007-08
The Academic Senate had another
busy year. Last year we spent a lot of time reflecting on who we are by revising
our bylaws, and where we wanted to go by conducting two planning retreats in
which we developed detailed goals. This year, we directed our energy into
achieving those goals.
Articulating Student Learning
Outcomes at the course level for MPC consumed a large part of our energy.
fruitful dialog brought together faculty members with divergent views of SLOs.
We found areas of agreement and identified areas where we disagree. The value we
identified is that the SLO model provides a framework for faculty to engage in
dialog about what it is students ought to know and be able to do as they exit
our courses. We recognized that if faculty don’t take ownership and
responsibility of this initiative, then somebody else will
-- and that would be everybody’s worst nightmare.
At the end of the year we endorsed
a “form” initially designed by Diane Boynton, for faculty to record a) the SLOs
they have developed for each course taught during the semester, b) the
techniques they used to evaluate the student attainment of those SLOs, and c)
what, if anything, they plan to do to improve student learning based on the
results. With the assistance of AAAG and the division chairs, these forms will
be distributed during Fall 2008 and Spring 2009 semesters as a pilot
We appointed and then supported the efforts of our Basic Skills
Initiative committee in their efforts to complete a self study of developmental
education at MPC and then develop plans and goals to improve our efforts to
serve this segment of our student population. As a testament to this commitment,
the term “basic skills” now resides in our two-sentence mission statement.
We planned and hosted two engaging flex day sessions for the college
community. Andres Durstenfeld and Terrence Roberts gave inspirational keynote
speeches. In the spring we had a day devoted to issues of race and education and
a day devoted to discussing, developing and writing course level SLOs. Faculty
attended both days.
The Academic Senate proposed a complete revision of our Academic Freedom
Policy, which was eventually submitted to the Board of Trustees for approval.
Drafted by a subcommittee chaired by Dave Clemens and discussed at length over
four consecutive Academic Senate meetings, our statement represents what is
probably a state-of-the-art policy on Academic Freedom. The policy is centered
on the notion of institutional neutrality and intellectual pluralism and strives
to “defend faculty, students, and the curriculum from the influence of any
current or future political fashion or orthodoxy.” Its theme is that “the
college is a bastion of competing ideas; unanimity is anathema to academic
freedom and intellectual life.”
We continued our efforts to interact with the ASCCC (Academic Senate for
California Community Colleges). We sent two or three representatives to each of
the Plenary Sessions and receiving funding to send the CAC chair to the
Curriculum Institute on a yearly basis. We submitted a resolution to the spring
plenary supporting the repeatability of non-credit courses.
Guiding Principles or Values for the MPC Academic Senate
The Academic Senate uses the pursuit of academic excellence
and critical thinking across the curriculum as an ultimate goal for all it does.
The Academic Senate is the recognized voice of the faculty on
Academic and Professional matters as set forth in Title 5 and the Ed Code,
generally known as the 10+1.
The Academic Senate strives to ensure a strong faculty voice
in shared governance processes
The following outline details some of our goals and
accomplishments for the 2007-08 academic year.
Goal: Foster academic
excellence and critical thinking across the curriculum.
Initiate and support a series of faculty discussions called “Let’s talk
Academic Senate President Fred Hochstaedter
hosted a series of three “Let’s Talk About Teaching and Learning” sessions
during the Fall 2007 semester. A group of 8-12 faculty members attended each of
the sessions. The final session highlighted faculty members’ participation at
the Carmel Authors Festival, which turned out to be an extremely inspiring and
enriching event for many of us.
While we did not continue “Let’s Talk About
Teaching and Learning” sessions during the Spring 20-08 semester, we hope to
continue sponsoring events for more dialogue and discussion about teaching and
learning in the future.
Goal: Spearhead a
faculty lead effort to articulate the meaning and value of SLOs at MPC
Collaborate with CAC to determine the best way to do this.
Request release time for an SLO coordinator.
Use “Let’s Talk About Teaching” discussions to learn how our colleagues
determine what their students should be able to do at the end of a class.
Establish that faculty members “own” their SLOs
Assure faculty play a strong role on the accreditation team
· Invite SLO experts to
give guest lectures on SLO strategies
Formed a “MPC SLO Articulation” committee
consisting of Fred Hochstaedter, Robynn Smith, Yesenia Calderon, and
occasionally Jon Mikkelsen.
The MPC SLO Articulation Committee produced a
document entitled “Articulating Student Learning Outcomes for MPC”;
a major theme of this document is that faculty members “own” their SLOs. The
document is available through a link here:
The SLO Articulation Committee presented the
results of their work as a major theme at the Spring 2008 Flex Day events. A
large group presentation was followed by a series of twelve different breakout
sessions for all the different disciplines.
Appointed eleven faculty members to the
Accreditation Steering Committee as chairs of all the major standards and
MPCTA, at the Academic Senate’s request,
negotiated release time for the MPC SLO Coordinator.
Appointed Fred Hochstaedter as the MPC SLO
Adopted a form developed by Diane Boynton that
will enable faculty members to record their course level SLOs and their
assessment of student attainment of those SLOs.
This form is a starting point or a “pilot project” approach to meet the
goals and requirements of the accreditation process and assist faculty in
utilizing the knowledge gained from consideration of their SLOs in their course
review and development.
The form is available through a link here:
Goal: Spearhead a faculty lead effort to establish Basic Skills best
practices on the MPC campus
· Send our Basic Skill
representative to statewide workshops and conferences
· Use “Let’s Talk About
Teaching” discussions as a means to determine how to address Basic Skills issues
on the MPC campus
· Provide opportunity
for an increase in dialog between the traditional instructional faculty and the
· Invite Basic Skills
experts to give guest lectures on Basic Skills practices
Appointed faculty members from both the
traditional transfer-based instructional areas and the supportive services
instructional areas to a Basic Skills Initiative Committee.
Received reports on, provided feedback to, and
eventually approved the 5-year goals, the 1-year action plan, and the
expenditure plan developed by the Basic Skills Initiative Committee.
Initiated plans to give the Spring 2009 Flex Days
event a “Basic Skills” theme
Successfully recommended to the College Council
that the term “Basic Skills” be included in the MPC Mission Statement.
invigorating and engaging flex days each semester
Plan throughout the semester
Upgrade the Flex Day Committee to an Academic Senate standing committee
similar in stature to the COC or the Equivalency committee
Set up a “template” to make it easy for future Flex Day Committees to
plan for flex days
Hosted Fall 2007 Flex days in which Andres
Durstenfeld gave an inspiring keynote speech, and Doug Garrison’s cousin Vinnie
made a humorous motivational speech in which shared his recollections of his
many years in the educational system.
Hosted a Spring 2008 Flex days highlighted by
Terrence Robert’s Keynote speech.
Promoted progress on a day when all breakouts
were devoted to SLO writing
Planned a Fall 2008 Flex day in which Rich
Kezirian will give the keynote speech.
Revised the Flex Day Committee’s bylaws, and
changed the committee status to that of a Senate standing committee, now named
the Flex Day Scheduling Committee; see more information in a document available
through a link here:
Honored the Curriculum Advisory Committee for all
the work they do and Susan Walter for her leadership over the last few years.
Review and revise board policy
that pertains to academic and professional matters
Endorsed the Board Policy on Academic Freedom,
held a “Town Hall Meeting” to elicit comments from all interested parties, sent
the policy through PACC to all constituencies, and presented it to the Board at
the April 22 meeting.
Reviewed and approved proposed Board Policy or
Procedures on the topics of “Procedures
for Complaints of Unlawful Discrimination, Including Sexual
Harassment (BP 5105A)”, and “Budget Management (BP 6520)”.
Referred “Claims Against the District (BP 3810)”
to the MPCTA.
Declined to comment on the board policy regarding
the naming of buildings and public spaces because it is outside the realm of
academic and professional matters.
Goal: Assure that faculty members are represented on shared governance
Re-establish the committee handbook that lists all committee membership
and bylaws or goals.
Establish and use a faculty-committee data base that lists all faculty
Appointed scores of faculty members to a wide
variety of committees
Created an Academic Senate policy document
describing “Guidelines for Service on Shared Governance Committees”
We did not accomplish the objectives of
re-establishing the committee handbook or creating a faculty-committee data
base; we hope to try again next year.
Goal: Ensure academic
excellence and integrity at the Ed Center
Increase more cross-pollination between our Ed Center committee and the
campus wide Ed Center planning committee (Executive Committee recommendation)
Investigate how the planning committee communicates with all the other
shared governance groups on campus
Dissolved our Academic Senate Ed Center Committee
because planning and implementation of the new Ed Center seems to be proceeding
Goal: Create and
sustain effective faculty leadership
Send Academic Senate representatives to ASCCC conferences and leadership
Funded the attendance of
Anita Johnson at the Fall ASCCC Plenary session and Fred
Hochstaedter and Anita Johnson at the
Spring ASCCC Plenary. Reports are posted from these meetings and are available
through a link here:
also attended both of these meetings.
Will send Heather Faust to the ASCCC Leadership
Institute in June.
Secured funding from the President’s budget to
send the CAC chair to the ASCCC Curriculum Institute each year.
Participated in regional BSI events through MPC
leadership; MPC faculty to participate in ASCCC BSI training event in Newport
Goal: Inspire and
encourage cross-disciplinary curriculum and program development
Flex Day planning and
events involved cross-disciplinary exchanges and dialogue
BSI committee work
brought together instructional and student services faculty and staff to review
curriculum and program development, representing many disciplines and areas
Responded to proposed
changes in Title V by approving a resolution written by
Mark Clements and Alan Haffa
about the repeatability of non-credit courses. We submitted the resolution to
the ASCCC Spring plenary, but withdrew it when it became clear that our
resolution presupposed a conclusion to an investigatory process that is still
Established a joint
MPCTA—Academic Senate committee to look at Distance Education issues. We will
revisit this topic next academic year when the new dean is
on line (so to speak) here.
The MPCTA, at the
Academic Senate’s request, successfully negotiated 40% release time for the
Curriculum Advisory Committee Chair.