Governing Board Address 01/23/24

Unfortunately, I do not have the sheet from the hotel in Rome for a toga, so this outfit will have to do.

Domina praeses, tabula membra, cancellarius, CEC collegae, honorati discipuli, et hospites “Jambo”!

Before I begin my report, I would like, on behalf of faculty leadership, to welcome “salve” Ms. Bitter-Smith as the incoming Governing Board president and thank “merci beaucoup” Ms. Sullivan for her tenure and long-standing commitment to the District. At your place, Ms. Sullivan, is a small token of our appreciation for your years of service.

As you may have seen in the agenda, my presentation for tonight is titled “To Do.” Spring always feels like a rush to the finish line and there is much work to be accomplished before faculty transition to summer responsibilities. I’d like to give you a rundown of a few things the faculty will be involved in, and hopefully finishing up, this spring.
At our core, obviously, is instruction. Spring 2024 will see over 6200 courses offered; of which approximately 52% are taught by full-time Residential faculty.

Beyond teaching, faculty are involved in such things as:

Credits/Period/Load (CPL) Task Force

Credits, periods, and load are core components of courses in that they represent student learning, instructional contact and time on task, and faculty compensation. The current system has been in place since 1985, and issues around credits/periods/load and load formulas have existed but had not been addressed in a systematic manner. These issues impact multiple areas such as curriculum, compensation, accreditation, transfer agreements, and student financial aid. The goal of this cross-functional Task Force will be to address these complex issues in a thoughtful and coordinated manner.

Modality/Delivery TF

During the pandemic, a group came together to standardize class delivery formats and definitions. This work is being updated to reflect post-pandemic delivery options. The revised/updated definitions will be socialized through our shared governance process and incorporated into both SIS and Find a Class.

New Faculty On-boarding

A District-wide new faculty on-boarding program is being developed. The scope of the program will be to cover three areas of importance to new faculty: (1): Teaching and Learning; (2): Organizational Culture and (3): Administrative Processes (non-instructional needs).

Community of Practice – Futures Thinking 2040

This community of practice aims to create a future-focused mindset within MCCCD to allow it to be proactive in responding to anticipated as well as sudden unexpected changes. Questions it will seek to answer are:

  • What are the emerging trends and best practices in teaching and learning?
  • What are the emerging trends and technologies in education and how they could be leveraged to improve student outcomes?
  • What are the emerging trends in curricula and the way classes are scheduled?
  • What are the emerging trends/needs in student support services?
  • What are the emerging trends/needs to support faculty and faculty development?
  • What are the careers of the future?

RFACT

Has been diligently revising Articles 6, 7, 17, 20, and 21 to clean up language, improve the flow of procedures and add clarity. They are also developing a new Article (Article 22) on investigations. Proposals are being shared for feedback through our established processes so they can be finalized for GB consideration.

And Last, six colleges have VITA sites

These sites, SCC, MCC, CGCC, SMCC, EMCC, and PC will be staffed by faculty and will offer free tax return help to anyone whose income is under $64k.

These services are a shining example of faculty using their expertise for the benefit of our community beyond the classroom.

A haiku for the spring

Budding knowledge blooms
New semester’s vibrant start
Springtime minds ignite.

Lisa

Welcome Back from Your Faculty Association!

Colleagues,

Welcome back to a new year and the Spring semester. We hope you all had a successful first week of classes.

This new year brings many opportunities for success, including:

  • The on-boarding of a new permanent provost
  • The hiring of a new permanent CIO
  • The implementation of a strategic scheduling system (Ad astra)
  • The development and implementation of a systemwide strategic enrollment management plan
  • Proposed 4.12% base pay increase
  • The continuing work of RFACT to refine the Residential Faculty Agreement

We sincerely thank and congratulate all faculty who made the choice to support our Faculty Association and Faculty Foundation. If you have not had the opportunity to join, please consider joining with the majority of our colleagues by becoming a member. To join the Faculty Association, please go to our Membership Page and select your preferred dues payment schedule and method. See Membership Benefits to learn more about membership benefits of being a Faculty Association member.

Additionally, remember your contributions to the Faculty Foundation can be claimed as a dollar-for-dollar credit against AZ taxes. The limits are $421 for an individual or $841 for a couple filing jointly. If the donation is made by April 15th, the credit can be used on either your 2023 or 2024 tax return (but not both).

Thank you for all the work you do for our students, your college, and the District! Have a wonderful semester!

Lisa

Gratitude and Appreciation

Faculty Colleagues,

As we approach the end of another successful semester, I wanted to take a moment on behalf of faculty leadership to express my heartfelt appreciation for your dedication, hard work, and unwavering commitment to not only student success but also that of your colleagues, colleges, and the entire Maricopa District.

Your passion for teaching, innovative approaches in the classroom, and continuous support for our students makes a significant difference in their educational experiences. The care and effort you invest in guiding and mentoring our students does not go unnoticed and it is what sets Maricopa apart from other institutions of higher learning.

I wish you a well-deserved break full of time spent with family and friends. I hope you have the opportunity to recharge and be ready for a new semester and a new year.

Happy holidays,
Lisa

Governing Board Address 10/24/23

Uachtarán an bhoird, membres du conseil d’administration, Chancelier (shawncelliea), colleagues du CEC, honored students, and guests. “Jambo”! And a welcome back Madam president, you have saved me from brushing up on my college Latin!

Spooky season is upon us! Rooted in the ancient Celtic and Aztec traditions of ancestor veneration, we are a week away from Samhain, Halloween, all Saint’s Day, and Dia de los Muertos. Regardless of its name or origin, a common thread runs through these traditions. Much like tendrils of smoke curling lazily through the air, the veil between this world and the next becomes sheer as gossamer and spirits can travel back and forth.

As much as I would like, this is not a lecture on comparative religion but rather a framework to reflect upon and reaffirm our commitment to the principle of transparency. When I speak of transparency, I speak of openness, honesty, and clarity in communication and decision making. I speak of a principle that is integral in the establishment and endurance of trust.

And as we face both legislative and fiscal challenges in the near future, these are two things we must ensure do not fall to the wayside.

Community colleges serve as critical pillars of education, providing accessible pathways to success for a diverse range of students. To ensure the effective functioning and equitable delivery of education, transparency is paramount. It fosters trust, demonstrates accountability, encourages stakeholder engagement, and above all drives student success.

Trust is the cornerstone of any successful educational institution. Open communication regarding our collective actions and decisions will reassure our students, faculty, staff, and the broader community that their interests are considered and protected. In this context then, transparency is a pledge to share information, policies, and decisions openly.

Transparent processes and decision-making mechanisms enable us to hold each other accountable. When individuals are aware of how decisions are made, they are better positioned to question, challenge, or support them as necessary.

Transparency promotes inclusivity and diversity and empowers us to participate in informed decision-making processes. Whether it’s a new academic program, a policy change, or resource allocation, involving stakeholders in the decision-making process ensures that the District’s actions align with the needs and expectations of its community.

Ultimately, the primary mission of the community college is to foster student success. Transparency plays a pivotal role in this endeavor. When students and families have access to clear information about programs, financial aid, and support services, they can make well-informed decisions about their educational journeys.

We have made incredible strides down this path. Examples that come to mind are the work both ongoing and accomplished among Governing Board members, staff, administration and faculty on our District Wide strategic plan, benefits options, and compensation package. Granted, transparency can be tedious and time-consuming (we’ve all thought at least once “couldn’t this have been an email?”) but we want to thank you for the work you have done and continue to do to reaffirm our collective commitment to this principle.

A haiku on transparency:
Clear truth shines within
Transparency’s radiant light,
Honesty prevails

Lisa

Welcome to Fall 2023

Faculty Colleagues,

Welcome to Fall 2023! In a recent Board report, I assured the audience that faculty would return refreshed, reinvigorated, and renewed of purpose. I hope you find yourselves in one, if not all, those categories.

Many faculty, including Faculty Leadership, remained engaged in Maricopa’s Shared Governance structure over the summer, serving on numerous task forces and committees. The faculty voice is sought after and respected. This, many of you will remember, seemed a thing of the past until relatively recently. The current shared governance in MCCCD is the result of both the commitment, vision, and hard work on the part of our Faculty Association and FEC, and the support and engagement of the faculty (YOU!) in Maricopa. When faced with the most challenging assault on teaching and learning we had ever experienced, we stood up and fought. We rallied and worked together to confront the attacks and the attackers, to gather the backing of local and national organizations, and to support Governing Board candidates and MCCCD administrators who value education, teaching and learning, and shared governance. It took effort but Shared Governance and Academic Freedom prevailed and we continue to benefit from these momentous efforts.

Some examples of our work in shared governance include:

  • Faculty once again are participants on the Chancellor’s Executive Council, and FEC is a Senior Council providing leadership and faculty voice in the system.
  • Faculty are rightfully co- and tri-chairing important hiring committees, including those for college presidents, the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, and the Chief Information Officer.
  • A faculty member is a tri-chair on the Advisory Budget Committee, ensuring transparency and collaborative leadership with respect to the budget in Maricopa.
  • Faculty are participating in Strategic Planning, Shared Governance Operationalization, and task forces too numerous to name.
  • The Committee on Academic Freedom, the Center for Excellence and Integrated Democracy, and the RFACT team have been structured based upon faculty input and leadership.
  • The Governing Board has for each of the last three years approved the recommended salary increases outlined in the Employee Compensation Philosophy, and faculty continue to be participants in the work toward sustainable and predictable salary progression in Maricopa. This past year, District HR engaged faculty in the decision-making process of how to allocate the compensation pot which resulted in at least one step for ALL faculty.

How do we maintain, nurture, and grow this collaborative relationship we have fought so hard to plant? Simply put, we are stronger when we all stand together. The strength of the Faculty Association comes from its members. While the Faculty Association advocates for ALL faculty, the more of us who stand together by joining the Faculty Association, the greater the weight our participation in shared governance will be. Higher membership also gives us the resources we need to advocate effectively in MCCCD and the legislature, ensuring continued benefits for faculty and our organization.

The majority of Maricopa’s faculty are already members of the Faculty Association. Thank you sincerely for your support! If you have not had the opportunity to join, please consider standing with your colleagues. To join the Faculty Association, please go to our Membership Page and select your preferred dues payment schedule and method. See Membership Benefits to learn more about the value of joining the Faculty Association.

I’ve become rather fond of haikus of late, so I will share one on community college faculty:

Teaching with passion
Community’s guiding light
Knowledge blooms in all

Thank you for all you do to support your students, college, and our communities. I wish you all a fulfilling and enjoyable academic year.

In solidarity,

Lisa