Welcome Back!! I hope you had a wonderful summer and are ready and excited to begin Fall 2022.
This summer has given me, as Faculty Association President, optimism for the coming year. In July, I reached out to the Provost’s office when we discovered that the Faculty Agreement presented to the Governing Board for approval was not the version ratified by the Faculty Executive Council (FEC). The Provost’s office immediately scheduled a meeting with faculty and administration leadership, and within a week we had a plan to make things right and respect the ratification process, restoring the FA ratified by faculty. The plan was based on consensus of those assembled and in the confidence that our Governing Board would support this necessary work.
This approach would have been unthinkable a little over four years ago when the Governing Board (under Laurin Hendrix) abolished Meet and Confer, tore up the RFP, and gutted shared governance in Maricopa.
It’s tempting to call MCCCD’s return to shared governance and respect for faculty “miraculous,” but there were no miracles involved in creating the situation we have today. The current shared governance in MCCCD is the result of commitment, vision, and hard work on the part of our Faculty Association and FEC, and the support and engagement of the faculty in Maricopa. When the worst we’d experienced happened, we didn’t buckle. 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 – late nights, long meetings, tireless canvassing, and lots of resources – but we prevailed.
Today we enjoy the fruits of that effort. 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 in the system.
- Faculty are rightfully co- and tri-chairing important hiring committees, including those for college presidents, the Office of General Counsel, and the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost.
- A faculty member is a tri-chair on the Advisory Budget Committee, ensuring transparency and collaborative leadership with respect to the budget in Maricopa.
- The Committee on Academic Freedom, the Center for Excellence and Integrated Democracy, and the new FACT team have been structured based upon faculty input and leadership.
- The Governing Board has for each of the last two 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.
So what is the next step if we are no longer fighting for shared governance? What we have is certainly not finished or perfect, but what is our best path forward now that we are working to develop, nurture, and maintain shared governance?
The short answer is that we are stronger when we all stand together. The strength of the Faculty Association comes from its members. When more of us stand together by joining the Faculty Association, it gives greater weight to our participation in shared governance. 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.
Thank you all for the work that you do for students and our communities. I wish you all a fulfilling and enjoyable academic year.