Resolution Regarding the Johnson County Community College Executive Cabinet’s Decision on the Suspension of College Now Placement Scores

Whereas the Faculty of Johnson County Community College, by mutual agreement and consent of the Administration and the Board of Trustees of the College, is charged with developing all aspects of curriculum of the College, including measuring student readiness via placement test scores, prerequisite determinations, and course sequencing;

Whereas the Executive Cabinet of Johnson County Community College voted to suspend the prerequisite requirements for College Now students enrolling in math, chemistry, and physics courses during the Fall 2017 College Now enrollment period;

Whereas the Executive Cabinet allowed students to enroll in credit-bearing courses without demonstrating mastery of any prerequisite material, and thus created two classes of students in College Now courses: those who placed into a course on their own academic merit as proven by satisfactory test scores or completion of prerequisites, and those who were allowed into a course by Cabinet fiat;

Whereas the Executive Cabinet knowingly subverted and violated the Faculty-led curriculum process to enact these changes;

Whereas the Executive Cabinet knowingly violated KBOR policies, HLC guidelines, NACEP standards, and best practice guidelines put forth by professional faculty organizations regarding academic rigor of dual credit courses, and in doing so has undermined the academic integrity of these courses;

Whereas the Executive Cabinet placed the College in breach of contract with KBOR, HLC, and NACEP in regard to the College’s approved and published course outlines;

Whereas the Executive Cabinet placed community relationships and public perception ahead of Faculty-led processes to ensure fair and accurate measurements and methods are used to gauge student readiness, and thus has undermined the authority and expertise of subject-area Faculty;

Whereas the Executive Cabinet did not consult Faculty regarding a decision which directly affects Faculty-developed and Faculty-managed curriculum designed to ensure student readiness and success;

Whereas the Executive Cabinet’s action on this matter is but one of many decisions affecting Faculty that have bypassed or ignored Faculty consultation;

Whereas the Executive Cabinet will not rescind this reckless and ill-advised decision;

Whereas the Executive Cabinet has set a dangerous precedent in which mutually agreed upon codified policies and processes of the College can be suspended, changed, or amended based solely on public outcry;

Whereas future Faculty and Administrators of the College must know that such behavior is not only unacceptable but also bears grave consequences, including loss of integrity, trust, and respect;

Whereas the Executive Cabinet, especially through its conduct in this matter, has violated the trust of the College Faculty;

Now therefore be it resolved that:

(1) The Faculty Senate does hereby censure the Executive Cabinet and does condemn this wrongful decision in the strongest terms;

(2) The Faculty Senate does hereby recognize the historic gravity of this resolution, and trusts and urges that future Senates will recognize the importance of this statement of censure and condemnation and allow this statement to remain intact until such time the Executive Cabinet, in whole and in part, admit their error and rescind and/or rectify this decision in a manner satisfactory to the Faculty.

(3) The Faculty Senate does hereby affirm and support the Math Faculty and the hundreds of hours and considered process that led to the stated placement prerequisite scores.

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Executive Committee Statement on English and Journalism Division Withdrawal

Colleagues,
I write to you today on behalf of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate. On March 1, 2017, the English and Journalism Division notified the Faculty Senate that they will be withdrawing their Senators at the end of this academic year. The division encompasses English, Journalism, and English for Academic Purposes faculty. While we recognize that participation in the Faculty Senate is elective, we regret the English and Journalism Division’s decision to withdraw their participation. We remain committed to the mission and purpose of the Faculty Senate.

The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate recognizes that many changes are anticipated in 2017-2018 due to institutional reorganization. The Faculty Senate will need to redistribute representation from evolving divisions. Amendments will need to be made to the Constitution and Bylaws of the Faculty Senate to adapt to the new organizational structure. When doing so, the Faculty Senate will reinforce our shared belief that faculty are strongest when unified. Two seats will remain available for the English and Journalism Division faculty should they choose to participate in the future. Additionally, all English, Journalism, and English for Academic Purposes faculty remain eligible to run for at-large seats in the Faculty Senate.

For those new to the College and as a refresher for the rest of us, a full-time faculty vote in 2013 created the Faculty Senate. The majority who voted to form the Faculty Senate did so to express commitment to the principles of shared governance, academic excellence, and academic freedom through representation of all faculty. We continue to affirm those principles and hope you will join us as we face the challenges confronting the faculty of Johnson County Community College today and into the future.

Sincerely,

Patrick T. Lafferty
President – Faculty Senate

Statement on Concealed Carry

The Faculty Senate of Johnson County Community College, in solidarity with the Faculty Association, hereby expresses support for legislation which will continue the exemptions to the state of Kansas’ conceal and carry law currently enjoyed by colleges and universities. While we recognize that opinions vary on the matter, a strong majority of our faculty oppose the presence of guns in JCCC classrooms and buildings. Furthermore, we have full confidence in JCCC’s current policies and procedures and in the ability of the JCCC police force to secure the safety of students, staff, and faculty. We also believe decisions regarding the security of an academic community are best made by those most intimately familiar with the institution and its governance.

It is the position of the JCCC Faculty that the presence of guns in the classroom is fundamentally incompatible with the free and civil exchange of ideas and the open discussion of difficult and controversial topics that are the hallmark of higher education.

Statement on Full-Time Teaching Faculty Engagement

Johnson County Community College

Faculty Senate

Statement on Full-Time Teaching Faculty Engagement

As the term “faculty engagement” has recently come under scrutiny, the Faculty Senate would like to participate in the ongoing discussion by defining, within our college’s own institutional context, what that term means. This statement excludes part-time teaching faculty. Although these positions are vital to the college, the expectations for engagement are substantially different from those for full-time teaching faculty as to warrant separate statements.

The Faculty Senate affirms that the natural state of a professional college full-time teaching faculty member is a state of engagement. What an engaged full-time teaching faculty member looks like today is much different than it did several decades ago. We take this opportunity to identify some of the characteristics of 21st century faculty at this institution.

Many facets of contemporary full-time teaching faculty engagement have already been identified. For example, the guidelines for the preparation of portfolios note broad categories in which faculty may be active. Faculty are engaged with students. Faculty interact with their colleagues at departmental, divisional, and campus-wide levels. As professionals, faculty engage with their disciplinary and technical colleagues. Finally, faculty are instrumental in the creation of institutional initiatives and work to see them to fruition.

We recognize and applaud our colleagues for their innovations in the classroom; involvement in student enrichment programs; service on department, divisional, cross-divisional, and college-wide committees; attendance and presentation at discipline-specific conferences; publication of original scholarship and creative works; their community and business outreach efforts; and their involvement in numerous campus initiatives, past and present. Many full-time teaching faculty reach above and beyond to assume leadership roles in these endeavors.

Because the term “faculty engagement” concerns human beings, with their wealth of complex motivations, backgrounds, agendas, interpersonal relationships, and histories, as well as their individual contexts, attempting to create uniform one-size-fits-all definitions of engaged faculty is unproductive. Moreover, many of the actions of engaged full-time teaching faculty are difficult to quantify, but are nevertheless crucial to the success of students and faculty alike.

Hence, the Faculty Senate refuses to quantify these terms and instead identifies general characteristics of engaged full-time teaching faculty. The Senate is not suggesting that any faculty member be expected to fulfill all characteristics equally or simultaneously. Rather, full-time teaching faculty would embody most of these characteristics as to best serve their students, departments, and college at any given time.

Characteristics of Engaged Full-Time Teaching Faculty

Engaged full-time teaching faculty take a broad view of what their job entails, taking on a variety of responsibilities.

Engaged full-time teaching faculty have a presence on campus meeting students, serving as club sponsors, attending committee meetings, meeting with colleagues, and participating in other on-site activities related to their position—even if they primarily teach online courses.

Engaged full-time teaching faculty volunteer for high-profile, campus-wide committees or may serve on department, division, and college-wide levels, willingly taking on labor-intensive subcommittee work.

Engaged full-time teaching faculty maintain high expectations for themselves and their students; they use relevant, current, and rigorous materials and, by consequence, are kept busy with preparation, grading, and student interaction.

Engaged full-time teaching faculty take professional responsibility and academic ownership of course curriculum by seeking new knowledge and materials to update courses through a variety of means, for example: conference attendance, webinars, and reading widely and deeply in their fields.

Engaged full-time teaching faculty are involved in a wider academic or career community, consistently updating their credentials and skills, for example: by presenting at conferences, submitting work for publication or public display, serving as peer reviewers, interacting with colleagues, and serving on regional and national committees or professional organizations in their disciplines.

Engaged full-time teaching faculty are concerned with issues facing not only their disciplines but also the college and our local communities at large. They take an active role in ongoing conversations about the college’s policies and our role in the public sphere.

Statement by Vincent Clark to the Faculty Senate

STATEMENT BY VINCENT CLARK TO THE FACULTY SENATE

OCTOBER 9, 2014

 

On Tuesday I was informed that the Faculty Association officers had decided to withdraw their representation from the Faculty Senate’s executive committee and to stop the acting president from attending these meetings.

This is a most unfortunate decision. It comes on the heels of public and private statements by FA officers attacking the Senate and denying its right to represent the faculty. These actions of FA officers are an assault on faculty unity. They are especially harmful in a negotiations year.

The Faculty Senate was not created to compete with the FA but work with it to better represent the faculty.  The executive committee was organized to provide for that cooperation. What other organization gives the unelected officers of other bodies and voice and vote in a governing council?

Personally, I find this decision particularly regrettable because FA officers are supposed to be representing their members. I have been a member for over 25 years and have been elected to almost every office in the Faculty Association, where I have put in untold hours working for that organization. And this decision does not represent me.

In fact, the Senate could provide valuable support to the FA since it provides an additional faculty voice and represents the entire faculty–FA member and nonmembers, full-timers and adjuncts.

The Faculty Senate was created by a vote of the entire faculty and every senator has been elected. It ill befits the FA to attack such a body. I therefore call upon the FA officers to reverse their misguided decision and devote their efforts to the unity of the entire faculty.