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CARE Member Contributions to The Next Thirty Years


Move the Previous Question: The Chabot Faculty Senate 1980-2010
Submitted by Chet Rhoan
Chabot College

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To move the previous question is a parliamentary maneuver to close debate on a question before voting on the issue1. It is the touchstone of the nature of conflict, compromise and resolution which has been the hallmark of the Academic/Faculty Senate at Chabot College.

In the early spring of 1968, because of the authorís background in Parliamentary Procedure, Ted Staniford from Chabot and Norm Bishoff from Peralta met with this author in the Chabot College cafeteria to discuss the proposed constitution for The Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges and a Constitution for Chabotís Senate. Thus was born my long tenure as a faculty senator and my interest in academic democracy.

This paper would not have been completed had it not been for the fine cooperation of the Senate Presidents who responded to my many annoying requests for information about their term in office. Many were prompt in their response, others less so, but all who responded stimulated my recollections of the Chabot Academic Senate. An even bigger thank you goes to Lori Johnson, Evelyn Holmstroem, Carol Henry, Judy Roglien and Rachael Ugale, members of the classified staff who served as recording secretaries for the Senate. Their accurate recording and cataloging of the Senate minutes made the dusty job of reviewing minutes bearable.

In his History of Chabot College, Dr. Staniford used the framework of competing factions, which he borrowed from Madisonís argument found in Federalist 10, to frame his early history of the College. I had the privilege of reviewing and making suggestions about Dr. Stanifordís history before its publication. This brief history of the Academic Senate of Chabot College will follow Dr. Stanfordís organizing principle. I have reviewed Senate Minutes and responses to Senate President Questionnaires as a methodology to write this History. There are many recurring themes and conflicts which have been woven into the fabric of ChabotĎs recent history but none more profound than the conflict between the Senate and the bargaining agent (whether it was the Certificated Employees Council, The Chabot Teachers Association, or the Chabot/Los Positas Faculty Association). Other recurring themes that will be developed include Conflict between Chabot and Valley campuses, Shared Governance, Curriculum Proposals, Budget Matters, Class and Program Cancellation and Accreditation Issues. The author takes full responsibility for the content and omissions found in this History of the Chabot Faculty Senate.

Dr. Victoria Morrow (1980-1982) found herself immediately embroiled in a conflict over free speech between the Associated Students and the Administration. Acting as a mediator, the Senate was able to resolve the issue of how ASCC selected campus speakers. Other issues that arose included the allocation of bookstore profits to the ASCC as well as the cost of books to students. There were constant battles fought between The Chabot Teachers Association and the Senate over professional matters. On such issue involved the allocation of District Reserve monies. This harrowing experience was typical of the factional conflicts that periodically erupt between the Senate and the Association during this period of statewide faculty attempts at labor organizing. Also during her tenure as Senate President, an attempt to eliminate the mandatory five day work week was proposed, but not acted upon until much later. Dr. Marrow ended her year and a half tenure as Senate President to become the Social Science Dean shortly thereafter.

Ms. Helen Bridge (1982-1985) completed Dr. Morrow's term when Dr. Morrow became the Social Science Chair. Before she could get settled into office Ms. Bridge and the Senate faced the impacts of Proposition 13 and the State of California's proposed implementation of a student fee2. In keeping with the Associated Students of the California Community Colleges request, the Senate was asked to take a stand on the issue. After much debate, the Senate voted to support the students' position opposing student fees. This issue was the thin entering wedge of the battle that would be waged repeatedly with the State over the widening State Budget Deficit and its implications for education.

The second conflict to broadside the Senate was Chabot President Dr. Bill Moore's proposal to develop "Missions, Goals and Objectives." The proposal was seen by the Administration as a means to develop a cooperative (sic: collegial) relationship between Administration and Senate. Faculty, and especially some division Senators, saw the proposal as an attempt to impose Program Review (sic: eliminate programs from the curriculum). While college "Mission, Goals and Objectives"3 were finally formulated they did not contain language that eliminated programs; however, an attempt to eliminate programs at a later date was met with vigorous opposition by the Senate. The Faculty Association attempted to draw the Senate into Contract Negotiations by having the Senate urge the faculty to withdraw from Accreditation. There was also a struggle between the college president and the faculty union over a temporary reopening of the salary part of a newly signed contract, and the necessity of sending out layoff notices because of the union's unwillingness to reopen.

The latter issue was especially thorny. The layoff notices were felt necessary by administration because they were expecting a large cut in funding for the following year. The faculty union felt that the layoff notices were unnecessary and demoralizing, so they refused to reopen. Fifteen layoff notices were sent out, the affected faculty members were more than slightly traumatized, and as a result, administration/faculty relations were quite damaged for some time, even though no layoffs actually took place.4

While there had been conflict between the Certificated Employees Council and the Senate, serious jurisdictional conflict with the newly elected bargaining unit, Chabot Teachers Association, and the Senate erupted.5 President Bridge was left to negotiate with a reluctant CTA President. After much maneuvering President Bridge was able to bring CTA President Edwards to the Senate where President Edwards signed a pledge of full cooperation with the Senate on all Professional Matters, but refused to relinquish the CTA position that all Professional Matters were subject to negotiation with the District Board of Trustees, thus insuring that jurisdictional issues over Professional Matters would be one of the ongoing conflicts with which future Senate's would have to deal.

The Faculty was sufficiently pleased with President Bridge's handling of the jurisdictional dispute with CTA and her successful negotiation with the Administration that it elected Ms. Bridge to a full Senate Presidency term. To complicate her second term President Bill Moore proposed the creation of a "Comprehensive Planning Group." Again, Moore's proposal was perceived by some faculty and many Senators as another attempt at implementing Program Review which was viewed as code for class cancellation. Although the proposal did not come to fruition, several Accreditation Teams faulted the college in their evaluation reports for not having a "Planning Group." This was to become one of the ongoing issues facing the Senate.

One of the major accomplishments of the Bridge Administration was the development and implementation of the CALIFORNIA ARTICULATION NUMBERING (CAN) system allowing Chabot students to accurately articulate Chabot classes with those of the University of California. Interestingly, during President Bridge's tenure the long broken and empty Olympic sized swimming pool was repaired at a cost of a mere $16,000 and the labor of a Friend of Chabot.

President Bridge had to endure the long, protracted conflict between Chabot President Moore and the Board of Trustees over the college budget. The conflict was waged in the Senate when President Moore sought to enlist the Senate's support. Wisely, the Senate remained neutral in the conflict. Ultimately, the conflict led to the President Moore's ouster by the Board of Trustees; however, the conflict hastened the creation of a College, and later District, Budget Committee.

Ms. Carol Clough (1985-1987) was the first Senate President to be elected from the Valley Campus. At the time of her election she also served as Chabot Faculty Association President. This situation was perceived as a conflict of interest and Ms. Clough was forced to make a decision as to which hat she would wear. She chose the Senate Presidency. This harrowing experience is typical of the factional conflicts that periodically erupt between the Senate and the Association. Confronted by an Accreditation Report which faulted the two campuses on the lack of clear channels of communication, Clough and the Senate undertook the development of a model to resolve intercampus conflicts.6 The model worked for a time, but the growth of the Valley Campus necessitated changes. During this period of leadership instability, another Interim President, Dr. Edward Siminson, was brought in to handle day-to-day activities of the two campuses until a new President was selected. Other issues plagued Clough's term as well, including Information Technology problems like technology training and Computer Main Frame problems. Another thorny issue to confront the Senate was the conflict between Voc. Ed. and Academic Divisions over College Hour. Yet another issue that weaves its way through the history of the Senate has been Curriculum Review, viewed by many as another way to eliminate classes and programs. An interesting controversy developed over the role of Management, Supervisory and Classified duties.7 Capping a tumultuous term the Senate faced fractious conflict over a "W" policy, Academic Counseling by Academic Faculty, Shared Governance and Budgetary Control.

Dr. Art Deleray (1987-1989) was the second and last Senate President from the Valley Campus. His term was characterized by Chabot faculty criticism of his perceived Valley Campus bias. One of the first issues to face the Deleray Senate was a proposal to evaluate administrators.8 The proposal was met with a resounding "no" by the administration. The ongoing conflict over class cancellation escalated during this time,9 but the most important issue to surface was the method for hiring Division Deans, the child care facility, new faculty hire policy and a policy on intercampus transfers.10 Each of these conflicts re-emerged in other forms at later times in the Senate. Conflicts between the new President, Dr. Howard Larson, and the Board of Trustees over budgetary items led to Larson's eventual firing and his retreat to teaching faculty status. Exclusive of the bias issue, the next most contentious issue facing Deleray's tenure as President was the perennial problem of Administrative Reorganization.11 At the state level the legislature passed AB 1725, the Community College Reform Act. Its implementation became another contentious issue for many of the subsequent Senates.

Ms. Susan McElroy (1989-1991) came into office with the daunting task of attempting to implement AB 1725 which established the principle of SHARED GOVERNANCE for the Community College System. State-wide meetings were held to establish minimum qualifications for teachers in academic disciplines Chabot sent a strong delegation to establish minimum qualifications for the disciplines of history, political science and nursing), discipline equivalencies and the establishment of an academic disciplines list.12 During Dr. Richard Yeo's tenure as interim president, under the prodding of shared governance and accreditation, a college budget committee was established. Composed of Dr. Yeo, Dr. Vic Willits, Gil Ribera and Chet Rhoan the committee found a large budgetary surplus and enabled the largest salary increase, up to that point in college history, for faculty and administration.13 Health insurance for retirees, known as the RUMBL fund became a problem the Board of Trustees (BOT) chose to address. However, the real hot topic was the hiring of a new college President. Hiring Committee faculty members found they were in conflict with the BOT over the standards for the new hire. Eventually, Terry Dicianna was selected. The Board of Trustees charged President Dicianna with the task of creating a two college district.

Mr. Bill Scroggins (1991-1993). With the creation of a two college district President Dicianna became Chancellor creating a Presidential vacancy at Chabot. Scroggins' tenure was dominated by the conflict between the Senate and the Chancellor's Council over Shared Governance issues. During this presidential term the Senate developed major policy statements over Contract Education and Faculty Evaluation.14 Again, budgetary limitations impeded college growth. Eventually, a new President for the college was selected. Scroggins gave up his Presidency to serve as in a statewide Academic Senate position.

Ms. Linda Barde (1994-1996) Ms. Barde completed Scroggins term and was elected to a two year term. After taking office Ms. Barde was faced with the BOT's decision to create a two college district when it made Dicianna the first District Chancellor, Dicianna's refusal to develop Shared Governance Committees led to a faculty demand for a "Vote of No Confidence" in Chancellor Dicianna's refusal to create Budget Committee and Planning Committees.15 The immediate effect of this action was to cause the BOT to direct Dicianna to develop a District Budget Allocation Model as Board of Trustees policy and to establish Faculty Service Areas (FSA's) as required by AB 1725. As a result of this contentious period in Faculty v Administration relations, Chancellor Dicianna requested a release from his contract. During this same period, the Board selected Dr. Raul Cardoza to become the new President of Chabot. His tenure was not long lived, however, as his inability to handle budget matters led to an alleged $1 million deficit, while his inability to resolve the deficit and to master the intricacies of the budget process led to a Senate vote of "no confidence" in his administration and his eventual removal from the Presidency of the College.16

Other issues to face the Barde administration included the ever present issue of program review, tenured faculty review and administrative review. It was during this period the Board of Trustees selected Mr. Ron Kong to replace Dicianna as the next Chancellor. Chancellor Kong's legacy included an expensive District Office and a salary that exceeded that of the Governor of the State of California.17 It was also during this period that the college moved toward a strong sense of shared governance with the creation of the Classified and Student Senates. As a result of these measures the faculty gained a limited degree of power over the decision making process.

Mr. Dale Wagoner (1997-2001) Perhaps as a result of the Faculty v Administration conflict of the past few years, Mr. Wagoner found himself faced with Chancellor Kong's purge of all of the top administrators from Division Deans to Vice Presidents.18 The Senate, through shared Governance, demanded, and received the right to appoint faculty to the various hiring committees; however many of those who became administrators were not always those who received the highest rating. In fact, many new administrators came from outside the campus leading to a sense of faculty lack of power and even greater tensions between the Senate and the Kong Administration. During Wagoner's tenure the BOT also appointed Dr. Terry Burgess President of Chabot College. Although popular with some of the faculty, Burgess's regular absence from campus to be with family in Southern California became a bone of contention with faculty and staff. Even though the State of California allocated Partnership for Excellence Funds to the college, Burgess refused to distribute them, so the Senate took up the issue and was successful in forcing Burges to appropriately distribute these funds.19 However, during this period the Senate was able to work with Burgess developing "block units" of classes which allowed for Monday through Thursday class scheduling. As the size and cost of the newly formed district increased under Chancellor Kong's tutelage, and as a direct result of the purge of 1998, the Senate took a "vote of no confidence" in the Kong Chancellorship and presented it to the Board, with little effect.

Mr. Jim Matthews (2001-2003) had the unpleasant experience of receiving an accreditation report faulting the College and the District for not having developed a comprehensive future plan for the college. The Senate took up the charge and developed a College Budget and Planning Committee, which became an ever more important part of the Shared Governing of the college and led to the restructuring of the whole governing process of the college.20 The fallout from the Kong purge continued throughout Matthew's term in office. This was manifested in the investigation of the VP of Student Services for changing student grades with- out authorization, her disciplining by the BOT and ultimately her resignation. Also, during this period with the resignation of now Dr. Burgess, the college was administered by an interim President, Dr. Allan Kurki. The constant turnover in administrative positions including VP's and Deans left the college adrift and without leadership. Faculty and the Senate stepped in to fill the void.21

Mr. Chad Mark Glen (2003-2007) became one of the longest serving Senate Presidents serving two full two year terms. Glen took office during one of the more challenging periods in the College's history. A new President with a Tech/Voc background, Dr. Robert Carlson, was brought in to preside over some massive changes including reduction in units for the Associate of Science (AS) degree. The BOT decided the time was appropriate to seek a construction bond to help with the further development of the Valley College and to pay for the modernization needed at Chabot. In the past, construction bonds had failed. However, this time voters passed the massive (nearly $560,000,000) bond measure. Together with some faculty and staff and a strong consulting firm Mr. Glen worked tirelessly on the campaign committee and ultimately was rewarded with the passage of the bond. Chancellor Kong retired from the District and was replaced by the President of Los Positas College, Dr. Susan Cota. The eminent closure of the print shop together with construction planning gave the Senate a lot to deal with. As construction grew near, the Senate found its authority over Shared Governance being weakened by the newly revitalized College Council.22 About this same time, the Senate found itself embroiled in a long investigation of a faculty member's grievance against President Carlson. As the investigation dragged on, the Senate was confronted with the reality that Program Review was being implemented. The Senate received the newly developed "Revitalization and Discontinuation" document in early April 2005. Its impact was not readily apparent but within weeks, programs were put on the list to be discontinued. One such program was the highly acclaimed Independent Studies in Letters and Science course. Concurrent with program reductions was the highly critical ACCJC/WASC establishment of Student Learning Outcomes (SLO's). SLO's were perceived by faculty as a means of measuring faculty competency. CPLFA and the Senate criticized their use in faculty evaluations.23 The Senate also reasserted its authority over Senate-created committees and immediately ran into conflict with the District Curriculum Council. Budget problems, construction cost overruns and class and program cuts led to further accusations in the Senate that decision were being made in secret by the Institutional Planning and Budget Committee (IPBC).24 As the conflict heated up, the Senate was able to extract a promise from Dr. Carlson that he would report to the Senate on all budget matters.

Threat of encroachment by Diablo Valley College into the Chabot/Los Positas Community College District's service area, coupled with impending staff reductions, led to much concern on the campuses. About this same time a jurisdictional dispute broke out between the IPBC and the College Council over decision-making authority. The Senate found itself in the role of arbiter.25 As staff reductions and class cuts increased, complaints began to surface in the Senate that an AD HOC Budget committee was meeting in secret. While there was no evidence of secret budget cuts. the Senate coped with the Accreditation report that showed that "students were not succeeding" as well as they should at the college.

Ms. Diane Zuliani (2007-2008) resigned office after one year to take a temporary teaching position at the University level. Shortly after Ms.Zulliani took office, Mr. Joel Kinnamon replaced Dr. Cota as District Chancellor. Ms. Zuliani began her tenure by reading into the Senate's minutes a provocative statement on her view of education.26 Common to previous Senates, this Senate was confronted with construction overrun issues, program review, SLO's, Voc. Ed. v Academic issues and the ever present struggle between the President and the Senate over Shared Governance.27 However, the most important battle during her tenure was the battle with two powerful power companies over the locating of power plants close to the college campus.28 The environmental impact would have been profound for the learning environment at the college. As it became aware of the impact of the power plants, the Senate took a stand in opposition.29 Allegedly, a member of the Chabot Foundation was employed by one of the power companies, and President Carlson was aware of the conflict of interest, leading to another Faculty v Administration conflict.30 Shortly thereafter, President Carlson retired to be replaced by Dr. Celia Barberena. Senate relations with CLPFA flared over the issue of Sabbatical leave funding and Faculty Hiring Policy. Camouflaged as Enrollment Management Policy, class cancellations continued, followed by a barrage of emails and a call for civility by members of the Senate. SLO's and Accreditation issues continued to be serious topics of discussion.

Mr. Ming Ho (2008-2009) inherited the same issues that plagued President Zuliani's term. Faculty Hiring Policy, reestablishment of the District Budget Study Group together with its attendant Budget Allocation Model for the two colleges and the district Office, College Council composition and most importantly, a better understanding of which Administrative, BOT or Senate policies applied to what portion of Share Governance.31 Such confusion over what had previously been agreed to lead one Senator to call for an archivist for institutional history retention and retrieval. The Senate found that it's most pressing issue, however, was Accreditation, and the perceived threat that ACCJC had recently sanctioned so many California Community Colleges for problems with Budget and Planning, Inter-District Communication, and District Services to the Colleges, and might sanction Chabot. Chabot's Self study indicated that these were difficulties that were being addressed, but not yet resolved.32 As President Ho's term drew to an end, the call went out to elect a new Senate President. President Absher was elected and took office in the fall of 2009. The history of his presidency and those of subsequent Senate Presidents and their Senates remains to be told by another history.

The history of the Academic/Faculty Senate of Chabot College and its presidents is a history replete with challenges, mistakes, replications and opportunities. As shared Governance became the dominant theme, the Senate faced ever more complex issues which developed. Fundamental to this complexity was the proper role of the Senate in Budget and Planning and its oversight function of the committees it authorized to make decisions in these areas. Administrative personalities and Senate relations, at times, created conflicts that led to calls for the removal of the administrator, with mixed results. Calls for civility between fellow Senators, Senators and Administrators, and faculty with other faculty were an all too common theme, but may be reflective of current events going on within our nation. As a final thought, and a critical evaluation, clearly one thing stands out: the many times the Senate recreated the wheel. As the noted historian George Santayana observed, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

1 Sturgis, A. Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, McGraw-Hill Book Company, second ed. New York, N.Y., 1960, p. 67.
2 Bridge, H. Senate Presidency, Email document, March 11, 2009.
3 Chabot, Academic Senate Minutes, December 2, 1982.
4 Bridge, Ibid.
5 Chabot, Ibid.
6 Chabot, Academic Senate Minutes, October 10, 1985.
7 Chabot, Academic Senate Minutes, September 25, 1986.
8 Chabot, Academic Senate Minutes, October 12, 1987.
9 Chabot, Academic Senate Minutes, September 24 and October 22, 1987.
10 Chabot, Academic Senate Minutes, October 22, 1987.
11 Chabot, Academic Senate Minutes, November 12, 1987.
12 Chabot, Academic Senate Minutes, September 21, October 19 November 30, 1989 and January 25, 1990.
13 Chabot, Academic Senate Minutes, November 10, 1990.
14 Chabot, Academic Senate Minutes, September 24, 1992.
15 Barde, L. History Project, Email document, June16, 2010.
16 Ibid.
17 Ibid.
18 Wagoner, D. Senate Information, Email document, October 26, 2009.
19 Ibid.
20 Jim Matthews, Faculty Senate History Project, Email document, December 15, 2009
21 Ibid.
22 Chabot, Academic Senate Minutes, January 27, 2005
23 Chabot, Academic Senate Minutes, August 25, 2005.
24 Chabot, Academic Senate Minutes, September 8, 2005 and September 22, 2005.
25 Chabot, Academic Senate Minutes, January 16, 2006.
26 Chabot, Academic Senate Minutes, August 21, 2007.
27 Chabot, Academic Senate Minutes, September 13 and September 27, 2007.
28 Diane Zuliani, Faculty Senate History Project, Email document. November 19, 2009.
29 Chabot, Academic Senate Minutes, February 28, 2007.
30 Chabot, Academic Senate Minutes, February 28, 2008.
31 Chabot, Academic Senate Minutes, October 30 and November 13, 2009.
32 Ho, M. Faculty Senate, Email document, November 20 2009.

Sources Cited

"Academic/ Faculty Minutes." Chabot College Official Website Archived Agendas and Minutes.

Barde, Linda. History Project. Email document. June 16, 2009.

Bridge, Helen. Senate Presidency. Email document. March 11, 2009.

Ho, Ming. Faculty Senate. Email document. November 9, 2009.

Matthews, Jim. Faculty Senate History Project. Email document. December 15, 2009.

Wagoner, Dale. Senate Information. Email document. December 26, 2009.

Zuliani, Diane. Faculty Senate History Project. Email document. November 19, 2009.

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