Senate report lacking faculty input

Ruben Mungia

Faculty Senate may need to meet at least once after the semester ends, if DVC’s accreditation self-study report is to make its August mail-in deadline.

The Senate proposed Tuesday to meet May 27 to revise the report, although the English division representative Patrick Leong said that his collogues wanted to delay the final revision until the start of fall semester, when everyone is back at work, even though he told them it could not be done.

Susan Lamb, vice president of academic affairs, responded with a quick “no.”

She co-chairs the Accreditation Committee with Bruce Koller, former Senate president.

The Senate will vote on the May 27 meeting day on Tuesday.

Faculty members are not the only people in the accreditation committees and contributing to the revisions; Lamb said.

She said the three student members on the committee have done so, and time has also been taken to hear from the college community and the ASDVC throughout the school year.

The college is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges..

But while Lamb emphasized the need for “feedback” in finishing the report, others responded angrily at the rushed time line, which called for Senate members to comment on the draft that night in order to finish another draft to be reviewed for format changes at the May 13 Senate meeting..

“It’s becoming a joke how we are trying to finish this,” said Ray Goralka, Senate vice president.

Lamb said Standard 2B of the report dealing with student services is in need of “substantive changes.”

Ed Trujillo, representative for the applied and fine arts division, said Standard 1 should also be revised, since DVC needs to “step up” its image for local and international students in the wake of the grades-for-sale scandal.

Co-chair Koller said the report should have been finished by March or April, but the process was thrown off by a change in the operating rules they were following in finishing the report.

“We were caught in the middle of the change up,” Koller said. “We had to respond and deal with the new approach.”

Yet DVC is in a rush to finish the report in order to avoid the scary mess that the College of Marin is in now.

The College of Marin was placed on probation by the college’s accrediting agency on Jan. 18 for failing to complete a review of its academic programs, despite the requirements of state law and requests by inspectors in 1992, 1998 and 2004 according to an April 1 story in the Marin Independent Journal.

“Things have changed,” Koller said of College of Marin’s situation. “The accreditation body is stricter if the college does not address the problem in order to be accredited.”

DVC, however, will attach its improvement plan to the self study to show the accreditation body that although they are not fully complying with some standards, the college is making efforts to do so.

“These are things we want to do to improve,” Koller said “We are not meeting the standards but we’re improving.”

DVC will not hide anything from the Accreditation Team when it visits the campus in October, because Koller said, “It’s all about improvement.”