The Academic Senate completed the elections for its new Executive Committee members last week with only one of the four positions contested.
No one opposed President Eduardo Cairo and Secretary Patricia Rose in their reelection bids and the new Treasurer, Manuel Perea, faced no opposition.
For the vice president position, challenger Kris Pilon, who teaches graphics communication technology, defeated incumbent Earlie Douglas, a business instructor.
Senator Matthew Henes would have liked to have seen more than one candidate run for office but offered a reason for the lack of candidates.
“There’s a steep learning curve involved with senate leadership, and it’s quite a commitment,” he said. “I applaud those who are willing to do it.”
While only one race was contested, two out of four executive committee members are new.
Cairo liked the committee’s composition.
“I think when you combine two members of the board who have a year’s experience with two new members that bring years of experience from the Academic Senate, I think it is a good match,” he said.
Perea was “thrilled” to have been elected to the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate and agreed with Cairo’s sentiment.
“I have every confidence that the new Executive Committee will work well together,” he said.
One of Pilon’s goals is to work towards creating a greater sense of unity among faculty regarding the important role they play at PCC.
“With my colleagues in the senate, I hope to contribute to strengthening mutual respect and consideration between the faculty, the Board of Trustees and the administration,” she said.
With ongoing debates on evaluations, calendar committees, CAPM, and block scheduling, one of the biggest issues facing the Academic Senate and Executive Board next year is shared governance.
“If everyone on campus that shared governance includes were to follow it, more than half of our problems would be wiped away,” Cairo said.
Manny Perea’s two goals in his new position deal directly with this issue.
“My primary goals are…to continue giving our attention to 10+1 issues, asserting the Senate’s prerogative to take the lead on such issues…and to convince the college administration and board that respecting shared governance is necessary for a healthy college climate,” he said.
Former Treasurer Dan Haley said that convincing the administration to adhere to shared governance policies was the biggest challenge and expressed confidence in the new committee members.
“I think the four officers elected are highly qualified to meet this challenge,” he said.
However, Henes said the Academic Senate and Executive Committee’s biggest obstacle is an apparent inability to move forward.
“The new executive board looks a lot like the old executive board,” Henes said. “I don’t see much change in the wind.”
Perea’s enthusiasm for his new position offers hope that this obstacle may be overcome.
“Ultimately, I’m less interested in dwelling in the past and more interested in moving forward,” he said.
These varying perspectives are what Cairo sees as one the key strengths of the Academic Senate and new Executive Committee.
“It’s precisely because of these perspectives that we are able to come up with wonderful solutions,” he said.
An official report on the election results will be provided at the Academic Senate meeting on April 7.