With the Academic Senate elections coming up, the executive board will have some company on the ballot when its members seek reelection on March 19 after running virtually unopposed last year.
Eduardo Cairo, Patricia Rose, Manny Perea and Kris Pilon will be seeking reelection, while Valerie Foster, Stephanie Fleming, Shelagh Rose and Jay Cho will be running against them.
The four new candidates are running on the same ticket together, and said in a joint statement that it was time for a change in what the senate has been focusing on.
“Our slate is running because we want to see a change in leadership,” the statement said. “We feel that the current leadership has NOT been focusing its effort on what the Senate is supposed to do.”
They also said that they hope to instill positive change in the senate and that they believe in an Academic Senate that is “positive, welcoming, and respectful of all faculty members.” They said that if elected they hoped to bring a proactive engagement of issues that concern faculty.
Cairo, who is running for a third term as president of the senate, said that he felt that he and his executive board had accomplished a lot in their roles and felt that because they were on the verge of implementing new policies, they had to be reelected to their positions.
“In order to ensure that they pass and are implemented,” Cairo said, “we hope that the four of us together can make that happen.”
Cairo said that one of those policies was 6030, which deals with professional development. He said by passing the policy, the college would be in compliance with the State Bill AB2588 and would be able to receive more state funding.
The bill requires all community college to have a comprehensive professional development plan, an advisory committee comprised of faculty, administrators and staff and an annual reporting to the Chancellor’s Office. The policy 6030 would ensure that this happened
Foster, who is running against Cairo for president, said that as a senator she had developed an appreciation for diverse perspectives and knowledge of senate procedures.
“My hope is that these experiences will allow me to lead our college in a more collaborative direction that will better serve students,” she said.
Both parties expressed a respect for one another, but the new slate said they were troubled to see senate agendas that did not regularly, proactively engage in academic and professional matters because it meant that the senate did not focus enough on how it effectively serves the students.
“We were also deeply disappointed that the Senate Executive Committee did not regularly agendize the Accreditation Self-Evaluation because it did not lead to dialogue and limited the Senator’s ability to provide feedback,” they said in the statement.
They also felt that millions of dollars in funding tied to the Equity and Student Support Services Implementation plans have been placed at risk because of the current board’s failure to respond to these proposals in a timely fashion.
The election will take place on March 19 and two senate-approved observers will count up the votes.
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