Jay Cho,Valerie Foster,Sheila Rosa Stephanie Fleming. pose for the pasadena city college courier on campus at PCC.(Michelle Gonzalez/Courier)
Jay Cho,Valerie Foster, Shelagh Rose Stephanie Fleming. pose for the pasadena city college courier on campus at PCC.(Michelle Gonzalez/Courier)

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.

40 Replies to “Senate candidates ready for election”

  1. My two favorite tv shows used to be Jerry Springer and the republican primary presidential debates. You guys top them all! Go crazy people!!!!

    1. It’s so ridiculous that necessary faculty input to the governing process will be lost with those brownies trying to lead the Academic Senate. Important input from teaching faculty is needed to bring relevant, thoughtful discussion to the table. Those junior mints have an established record of serving the whims of the discredited Mark Rocha and his flunkie team. In return for subservience they were given buckets of grant money, excessive release time, and a shiny plaque for the door. As ersatz administrator clerks, they could not be more out of touch with what faculty do, and thus are unable to intelligently represent those who teach professionally.

  2. Well isn’t this all so grand. In my 40 years at PCC, I have never been witness to such unprofessionalism. What’s really pathetic, is most of you won’t even put your name on your words, and quite frankly, most of it sounds like sour grades and poor loser syndrome to me. If you can’t stand behind your words, then don’t say them. It’s pretty obvious you are not interested in moving forward and all this bashing will probably continue, anonymously of course. We need to be more gentle with each other. And please tell me why working with the administration is a bad thing? Do you people just want to fight all the time? Rocha is gone, let’s move on!!

    1. If you believe that you are a spectator to college governance, it may make you uncomfortable when debate happens.
      There is ZERO personal jeopardy when anyone argues for the boss — You have 40 years of seeing who it’s best to agree with.
      Teaching Faculty, on the other hand, are quite hesitant to put their names on the “Enemies List,” so we must remain anonymous. Already in this last year, an Architecture professor who stood up for his program was kicked off campus and had unproven accusations trumpeted by Administration. Teachers who want the easy way know the drill–obey and smile, agree and serve, don’t make any noise, for heaven’s sake!
      The difficult truth is that faculty actually have a responsibility to ask, to challenge, to disagree with your bosses. (Discussion and debate are quite professional, even if it makes some of us nervous!)
      Whenever we take the easy road, the college suffers.
      The real definition of “moving forward” we will see soon enough when the Accreditation report finally arrives in print.
      We will have major work to do in repairing Shared Governance and holding all parts of campus ethically accountable.
      Singing “Kumbaya”will not cut it. Hard choices and difficult work are ahead–not necessarily as dictated by “C Building.” The only questions the new four may ask of Admin are “How high should we jump?” and “Where do we OK this?”
      Watch for the deft and diplomatic Admin steps to sideline these four with busy work.

    2. You keep repeating the administration’s mantra of “move on.” How can we move on when the administration continues to engage in the same practices that have gotten us into this mess? “Move on” = “We’re gonna keep breaking the rules; we just want you to stop complaining about it.” If the administration truly wanted to move on and fix our problems, then it would change its ways. It hasn’t, so obviously it doesn’t. “Move on” indeed.

  3. I’m amazed, no shocked at the comments. I teach at 4 different colleges and in all my years I’ve never seen a more dysfunctional, hostile faculty. The current atmosphere is divisive, unhealthy and unproductive. All these attacks sound like bitter,out of touched tenured professors who have forgotten who their job is about, the students.

    At least the people running are trying to create a positive collaborative environment. Who am I to say these things? I’m nobody, a forgotten cog on this campus, an adjunct. We only make up the majority of faculty and are oppressed, marginalized and tired of your bickering.

    1. No need to fret, dear friend.
      1) The Academic Senate just this year expanded Adjunct participation in the senate — including compensation for senate duties. ($) You are invited to get out of the self-pity and join your Adjunct colleagues who work as senate reps to contribute to the college.
      2) The Senate worked with Admin to resolve the screwed up (and illegal) siphoning of Professional Development funds into pet projects. These are funds you can now apply for without needing “inside friends”.
      3) The Union got Admin to commit to rehire rights for Adjuncts. Suggest you talk with your Union reps, knock on the door there, see what you can do to get involved.

      And don’t use “The Student” as a poster child for your complaining campaign.

    2. Misuse of funds from the Board of Trustees on down to APL for ‘professional learning’ classes such as Calligraphy mediation or parenting. How is that professional? When this group went around shared governance and the Senate starting in 2012, and installed their APL conglomerate, got stipends upon stipends and now waged a nasty negative campaign — um, it would be downright polyanna-ish to pretend that THAT’S not ‘unhealthy or unproductive’. Adjunct and most full-time don’t really get the full story, so it’s understandable if you are in the dark with what’s really going on. The administration’s mantra of “let’s just get along” and “move forward” just doesn’t cut it. How about “let’s follow policies and hold ourselves accountable for past decisions so we can not make the same mistakes again.”

  4. I believe BOTH sides have good intentions, just different philosophies and strategies for accomplishing those goals. I will vote for the side who shares my approach, but will gladly work with whomever wins.

    It is embarrassing and disheartening that this debate has sunken to personal attacks. Can’t we disagree without getting personal? I do not understand how colleagues could be so nasty to each other. Is this the positive environment both sides claim to be striving for?

    1. Road to hell is paved . . . The incumbents have a record of standing up for Faculty. The opponents have worked hard to catch buckets of Admin cash, and have actively advocated against faculty interests.

      Heaven help the Faculty and Students with those four Quisling leaders on board.

    2. As a lifelong teacher, I don’t consider one who quits teaching to be a colleague. When a fellow teacher leaves the teaching profession to work for management, they become a management employee. If they are 80% Admin workers, they are only 20% in touch with students, (and with their counselors, librarians, and teachers.) Their thinking naturally and rightly sympathizes with “The Boss.”
      The growth and healing of PCC will be derailed if healthy debate is avoided. It may make you nervous, but adult debate, even when spirited, is essential. The California State Ed Code and Title 5 mandate a system often called “Shared Governance.” In that system it is the responsibility of all faculty to actively participate in college governance. The faculty duty is to lead, and lead we will.

  5. We have no reason to think that “Molly” is not a homeless guy at a library computer–or good old Gail Cooper!
    There’s a plethora of paranoid rants, weird accusations, conspiracies. Best let him/her go on to another topic. (Chem-trails anyone?)

  6. Good to know you are all reading my comments and creating more misinformation.

    You don’t like something so it must be wrong. That’s a very interesting take on things. Ask Sarah Barker. Senate Executive Board crucified her for doing her job correctly. Nice. I’m sure you will have more misinformation on that as well.

  7. Shelagh has given administrative-like presentations to the senate but has not been a senate representative for her department. At least she should be a senator first before running for office. jay Cho showed up ONCE as a senate rep, just 2 meetings ago and hasn’t come back since. Valerie comes rarely as senate rep. The only person that has senate experience is Stephanie, but she dropped out of the senate altogether a year ago. I guess it is not of interest to her since there is no stipend or release time associated with it to make it appealing – senate office does hold some release time though…

  8. I find it inappropriate and appalling that Valerie Foster, who is running for Senate President, would spend over $500 to place a color ad in the Courier asking Stephanie Fleming to be her Valentine. Stephanie Fleming, who is running for a position in the senate as well, was part of the accreditation team that recently lost a key member to another job offering. this sows that the campus is not a priority for this group of faculty.

    It is evident that favoritism and inappropriate, unprofessional work ethic is not beneficial to student success and could easily cloud the Senate’s primary focus on school instruction and 10+1. I hope this is not how the Senate would function if these faculty are elected instead of focusing on classroom instruction and student success.

  9. Not one of the four new candidates has ever stood up to Admin demands, in fact, the contrary has been true. Except for the one who has zero Senate experience, they have faithfully advocated for the Administrative interests. Such candidates who consistently speak up for Management may not be best suited to speak on behalf of Faculty’s “Academic and Professional Matters”

  10. Well…Potential Target, you did support not signing the Accreditation document and bashed a student in your reply to the article “Academic Senate Votes Against Accreditation Report”, so it’s no surprise you are in support of the current executive board.

  11. Well…Potential Target, you did support not signing the Accreditation document and bashed a student in your reply to the article “Academic Senate Votes Against Accreditation Report”, so it’s no surprise you are in support of the current executive board.

    1. You’re right in saying that I supported the Senate President in not signing the self-study. That document was flawed: sugar-coated, overlooking the serious issues here at PCC, and rushed through with little oversight/input. Asking the president to sign that would have been the wrong move.

      You’re wrong in saying that my saying that a former student misread the situation constitutes bashing. Over-react much? But let’s say you’re right: that challenging someone’s interpretation constitutes bashing. Is it your position that the Academic Senate executive board has a policy or practice of bashing students that I am somehow in agreement with? Ridiculous hypberbole. Your user name was aptly chosen.

  12. Anyone that actively attends AS meetings is aware that the current Executive Committee has worked diligently to better serve faculty and students. 36 new faculty hires for next year and the implementation of Policy 6030 are just two examples that demonstrate that faculty are working with President Miller to move this college forward. That is exactly what needs to occur to better serve our students. Our current leaders attend more meetings and work harder than any previous Board to assure that our voices are heard. I say hip, hip, horray to our current leadership. You can count on my vote.

  13. This whole group of smiling happy people are precisely the ones who ran APL and the accreditation team just dinged professional learning in their final report! With Shelagh Rose getting 100% reassigned time (doing administrative work not teaching in the classroom) plus over $20,000 in stipends, Valerie Foster getting reassigned time plus $15,000+ in stipends, and Stephanie Fleming getting release time, plus $22,000 in stipends ($18,000 alone over the summer of 2013 to work on the accreditation report) — all of these in the past year and a half or so according to Board reports, these administrator-faculty members are out of touch with the majority of faculty. And then there’s Jay Cho – attended his first Senate meeting ever in February 2015.

    1. Envy is not flattering at all. Next time accreditation rolls around I say you step up and contribute. Which standard did you work on? Which part of the report did you write? Maybe researching faculty salaries and release time was your contribution, that helped how many students? That’s right…NONE! Get a life!

  14. This whole group of smiling happy people are precisely the ones who ran APL and the accreditation team dinged at their final report. With the $20,000 for Shelagh Rose and 100% reassigned time, the $15,000 in stipends for Valerie Foster and $24,000+ for Stephanie Fleming and 40% release time – all just in the last 9 months- we don’t want them taking over the senate. They offered nice parenting classes and meditation workshops and single handedly made up their own policy- but accjc was NOT impressed. I want faculty that actually spend their time in the classroom and know the faculty experience, not the administrator’s, to be the senate exec team.

    1. I think you just proved their point, Critical Thinker. In this article, the individuals running call for more focus on content and a positive atmosphere. Your response? To make personal attacks. Look in the class schedule–they ALL teach.

      1. Shelagh rose: 100% reassigned time plus a class as overload and that’s been going on for several years. She is a FT administrator (doing that role but on paper she’s on the books as faculty) and PT teacher. Lots of time at conferences, in meetings, etc and not so much in the classroom like the MAJORITY of the faculty she should represent with such a role as she is running for.

      2. I’m sorry, I don’t see the “personal attacks” that Critical Thinker has been accused of. An example of a personal attack would be “We need a change is an immature cry baby that when someone else makes logical statements of a professionally critical nature , s/he pulls the ‘personal attack’ card.”

    2. You folks should read the Board of Trustees packets a little more often. Check out how much Kris Pillon got in stipends to do interviews. Oh yea and how much time is the current Academic Senate Executive Board spending in the classroom since they insisted they needed more release time than any other Senate Exec Board to do their job. Maybe that’s because they never went to Senate meetings before being elected. And by the way the college had to give Kris Pillon 20% release time to cover her classes that didn’t fill. Isn’t that special. While the rest of us are out here working our tails off to teach students, she’s wondering doing nothing.

      1. Nice try, but your attack doesn’t stick.
        Next time, don’t drink and post comments!

        The wanna-be are Rocha cheerleaders who pine for the good old days. They wrote the report that was singled out by Accred team as bloated and seriously essential data. They built that APL clubhouse to grab Faculty Development dollars in contravention of state regulation. Even vp Miller agreed that their game is over.

        Any fantasy about the current Board not attending senate meetings is nuts. Every regular senate attendee remembers 1) Senator Cairo serving some incisive fact-checking back to Rocha, 2) Rose’s solid, faithful service, 3) Pilon’s hard work for years as a senator, 4)Perea’s thorough and thoughtful work.

        Your attack doesn’t stick.
        Next time, don’t drink and post–
        Makes you look silly.
        (And… spell check, perhaps?)

      2. 20% release time from teaching is nothing for the job that the VP of the Academic Senate does, attending and speaking at Board Meetings advocating for faculty, two 2-hr Senate meetings a month plus all the prep meetings for those, plus the Planning and Priorities meetings 2 hours each 2x month, CAPM, College Council, hiring committees, Ryan Corner committees – she is working her butt off for faculty. God forbid she request some compensation/stipend for her numerous hours making sure the ACCJC report was as accurate as possible.

        Shelagh Rose has 100% release time where she’s not teaching PLUS:
        $6000 math jam stipend- May 1 2013 Board Packet
        $6000 APL – June 5
        $6000 SASI Summer Jam July 17
        $500 facilitator for new fac. prof. dev. Aug 21 Board Packet
        $1500 SASI Intl Student Pathway Dec. 8 2013 Board Packet
        $3000 accreditation- assessment team Jan. 15, 2014 Board Packet

        Valerie Foster has 40% release time PLUS:
        $10,000 completion of APL activities/SASI- March 5, 2014 Board Packet

      3. Top ‘o the morning, Molly! Just to keep the record straight: I got paid the standard $50/hr. rate for 8.5 hours of work on the Accreditation Report. The Admin is fond of be bragging that they held at least 12 meetings with me, outside my obligation and outside my Senate reassigned time. If you ask me, they got a good deal. I filled in MANY gaps, corrected inaccurate information, and encouraged the writers to include accurate data to support their contentions. I gave up a class in order to do college work, therefore I’m getting half of the reassigned time I could be getting. Maybe I should learn some tricks from the folks on the ‘other’ slate– they seem to be doing way better financially than I am!

      4. So let me get this right. Because my name sounds Irish I must have been drinking when I wrote my post. Sounds like ethnic profiling to me.

  15. All four challengers are poor choices. They’re made up of alternates and brand-new members, none of whom regularly attend meetings. How can you claim to be better prepared to run the show when you’re never there?

    I stand by the current executive board. They’ve worked hard in fighting for faculty.

    1. Fight for faculty? What about the students? The Senate should get back to focusing on matters that improve student success instead of acting like a second union.

    2. And how many of the current Senate Executive Board attended any Academic Senate meetings before they ran for office ZERO! Check your facts. Shelagh, Valerie, and Stephanie are there all the time. Maybe you just aren’t paying attention.

      1. “Facts”? You’re joking, right? You mean to tell me that Manny Perea or Pat Rose never attended an Academic Senate meeting before serving on the executive board? Ridiculous. And “Shelagh, Valerie, and Stephanie are there all the time”? False again. Valerie is there every third meeting or so as an alternate; Shelagh and Stephanie are never there as senators.

        I can’t just make up whatever you want and call it a fact.

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