The Academic Senate sent out a survey to full-time faculty members on Monday to evaluate Superintendent Mark Rocha in an attempt to assess the performance of Rocha after senate members complained that the Board of Trustees left them out of the formal evaluation process.
“Shared governance committees have spent numerous hours on numerous issues collecting data and coming up with recommendations,” senate president Eduardo Cairo said. “The president opts to go a different route.”
Cairo said that he hoped that the faculty was open-minded and that they will provide positive and negative feedback so that the survey would be fair and honest..
The Academic Senate created an Ad Hoc committee during its Nov. 18 meeting to determine whether the faculty had the power to evaluate the president and, if so, what model would be used for the evaluation.
“The faculty will have 32 bubble-in questions to answer,” Cairo said. “They will also get three questions that they can answer by writing in an answer.”
General Counsel Gail Cooper said that only the Board of Trustees has the authority to evaluate the president.
“This is clearly set forth in Board Bylaw 1680,” Cooper said. “Should the Academic Senate attempt to proceed with an evaluation of the Superintendent/President, it would be an unauthorized infringement on the exclusive province of the Board and therefore be ineffectual.”
In her Oct. 23 letter to Cairo, Cooper stated that if the senate attempted to conduct a public evaluation of Rocha it would be a violation of his right to privacy and he would have the right to seek redress in a court of law against any individuals who participated in the defamatory statement.
Cairo said that was not true, and that the faculty association’s lawyer had told Cooper as much in an Oct. 29 letter.
“Obviously, it is the Board of Trustees that hires and fires the college president as well as conducting formal evaluations of his work,” faculty association lawyer Lawrence Rosenzweig said. “But you cannot seriously contend that other members of the campus community and the community at large cannot express opinions about the president’s performance. No confidential information will be necessary to accomplish that and there will be no invasion of the president’s privacy.”
Rosenzweig went on to say that the Academic Senate was providing a “vehicle” for faculty to express their opinions about very public conduct by the president.
“Why can [the district] not assume that the faculty will find something good?” asked Cairo. “It will shed light on areas to be fixed.”
Cairo said that the faculty had been instructed to mail back the surveys by Feb. 18.