Volume 47, Number 1
Let’s add administrators while we’re at it
By Ron Norton Reel, CCA President
For the past several years, CCA has warned local chapters that SLO Compliance should be kept out of the evaluation process under collective bargaining ontracts. The debate that has been taking place is fundamentally a question of fairness. Should faculty be held accountable for outcomes they cannot control?
CCA has never suggested that it is not positive to examine routinely objectives that are used to make the educational process better each year. A comparison of data that is used strictly for program improvement is healthy and should be encouraged. The danger comes when such overall examination of curriculum effectiveness begins to hold people (faculty) accountable for items they cannot control. Faculty members don’t have any ability to self choose those students that enter into their various classes taught at any college.
Open door policy
The community college system has an open door policy. One of the core values in California Community Colleges is that anyone who thinks they can benefit by attending college gets to proceed with such an endeavor. The California Supreme Court has ruled that any student attending a community college has the right to attempt any class he/she wishes. Therefore, they have the right to fail any course they wish. Co-requisites and Prerequisites are recommendations and not requirements. This finding is the very heart of why SLO compliance should be kept from the faculty evaluation process.
I, as a faculty member, should be responsible for those things I can control. If the system allows any student (prepared/not prepared) to take my class, then, I should be encouraged to assist those not prepared, but not evaluated in any potentially negative manner for those who cannot achieve success (passing) my class. I can control if I arrive to class on time, am prepared, competent in what I teach, treat students fairly in what is expected, hold the entire class to the same standards, provide tests that cover the material in an honest and accessible manner, provide additional one-on-one learning opportunities (office hours), and even hold outside study groups, but that is where my evaluation should stop.
I, as a faculty member cannot control whether or not a student studies for a test, prepares for a speech, attends my office hours, has to work too many hours in a given week, has family responsibilities that prevent studying from taking place, reads their textbook, understands the material presented, or participates in outside study groups. I cannot control these outside forces, and to do so seems unfair and unprofessional.
Everyone is accountable
If we are going to hold faculty accountable to those items he/she cannot control, it seems we should also hold the following individuals and organizations to such unrealistic evaluations:
For all deans who have a faculty member determined to not be successful in SLO effectiveness, he/she should be given a 1 percent reduction in salary. If there are 10 faculty members determined not to be successful, then it would result in a 10 percent reduction in their salary. The funds should be placed into a “Improve SLO Funds” for the college.
For every vice president who has a dean under his/her division who has had his/her salary reduced, the vice president shall lose 2 percent reduction for each violation. If a vice president has 20 violations under his/her division, the result would be a 40 percent reduction in Salary placed into the “Improve SLO Funds” for the college.
For every college president who has a vice president who has had his/her salary reduced, the President shall lose 25 percent reduction in his/her salary for each vice president violation.
The ACCJC shall reduce the amount charged to each college for evaluation any year any type of violation is greater than warning by 25 percent. Should a violation go longer than two years, the reduced amount charged to each college for evaluation by the ACCJC would be 50 percent per year. This would provide a financial incentive for the ACCJC to work with the colleges in a self assessment model instead of a punitive model.
The bottom line for faculty and evaluation is to hold us accountable for those items that we can control. If either deans, vice presidents, presidents, chancellors, or the ACCJC wishes to establish an evaluation that cannot be controlled or enforced by those being held accountable, all must be willing to accept the consequences.