President reflects on three terms in office
By Ron Norton Reel CCA President
As I wind up three terms as your CCA president, I find myself reflecting on what we’ve done together these past six years. It’s been a tumultuous time for faculty and community colleges in California, but there is much to be proud of through those years. I might have chosen 10, I could have chosen 20, but instead, I’ll share with you “Ron Reel’s List of CCA’s Top 17 Accomplishments.
- CCA now has more recognition in Sacramento. I believe we are listened to and that legislators look to us for answers when they confront community college issues.
- CCA conferences are better than ever because we listened to members and paid attention to evaluations. We make sure to hold our conferences in places where people want to go and that they provide incredible information to participants.
- CCA has converted 13 chapters to agency fee, which means our members are getting more information, more services and more representation from us.
- I’m the first CCA president to have visited every single one of our community colleges. Some of you I’ve visited once, some several times depending what is going on, but it has been a delight.
- CCA has created Local Chapter membership awards. Our chapters are the lifeblood of CCA and we want to make sure they feel a part of the larger picture.
- CCA introduced the Building Strong Locals academy at our conferences. Through this valuable year-long training for local leaders, we are strengthening our chapters and our organization.
- We created our History Makers video and book, which includes interviews with many of our former presidents and staff about the founding of our organization. This gives us a visual legacy of our history.
- We initiated our Union Hero Awards – The David A. Sanchez GLBT Award, the Mary Ann Pacheco Ethnic Minority Award, and the David Milroy Part-time faculty awards highlight the good work our members do on our behalf.
- CCA became financially independent in 2005 and in so doing, built a contingency fund of $700,000 that we can use to help local chapters in crisis.
- You as an organization decided to use contingency funds to help a member in crisis. This occurred when one of our presidents was removed from teaching for a semester without pay for union activity. We made sure he was able to get by through some financial assistance. We take care of our own.
- We were able to purchase a condo in Sacramento that has enabled the organization to save money on hotel costs. The condo was purchased two years ago for $245,000 and is now valued at $360,000.
- CCA produced “Did You Know?” commercials in 2011 which featured messages about the importance of community colleges in California. They were aired on cable stations around the state.
- CCA has become a more transparent organization that knows where our money is being spent. Our budget practices now include line items for our major expenditures.
- We stood up to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) when it threatened Solano College with closure due to alleged financial improprieties. We demonstrated that the college was not $1.6 million over budget, as the commission suggested, but $36,000 in arrears – a far cry from what had been charged. As a result, Solano was removed from “Show Cause” received back their full accreditation.
- CCA delegates from our Fall Conference wrote over 150 letters to Barbara Beno, president of the accrediting commission, and each one of the commissioners resulting in a meeting with the entire ACCJC board about overstepping its authority on Student Learning Outcomes. We believe SLOs should be bargained at each college. This was the first and only time the commission allowed a community college organization to address them.
- We’ve made inroads to unite full-time and part-time faculty within our organization. Our interests are not different. I know I am leaving this organization in a place where we know that faculty issues are all faculty issues.
- CCA members and chapters participated in a big way in the 2012 campaign. Your work to pass Prop. 30 and defeat Prop. 32 will make a difference to all of our students.