Academic Senate for California Community Colleges Report

By Dan Crump, American River College, CCL Liaison to the ASCCC

The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) held its Fall Plenary session November 5-7 --- virtually.  The theme of the Session was “Addressing Anti-Blackness & IDEAs (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Anti-Racism) in Academic and Professional Matters” and the first two days of the session consisted of breakouts on a variety of topics of interest to faculty, focusing on equity, anti-racism and inclusion.  On the last day of the session (November  7), delegates voted on resolutions that will shape the positions and actions of the ASCCC.  The full text of the resolutions is on the ASCCC website.

Of special interest for library and learning assistance/tutoring faculty was Resolution 8.01---Counseling Faculty and the 50% Law.  The text of the resolution is in the file linked above. Basically, the message of the resolution was that the ASCCC work with the Chancellor’s Office and other stakeholders to “explore means to include counselor salaries and benefits as instructional expenses under California Education Code §84362, also known as the 50% Law, in order to provide the support that students need for successful certificate or degree attainment or transfer to baccalaureate institutions.”  While this is a laudable goal, it leaves librarians, tutor and learning assistance faculty out of the “right” side of the 50% Law and it is somewhat contrary to previous recommendations. There has been discussion for many years about the lack of inclusion of non-instructional faculty (yikes, I can hear Sally Flotho protesting me and stating that ALL faculty are instructional faculty!) on the “right” side in the calculation of instructional expenses for the 50 % Law. Chancellor Brice Harris (state chancellor prior to Chancellor Oakley) had convened a Consultation Council Task Force to discuss the issues of the 50% and the Faculty Obligation Number (FON).  The recommendations of this group to the Chancellor’s Office included the determination that the salaries and benefits of counselors and librarians should be included in the 50% calculation---“counselors and librarians are faculty members who serve necessary functions for the instruction of students, whether inside or outside the classroom.”  The recommendations were received by the Chancellor’s Office, but were not accepted/endorsed/implemented (you pick your word).

Getting back to the resolution.  It was “referred” back to the ASCCC Executive Committee “to review for inclusion of all non-instructional faculty and to return to the body by Spring 2021.”  Rest assured that the CCL will be working with the ASCCC on this referred resolution.