|Burnett: exploiting an alleged "loophole"|
in the Westphal/Wagner settlement
Last week our Academic Senate approved the attached resolution. I’m not … sure how the decision to invite a Rabbi for the invocation this year was made—I know Tod wanted to invite him last year but he was unavailable then….Here’s the resolution:
If you could check and see how the decision is being handled at IVC, that would be great. I know last year, the [IVC] committee voted [i.e., was allowed to make the decision whether there would be an invocation], but I’d be curious to see whether they’ve been “allowed” to again this year. Do you think there’s any chance that IVC’s Senate would consider a resolution backing up ours?
Feel free to use the resolution on Dissent the Blog. …[W]e tried to keep the focus on shared governance and not on the prayer issue itself. ... This resolution was passed recognizing the legal reality that currently the “Event Planners” are supposed to make the decision about whether or not to have an invocation.
Whereas, Commencement is an important event for all members of the Saddleback College community, be they students, faculty, classified staff, or administrators, andSo. What say you?
Whereas, the College Commencement Committee includes representatives from all of these groups to ensure that their voices are heard in planning this ceremony, and
Whereas, the principle of shared governance is that all constituent groups should have a real role in the decision-making process, and
Whereas, President Burnett’s decision in 2011 to override the Commencement Committee’s unanimous vote to offer a moment of silence instead of an invocation in that year’s ceremony is inconsistent with the principle of shared governance, and
Whereas, such top-down decision making has repeatedly caused problems for our College in the Accreditation process,
Therefore, be it resolved, that
The Saddleback College Academic Senate affirms that the College’s Commencement Committee is the best group to decide whether or not to include an invocation at the annual Commencement ceremony,
The Commencement Committee as a whole should be explicitly charged with making this decision and their decision should be final,
And, resolved, that
This should go into effect beginning with the 2012-2013 academic year, as an invitation for a speaker to deliver an invocation has already been issued for the 2012 Commencement ceremony.