Went to the "Technical Assistance" shindig yesterday/last night. Tables were configured in a big square (with one end open) and the various constituency groups were seated around it. There was a weird little audience zone facing into the open part of the square. Woodruff of the CCLC and Walton of the state senate used a podium which poked into one corner of the square. From 3:00 to maybe 4:45 Woodruff and Walton held forth with big picture concepts about shared governance--although they pointed out that "shared governance" is not a legal phrase and its somewhat misleading. Well, CCLC's Woodruff made that point, cuz she represents trustees, and she's a subtle enemy of the concept, near as I can figure. (Nice lady though.)
Man, that Walton has one exotic accent. I think he's a Scot, cuz I overheard a brief discussion he had with Fuentes, who asked if he was Irish, I think. "Nope," said Walton. A Scot. Or maybe a Druid. My hearing isn't too good.
Woodruff was the slicker of the two, but both did a good job, I suppose, spelling out the nature of "governance" in the community colleges. No surprises, although Woodruff seemed to cherry pick to emphasize that the Board is the ultimate decision maker and entities such as the academic senate are mere "advisory bodies." Walton--and especially faculty who engaged in a brief Q &A--made clear that, in fact, the academic senate (and other bodies) are more than mere advisory bodies. Consider faculty hiring procedures, etc. In that area, faculty are equal partners, though no one dared say quite that.
After the brief Q&A, there was a break; then, at 5:15, the more interesting half of the presentation commenced. The various groups got up to offer their "three suggestions." Well, almost nobody stuck to three, and so, by the end of all this yammering, there were maybe 100 "ideas." It looked pretty hopeless, given all the suggestions and their genral goofiness. "Respect others." "Emphasize the postiive." "Just say 'no.'"
I've gotta go, but I'll just mention that Trustee Fuentes was the standout trustee, if standout means "obnoxious." That was mostly because Trustee Wagner had to go, starting about 6:00. He took his new beard with him.
Classified and especially faculty reps did a great job contributing to discussion. Very impressive. Hooray for the A-team.
Much more later. (I'm hoping to fashion some interesting audio clips.)
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