Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fight over shared governance in CA

Shared Governance Feud in California Continues (Inside Higher Ed)
     The new chancellor of California's community colleges, Brice W. Harris, has written in opposition to a legal challenge to the system's shared governance structure. California Competes, a nonprofit group led by Robert Shireman, says local academic senates have illegal veto power over board actions, which contributes to a "tangled bureaucracy." Harris, however, said the shared governance regulations are lawful and good public policy. And while he said the group's intentions are well-meaning, they are "seriously flawed." [End]


     The legal challenge at one point (p. 5) refers to “Irvine Valley College Academic Senate v. Board of Trustees of the South Orange County Community College Dist.” That successful suit focused on a statute, which is cited by the challenge to illustrate the intention of legislators in the case of AB1725: “If the Legislature had intended to limit the District Board’s power to those issues on which it could secure mutual agreement from the academic senate, it would have said so explicitly as it did in another provision of AB 1725. Education Code Section 87360 states that 'hiring criteria, policies, and procedures for new faculty members shall be developed and agreed upon jointly by representatives of the governing board, and the academic senate, and approved by the governing board.' (Cal. Ed. Code §87360).” Chancellor Mathur and the board violated that statute when they unilaterally established a new faculty hiring policy, leaving the academic senates out of the process. See “How rude are you!”: the senates sue the district. See also Boom! —RB

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The return of the curious "Shooting Star" saga

     Back in 2012, I wrote a series of posts about the mysterious sinking, in 1974, of the yacht "Shooting Star," which took th...