On Feb. 3, the Academic senate will vote on its new President and VP but a letter circulating is opposed to a proposed bylaws change that would give all associate faculty a full vote on the senate’s President and Vice Presidential election. In December, the Academic Senate approved a motion regarding the voting rights of Associate Faculty. The motion was supposed to be approved on December 16 but was put off until the Academic Senate convenes this Friday.
“There was a conversation among the senate to change the rules and bylaws to allow associate faculty the right to vote. The discussion started during the fall semester but as the vote got closer this memo started circulating requesting signatures for full-timers who do not support associate faculty to have a full vote on the President and VP positions,” stated Full-Time faculty member Thao Ha, the opinion is divided; some full-time faculty are siding with the associates “There was discussion about giving them a partial vote, but I don’t think they should be counted as partial people,” said Ha.
Below, the memo as sent:
We, the undersigned, are opposed to the proposed Bylaws change that would give all associate faculty a full vote in President and Vice President election.
Many of us have significant associated faulty (sic) experiences at various institutions before obtaining a full-time faculty position at MiraCosta College. During our time as “freeway flyers,” our campus connections and involvements were typically constrained due to the limited time afforded by our crazy schedules. Now, as full-time tenure-track and tenured faculty, we not only teach our full load of 15+ hours, but also serve the campus in numerous ways including departmental duties, collegial governance, course leads, department chairs, faculty coordinators, and more.
While we respect and value our associate faculty colleagues, our complex roles and increased campus involvement outside the classroom mean the decisions made by the Academic Senate have a disproportionate effect on us as full-time faculty. To that end, we think it is both unwise and unreasonable to give each associate faculty member a full vote in the election of Academic Senate President and Vice-President.
According to Professor David Bonds, full-time faculty holds different responsibilities than other faculty. This being his reason he takes a stance on the side of this memo, “Maybe I am wrong but both groups have not had proper time to explore this issue. I don’t think anyone was trying to do things underhanded,” stated Bonds. According to Bonds, more people need to get involved in this discussion so that real solutions can be found. “I hope we have bought enough time to explore the issue as new facts emerge,” stated Bonds.
In the academic senate, associate faculty can hold a position as senators. Then there is a position called coordinating officer that rotates every two years between full-time and associate faculty. Associate faculty can vote for senators but cannot vote for the President and VP positions at this time.
In the MiraCosta College system, there are over 6oo associate and less than 300 full-time faculty and the college associate faculty are unionized while full time is not.