General Meeting Information

Date: February 6, 2024
Time: 10:00AM - 11:20AM
Location: MLC 255;

This meeting will be held HyFlex, meaning anyone can participate in-person or online.  To join remotely, see the Zoom information at the bottom of this page.

  • Agenda

    Time Topic Purpose
    10:00 - 10:05 Welcome and Introductions I
    10:05 - 10:10 Approval of Minutes from January 30 I/A
    10:10 - 11:20 1) Budget Advisory Committee update on vacant positions I
      2) Discussion of format for remaining discussion D/A
      3) Middle 5 position poll A
      4) New poll (if needed) and further discussion D/A
      5) Approval of next hiring prioritization recommendation to College Council D/A

    A = Action
    D = Discussion
    I = Information

  • Minutes

    Attendance: Erik Woodbury, Rob Mieso, Mallory Newell, Sam Bliss, Pam Grey, Benjamin Furagganan, Nicholas Turangan, Izat Rasyad, Ian Ang, Adam Contreras, Andre M. Lydia Hearn Tri Chairs Tina Lockwood, Tim Shively, Daniel Solomon, Martin Varela, Adrienne Hypolite, Alicia Del Toro, Anita Muthyala Kandula, Bidya Subedi, Christina G. Espinoza-Pieb, Debbie Lee, Diana Martinez, Elvin Ramos, Dr. Robert Alexander, Eric Mendoza, Erick Aragon, Gabriele Nocito, Kate Wang, Lisa Ly, Manisha Karia, Mehrdad Khosravi, Melinda Hughes, Michele LeBleu-Burns, Michelle Hernandez, Patty Guitron, Pippa Gibson, Thomas Ray

    Welcome and Introductions: Rob shared agenda for meeting. No comments or questions. 

    Approval of Minutes from Last Meeting: Rob showed minutes from last meeting. No comments or questions. 

    Budget Advisory Committee (BAC) Update on Vacant Positions:

    Pam and Martin give updates. BAC went over vacant position reports and pulled out Fund14 vacant positions. Pam screen shares document with 2024 general funds. Says that there are 2 positions are not vacant yet but funds will be released in future, as recruitment will take some time. Total shown on document is 934,926.45  Tim asks if these are based on faculty resignations and retirements. Pam confirms. Tim asks if all of RAPP’s funding is based on faculty retirements and resignations. Pam responds with hesitation to answer yes because unsure about if we will receive other general fund money from the district. Tim commented that this is not sustainable as it’s from faculty and going to non-faculty areas. It will continue to drain from faculty funding. It doesn’t seem sustainable given the 50% law. 

    Debbie says she hears Tim’s comment and this is how the college decided to restructure our resource allocation for personnel. Are we going back to how we did it before or are we staying with this? We keep coming back to this issue that the funds are not dedicated only to faculty anymore. Tim adds on if faculty are the only source of funds, it’s a different issue altogether. Erik states that we’ve discussed it as a settled question, but this committee has never adopted this as an official policy. This seems inequitable. Disagrees w/ the idea that this is a settled practice. More discussion is warranted. This hasn't been decided and new questions are popping up. Rob says this is a clear area of continued discussion but for now we need to finish this work. We have the information and we have work we need to do today. Once we conclude this process, we should continue and go deeper in this discussion in a later meeting. Erik agrees. 

    Erik asks about the funding Pam is sharing. Asks for confirmation if this is in addition to the money that was not allocated last Spring? We add those two up? Martin says yes. Rob states that the amount tied to each position varies. So it’s TBD. Andre asks how this pot gets replenished. Rob replies it is based on retirements and resignations that have been available at this point. We have to discuss how to move forward. This is what's available now. Tim says that periodically the state designates funds for new full-time faculty hires. We are one out of the four colleges in the state to be audited for mis-using the funds a few years ago. In better economic times, the state will give money. Sam (in chat) asks about the number of positions we can put forward. Rob says we’re not focusing on the dollars vs. positions. We need to get through the middle bucket today and it leaves us with a remaining 6. It gives us the 16 positions and College Council also has this dollar information -- So it will be College Council’s work to decide. Our work is to finish this prioritization process. Per last meeting, we will work the next 5 today. Mallory will provide context in terms of process. 

    Debbie confirms with Pam that we have 1.3 million ( or a bit more) for this round. Is that right? Pam responds that the 431,504.51 number  was allocated last year. This was set aside for two positions last year. This round it’s only 934,926.45 figure. Erik asks if we actually don't have any funding to allocate from Spring. Says he thinks this shows that we have the 431,504.51. Rob asks Martin to confirm this and share information with the chairs to share out. Martin will confirm and let the tri-chairs know. Rob confirms we’re asking about remaining funds from Spring. 

    Mallory shares in chat what College Council approved from last spring: Vins says he also wanted to see what was from last year. I was going to look for the dean's position. We have a remaining of 649****. Mallory shares screen of 2023 funding - If we take those two positions from the 649****, we are left with 400****. Pam says benefits are included in that number as well. Martin will go back and take a look at it. Tim says that if those 1 or 2 positions are not filled, would that funding be available for this round of allocation? Rob responds that yes, the money would go back into the pool if it’s not spent. 

    Discussion of Format for Remaining Discussion 

    Mallory moves to the next item - Format for remaining discussion. We want to bring in more discussion from the people here who are voting members based on the discussions you’ve had with your constituency. We are proposing to go about the constituency groups that are being recommended. We will have a poll (to begin discussion) and then discuss the results. We would structure the conversation by welcoming questions and go down the list by group on the membership list. Then we can go back up until we’ve finished addressing every group's questions. 

    Rob says this allows for more conversation about the initial polling. We have the voting options but we want to strive for consensus. Erik states that when we started the committee, we said we want to be consensus driven but from what he’s observed, our past discussions were quick to call for a vote. Asks the group to think about if we’re a committee of consensus or more like Robert's Rules with voting. Just wants us to be clear on what our practice is. 

    Middle 5 Position Poll  

    Erik drops it in chat: Erik says that you should choose 5 Yes (Though maybes are an option) But for now please vote for 5 Yes. Group takes time to vote. Erik shares screen w/ results. Mallory reads in order of most “yes” votes: 

    Environmental Science  - 20  

    Music - 15  

    Automotive Tech - 14  

    Sociology - 14  

    Equity Office and Comparative Ethnic Studies - 12  

    Chemistry - 11  

    Tim asks if prior to these going to College Council, do we intend to rank them? Erik says this is not a vote, it's a poll. Erik says that the motion we passed last week (which Erik had some reservations about), said we’d forward a bucket of 5. Tim says given that we’re not even clear about how many we can fund of the 5 that we’re trying to put together, we should prioritize them. Erik says we’re trying to move away from ranked lists sending to College Council. We are a recommending body - There are two steps past us. It's good to build in flexibility. Tim says it is College Council’s prerogative to go against our wishes. Erik responds that we’re trying to get away from tying the hands of College Council and President. 

    Tim proposes an addendum -- going back to what we did in groups when we did written responses as to why we chose high, medium, or low. College Council doesn't have the expertise and information and data to make decisions. It would be helpful to College Council to let them know why positions are in the bucket and why they are prioritized. Tina asks if our summaries will be forwarded with our recommendations. Erik responds they can be, though they’re not all updated. Tina states there is a lot of good information in the request about what is needed. If we did the work, it would be nice if summaries went along with our recommendations. Mallory adds that the idea with the buckets is to say to the President and the senior leadership who can advise the college council, that we’ve gone through this process, and here are our buckets. Of these, we are equally okay with these 5. We’re giving them the opportunity to have an institutional broad campus-wide view to determine the decision from a college perspective -- with the input from the planning committee. 

    There’s a question in the chat about why “maybe” votes were counted as “no.” Erik responds it’s because we told people not to use maybe. Tim says this is contentious because there are limited resources and. Even if we don't agree with the outcome, we learn something. There is a difference between a bucket where you know you have funding and a bucket that has some prioritization. Rather than rehashing the summaries, we are in a higher level of discussion now -- maybe we can come up with “Super summaries.”  Daniel says it seems like there is one we’re more confident about than others - the Environmental Science position. Rob asks if there are any thoughts or comments. Lydia asks if we will go in order, as discussed earlier. Mallory begins with the administrator category. Sam asks if this is a time where we can speak to positions or are we just asking clarifying questions? Rob says we're trying to get a sense of what people brought back from constituencies based on the bucket of 5. You can speak to positions but this is more about your constituency group. Sam says he’ll let Debbie speak and if we’re talking about specific positions, he’d like to speak on a position. 

    Debbie states she has thoughts on how we vote and rank things. As she was interim Dean of Creative Arts, she doesn't want to seem unsupportive of a position, but what she’s getting at is the process of how a position was originally ranked low and then went to high based on someone on the committee saying, “I propose this is moved to high.” She wonders how something can be ranked low by those who read it and then get moved to high. She states to Erik she is not asking for a response but she was just expressing her thoughts. Debbie says she is just looking at how we are looking in the big picture -- issues have come up regarding funding. For example the 50% law and the issues of non-instructional vs instructional. How do we balance the buckets with the apportionment we get? The way we operate is that we get funding based on apportionment. Should we look at faculty positions that bring in a high apportionment to make up for positions that don't bring in apportionment? 

    Mallory moves to Classified position. Tina says we all have our favorite “horse” - hers didn’t make this bucket but it is what it is. She feels we have a sense of ownership for these positions and have gotten attached to some of them, but we won't get all of them. Since we don't have the final say, we are supposed to hand over the decision to the administrators who make the “big bucks.” She also says perhaps we can do a bucket of 5 with an asterisk - or instead of 5, can we do 3? Andre says he’s processing and does not have the 50 percent rule down yet and would like to know more. If we agree to consensus, then most votes technically win regardless of how you feel. He’s also processing anonymity of votes - understands the reasoning, but it makes the numbers interesting. Mallory moves to affinity groups. APASA - Erk A. adds that through this process, the lack of having a concrete number has made it more challenging. BFSA - Melinda says she hasn't had a chance to digest this. It is on the BFSA agenda for tonight. Her concern has always been with the voting practices. BFSA will have a response next week. DALA - Erik M has nothing to add. 

    Mallory moves to EAC. EAC - Elvin says it hurts to see the group struggle but part of it is that we’re experimenting right now. At EAC, we ask how we can support the larger charge of DEI in the work we’re doing. While the equity piece is embedded in the program review process, that's not coming up for him a lot. It used to be, but he feels like we’re back to the situation where we’re advocating for certain things just because. Agrees with Debbie re: the way we moved from low to high because of the narrative that if this (Music) doesn't get approved, we will lose the department. He doesn’t think that's true. That narrative has been pushed around -- it is not fair with an equity lens for the others that got left behind. This is a bigger conversation that EAC needs to have. 

    Mallory moves to Faculty - Daniel S. says it looks like Music did go through the process that we agreed upon here and there is a dire need. Doesn’t know if there's much to complain about.  Robert A says as a counselor, he is looking at needs across the board. He looks at faculty positions in terms of what we’re lacking. Sometimes it's from being in meetings with other faculty members. The process we did at the beginning with breakout groups was beneficial; it felt democratic. Last meeting, it felt contentious. He’s supportive of discussing until the last minute. We haven’t had the opportunity to take into account the funds, even if it's not as concrete as we wanted. He hasn’t had an opportunity to discuss with Counseling and Advising, and it will come up, but does like the fact that folks are providing the opportunity for everyone to be heard. 

    Alicia Del Toro says there is a lack of trust in the group and it’s making her nervous. Envisions this as the first step and hopes we’re looking at a longer vision (sustainability) and what is necessary for the college to function to serve students. There's a lot to be said when we go through rounds and we may not always get what we want and hopes we’re all aware we’re on the same team. 

    Mallory moves to students - Ian says that process-wise, the process of breaking out into groups helped onboarding go a lot quicker. In terms of the results, they talked to students in senate last week and asked about the next 5, and students said that Environmental Science, Music, and Auto Tech were mentioned in their top and they are in the top right now. Izat says the process has been okay for the students. Feels like they’re decently heard -- for students it can be intimidating, but Erik has done a good job answering questions and making sure they know the process. If there is one comment, there are times when us as a committee, it feels like there is a disconnect re: the distribution of Faculty and Classified and funding. Moving forward, there should be a way to clear up things before we start. Coming up with these things while we’re in the process of discussion is hard - we should discuss after the round. Kate agrees with Ian and Izat. 

    Mallory asks if we want to go around the room one more time? Erik W. says people talked about processes but not about positions. Debbie says when she looks at the vote, it doesn't add up. There’s one person that didn’t do Top 5. Wondering if this changes and if we need to do a re-vote. This throws off the numbers. Erik says if we do that, we need to re-do the first round then. Asks if she is talking about the results in the pie graph. He will check it but last week, we had 2 people who chose 6 and two people who chose 4. Michele says she has a vague sense of discomfort about all this but is trying to put her thoughts together. What we’re doing is making her feel uncomfortable and disoriented. Mallory asks what specifically. Michelle says all of it somehow - the silence, when people do speak up, there’s a lot of back and forth. She says the process is making her uncomfortable and recalls IPBT being similar to this. Lydia asks if she can speak to the process. Says there was some discomfort before about only certain people talking. This new process was to give people a chance as well.

    Rob states we’re going through a process and are a new shared governance body and we’re learning as we go. After we went through this in spring, we got feedback and we made improvements to our process. We will do the same once we go through this process. We’re all coming from the place of wanting to do what's best for the college and our students with limited resources. Let's not get stuck and move forward with the process we all agreed upon. Bidya says she struggled when making decisions around Faculty positions (instructional side). Wasn't here in Fall so was struggling a bit when voting. Relied heavily on the summaries. Feels like it would be helpful to know how many Classified and Faculty we can put forward. It was hard to be fair in terms of the need. 

    Andre states the issue that he’s had is with the percentages on the votes re: support for positions. Interesting to see that some positions received a certain amount of support. Brings up that some students aren't able to complete programs. Visual Arts and Design, for example - some Visual Arts students cannot finish their programs because we can’t offer a class because we don't have the faculty. Eric M. suggests that perhaps tri-chairs and budget chairs can meet outside of RAPP to bring in and present material so everyone is on the same page. As a DALA rep, agrees with Tim’s recommendation to forward the data that is the result of the poll. If College Council has flexibility, that's totally fine. 

    Tim apologizes for talking too much and states it comes from all the different committees and if you don’t put your piece out there, you’re not heard. He was thinking about the process. Different constituencies said they liked the small groups. He sees 2 potential blocks: we’re voting anonymously (Which we didn’t do in small groups.) Having some sense of who is voting where helps us to understand why they are voting as they do. Some of us are in the room and some of us are on Zoom. I’m wondering if we can do a meeting entirely in person - When we are doing the final bucket, you can talk more clearly. Tina agrees seeing people in real life is helpful. It would be nice to have people’s video all the time on Zoom so it feels more personal. 

    Erik says there’s time for more comments. Ask students if they have anything to add. No comments from the group. Erik says the discussion was good re: process and positions. Recommends coming back next time to discuss results for poll. Rob reminds group we’re all representing a constituency -- you represent a broader group. Keep that in mind. 

    Meeting adjourned.

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