Chapter 2: Academic Year 2013-2014

“Spring 2” (aka: Summer 1) begins (May 15-June 21, 2013):  According to visual accounts, campus is dead. See Data for actual enrollment counts.

June 13, 2013 – President Rocha presents 3 versions of 2013-2014 calendars instead of just the one that the Calendar Committee recommended to the Board in March 2013, which included a 6-week winter and 6-week summer.  The other two were developed by unknown parties, and both utilized a three- term calendar without winter. He stated he would be recommending just one of them to the Board.

June 21, 2013 – On the day of Spring 2 finals, PCC Counseling sends an email to students to let them know that their courses indeed WOULD NOT TRANSFER this year because the courses were technically taken in summer and were out of compliance with the Chancellor’s Office, even though the the administration had repeatedly assured the campus that this would not happen (see Preamble).  What students did not know was that if the administration had continued to keep the “Spring 2” delineation, the students could use it for transfer, but the school would be at risk of losing up to $16 million in Prop 30 money.  A team of counselors and administrators urgently set out to mitigate over 200 students’ situation to resolve the problem, but not without significant added disillusionment and stress to both students and employees of the college.  The school had to use tax payer’s $800,000 out of its general fund of over $112 million to re-pay financial aid.

For more, read this Courier article.

July 10, 2013: An editorial appears in the Courier demanding an apology from the administration for such unprecedented mismanagement of the school.

July 17, 2013 – President Rocha presents his hand-picked 2013-2014 calendar at the Board meeting amid the protest of students outside. The Board of Trustees failed provide as many chairs as was usual in the Creveling Lounge and therefore the students and public were not allowed in. (Note that the room can legally fit up to  316.) Trustee Baum stated: “We should be held accountable for our decisions…An apology is owed. There were impacts that weren’t anticipated.” To date, no apology has been offered. In the end, the Board approved Rocha’s tri-semester calendar without winter.

August 2013 – The Financial Aid cap was changed by PCC but students were not informed. Now, PCC’s students who complete their program in 78 units or less would receive their aid. Veterans start speaking out about the hold on their financial aid and issues involved due Rocha’s tri-semester calendar.

August 16, 2013 – In the name of “student success” and in an unprecedented desperate move, the administration sends students taking less than a full load an email encouraging them to “add one more class”, sending along a link to an “Add 1” video.

August 21, 2013 – Board meeting: In order to aggressively meet FTE requirements not to jeopardize state funding to the college and to make up the 18% reduction of FTEs from 2011-2012 within the span of a year, the Board was desperate to recuperate FTEs and therefore approved $1 million of taxpayers’ money to develop a satellite campus in Rosemead with late-start classes in October.  It is questionable whether they violated the Brown Act in doing so and eyebrows are raised as it was a consent item that should have been a more public action item that would’ve appeared on their agenda.  

Fall 2013 begins: (August 26 – December 15, 2013) Welcome Week debuts a large air-conditioned tent rented for 3 weeks, costing taxpayers $80,000. The majority of the time, it remained empty.

August 25-30, 2013: The $10 million Board-approved Lancer Point system is unable to manage wait lists and pre-requisite, wreaking havoc on Week 1 classes.

September 3, 2013 – Student Walk out hosted by PCC Collegience, with the support of this Coalition and Students for Social Justice campus club.

October 2, 2013  – Board approves a salary increase and another year for President Rocha, despite reservations expressed by Simon Frasier the student trustee and Eduardo Cairo, the Academic Senate president. Also see Admin Salaries page.

October 2013 – Late start classes begin at newly approved Rosemead facility. The first week of registration from 9/30/13- 10/4/13 bring very low enrollments, with 100% of the 80 sections being low-enrolled with only 10 classes having double-digits and no class having more than 20 students in it. President Rocha writes to the campus: that “registration began …with a significant early response.” See Mismanagement page.

October 21, 2013 – Rosemead campus is low-enrolled with the campus under-enrolled by about 60% . Capacity was originally set for 1222 students, but only 511 students are enrolled. The numbers will only go down as students drop.

November 27, 2013 – Public Employees Relations Board (PERB) rules against the District for canceling winter session and orders the PCC District to restore a semester calendar, rescind the trimester calendar and compensate affected employees for any losses suffered at a rate of 7% per year. For more information and the PERB document, click here. Willing to waste taxpayer and district money,  the District is planning to delay the ruling by appealing. Read more here.

September 2013 -April 23, 2014 – VP Bob Bell holds not one  single meeting for the Calendar Committee to convene and determine the 2014-2015 academic calendar. Students do not know when Fall semester will start, faculty and staff do not know when to call in for work in the Fall. This is unprecedented and unheard of. Most schools already have their academic calendars planned years in advance.  Everything is on hold.

The start 2014-2015 Calendar

(it is unheard of  that a college start its planning for the next Academic Year just 1 month before the end of the previous year)

April 2014 – The Academic Senate have to call for a formal resolution to request that Bob Bell call a committee meeting so they can develop the 2014-2015 calendar. It is unheard of for a college not to have already planned the academic year several years in advance much less one that is about to start in just a few months!

April 24, 2014: 10am. VP Bell presents an academic calendar (the ‘roll over’ calendar, without winter) to the College Council.  Please note: the charge of the Calendar Committee is to determine the dates of the academic calendar. It is normally where the calendar is to originate, and then goes to other constituents afterwards.

April 24, 2014: 12pm. VP Bell finally convenes the first Calendar Committee meeting of the year – 2 weeks before the academic year ends, after which neither the faculty nor the student representatives are usually available. .  At that meeting, the Bell put forth the ‘roll-over’ calendar from the 2013-2014 school year, however another draft was brought up by a faculty member, a ‘roll-over’ calendar from 2012, the last shared-governrance ‘status-quo’ calendar. (Title V states if mutual agreement is not reached, the status quo needs to be upheld.)

  • Admin arguments made: We are in a hurry; we worry about students and their plans. We couldn’t hold a meeting because of the PERB case that is out (see Chapter 2: Academic Year 2013-14)
  • Other arguments made: PERB is about unfair labor suit. It has nothing to do with planning next year’s calendar and following the shared governance process; the PERB ruling was out in November, so why wait until end of April to hold a meeting – why not before?

May 1, 2014 – The second Calendar Committee meeting of the year 

  • Admin. arguments made: We’ve already let many students and programs know what the dates of the next school year will be; we can’t make changes now. There are too many impacts. (See the Why We are Digging in our Heels internal memo as to the supposed  impacts the Calendar  will have. Also see the original rationale for imposing the trimester calendar  in 2012 and how they don’t hold water.)
  • Other arguments made: Students want a calendar with winter so they can transfer more quickly. How is it possible that the administration is already letting students know when school starts when on the PCC website, there is NO calendar posted, when this very committee hasn’t met once to determine said calendar?
  • Calendar with winter (“Draft 3”) is approved.

May 5, 2014 – Academic Senate meeting – The Senate approves the Calendar with winter.

May 7, 2014 – VP Bob Bell cancels the final Calendar Committee meeting of the year because the  calendar with winter had already been forwarded  to the College Council and “it is the recommended calendar that will be discussed at College Council,” which ended up being untrue. (see May 8, 2014)

May 8, 2014 – Contentious College Council meeting – Like last year’s June 13, 2013 College Council meeting, Rocha only presents  the administration’s calendar without a winter, even though the Calendar Committee of students, staff , faculty and administrators developed and voted on a calendar with winter.   This time, the College Council committee repeatedly tries to discuss (and vote on) the shared governance, vetted, Calendar Committee’s calendar.  Rocha violates Brown Act multiple times and doesn’t allow any advisory vote to occur. General Counsel is party to the violations and supports the president. Video here.

May 12, 2014 – College Council meeting #2, called by a committee member: they voted and approve the Calendar with winter. Rocha and his administrators did not attend, but there was a quorum for an advisory vote to happen.

June 25, 2014 – Numerous faculty and students tell the Board the school needs winter, that the president’s calendar had not been collegially consulted on. Only one staff member, claiming to speak for ‘her faculty and department’ spoke in favor of the president’s calendar – as usual, no reasons supported by data or statistics given, which is unusual for Natural Sciences!  The president’s administrative staff gave a flat presentation of his calendar without winter and the faculty Senate president gave another presentation for a winter calendar. The Board of Trustees didn’t bother to ask any meaningful questions, despite having in front of them a two-page pedagogical rationale for needing winter.  The Board votes for the president’s personal calendar, without winter, like they did on July 13, 2013. Watch video of public speakers, the two presentations and the Board’s apathy  here.

Click here for Data about and rationale for having Winter

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