Rally (1.10.13)

Press clippings

Media

Background

●  Provide a public forum for the personal perspectives of students, staff, and faculty who have been affected by the unilateral changes being made at PCC

●  Begin the process of getting the community informed, involved and active in their community college in order to promote positive and effective changes

Current Major Issues at Pasadena City College:

1. Mismanagement of the College Which Is Hindering Student Success

2. Reduction of Student Access

3. Dismantling of Shared Governance
4. Climate of Fear, Intimidation and Distrust

5. Corporatization of Public Education
6. Loss of Collegiality and Erosion of PCC’s Long-Standing Reputation

Message to the PCC Community:

  • This is YOUR college, these are YOUR children, these are YOUR taxes and these are YOUR elected officials. It’s time to take back PCC!

pas-0113-protestOver the last two years, the students, staff, and faculty of Pasadena City College have witnessed a rapid dismantling of shared governance and democratic decision-making processes with an over-reliance on an inflated senior administration, which appears to be making ad hoc and imprudent decisions in reaction to its own mismanagement. As a public educational institution, PCC has historically thrived on the shared input of a representative body of faculty, staff, students, and management to make campus-wide decisions. Now, however, PCC’s resources are being solely managed by an administration that has shown only cursory regard for the democratic decision-making processes, a shared-governance model that formed the backbone for PCC to be among the leading community colleges in the State of California.

The cancellation of the 2013 Winter Intersession and the imposition of a three-term calendar is the most salient and gross example of administrative mismanagement of PCC. Rather than continuing PCC’s proud history of shared governance and collegial consultation, the administration and the Board of Trustees ignored the combined voices of students, staff, faculty and the community-at-large and imposed a new calendar. The calendar imposition was further exacerbated by administrative claims of fiscal exigency (from which the administration has now backtracked).

The PACCD Board of Trustees, the elected representatives of the community, have consistently ignored student, faculty and staff voices. During Fall 2012, many constituent representatives pleaded with the Board not to cut Winter 2013 without a thorough discussion among all campus constituents over whether any proposed changes to the academic calendar would be pedagogically and fiscally appropriate.

Instead, the Board of Trustees – at President Rocha’s insistence and without having been presented any pedagogical data and scant relevant research to support a change – voted on August 29, 2012 to cancel Winter 2013. In so doing, the Board overturned its previous action taken on May 2, 2012, when it approved an academic calendar for 2012-2013 that was forwarded from the Calendar Standing Committee of the Academic Senate, which had spent a significant amount of time in consultation with faculty, staff, managers and students conducting careful pedagogical analysis and deliberating extensively before making its recommendation.

Not only did the sudden change to the academic calendar disrupt students’ predetermined educational plans, it forced students to either overload in classes to transfer on time or extend their enrollment at PCC. It also disrupted the continued pedagogical developments that faculty have worked on to ensure student achievement. Further, the imposition of a non-consultative academic calendar could qualify as an unfair labor practice.

On October 3, 2012, a student petition was presented to the Board with over 2,700 signatures. The petition asked the Board to reconsider the cancellation of winter intersession and hold to the original calendar that had been established through shared governance. Despite the voicing of student opposition, the Board did not reconsider or relent. Winter 2013 was cancelled and a “new” calendar was imposed – a calendar model that reverts to one that PCC had a decade ago.

Even more troubling is that the administration now appears to acknowledge that this imposed calendar change is making it exceptionally difficult for a great number of currently-enrolled students to transfer (particularly to UCs or CSUs) and may also be preventing many local high school students from enrolling in PCC. At least two other local community colleges held Winter 2013 in abeyance until the results from Prop 30 were known and then immediately restored the Winter 2013 session when the proposition passed. PCC’s unilateral rush to impose a calendar change lacked consultative foresight and was imprudent.

Along with the opposition publicly expressed, a recent Academic Senate survey of faculty revealed that 76% of those responding opposed the process by which the new calendar has been imposed. Similarly, a Faculty Association (faculty union) survey of its membership revealed that 80% of those responding would be in favor of a no-confidence vote on the PCC President and 53% are interested in focusing on elections of new Pasadena Area Community College District Board Members.

PCC’s faculty have always put the academic progress of students at the forefront of any decision-making consultation. From the results of both surveys, it is abundantly clear that many faculty are deeply concerned that the recent decisions made by the administration without consultative process and approved by the Board of Trustees will have serious consequences on the academic progress of students.

The stories and experiences of the students, staff, and faculty at PCC have been largely ignored and today’s event aims to change that.

 

 

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