Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

College Council Meeting Minutes February 26, 2009

Feb. 26th, 2009
College Office Board Room





Richard Allison
Maryann Anderson
Mary Frances Archey    
Gail Boyea
Yvonne Burns
Toni Carney
John Dziak
Rita Gallegos
Carl Francolino
Donna Imhoff
Maura Stevenson
Barbara Thompson
Ping Wang
Stephen Wells 

Joyce Breckenridge    
Joanne Jeffcoat
Charles Martoni

Alan Bickerton
Dwight Bishop
Kristin Cinkovic
Je X For
Cheryl Graham
JoAnn Hunter
Leela Murthy
Susan Myrick
Eileen Wrigley    

Maryann Anderson, College Council Chair, called the meeting to order at 2:30 PM. 


Toni Carney made a motion to approve the minutes of the Feb. 12th, 2009 meeting of College Council.  Rita Gallegos seconded the motion.  The minutes were approved as amended.



Toni Carney reported that the Subcommittee did not meet due to lack of proposals; however, there are 4 that are forthcoming.


Steve Wells reported that the Subcommittee did not meet. On March 5th, the Subcommittee will revisit the 2011 calendar with the assistance of Fran Dice. Dr. Wells also reported that there are a number of program reviews that will be presented soon.


Proposal: Internet Course Listing Rotation by Campus

Ping Wang reported that the Subcommittee passed the proposal regarding the rotation in the Tab of distance learning courses among the campuses. The proposal was presented by the Initiator, Leela Murthy. Dr. Murthy teaches biology in the traditional classroom mode as well as an internet course. She summarized the proposal by saying that the proposal will ensure equity and fairness for all campuses by rotating the internet listing in the Tab by campus. The current practice has Allegheny Campus always listed first, followed by Boyce, then North and South. Dr. Murthy provided a PowerPoint presentation of documentation which included the following points:

Distance learning has experienced a 9.8% increase from Spring 2008 to Spring 2009; however, the increase is not consistent across all campuses. Allegheny is up 21.4%, Boyce 11.7%, North 8.1%, and South is down .1%

Although there is an overall cancellation rate of 1.9% for internet courses, the average cancellation rate for an internet course listed behind one other campus is 7.8%. Boyce and North both have a cancellation rate of 5%, South’s cancellation rate is 13.3%, and Allegheny’s cancellation rate is 0%.

Dr. Murthy made the point that 44% of distance learning students take only internet courses therefore the names of the campuses for that population are irrelevant. Students will enroll from the top to the bottom of how courses are listed.

The proposal calls for campuses to rotate the order in which they are listed in the Tab:

Fall 2009 Boyce, North, South, and Allegheny

Spring 2010 North, South, Allegheny, and Boyce

Summer 2010 South, Allegheny, Boyce and North

Fall 2010 Allegheny, Boyce, North and South

Spring 2011 Boyce, North, South and Allegheny

Summer 2011 North, South, Allegheny and Boyce

The schedule order for each campus would be kept intact and there would be no violation of the language of the AFT contract. 

Mr. Wang, Assessment and Research Subcommittee Chair, presented a PowerPoint presentation of research that he and 6 other distance learning faculty members conducted of students taking internet courses:

With the goal to identify student preferences, faculty members distributed 529 surveys and received 326 responses from students taking internet courses of various majors. This research showed that 62.2% of those students prefer to register online at CCAC Central and 58.9% will select the open section at the top of the list. Additionally, 35.5% of students will select the open section offered by a particular campus.

Mr. Wang discussed “relevant” and “irrelevant” cancellations and said there is concern from Boyce, North and South campuses that they will face even greater cancellation rates.

John Dziak argued that the College has the right to set schedules. Carl Francolino said that this was not scheduling but a listing that did not violate contract language. Mr. Wang added that if the College has the right to set schedules, wouldn’t it be in the interest of the College to set schedules in a fair and equitable manner?

Gail Boyea offered her own research on how name order affects voting. The State of Vermont went to an alphabetical listing of candidates’ names, but changed to a random order after conducting a study that found that the first name listed on a ballot does have an advantage. Stanford University did a similar study and concluded that in the interest of fairness, names on ballots should be random and not alphabetical.

Mary Frances Archey and John Dziak said there is transcript from negotiations in which a question was asked of John Dziak how distance learning listing would be handled.  John Dziak replied during negotiations that Allegheny would be first, followed by the other campuses in alphabetical order. Barbara Thompson reminded John Dziak that the AFT should represent all campuses equally and that always listing Allegheny Campus courses first showed favoritism and was unfair.

Sue Myrick asked about past grievances involving distance learning scheduling. Donna Imhoff outlined a grievance from Spring 2006 thru Fall 2008. There were new rules that were implemented by Distance Learning staff having to do with how courses were assigned. Sometimes courses were assigned not by seniority but by when the faculty member got their request in that had nothing to do with the contract or previous practice. Sue Myrick said that the current way that internet courses are listed has localized something that shoud not be localized and that internet course are buried under campuses. As a Business faculty member, she remarked that the Tab is a marketing piece. Students don’t care what campus an internet faculty member is from. Distance learning should be beyond all geographic barriers.

Mr. Wang argued that scheduling is one thing and listing is another. Mr. Dziak said he was afraid there would be a grievance if the listing would be changed and that we don’t know if there would be different outcomes if the listing would be different. After a meeting on February 9th attended by Ping Wang, John Dziak, Mary Frances Archey and Donna Imhoff, Mr. Dziak said he left the meeting believing that the topic would be researched and taken up in the next contract.

Alan Bickerton, Systems Manager for Datatel remarked that changing the rotation is doable, but not for the Fall semester. Eileen Wrigley from South Campus who has been teaching distance learning courses since the beginning remarked that the majority of students select the campus at the top of the list because they want to be sure they register for a section that will run. She offered that if 2 CIT faculty members entered their teaching loads as 4 courses each at Allegheny, then Allegheny is guaranteed to run the first 8 courses. Perhaps there should be a lottery. Ms Wrigley remarked that the system would be fairer than it is now.

Dr. Archey said that we are ready to do the course download and there is not enough time to do this differently. Mr. Wang said he sees a strategy of delay. Joann Hunter said that if the College wants this to be done, it can be done and that the current practice is counterproductive between colleagues and ultimately hurts the student.

Dr. Murthy said if the rotation can’t commence for the Fall semester, then she agreed to have it start in the Spring.

Maryann Anderson reminded Council that there is a possibility that this is not a College Council issue.

Steve Wells said he is concerned that the proposal might cause more problems, but is not able to come up with a better solution.  He fears that the proposal would be bogged down in arbitration. 

Donna Imhoff said she wanted to abstain from voting because she has worked on the issue as an AFT officer, has served on the negotiations team as both an AFT member and an Administrator and would now be asked to implement this as an Administrator. She said she can understand both sides.

Toni Carney made a motion to accept the proposal. Rita Gallegos seconded the motion. The motion was amended so that the rotation would start with North Campus first for the Spring semester 2010. The motion passed with 7 votes yes and 3 votes no.


Proposal: Deletion of Horticulture Program

Maura Stevenson reminded Council that the Program had already been deleted and the paper work provided the justification for that action.  The Program was suffering from dwindling enrollment. Graduates were securing only minimum wage jobs with the engineers and landscape architects being hired into the better positions. Maryann Anderson remarked that with all of the green technology, she was surprised at the dwindling enrollment. Mary Frances Archey said the program might be moved to non-credit. Graduates were doing little more than moving around soil and laying sod. Judy Savolskis attempted to get this Program on the high priority list but the State declined.

Gail Boyea made a motion to accept the proposal. Rita Gallegos seconded the motion and the motion passed with 9 votes in favor and 1 abstention.

Proposal: Change of an Existing Course

Maura Stevenson explained that the Initiator of this proposal was the Subcommittee and that Rich Betters was kind enough to act as the editor. The original proposal was distributed at the end of January. There were so many comments and changes incorporated that it was redistributed to the College Community. The proposal calls for experimental courses to be initiated by a faculty member and approved by the Department Head and campus-based Associate Dean. Experimental courses may run a maximum of 4 times within a 4 year time period. The restriction of one section per semester was deleted.

At any time the experimental course can be considered for permanent status by the initiator putting the course through the normal governance process.

One part of the proposal did not include “Experimental Course” in the proposal title.  This will be changed from “Changes in Existing Course” to “Experimental Course Process.”

Toni Carney made a motion to accept the proposal with the change in the proposal title and the deletion of the phrase which limits the sections to one per semester or session. Steve Wells seconded the motion and the proposal passed unanimously with the modifications.

Maura Stevenson said that the Subcommittee may not meet next week.  There are many proposals out there that may not be ready in time. The deadline to receive a new proposal would have been 2:00 pm Thursday.


There was no unfinished business.


President’s Council

Maryann Anderson reported that she attended President’s Council at which Dr. Johnson approved the hiring and minority lists in the order recommended by Council. He directed the Deans to start the hiring process. Mrs. Anderson thanked Academic Planning for their hard work.

There being no further business, the meeting ended at 5:20 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Thompson
College Council Secretary

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