“VEHEMENTLY” OPPOSED TO EXTENDING SEMESTER BY A WEEK
Dr. Selena Bliss, Yavapai Community College Faculty Senate president, stated at the March 7, 2017 Governing Board meeting that the administration had failed to properly consult the faculty regarding adding a week to a semester. Under the administration proposal, semesters would go from fifteen to sixteen weeks in length.
Bliss provided a long list of meetings where the faculty had asked for “clear and compelling evidence” (data) to support adding the week. However, the administration had failed to respond to the repeated requests.
A similar proposal has been rejected by the faculty in the past. On October 21, 2016 the faculty Senate said it was “vehemently opposed to being forced” to accept the additional week.
Bliss stated that the faculty was disappointed with the process and “lack of reasons” coming from the administration that would support an additional week. Out of frustration, the faculty had consulted the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), which advised taking the matter directly to the President and the Board.
Bliss also stated that the “shared governance” model adopted by Yavapai College requires communication, collaboration, and respect.“ Based on her report, the administration had failed to follow “the spirit” of that model.
Bliss said that “reasons” for adding the week “are alluding us.” She detailed the history of communication between the faculty and the administration from November to March without resolution of the request for data from the administration to support the extension.
It appears that the administration has reset an announcement regarding the semester schedule until April 1, which will give it time to provide “reasons” to the faculty for the change. Meanwhile, the faculty will survey full-time and adjunct faculty and possibly students to obtain an overall reaction to the proposal.
The complete report as delivered to the Governing Board by Dr. Bliss may be viewed below.