Academic senate changes vote to support two summer sessions


Jessika Karlsson, Channels Staff

The Academic Senate revoked its previous recommendation and voted to support the college in offering two summer sessions again in 2016.

“The main focus should be on the student success,” said Senator Anna Parmely. And students are planning on these two summer sessions already.”

The decision was made after the realization that some of the data presented during last week’s meeting regarding college growth was found inaccurate.

“I absolutely believe we have to rescind it,” Senator Elizabeth Imhof said. “And it’s because I think that the factor around which most people in this room voted was misinformation.”

She cited that the incorrect information changed people’s feelings around the two sessions.

One of the reasons senate members were in favor of the two sessions was the revenue the college gained from it.

However, one of the biggest issues raised during the meeting was how the sessions contributed to  a greater workload and stress level among classified staff. Senator Kathy O’Connor commented that people’s well being should be a higher priority than money.

“Why are we voting first and then planning,” said O’Connor. “This is typical of how we do things here, and it’s just very bothersome to me. I think it’s a mistake.”

The senate also had concerns that if the college offers two sessions next summer, it will be a lasting decision.

“I really think we should consider having a planning year,” Senator Priscilla Butler said. “There’s a great deal of momentum and energy behind sticking with two summer sessions.”

The idea was supported, but some members pointed out that the planning year wouldn’t necessarily have to exclude two summer sessions.

“We can come with solutions to the problem, without just cancelling it completely,” said Parmely.

The senate agreed to support the college in offering two summer sessions in 2016 under the conditions of addressing current issues, thoroughly reviewing next year’s results and voting in early fall 2016 regarding subsequent summers.

The vote was a complete reversal from last week, with 12 members in favor and seven opposed.

The College Planning Council will have an extra meeting next week to discuss the dual summer sessions and talk about the issues that occurred during the trial.

“There’s a new understanding of the problems that were addressed,” said Senate President Dr. Kimberly Monda. “And a new effort to address them.”