Goswami approves four hires after pressure from Academic Senate

Goswami approves four hires after pressure from Academic Senate

Jacob Frank, Associate Editor

The College Planning Council heard the president’s final update on his choice for the faculty rankings on Tuesday and voted to push forward the final draft of a detailed accreditation report after hearing criticism of the process during public comment.

Superintendent-President Utpal Goswami said that two faculty members will be hired from the general fund and two more from categorical, third-party funding for a total of four new positions. Going into this week’s meeting, it was originally expected that Goswami would approve only two positions although there was pressure from the Academic Senate to fill additional positions.

“I will honor the rankings that the senate came up with,” he said.

The four new hires will fill positions in the nursing program, DSPS, medical imaging sciences and the journalism department. The college will wait until January to consider any more positions. 

“I’m just so profoundly moved by this decision,” said council member and journalism Chair Patricia Stark, whose position was ranked third, raising concerns that the department would be left without a replacement. “I just hope that the student newspaper continues to serve this college for many years to come.”

Before the council voted to approve the final draft of the Institutional Self Evaluation Report (ISER), psychology Professor Arthur Olguin brought to light his concerns from his experience with the process and the administration. 

The report is part of the college’s upcoming accreditation report by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, which is a process of renewing an institution’s accreditation that happens every seven years.

He said they had very short timeframes to review a 214-page document, and it didn’t seem like the committee was seeking “thorough review or input” from the college or those trying to take accreditation seriously while maintaining a full-time workload during the pandemic.

Although Olguin said he wasn’t trying to undermine the work of the accreditation committee or derail the ISER, such a “threat to academic freedom” and “protected speech” undermines what accreditation seeks to promote, echoing similar concerns from the climate survey.

There was no further discussion and the CPC unanimously approved the ISER draft. 

The CPC will reconvene on Nov. 17, and should have an update from Goswami on the state of the recently institutionalized Campus Climate Advisory Council.