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Faculty bestowed with Excellence Award at latest Academic Senate


Eight faculty members received the Faculty Excellence Award and recommendations for overhauling faculty hiring practices with an anti-racism lens were presented at the Academic Senate meeting on Wednesday.

The Faculty Excellence Award is a chance for the community to honor deserving faculty members.

Adjunct and non-credit faculty members are eligible to nominate and be nominated for the award, which is then presented to the senate by the Sabbatical & Faculty Recognition Committee.

“What a wonderful way to honor our fellow colleagues,” Academic Senate President Raeanne Napoleon said.

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The nominees included Bonny Bryan from English, Ana Garcia from EOPS/CARE, Matt Kay from Biology, Sean Kelly from Earth and Planetary Sciences, Patricia Mautone from Adult High School and GED, James Mooy from Music, Wendy Peters from Academic Counseling and Shawna Sweeney from Health Information Technology.

The senate voted unanimously to approve the consent agenda, which held the nominees as well as revisions to the Non-Credit Curriculum Guide.

Senators were able to unmute their mics and roar with cheers and applause for the nominees that were present in the meeting.

“Thank you everyone for coming today and being with us here and reveling in the attention that your Faculty Excellence Award deserves,” Napoleon said. “I wish that we could all hug you in person and celebrate.”

The senate also received a presentation from English professor Melissa Menendez halfway through the meeting about the faculty hiring process.

At the meeting on Feb. 10, the senate passed a motion to create an ad hoc committee for re-evaluating the faculty hiring practices with an anti-racism lens.

The committee also presented the senate with a list of areas to focus on—like where jobs are advertised, who makes up selection committees and the training they receive—and provided dozens of recommendations for improvement.

Academic Senate Vice President Robbie Fischer applauded the committee for working well together and providing real tangible solutions, despite challenges.

“You all got past all of that right to the tangible thing in a shorter than expected amount of time and not longer,” he said, “and that’s really rare and great, so thank you for that.”

The senate then motioned to move the recommendations to action from discussion. It passed unanimously, except for senator Devona Hawkins and Julie Brown—substituting for Cornelia Alsheimer-Barthel—who were unavailable when it was their time to vote.

Once in action, the senate voted to also empower the ad hoc committee with wordsmithing AP 7120—the administrative procedure on recruitment and selection.

The motion passed unanimously, except for the previously mentioned senators who again did not vote when called.

“Sigh of relief,” Napoleon said. “I feel really, really good about this.”

The Academic Senate will reconvene for a study session on May 4, then for their final meeting on May 5. 

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