PRESS RELEASE: Faculty Association Releases Statement on California Election Results

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (FACCC) released the following statement from Executive Director Jonathan Lightman on Tuesday’s elections.

“The disappointing turnout is a reminder to us all to engage in year-round voter and civics education. This can’t simply start during campaign season. FACCC will be redoubling its efforts in the next two years to make voter education a priority for the California Community Colleges.”

“FACCC also congratulates the many community college champions that were elected on Tuesday, including FACCC member Evan Low (D-Campbell),” continued Lightman. “In a majority of the races, Californians gave a vote of confidence to those fighting for affordable, accessible, quality higher education. FACCC looks forward to working with the new Legislature in strengthening our state’s community college system.”

PRESS RELEASE: Faculty Association Responds to Bureau of State Audits Report on Accreditation

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (FACCC) issued the following statement in response to today’s release of the Bureau of State Audits report on accreditation.

“The Bureau of State Audits report confirmed what thousands of faculty and others in the community college system have long known about the manner in which ACCJC has implemented the accreditation process,” said FACCC Executive Director Jonathan Lightman. “What should be relatively straightforward has become a convoluted entanglement of lawsuits and legislation, all because of an apparent lack of due process, transparency, and consistency.”

“It is now incumbent on the Legislature, the Chancellor’s Office, and the Community College Board of Governors to develop the appropriate legislation and regulations to assure a credible and fair accreditation process for the California Community Colleges. FACCC also calls upon Congress and the U.S. Department of Education to carefully examine this report as it has national implication for higher education policy.”

PRESS RELEASE: Faculty Association Congratulates Appointments of Community College Champions to Committee and Leadership Posts

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (FACCC) Executive Director Jonathan Lightman issued the following statement regarding the announcement of committee chair and leadership appointments in the California Assembly:

“We congratulate Assemblymember (former FACCC member) Jose Medina (D-Riverside) on becoming chair of the Higher Education Committee, Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D- San Diego) on becoming chair of the Budget Committee, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) on becoming chair of Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance, and Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) on becoming chair of the Appropriations Committee.”

“FACCC is confident these legislators will all be outstanding champions for affordable, accessible, and quality higher education in the California Community Colleges. As a former FACCC member and trustee, Jose Medina comes from a strong background in community college instruction and governance. He is especially well positioned to guide the conversation forward on community college access and success.”

“FACCC also congratulates Assemblymember (and FACCC member) Evan Low (D-Campbell) and Assemblymember (and former Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees President) Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) on their respective appointments as Assistant Majority Whip and Majority Whip. In these appointments, Speaker Atkins has chosen two highly intelligent and dedicated public servants with tremendous backgrounds in community colleges for her leadership team.”

FACCC looks forward to working with the new Legislature in strengthening public higher education through the California Community Colleges.

PRESS RELEASE: Faculty Association Lauds Governor Signing Legislation on Sick Leave

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges lauds Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of FACCC-sponsored AB 2295 (Ridley-Thomas).

The new law will increase the amount of time community college faculty have to transfer their unused sick leave between districts from one to three years, or within any greater period during which the faculty member’s reemployment rights are protected under a local bargaining agreement in effect in the first district.

“Many of our part-time faculty teach classes at several college campuses over the course of their career and, in some cases, will not know within the narrow one-year window if they will be returning to teach at a specific college,” said FACCC President Dean Murakami. “Allowing a three-year period to transfer sick leave from one district to another brings relief from an onerous requirement, especially for our part-time faculty.”

PRESS RELEASE: Faculty Association Outraged Over Accrediting Commission’s Intransigence

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (FACCC) is outraged by the unwavering decision by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) to deny an extension to City College of San Francisco (CCSF) to correct the issues threatening the institution’s accreditation.

Although the U.S. Department of Education explicitly declared that ACCJC has authority to extend the deadline for CCSF, the ACCJC maintains that approach is impermissible under federal law. In a letter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the Commission noted that “ACCJC has determined that it cannot legally maintain CCSF’s accreditation while giving it another opportunity to comply with accreditation standards. New evaluation of the college while maintaining its accreditation…is not permissible under federal law.”

“The ACCJC’s position is completely unacceptable and downright irrational. There is no longer any semblance of operating in the public good,” noted FACCC Executive Director Jonathan Lightman. “They are deliberately misstating federal law, with a consequence of harming tens of thousands of students, faculty, and staff.”

“CCSF has done an incredible job in curing its deficiencies. Ignoring all of the progress is beyond insulting; it is downright destructive.” Lightman concluded, “Thankfully, there will be a full scale judicial review within the context of a trial before final action is taken. All of us anticipate the courts will have a better understanding of the law than the ACCJC.”

PRESS RELEASE: Faculty Association Lauds Signing of Faculty Leave Bill

The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (FACCC) applauds Governor Jerry Brown signing AB 675 (Fong).

The FACCC-sponsored legislation ensures California community college faculty who need additional time while on parental leave during their tenure review process will not automatically forfeit a year of their review if the percentage of service completed meets local academic requirements.

“As educators, we know the importance bonding between infant and parent has on the psychological and social success of the child,” said FACCC President Dean Murakami. “The passage of AB 675 provides these faculty members and new parents with the necessary time for bonding.”

“Community college faculty members who celebrate the birth of a child during their tenure review process will no longer be faced with choosing between their careers or bonding with their child.”

PRESS RELEASE: FACCC Blasts ACCJC For CCSF Deadline

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (FACCC) is outraged by the unwavering decision by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) to deny an extension to City College of San Francisco (CCSF) to correct the issues threatening the institution’s accreditation.

Although the U.S. Department of Education explicitly declared that ACCJC has authority to extend the deadline for CCSF, the ACCJC maintains that approach is impermissible under federal law. In a letter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the Commission noted that “ACCJC has determined that it cannot legally maintain CCSF’s accreditation while giving it another opportunity to comply with accreditation standards. New evaluation of the college while maintaining its accreditation…is not permissible under federal law.”

“The ACCJC’s position is completely unacceptable and downright irrational. There is no longer any semblance of operating in the public good,” noted FACCC Executive Director Jonathan Lightman. “They are deliberately misstating federal law, with a consequence of harming tens of thousands of students, faculty, and staff.”

“CCSF has done an incredible job in curing its deficiencies. Ignoring all of the progress is beyond insulting; it is downright destructive.” Lightman concluded, “Thankfully, there will be a full scale judicial review within the context of a trial before final action is taken. All of us anticipate the courts will have a better understanding of the law than the ACCJC.”

PRESS RELEASE: FACCC Education Institute Appoints New Program and Development Director

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (FACCC) is honored to announce the appointment of Lidia Stoian as the new Program and Development Director for its Education Institute (EI). She is responsible for all aspects of professional development programming and securing non-dues revenue to support these activities.

An immigrant from Romania and alumna of Sacramento City College, Stoian brings with her significant experience in both conference organizing and fund development, most recently with the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

“Through its research, communications, and various conferences, workshops, and symposia, the FACCC Education Institute does a tremendous job in enhancing the skills of community college faculty,” said Stoian. “My instructors gave me the tools needed to advance my career, and now I have the opportunity to give back to them.”

Stoian added that she is especially eager to work on the California Great Teachers Seminar, scheduled in Santa Barbara on August 3-8. FACCC Education Institute sponsors the annual California version of this national seminar, designed to inspire and celebrate great teaching.

PRESS RELEASE: Faculty Association Expresses Appreciation and Disappointment on May Revise

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Responding to today’s release of the Governor’s May Revision to the January budget proposal, FACCC leaders expressed a combination of appreciation and disappointment.

“FACCC is grateful to Governor Brown for including money to address the CalSTRS unfunded liability, although substantive issues still remain,” explained Executive Director Jonathan Lightman.

“Moreover, there are serious priorities for the community colleges left unaddressed in the May Revise that are fundamental to student success, including dedicated funding for counselors, full-time faculty hiring, restoration of student services, and part-time faculty support (starting with office hours).” Lightman added that the state should also raise the overall per-student rate for the community colleges in light of the devastating effects of the recession.

FACCC will work with legislators and other stakeholders to ensure these concerns are included in the final budget sent to the Governor.

PRESS RELEASE: Faculty, Students Advocate For California Community Colleges At Annual Advocacy & Policy Conference

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges’ annual Advocacy & Policy conference brings together faculty, students, and other statewide leaders to analyze and debate the most pressing topics in California’s Community Colleges.

The conference will be held on March 2-3, at the Capitol Plaza Holiday Inn, Sacramento.

Following policy discussions, participants take to the Capitol on March 3 to advocate for California Community Colleges in the Legislature. This year’s theme, “Changing the Narrative on California Community Colleges,” will guide the event in its focus on how community colleges can emerge from the recession in providing high quality, low cost higher education for all of California.

Keynoting the event is renowned author Sasha Abramsky, whose work “The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives,” has been widely acclaimed throughout the United States.

Other prominent speakers include Nikki Paschal and Mike Roth, Paschal Roth Public Affairs; Linda Michalowski, Vice Chancellor, California Community Colleges; and, Erica Romero, Executive Director of Western States Legislative Affairs, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.

The event will be held in conjunction with the March in March, where students and faculty hold a large demonstration in support of California Community Colleges.