STANDARD FOUR: FACULTY AND STAFF
The categories of those who are employed by a postsecondary institution vary substantially from one institution to another, but typically include those who teach, those in student services, those in learning resources, paraprofessionals, support personnel and administrative staff and includes persons employed on full time and part time basis. The institution demonstrates its commitment to the increasingly significant educational role played by diversity of ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds among its members by making positive efforts to foster such diversity.
Standard 4A Selection
4A.1: Each category of staff is sufficient in number and diversity of preparation to provide effective instruction, student services, support services, learning resources, and administration.
DESCRIPTION: Although each department strives to meet the requirement of sufficient diversity of preparation of staff, the problem of insufficient number of staff in most areas of our institution continues to be a reality. When we moved to our present location in July of 1991, our enrollment rose to nearly 7,000. During that year both faculty and staff hiring increased to try to meet the additional needs, but because of various factors, we could not hire enough employees to handle our student population.
As a college, we do not meet the state mandated 75:25 percent ratio in full-time to part-time faculty; rather, ours is 39:61. We continue to have too many part-time certificated employees. It should be noted that this situation continues because the district as a whole is within the state mandated ratio and therefore appears to have no concern about the ratio at Mission College. In fact, a recent proposal from the district to encourage early retirement, promises to replace full-time faculty only up to 75 percent within two years, thus reducing our ratio even more.
Staffing in counseling, disabled student services, daycare, and student health is currently adequate.
From 1992 to 1994, the shrinking budget, both state and local, has determined that substitute and relief staff could not be hired as a temporary measure during registration or other times of intense need, and student worker funds have been reduced and frozen. As a result, many of the permanent staff are being overtaxed.
The impact of budgetary shortfalls cannot be minimized. In spring of 1993 we were forced to close the library to student use on Fridays due to insufficient staff necessary to reshelve.
Staffing in administrative areas is adequate and in fact sufficient to service a larger student body than we currently have physical plant facilities to accommodate.
Because of these factors, we are approaching next year with the possibility of regionalization, cutbacks, transfers, and hiring freezes for all employees.
EVALUATION: The impact of balancing the ratio of full-time to part-time faculty on a districtwide basis is this. Full-time faculty are paid for a thirty-hour week. Of that total approximately fifteen hours are student contact hours; approximately another ten hours are allocated for preparation time, and the balance, approximately five hours per week, is to be spent in committee work and other necessary processes such as accreditation and program review. Hourly-rate instructors are paid only for classroom hours and are not required to perform committee work.
When the ratio at an individual college such as Mission violates the state mandated ratio, it means that Mission College does not have sufficient full-time faculty to fill adequately the demands of committee work and necessary processes such as accreditation and program review.
This is not to say that the committee work and necessary programs suffer as a result. It simply means that we have been forced to rely on the extreme generosity and dedication of a small cadre of full-time faculty who routinely donate three to four times the expected hours to such work. The fact that Mission College has continued to grow in size, to improve the quality, rigor, and scope of its programs should not be construed to mean that the imbalance in the full-time to part-time faculty can be allowed to continue.
Funding problems continue to add to the burden in all areas. Of special note is the closing of the Library to students on Fridays due to inadequate staffing.
PLAN: We will continue to increase our efforts at both the district and the state level for an increased share of funding.
4A.2 Criteria, qualifications, and procedures for the selection of all personnel are clearly stated, public, and directly related to institutional objectives. Job descriptions are available for all staff positions and are adhered to in all selection procedures.
DESCRIPTION: The selection process for faculty, staff, and district administrators is clearly defined and followed in the hiring of all employees. Announcements of positions are circulated and posted on our campus and throughout the district and clearly list qualifications as mandated by the personnel commission and the education code. The hiring procedure utilizes pool selection, civil service lists, and interviews (4.1; 4.2).
Currently, the Academic Senate recommends the priority for filling certificated positions, and these recommendations go to the administration and the Budget Committee as part of the shared governance process.
EVALUATION: Criteria, qualifications, and procedures for selection of all personnel are clearly stated, are public, and are related to institutional objectives. Job descriptions are available for all staff positions and are adhered to in all selections. Teaching effectiveness is the principal criterion for the selection of the teaching faculty. Written policies do exist to ensure equity in all employment procedures. These policies are consistent with the accreditation commission policy on nondiscrimination and affirmative action and are adhered to.
PLAN: We will continue to monitor our efforts in affirmative action hiring, especially as it relates to African-Americans.
4A.3 Teaching effectiveness is the principal criterion for the selection of the teaching faculty.
DESCRIPTION: Teaching effectiveness is one of the primary considerations during the pool search for candidates for a position. Additionally, a demonstration of teaching abilities is provided vis a vis a mini lecture given by the candidate during the board interview.
EVALUATION: Teaching effectiveness of a job candidate is probably the one characteristic that is least empirical or otherwise verifiable, especially within the traditional structure and time constraints of interviews. Observing a candidate in a brief, mock lecture can provide evidence of whether one likes the candidate or not, but a measure of teaching effectiveness would have to comprise pre- and post-course assessments of student skills and these compared to assessments of other instructors. No college to our knowledge assesses teaching at this level of scrutiny.
We do, however, rely heavily upon student evaluations of instructors during the probationary period.
PLAN: The college itself is constrained in evaluating teaching effectiveness in the selection process by the nature of district and Agreement procedures. The college will urge both the district and the union to develop better selection procedures.
4A.4 A written policy exists to ensure equity in all employment procedures. That policy is consistent with accreditation commission policy on non-discrimination and affirmative action. Consistent attention is paid to the meeting of the institution's affirmative action or diversity goals.
DESCRIPTION: Currently we have regulations from the Personnel Commission to govern hiring policies in our district which are consistent with a nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy (4.2).
Also, the Academic Senate at Mission College has a written policy for hiring of certificated employees.
An Affirmation action officer is present at all interviews and all new hires are reviewed by the district personnel office for compliance with affirmative action and nondiscrimination policies.
Standard 4B: Qualifications of Staff
4B.1 All members of the staff, including faculty, paraprofessionals, support staff and administrators, are qualified by academic background and experience to carry out their institutional and program responsibilities in accord with the purposes of the institution.
DESCRIPTION: All members of the staff including faculty, paraprofessionals, support staff, and administrators are qualified by academic background and experience to carry out their institutional and program responsibilities in accord with the purposes of the institution. All applicants for faculty positions must qualify academically and through experience in order to be placed in the pool of eligible applicants. The requirements, as stated in the district Personnel Guide (CD.9), generally demand at least a masters degree and experience. Exceptions are made for vocational disciplines in which the requirement is a bachelors or appropriate experience.
Paraprofessionals such as plumbers and electricians are required to have outside certification.
Classified Staff are initially qualified through examination and are ranked. Those with qualifying scores are interviewed by senior level staff members in the appropriate category. In some cases applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in their field. For example, the typing speed and accuracy requirements change as one moves from clerk to intermediate clerk typist, to clerk typist.
Administrators also must meet minimum qualifications, depending on the position. Generally, college presidents have doctorates; other administrators such as deans are required to have a masters and both must have appropriate experience.
In addition to the minimum qualifications established by the district, the college filling the position may indicate additional requirements to match the program responsibilities in a given position. For example, the engineering department might require that the applicant have not only an engineering degree, but additional experience with computer-aided design software.
The actual minimum qualifications for the various faculty, paraprofessionals, support staff, and administrative positions are contained in the district personnel guide (CD.9).
EVALUATION: Strict adherence to the policies established by both the district and Mission College has been instrumental in providing us with a faculty and staff that are highly qualified. For example ninety-four percent of faculty hold masters degrees; twelve percent hold doctorates.
Additionally, some of our faculty must continually recertify their competency by meeting various continuing education requirements. The engineering instructor, for example, is a structural engineer and must hold a valid state license in civil as well as structural engineering to practice the profession. Our faculty and staff in the child development discipline run a daycare center and must hold the appropriate state licenses and certificates.
All paraprofessionals such as plumbers and electricians do hold current state certificates and licenses.
All classified staff have participated in the mandated selection process and have demonstrated proficiency in their fields.
PLAN: We will continue to adhere to the established policies and review those policies to ensure that they enable us to carry out our institutional and program responsibilities in accord with the purposes of our institution. Particular attention will be paid to the areas requiring technical expertise. This is necessary to ensure currency in those fields.
Standard 4C Evaluation
4C.1 The evaluation of each category of staff is systematic and conducted at stated intervals. The follow-up of all evaluations is formal, systematic, and timely.
DESCRIPTION: The evaluation and follow-up of personnel in each category of staff is systematic and conducted at stated intervals. The procedures and intervals for the various categories of staff are a matter of guild contract for faculty and staff and district policy for administrators.
The systematic procedure for evaluation of faculty members involves the formation of a Peer Evaluation Committee which conducts the proceedings in strict confidentiality. A formal and timely review of student evaluations and classroom visitations by committee members is made. The Peer Evaluation Committee completes a Peer Performance Report after indicating an overall evaluation indicating that the instructor is either satisfactory, needs to improve, or unsatisfactory (CD.1, Article 19, Evaluation pp. 36-48; also see Appendix B for forms used).
For Classified Staff, performance evaluations are made by those persons who are immediately responsible for the employee's work. This process which may also include review by the next higher level of administrative authority, is conducted in a systematic and timely manner that ensures confidentiality. Ratings to be used are: "Below Work Performance Standards," and "Meets or Exceeds Work Performance Standards" (CD.11 Article 16, Procedure for Performance Evaluation, pp. 37-42; also see Appendix D for forms).
For maintenance and operations staff, supervisory classified, college safety and police, the systematic, formal, and confidential evaluations reflect those described above. Each one is thoroughly explained in the labor agreements that each one of these units has with the district (CD.15, the Agreement between the district and Local 99, AFL-CIO, Article 12, Procedures for Performance Evaluation, pp. 39-44; also Appendix C, D, E, F; CD.16, Agreement between the district and the Supervisory Employees' Union, Local 347, Article 11, Procedures for Performance Evaluation pp. 33-36. Also Appendix B, C, D, E. CD.17, the Agreement between the district and the district Police Officer's Association. Article 16, Performance Evaluation p. 34).
For administrative personnel, the administrative performance appraisal provides a "systematic, objective, and entirely constructive method" for the evaluation of the employee (4.4).
4C.2 Evaluation processes seek to assess effectiveness and encourage improvement.
DESCRIPTION: The different forms used to evaluate each category of staff, described in 4C.1 above, offer the best source of information regarding the assessment of present effectiveness. More important, each of those instruments provides the evaluator with the best opportunity to encourage improvement. Consider the following example:
4C.3 Teaching excellence is the principal criterion for the retention of teaching faculty.
DESCRIPTION: The contract between the district and the union is the principal criterion for retention of teaching faculty. Nonetheless, the college faculty members and administration continuously aspire to the pursuit of excellence, knowing all the while that not all of us can ever be excellent in the root sense of the word. Candidates for teaching positions are selected from the pool with teaching effectiveness as the primary criterion. Additionally, new hires are probationary for five years, during which time they are evaluated each semester. The members of the evaluation committee, which includes the cluster chair, discipline vice-chair, a peer, and the vice-president of academic affairs, make periodic classroom visitations to evaluate the evaluee.
Through the evaluation process, teaching faculty are rated in the following areas: knowledge of subject area, effectiveness, and performance of responsibilities.
Two important instruments which seek to rate teaching excellence are the Instructor Peer Evaluation Form, and the Student Evaluation of Instructor Form (4.5; 4.6).
The rating criteria that are directly related to teaching excellence include the following:
These ratings criteria on the evaluation forms coupled with direct observation by the Peer Evaluation Committee members seek to place teaching excellence as the principal criterion for the retention of teaching faculty.
EVALUATION 4C.1, 4C.2, 4C.3: The evaluation processes for each category of staff are systematic, conducted at stated intervals, seek to assess effectiveness, and encourage improvement. All evaluation processes do require follow-up that is formal, systematic, and timely.
One of the weaknesses of the evaluation process at Mission College is that the cluster system has combined disciplines that in some cases have little academic affinity, such as ESL and music, or art and political science. Thus, the cluster chair is frequently obliged to evaluate instructors in disciplines quite removed from his own. This compromises one who must certify that the instructor has or doesnt have adequate knowledge of the subject area.
Finally, the processes for evaluation of all categories of staff themselves undergo periodic reevaluation for effectiveness. This occurs not only at contract negotiation, but also as part of our continuing efforts at self improvement. For example, in an effort to assist in the early systematic development of teaching skills and improve the overall quality of faculty, the process for tenure was completely rewritten in 1993. We changed from a two-year tenure review process to a process that now requires up to five years of semiannual evaluation and assessment of an individual candidate before the decision on award of tenure is made.
PLAN 4C.1, 4C.2, 4C.3: Constant adherence to the spirit of the agreements between the district and the exclusive representatives of all staff categories, as explained in the Evaluation articles and corresponding appendices, will be continued.
Standard 4D Staff Development
4D.1 Members of the faculty, administration, and support staff remain current in their field of expertise.
DESCRIPTION: Helping the entire college community remain current is a matter of district policy, encouraged and supported by programs like tuition reimbursement, sabbaticals, and funding of conferences, seminars, and in-service training programs.
Vocational Education instructors and staff are eligible for a special summer in-service training program funded by the state chancellors office. The program is available to these personnel each year. It pays full salary and is an education-with-industry program. Recent participants were our chemistry faculty who spent a summer working with the Montgomery Environmental lab. One of our management and supervision faculty spent a summer working with the Los Angeles Zoo studying their personnel management and supervisory system. The other spent a summer studying TQM techniques with the local TQM Council, an association of business professionals. An art instructor spent the summer working with the area Council for the Arts, while in Culinary Arts a faculty member spent a summer working with the Playboy Mansion studying advanced food preparation and restaurant management techniques.
The support staff is provided with numerous opportunities to participate in various in-service training, both during the summer and throughout the year. Some of the subjects covered include computer applications, using computer networks, email, stress management, office skills, and working with the district's budget system.
Faculty, staff, and particularly administrators are encouraged to attend conferences, seminars, and training programs on current societal trends that are reflected in federal and state legislation in areas such as sexual harassment, student equity, school to work transitions, and conflict resolution.
4D.2 Development opportunities are planned for each staff category with the participation of that staff and are available to all and supported by the administration and the governing board.
4D.3 Faculty, administration, and staff members engage in professional activity supported by the institution.
DESCRIPTION: Development opportunities are planned for each staff category and are available to all. Mission has a standing committee which plans staff development activities and comprises representatives from faculty, classified staff, and administration. Furthermore this committee annually sends out surveys to all faculty, staff, and administrators, soliciting input for our staff development offerings (4.7). Our strong support for staff development is in part indicated by the fact that release time equal to twenty percent of a full-time faculty position is paid to the individual selected to oversee the program.
Faculty, administration, and staff members do engage in professional activity supported by the institution. A large number of professional activities is conducted locally. Because we are a multicampus district, faculty and staff are also able to attend activities conducted at the other eight campuses.
Attendance at professional activities is encouraged and supported financially. This is a matter of contract, Article 23, paragraphs A and B, pp. 50 and 51 of the AFT Agreement (CD.1). Seventy-four separate conferences were funded this year alone.
EVALUATION: Members of faculty, administration, and support staff do remain current in their fields of expertise through careful planning and scheduling of staff development activities with the participation of members of all areas of employment on campus. Participation in professional activities is encouraged and supported by the institutions providing tuition reimbursement, paid conference attendance, and other specially funded programs and grants.
PLAN: We will continue in our efforts to ensure that a wide variety of various staff development and enrichment activities is scheduled, funded, and available to all.
Standard 4E Other Personnel Policies
4E.1 Personnel policies and procedures affecting staff are clear, equitable, and available for information and review.
DESCRIPTION: The Los Angeles Community College Personnel Guide (CD.9) describes all the personnel policies. Administrative Regulations and Procedures (CD.10) lists specific procedures for policy implementation. The AFT agreements (CD.1; CD.11 ) also contain policies and procedures affecting faculty and classified staff. The faculty, hourly faculty, and classified employees handbooks discuss policies and procedures that are relevant to the staff (CD.12; CD,13; CD,14). Personnel policies and procedures are clearly stated in each of the aforementioned documents. The policies and procedures have been written and published for every employee group on campus, and are available for review by all staff members. To ensure equitable administration of personnel policies and procedures, including complaint-resolution procedures, the handbooks and collective bargaining agreements are consulted.
The Policy of the Board of Trustees and the Administrative Regulations and Procedures will be placed on the mainframe for electronic access. Both documents will be reviewed by the appropriate manager and committees during the 1994-95 academic year. Revision of the Classified Employees Handbook is currently in progress.
4E.2 Criteria for determining work loads are clearly stated and equitably applied.
DESCRIPTION: Criteria for determining workloads of Auxiliary Services employees are found in the job description for that position. Full-time employees are required to work 40 hours per week. Criteria for determining workloads for district classified employees are stated in the appropriate collective bargaining agreements and the appropriate job description. Criteria for determining workloads for faculty are stated in the collective bargaining Agreement and the appropriate job description. Criteria for determining workloads for management personnel are contained in Administrative Regulations and Procedures and the appropriate job description.
4E.3 There are systematic processes for the development of personnel policies.
DESCRIPTION: For faculty and classified staff, most policies fall under the scope of collective bargaining. For those that do not, the college committee structure and the institution's commitment to shared governance handles suggested changes, deletions, and additions. The Los Angeles Community College District has a personnel commission to ensure equity for all positions that are unclassified and not part of a collective bargaining unit.
4E.4 Procedures and criteria for personnel appointment, evaluation, retention, advancement, and due processes are explicitly stated.
Procedures and criteria for the selection, appointment, evaluation, retention, advancement, and due process for management personnel are clearly stated in appropriate sections of Administrative Regulations and Procedures.
For faculty members, the selection procedures and criteria for full- and part-time instructors are stated in Administrative Regulations and Procedures. Evaluation and retention procedures and criteria are stated in Article 19 of the collective bargaining Agreement. Advancement procedures and their criteria, in the form of salary schedules and step advancements, are stated in Articles 29, 30, and 31 of the collective bargaining Agreement for faculty unit members. Procedures for due process, in the form of grievance procedures, are clearly stated in Article 28 of the Agreement.
Procedures and criteria for the selection of classified personnel are stated in Administrative Regulations and Procedures. Procedures for evaluations and retention are stated in the 1993-96 AFT college staff guild local 1521 for classified manual. Article 16 of the collective bargaining Agreement AFT. Advancement procedures by salary increases are stated in Article 23 of the collective bargaining agreements. Due process procedures are clearly stated in Article 22 as grievance procedures of the collective bargaining agreements. Procedures for handling disciplinary issues are stated in Administrative Regulations and Procedures and the Policy of the Board of Trustees.
Procedures and criteria for appointment (selection), evaluation and retention, advancement, and due process for management, faculty, and classified personnel are explicitly stated. In addition, the Faculty Handbook and the Classified Employees Handbook contain the information that is pertinent only to that particular category, making it easily accessible. All of the procedures are readily available, organized, and easy to comprehend.
4E.5 Policy regarding privacy of information is clearly stated and consistently administered.
DESCRIPTION: With the exception of "hourly as needed" employees, the district maintains a personnel file for each employee in the district Human Resources Office. Each file is kept in confidence and is made available for inspection only according to specific guidelines set forth in regulations and procedures governing employee classifications.
Collective bargaining agreements for classified staff stipulate that selected employees of the district may access the employee's file only when absolutely necessary in the proper administration of the district's affairs or supervision of an employee. Employees may review their files whenever desired.
For faculty and managers, full, unconditional access to an employee's confidential file is available to the college superintendent or president (or designee) or employee. Faculty and managers may review any material in their files, except documents submitted in any position at the college.
Information in an employee's personnel file is unavailable to anyone other than the authorized persons mentioned above, except as provided by law. Copies of anything in an employee's file may be made only if approved in writing by the employee.
Any written material placed in the employee's confidential file must be signed by the originator and indicate the date of placement.
All staff members of the district Human Resources Office may enter an employee's personnel file for routine clerical purposes. However, inspection of the file by any authorized person must be reflected in the log kept in each employee's file. The examiner must sign the log and indicate the date of inspection.
Information related to any aspect of an employee's employment may be released to third parties if such person, agency, or institution provides written consent from the employee, or is requesting information under order of a subpoena, or the third party is requesting verification of employee-provided information.
The district has collective bargaining agreements and a written policy on privacy and confidentiality (Personnel Guide B-406). Guidelines are communicated to staff through managers or fellow employees.
EVALUATION: The district has a system guaranteeing privacy and confidentiality for employees, which appears to be effective. There is a written personnel policy on privacy; and the staff, in general, appear to have knowledge of pertinent guidelines. Not all staff, however, are familiar with the Administrative Regulations and Procedures Manual.
PLAN: In-service workshops will be given biannually at the beginning of each new semester to explain any revision or additions to the Regulations and Procedures manual.
A clearly written college privacy and confidentiality policy will be developed and distributed to all employees of the district.
Supervisors and managers will be trained in the legal requirements for guaranteeing privacy and confidentiality.
4.1 Los Angeles Community College District Hiring Policy
4.2 Los Angeles Mission College Hiring Policy
4.3 Los Angeles Community College District Affirmative Action Policy
4.4 Administrator Performance Appraisal
4.5 Peer Evaluation Form
4.6 Student Evaluation of Instructor Form
4.7 Staff Development Survey Form