Association representing faculty voted no confidence in state chancellor

By Cher Antido

The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges told faculty of their discontent with the chancellor of California Community Colleges, Eloy Ortiz Oakley. They spoke at the Academic Senate meeting which was held at East Los Angeles College on May 14. 

The association announced their vote of no confidence in his administration for their lack of consultation with the faculty before proceeding with policies. 

The vote of no confidence is the result of the chancellor’s lack of transparency and accountability.

Regional board member and political science professor Natalina Monteiro introduced the association to the academic senate members.

She supports the FACCC on their movement and said she hopes faculty can help. “They (FACCC) represent only us,” Monteiro said.

FACCC is a statewide professional membership association that represents the California Community College faculty. 

They meet with legislators and organize policy forums to make sure the messages of Community College’s faculty are heard. 

The association has been around for 66 years. FACCC executive director Evan Hawkins said the chancellor hasn’t consulted with faculty on big issues and moved forward with a number of policies without giving the faculty a say in it. 

“This is only the second time in our history that we’ve done something like this,” Hawkins said. 

The first time of which was in the 1990s with Chancellor David Mertes who eventually resigned. 

This has been an ongoing problem since last year.

Hawkins said the situation hasn’t gotten better. 

FACCC announced that one of the biggest problems with Oakley’s office is the upcoming 115th community college, a fully online college proposed by Governor Jerry Brown last year. 

Hawkins said that the CEO of the college, Heather Hiles, is getting paid almost $400,000 a year. 

It’s a high salary for a college that won’t run until October, has no students and no academic senate yet. The college will also have funds allocated to programs that are already done in the existing community colleges such as medical coding, cybersecurity and IT fundamentals. 

Hawkins said that these funds could be used to improve the local colleges instead.

FACCC also said there’s a problem with the new funding, the Student Centered Funding Formula, which was also something that had no prior consultation with the faculty. 

It gives more funding to colleges that have more low-income students and those that have better track records for graduating and transferring. 

Hawkins said that this might cause colleges to focus on students nearing graduation more than students who need help. The association doesn’t want any student to be left behind. 

A number of community colleges such as Glendale Community College have voted no confidence on the State Chancellor, but the movement of the FACCC, a statewide association, shows how big a problem this is.

“There’s a lot of discontent with faculty in general about how the Community College State Chancellor office has been operating,” Hawkins said. 

The FACCC’s goal is to send a message and to be heard. 

They want to get the word out on the problem’s significance and move a chance in how the administration is ran. This is not just a problem that concerns the faculty, but the students as well. 

Hawkins said students can help by adding their voice of support. 

By gathering as much people as possible, it would allow them to stir a change in the chancellor’s office. 

“If students shared their stories about faculty who have impacted their lives and contributed to their educational success, it would help us push back against the Chancellor’s Office argument that faculty are defending the status quo and don’t truly care about improving student success,” Hawkins said. 

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