Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

College Council Meeting Minutes February 25, 2010

February 25, 2010
Office Of College Services Board Room





Maryann Anderson
Mary Frances Archey
Joyce Breckenridge
Yvonne Burns
Mary Ellen Driver
John Dziak
Carl Francolino
Rita Gallegos
Donna Imhoff
Rachel Matheis
Maura Stevenson
Barbara Thompson
Stephen Wells 

Richard Allison
Toni Carney
Joanne Jeffcoat
Charles Martoni

Richard Adams
Doralee Brooks
Anna DelVitto
Alex Johnson
August Kellerman
Mary Lou Kennedy
Sumana Misra-Zets
Gretchen Mullin-Sawicki
Lila Nettrour
Charlene Newkirk
Brenda Trettel
Elizabeth Vargo
Esther Waltz

Maryann Anderson, College Council Chair, called the meeting to order at 2:33 PM.


Mary Ellen Driver moved to approve the minutes of the January 28, 2010 meeting. Joyce Breckenridge seconded the motion.  The minutes were approved as amended.


Maryann Anderson introduced Dr. Alex Johnson who had asked to address Council. He first thanked Council members for all of their hard work, and Maryann Anderson in particular for explaining in detail all of the curriculum issues brought to him from Council. His intent was to provide an overview and update on the various strategic plans and to provide an explanation of the direction of various academic initiatives.

Dr. Johnson first addressed the hiring process.  He commented that the College has 9 faculty positions that can be filled, as well as 3 minority intern positions. The goal is to have 60% of our faculty be full-time. Economic resources are limited and sponsors have been cutting back. The County however has been supportive. Despite economic conditions, we are moving forward.

Dr. Johnson said that in the hiring process, there are elements to consider. We want to continue a strong focus of providing students with the foundation to move forward.  These include math and the sciences. He commented that there are requirements for some health career programs that require science courses be taught by full-time faculty. 

Technology is gaining strength at our College. We are offering more classes on off-times such as our welding program which is offered from midnight to 3:00 am. Nursing will continue to be important, as well as developmental education.  We are committed to a diverse workforce. This year, 2009-10, there were 2 faculty positions which were funded by foundations, and the College will fund these positions next year.

Dr. Johnson asked for questions. John Dziak questioned if 9 positions are approved by the College, and a faculty member transfers into one of the positions, does the College then go to the recommendation in the 10th position, and how will the vacated position be filled? Mary Frances Archey replied that the situation is handled in a variety of ways depending upon when in the process the transfer request happens. Dr. Johnson indicated that this needs to be resolved, but he indicated there would be no loss of positions. 

Maryann Anderson inquired about temporary positions. Dr. Archey said the temporary positions are used to hold a position open, or for emergency situations.  These are not planned positions. The College has enough money to fund only 3 temporary positions each year. Dr. Johnson said that in his experience, colleges have many temporary positions when the college is not able to invest in tenure track positions. We are committed to increasing our permanent positions.

Maura Stevenson asked the status of the Science Center.  Dr. Johnson said that the hope is to break ground this Spring. The City Planning Office has thrown us some roadblocks which we have been able to overcome. The Fire Department categorized the building as a high rise. The accompanying code would have cost the College in excess of $500,000. The architects solved this by suggesting the foundation of the building be dug a bit deeper, making it a low rise. The excess dirt would be used for additional parking, especially important because a new ordinance prohibits on-street parking. The College is also leasing the former BP station on the corner of Ridge and Allegheny for parking and storage of equipment.

Dr. Johnson thanked Council for allowing him time for this address.



Proposal: Recommendations for the Full Time Hiring Rankings, 2010-2011 AY and Recommendations for the Minority Intern Hiring Rankings, 2010-2011 AY
In the absence of Joanne Jeffcoat, Steve Wells presented the proposal. He said that the Subcommittee met on February 4 to consider the hiring recommendations. Dr. Wells reminded Council that these are only recommendations. 

There were 43 requests, for 9 positions and 8 requests for 3 minority intern positions. Dr. Wells commented that the mood of the meeting on February 4 was very different from previous years.  It was very subdued. Only about 20 people attended, including the Subcommittee members. Dr. Wells said that when you look at the list of requests, the high priority program requests were far down the list, and we don’t have sufficient math faculty to teach them anyway.

Esther Waltz, South Campus Department Head, Sciences, distributed a handout requesting the anatomy and physiology biology position, which was ranked number 1 on the South Campus list be moved higher in the list.  The position was moved to position 43 on the list from Academic Planning. The department has 4 full-time faculty, which includes 1 faculty teaching anatomy and physiology. She said that 80% of the anatomy and physiology classes are taught by adjuncts. She asked why the position was ranked 43.

Steve Wells said that because the department had asked for 2 permanent positions and a minority intern position, it was agreed that a position would be filled as a minority intern, and then there would be a very good opportunity to fill the position with a permanent hire the following year. The chance of having a permanent position filled this year, and then another one next year is doubtful. The strategy is to hire minorities and then move them into full-time permanent positions the next year.

Dr. Waltz said that she felt the department was being penalized for submitting a request for a minority intern. Barbara Thompson commented that the Minority Intern Program has been so positive; it would be a shame if department members were reluctant to submit a minority intern request fearing it would hurt their chances of getting a permanent position.

Carl Francolino asked if we could separate the process of recommending the faculty and educational technicians from the minority intern positions, so they wouldn’t be done at the same time. Maryann Anderson replied that wasn’t possible because of advertising the position. Joyce Breckenridge added that the College needs to know now because of formulating the budget.

Gus Kellerman, Allied Health faculty from Boyce Campus thanked Council for recognizing the need for a full-time radiologic technology position after 27 years.  Anna DelVitto likewise thanked Council.  There has not been a new Math faculty member at North Campus in 18 years. Doralee Brooks also thanked Council for the developmental faculty position. Sumana Misra-Zets said she was appreciative that so many science positions were included in minority intern requests.

Liz Vargo from the Dietetics Program at Allegheny said that everyone deserves to have their positions filled.  Her program is growing, and is a high priority program. She mentioned that a student can get a certificate in her Program totally online. She was disappointed that her position request was ranked number 17. 

Carl Francolino moved to accept the recommendations from Academic Planning. Donna Imhoff seconded the motion and the motion passed 10 votes in favor and 2 votes against.

Mary Frances Archey reminded Council that although there are 9 positions available, there will be 10 postings because a Business position from North Campus is being carried over from last year.


The report from Academic Standards and Student Affairs was given by Rachel Matheis, the Subcommittee secretary. Dr. Matheis reported that the proposal initiated by Renée Clark, was not approved by the Subcommittee. Members felt that the details of the proposal were in the hypothetical stage; therefore the proposal was prematurely presented. There will be a new proposal submitted by Donna Imhoff at the next meeting of the Subcommittee.

Proposal: Addition to the Student Code of Behavioral Conduct
Mary Lou Kennedy presented the proposal. The proposal was the result of an incident that happened with one of the students from the vocational program for special needs adults. It was felt that there needed to be language for programs that may have behavioral standards or have more specific issues because of where students in the program might be working. Rather than trying to list all of the programs that might have specific behavioral conditions it was felt that a general statement added to the Student Code of Behavioral Conduct would be more beneficial. The sentence reads, “Students enrolled in limited enrollment programs and/or in programs with more specific behavioral criteria are subject to both the conduct identified here as well as the conduct as defined by their program." This statement will appear on page 25 in the 2009 -- 2010 Student Handbook.

This addition to the Student Handbook will not only reduce confusion, but will insure that students have due process.

Maura Stevenson moved to accept the proposal. Rita Gallegos seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.


Carl Francolino said that the Subcommittee met on February 4. Dwight Bishop reported that the transition to the new Blackboard server went smoothly.

Although the hardware migration went well there have been software problems. We skipped a version of Blackboard, and there have been problems during testing. Barbara Thompson mentioned that the Library went through something similar skipping over a version of software to the latest version resulting in many problems. Students who have Microsoft Explorer 8, especially, had many problems.  Dr. Bishop has been able to install a patch so this is no longer a problem.

Dr. Bishop raised an issue about deactivating students who have dropped an online course. Currently this is done manually. Some members expressed concern that if a student is removed, all of their data may be lost.

Mr. Francolino said the next meeting will be exclusively on assessment and will start at 2:30 pm. After the first 30 minutes, there will be a teleseminar on assessment which will be broadcast from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm.  Everyone is welcome.


Proposal: Addition of Advisory Statements for BIO 110 and BIO 151; Editorial Correction to BIO 151 Prerequisite Description on Common Course Syllabus Document
Maura Stevenson provided background on the proposal.  Students are often confused about whether to take BIO 110 or 151. BIO 110 was created because BIO 161 students were struggling with the content. It was decided to remove some of that content from BIO 161 and form BIO 110. BIO 110 is at a slightly lower level than BIO 151, and the course does not transfer. 

The proposal would allow for the following language to be included in the catalog description for BIO 110, “Many institutions will accept this course as a science elective for non-biology majors. This course does not satisfy a biology requirement for biology majors. Students should consult a transfer counselor.”

The following language would appear at the bottom of the catalog description for BIO 151, “The course transfers to most four-year institutions. Students should consult a transfer counselor.”

Those on Council who have served as advisors mentioned that the question about the difference between BIO 110 and 151 comes up often, and that this language will help to clarify those questions.

Carl Francolino moved to accept the proposal. Donna Imhoff seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Proposal: Revise CHM 120, Bio-organic Chemistry
Brenda Trettel presented the proposal. Because the learning outcomes for CHM 120 were much too extensive, covering 4 pages, the outcomes have been revised so that they are now concise.

Rita Gallegos moved to accept the proposal. Steve Wells seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Maura Stevenson mentioned there are only four more Curriculum Subcommittee meetings.


Maura Stevenson received a call from Toni Carney regarding the Experimental Course Form. Mrs. Carney mentioned, and Dr. Stevenson concurred, that the form is confusing.  Dr. Stevenson recommended that language be added to the top of the form to make the process less confusing.  Rick Allison and Rich Betters will be contacted regarding this.


Donna Imhoff presented an update on the work of the Distance Learning committee. The committee has been charged by Dr. Johnson to look at distance learning data to determine whether the method of listing distance learning courses alphabetically by campus is the fair and equitable way to list them. The committee has examined a year’s worth of data. The final meeting of the committee is February 26. They are putting the final touches onto their recommendation and will forward it to Dr. Johnson who will do with it what he feels is appropriate. Dr. Imhoff said she was not at liberty to discuss this further.

Mary Frances Archey discussed student fees associated with graduation. Students have been required to pay a $20 fee for an official review of their transcript to ensure that they are eligible to graduate. If the student does not qualify, the fee is not refunded. Students will now be able have their transcript reviewed free of charge.  If students want to receive their graduation certificates, the fee is $20 and the cost for their caps and gowns, which is theirs to keep, is $27.50.

Dr. Archey distributed the review of the first round of the Faculty Resource Program. Retention did increase by 3%. Carl Francolino commented, and several Council members agreed, that the system is very cumbersome. Dr. Archey said that the most frequent comment from faculty is that they were given bad contact information.

Maryann Anderson reported that President’s Cabinet has not met this semester but will meet on March 16.

Carl Francolino asked if there wasn’t a better way to send proposals out to Council members so that we are not getting them piecemeal. Maura Stevenson mentioned that we had looked at creating a Blackboard site, but there were problems associated with that.

The next meeting of College Council will be March 11.

There being no further business, the meeting ended at 4:44 PM

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Thompson
College Council Secretary