Governing Board Performs Self-Evaluation

Each of the five Palomar College trustees anonymously evaluated the Board’s performance in a comprehensive self-evaluation. The full collated report of the Board’s self-evaluation was made public and can be viewed here. The Board members discussed their self-evaluation in open session at the June 24th Governing Board meeting.


If you are perplexed why three members of the governing board seem to dismiss repeated concerns expressed by employees (such as the concerns expressed publicly by faculty members Schroer and Johnston), this report is worth reading. The comments provide an informative window into the trustees' perspectives and opinions. For example, increasing the diversity of faculty was addressed by one trustee with this comment:


“There are still many structural deficits that inhibit a smooth hiring process for diverse faculty. This year has shown the inadequacies of present policy, an issue that will have to change if we are to diversify our pool of eligible faculty at the full time and part time levels. Presently, there is little evidence of diversity at either level. This must change. Department chairs dominate part time hiring, thereby assuring that too many eligible candidates do not get hired. They've shown no inclination to change their hiring practices. Where we might expect that we would be able to draw from part timers for a strong, diverse pool, it simply doesn't exist. This is a structural deficit that must be overcome.”

Based on this comment, this trustee believes department chairs discriminate against diverse candidates when hiring part-time instructors. This is a very telling comment.


Some of the comments in the report are presented here and organized (by me) into sections. Emphases are my own.

THE TIMELINESS AND ACCURACY OF INFORMATION


The board is not given information in a timely manner” (Q1)

The board is given partial information.” (Q2)

Again the board is given partial information or inaccurate information. It is very difficult to get items on agendas if the President/Superintendent doesn’t want them on the agenda.” (Q4)

We need more and more accurate info in order to do this” (Q7)

We do not receive enough information” (Q11)

We are given information after the fact.” (Q12)

We do not get information and agendas with enough time to review” (Q 20)

The board receives valuable and truthful reports from members of the college community and yet never discusses the information received. (Q15)


COMMUNICATIONS AND RELATIONSHIP WITH PRESIDENT BLAKE

2 trustees refuse to meet in person with the CEO, which mars the relationship of trust. Speaking in the press, negative statements by 2 trustees about a board-sanctioned vote in favor of the president's office resulted in harm to the college district.” (Q4)



There is a split on the board. Some only want to get information from the President and others want to hear from all stakeholders” (Q17)




It appears the CEO shares information with the Board VP and President that is possibly not shared with the entire board.” (Q4)

Board members have only one employee, and that is the CEO. Reports that board members approach employees directly about items violates the tenet to not get directly involved in operations.” (Q14)

It would better if the entire board supported the CEO and her work at the college” (Q6)


PERCEPTIONS ON WHO HAS A TRUSTEE’S EAR

There is a split on the board. Some only want to get information from the President and others want to hear from all stakeholders” (Q17)

Allegiance solely to the faculty federation does provide representation to the citizens of the District” (Q7)

Perceived blind allegiance to the federation prevents trust and openness among board members” (Q19)


PERCEPTIONS ABOUT HIRING & FACULTY

Board majority does not support shared governance” (Q15)

The board must update its policies to ensure the hiring of diverse and equity-minded faculty; to mitigate the risk of faculty and student sexual relations; and, re-assert the board's primacy for creating policy...among others.” (Q3)

There are still many structural deficits that inhibit a smooth hiring process for diverse faculty. This year has shown the inadequacies of present policy, an issue that will have to change if we are to diversify our pool of eligible faculty at the full time and part time levels. Presently, there is little evidence of diversity at either level. This must change. Department chairs dominate part time hiring, thereby assuring that too many eligible candidates do not get hired. They've shown no inclination to change their hiring practices. Where we might expect that we would be able to draw from part timers for a strong, diverse pool, it simply doesn't exist. This is a structural deficit that must be overcome.



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