Senate President’s Remarks to the Board, October 2016

HCC Senate President Dr. Melissa Miller-Waters:

Good afternoon, Chancellor, Honorable Trustees, colleagues, ladies and gentleman.

I am proud to report to you the record breaking success of our annual Bedichek-Orman Auction, held last Friday evening at the West Loop campus. Together, we raised over $13,000 which will be used as professional development grants to our adjunct faculty. The Faculty Senate would like to express our appreciation to all of the Presidents and to Chuck Smith for their generous donation of dedicated parking spaces at all of the major campuses of the college. We thank Senior Vice Chancellor Teri Zamora and Chancellor Maldonado for donating the opportunity for bidders to have lunch with them. We especially thank Carme Williams for attending the auction and for her continued stewardship over our funds housed in the foundation. We would like to thank Trustee Glaser for coming to the auction and for his continued support of all aspects of faculty life. Moreover, we express our sincere gratitude to Chancellor Maldonado for attending, for speaking to our group, and for welcoming Dana Bedichek Work, who attended for the first time the event which honors her father. Chancellor Maldonado’s goodwill toward faculty is evident in the time he invests visiting with us. Now, the Faculty Senate has the honor of distributing these funds to as many adjuncts as we can possibly help this academic year.

Now, I would like to introduce you to this year’s Faculty Senate Cabinet. Our Vice President is Tod Bisch, a past Faculty Senate President who teaches in the Correctional Educational Department (by the way, a cabinet he built with his students was one of the hottest items at the auction). Our Treasurer is Dr. Ritu Raju, Chair of Communications. This year’s Secretary is Dr. Scotty Moore, who teaches anthropology masterfully and cannot be here right now because he’s in class. Our President-Elect is Mohamad Tlass, a dedicated Pharmacy Tech Professor. You know our most recent past president, David White, historian and proud Aggie. As you can see, we have a strong cabinet which reflects the rich variety of the Instructional Division.

A portion of our Faculty Senate Cabinet attended the TCCTA Faculty Leadership Conference held earlier this month in San Antonio. We had the valuable opportunity to listen and share with our state-wide colleagues about the key issues facing us: how to both support Dual Credit and simultaneously maintain the rigor of those college courses, where other colleges are in their own development of career and college pathways, how design thinking will frame our organizational formation and behavior, how clear, accurate, and timely communication is key to the healthy functioning of our work lives and student success. We heard our TCCTA lobbyist discuss issues that may arise during the next legislative session.

Taken together, these sessions drove home for us, more than ever, that the key aspect of shared governance is a responsibility to share in problem solving. We stand ready to participate in all possible ways at all available tables and take seriously our shared duty to address the range of opportunities associated with effectively, efficiently, and successfully operating a community college in a growing and complex urban community.

With that in mind, I would like to express my appreciation to Drs. Beatty and Brewer, who convened the first (in what I hope is many) summit between the Instructional Division and Student Services. We on the Instructional side were privileged to hear from our colleagues in Student Services as they related the challenges they face currently and as they transform. We look forward to collaborating with them as we all keep our eye on our shared mission: inclusive excellence, student completion aided by career and college pathways, and positive student experiences that span the life-cycle of a student at Houston’s Community College.


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