Senate President’s Remarks to the Board, January 2017

(NB the following comments were delivered by President-elect Mohamad Tlass, who was present in the absence of President Melissa Miller-Waters)

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

Faculty Senate President Melissa Miller-Waters regrets being absent today but is honored that, as President Elect, I am able to present her remarks for her.

Once again, the Faculty Senate would like to express its appreciation to last year’s Board Officers and our congratulations to this year’s elected officers.  Congratulations, to our new chair, Trustee Loredo, to our new Vice Chair, Christopher Oliver, and to our new secretary, Trustee Sane.  We look forward to your steady hand and solid stewardship in the coming year.

The Faculty Senate would like to acknowledge the Chancellor’s commitment to HCC as seen through his participation at all pre-semester faculty meetings and convocation.  Traveling between Houston and Austin to participate in our college’s events and the legislature’s opening events is no small feat, and we appreciate his commitment to our faculty and our mission.

The Faculty Senate would like to thank Dr. Beatty for visiting us during our first Faculty Senate meeting of the spring semester.  We appreciate Dr. Beatty’s (your) forthrightness with the senate and your willingness to field all questions.  Thank you, Dr. Beatty.

As part of our aim to build a culture of evidence, faculty examined quantitative student success data by program for our Fall Instructional Day.  For Spring’s Instructional Day, we examined more qualitative data, gathered by the Student Success division through focus groups which collected student voices—their perceptions of their experiences here at HCC in and out of the classroom.  A faculty panel constituted of full-time and part-time faculty representing both academic and workforce programs discussed those student perceptions.  (Here, you can give your take on your experience serving on that panel).

The Faculty Senate continues to hold academic and intellectual rigor in our curriculum as central to the success of our students and to the health of our institution.  Dr. Beatty has challenged faculty instructional leaders to develop an operating definition of rigor, one specific to HCC and preemptive of outside groups. As part of the Instructional Leaders meeting before the beginning of this semester, the Faculty Senate’s Educational Affairs Committee developed a workshop to begin constructing our definition.  Chairs, Associate Chairs, and Program Coordinators came together to jumpstart this important work. I would like to acknowledge the amazing work of our Educational Affairs committee, led by Chair Antrece Baggett. This group developed the workshop and facilitated it, all under a tight timeframe with an immovable deadline. Their dedication to the Senate, to all of our colleagues, and to our students is impressive and inspiring.

The Faculty Senate looks forward to the spring semester, and we remain committed to shared governance and to our students’ success.  Lastly, on a personal note, I would like to express my heartbreak at the sudden loss of Kirk White, a dear man who was a wonderful colleague and who will be missed by all of us.  I extend my thoughts and prayers to his family; we know they must be devastated.


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