Academic Senate asks for faculty input on hiring practices and language

SRJCs+Academic+Senate+is+looking+for+faculty+input+on+new%2C+more+inclusive+hiring+language+and+processes.+

Courtesy SRJC

SRJC’s Academic Senate is looking for faculty input on new, more inclusive hiring language and processes.

Liam Vinueza, Editor

Santa Rosa Junior College Academic Senators requested faculty input Nov. 7 on revisions to the college’s faculty hiring procedure after the Senate agreed Oct. 22 to adopt more inclusive language.  

During the Academic Senate’s October meeting, senators unanimously passed recommendations that would broaden recruiting to historically underrepresented groups, ensure senate members are trained in inclusion, diversity, equity and anti-racism (IDEA), and to allow departments more discretion in how they advertise open positions. 

The senate also agreed to reevaluate whether hiring committees should include a voting student member.

The move comes as SRJC is looking to expand diversity in its hiring policies and reflect the diversity of its student body. 

The hiring policy’s recruitment section previously stated, “The District shall be sensitive to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability and ethnic backgrounds of community college students.”

Former Senate President Dr. Brenda Flyswithhawks opened up discussion by adding her own wording of what the policy should state, suggesting that the words “acknowledge” and “include” should be considered to replace “sensitive” and “understanding.”

The old hiring policy created debate among senate members looking to reword the section and asking what inclusivity means and what should be added to the wording to properly represent different groups. 

“It seems to me that we would need to be clear about who we were talking about within this when we say that the district should acknowledge and include diverse (groups),” said Laura Aspinall, disability specialist and department chair.  

It was senate member and counselor Filomena Avila’s version of the policy that passed the straw poll with 20 senate members voting in favor of it, stating, “The district and its recruitment process shall consider the diverse needs of our diverse student population.”

The newly reworded item will be “wordsmithed” in the future, according to input by senators.

President Julie Thompson and Vice-President Monica Ohkubo closed discussion stating that the different interpretations of the item by the senators will formally cement the new policy in the future.