To: The Academic Senate
Re: Acting President Saunders’s Veto of the Academic Senate’s “Resolution on BoT Resolution on Placement Testing Exemption Policy Revisions 2015”
On May 1, 2015 Dr. Saunders vetoed the Academic Senate’s “Resolution on BoT Resolution on Placement Testing Exemption Policy Revisions 2015”, which was approved by the Academic Senate at its April 21, 2015 meeting. The Academic Senate Resolution amended NCC’s policy for exemptions from placement testing in English, Mathematics, and Reading for incoming students.
Discussion: In his veto, Acting President Saunders contends that the Academic Senate’s Resolution does not fulfill the BoT’s “…objective of bringing the College’s placement test exemption policies in line with the prevailing standards.”
The BoT Resolution of December 9, 2014 does not state this as its objective. Instead, the Resolution states that the BoT “…supports exempting incoming students from the Nassau Community College placement exams via a set of multiple standards …” and requires that all “…. recommendations to achieve this objective be supported by the appropriate data…”
The Academic Senate concluded that the Developmental Education Committee’s recommendations were substantiated by evidence and incorporated multiple measures. Hence, the Academic Senate adopted the resolution on April 21,2015.
Conclusion: The Academic Senate correctly passed a resolution on April 21, 2015 approving the changes to the College’s policy on placement testing exemptions based on the Developmental Education Committee’s evidence-based report. The Acting President has failed to offer evidence in support of his veto and we urge the Senate to over-ride this veto.
To: The Academic Senate
Re: Acting President Saunders’s Veto of the Academic Senate’s “Resolution on BoT Resolutions on Degree Revisions”
On May 1, 2015 Acting President Saunders vetoed the Academic Senate’s “Resolution on BoT Resolutions on Degree Revisions,” which was approved by the Academic Senate at its April 21, 2015 meeting. The Academic Senate Resolution calls on the NCC Board of Trustees (BoT) to rescind its December 9, 2014 Resolution as amended on January 13, 2015.
Discussion: In his veto, Acting President Saunders argues that the Academic Senate’s actions are a usurpation of the BoT’s powers. To the contrary, the BoT’s December 9, 2014 and January 13, 2015 Resolutions are a usurpation of the powers and duties of the Academic Senate. In short, the BoT repudiated the considered judgment of the Academic Senate, concurred with by the Acting President, on November 13, 2014. At that time, the Academic Senate approved a resolution modifying our degree requirements to bring us into compliance with the SUNY Seamless Transfer policy. The BoT may not arbitrarily and capriciously substitute its judgment regarding curriculum and degree requirements for that of the Senate and the Acting President. By doing so, it disregards the duties and obligations of the college president and faculty under NYS Education laws and regulations.
Specifically, 8 CRR- NY sections 604.2, 604.3 (b), and 605.1 enumerate the very specific powers and responsibilities of the BoT, the President as well as the faculty. Section 604.2 grants the BoT the right to “approve curriculum” and by inference to approve degree requirements in section 604.3(b) (7) but not the power to initiate such policy.
In addition to NYS Education Law and Regulations’ requirements, the NCCFT CBA, sections 19-1 and 19-1.1, the Senate Bylaws and multiple Middle States Standards including, but not necessarily limited to, Standards #4, 5, 6, 10 and 12 all lend support for our conclusion that the BoT has usurped the power and duties of the Academic Senate in its Resolutions of December 2014 and January 2015.
Conclusion: On November 13, 2014 the Academic Senate acted within its powers and responsibilities as set forth in NYS Education Laws and Regulations as well as in the NCCFT CBA, Senate Bylaws and Middle States Standards when it formulated and implemented degree requirements for NCC’s AA and AS degrees. The BoT may not usurp the Senate’s responsibility in this matter nor arbitrarily and capriciously substitute its judgment for that of the Senate.