The Austin Community College District (ACC) Board of Trustees met for its regular meeting on Monday, January 13, to hear college updates, discuss legislative priorities, appoint members to the regional advisory committees (RAC), and discuss student success. Below are highlights from the meeting.
LEASE WITH AUSTIN-PBS SIGNED
President/CEO, Dr. Richard Rhodes, announced that the lease agreement with Austin-PBS — KLRU was approved by the PBS affiliate’s Board of Directors in November and signed in December. Under the agreement, Austin PBS will move its offices to ACC Highland in 2020. The unique partnership will provide ACC students with real-world experience, create strong synergies with ACC-TV and academic programs, and help forge new types of community programming.
CPPPS “PECK YOUNG” ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP
Trustees celebrated a new endowment at the college designed to provide more scholarship opportunities for future students. The endowment is named in honor of William 'Peck' Young who retired in December 2019 after 12 years with the college. At ACC, Young developed and lead the college’s Center for Public Policy & Political Studies.
STUDENT SUCCESS REPORT/TEXAS A&M-CHEVRON ENGINEERING ACADEMY
“The first year of an engineering student is a critical year. Students face big challenges and adjustments. We think this is the safest way to get through that first year because it's an extremely supportive environment.” –– Dr. David Fonken, ACC Science, Engineering & Math dean
Fonken and Dr. Shana Shaw, Texas A&M-Chevron Academy at ACC associate professor of practice, provided Trustees a student success report of the academy. The Academy is a co-enrollment program that allows students to complete the first two years of an A&M Engineering degree at ACC before transitioning to College Station.
Data show the Academy maintains a 95 percent success rate for enrolled students. Students who maintain a 3.5 GPA or higher while enrolled will be automatically enrolled in their first engineering major choice at Texas A&M University. Currently, 75 students are enrolled. Enrollment rates will more than double in fall 2020, with 150 to 200 openings.
For more information, visit austincc.edu/tamuacademy.
2020 FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
The board unanimously approved the college’s initial federal legislative priorities for 2020. Priorities include reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, investing in education and workforce development, and supporting dreamers. The initiatives provide opportunities for community college leadership to collectively advocate on behalf of community colleges. The priorities will next be shared with ACC’s congressional delegation during a National Legislative Summit in February.
APPROVE REGIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS
Trustees approved new recommendations for the college’s Regional Advisory Committees (RACs). The three 11-member committees represent ACC’s north, central, and south regions and are charged with helping the college strengthen the link between the College District and the community, and to enhance and provide community input for College District programs and services offered in the northern, southern, and central regions of the College District's service area. New members include Jason Ball, appointed by Trustee Mark Williams for the north region, and Stefani Quimby, appointed by Trustee Nicole Eversmann for the south region. Ball and Quimby will begin their respective three-year term beginning January 2020.
ADOPT LOCAL POLICIES ON DIAA AND FFDA
Board members unanimously adopted changes to the college’s (Employee Freedom from Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation – Sex and Sexual Violence (DIAA) and (Student Freedom from Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation – Sex and Sexual Violence (FFDA) to be free from gender-based discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or sexual violence while at ACC or at an ACC sponsored event. The policies — outlined by the Texas Association of School Boards — address compliance with Title IX and the Violence Against Women Act. The changes more clearly define terms, ensure protections for gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, and include a specific provision about transcript notations.
Under the new policies, all employees at ACC who witness or receive information, in the scope of employment, that fall under DIAA and FFDA are required to report it to Charlene Buckley, ACC’s District Title IX Officer. A failure to report, subjects the employee to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Texas State Law further articulates that failure to report within the guidelines makes an employee subject to a Class A or B misdemeanor.
An online reporting form is available. Visit, Sexual Misconduct Reporting Form. When reporting this way, employees must include their name and contact information.
Board meeting minutes and recordings can be found at austincc.edu/board.