With so much wonderful work occurring on our numerous committees and councils, it can, at times, be overwhelming and difficult to make meaningful connections. Consider the challenge of hunting down the minutes from each meeting, searching for a discussion on a particular topic, or locating the email from hundreds that you receive each day.
Below are a few of the comments gathered from a Fall 2014 Faculty Senate survey to our faculty on the topic of communication and committee work:
- “It is hard to keep up with what is going on.”
- “Communication doesn’t always get from one committee to another.”
- “Too much duplication and bureaucracy. Lack of communication”
- “I would like a weekly governance report–what is going on when and where. In that way everyday teachers like me would be aware of and able to participate in important discussions. Right now I have to go read many minutes hoping the minutes genuinely reflect what is REALLY happening.”
- “I’ve heard that one of the big complaints is that some larger initiatives must be presented to multiple bodies, with each having its own separate say. Since many people serve on multiple committees, some individuals have to hear the same summaries many times.”
- “There seems to be so many committees and a lot doing the same things. Maybe a revamp and review of making sure there isn’t overlap.”
- “Committees need to link to one another. There is a bit of a “silo” effect that has emerged from having so many committees with their own charges. Would it be helpful to have some mechanism in place that would refresh the mission of each and the connections among each of them?”
- “Creating an easy-to-understand platform – blog, newsletter, etc – which informs the faculty of the major issues being discussed, and have a way for all faculty to send in their opinions on issues/topics under discussion.”
To that end, a group of faculty, staff, and administration has created CIE, or Comet Information Exchange, a one-stop shop where we connect you with:
- summaries of Palomar’s planning council meetings
- summaries of other Palomar committee meetings
- links to full minutes
- tags for key words and topics
Our goal is to see summaries from all of our college’s planning councils and numerous committee meetings represented in this one site so that a person could sit down for an hour or so once every couple of weeks to catch up on what’s been happening in our campus’ shared governance.
How will we know if we have succeeded in creating a viable communication tool?
Palomar College employees will…
- receive a reduced number of emails from committees/councils.
- start to make connections among committees/councils/groups who are working with specific initiatives and funding sources, such as STEM, 3SP, SB 1070, CCPT, Perkins IV, AB 86, Doing What Matters, Basic Skills, and Student Equity.
- see a reduction in duplicate work being done by multiple groups.
- be on the same page (or at least in the same book) with respect to shared governance.