Academic Senate meeting starts with DREAM Center suggestion, ends on ERP concerns

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The Delta College Academic Senate met briefly on April 3.

The meeting began with Spanish Professor Richard Aguilar asking to put forth a resolution for a DREAM Center on campus.

“The fact that we don’t have a center for undocumented students? We should be ashamed of ourselves,” said Aguilar.

Aguilar wants this center to be a safe space for undocumented students, dreamers and allies of undocumented students.

Academic Senate members Sarah Sanchez, Gene Acevedo and Evan Wade agreed to work on a resolution for a DREAM Center to be voted on later.

After this, counselor and Academic Senate member Becky Plaza voiced concerns the counseling department has on the new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.

ERP is a new student information system that was implemented this year to help manage student data.

This system is supposed to help with admissions, enrollment, registration, financial aid, student accounts and advising information according to Delta’s website but this doesn’t seem to be the case.

“We were told that the new ERP was going to solve all these problems … that’s what they’re being told by higher ups,” said counselor and Academic Senate council member Becky Plaza.

The counseling department is having difficulty obtaining information needed to assist students – one issue Plaza listed is the fact that it has taken “12 weeks to get transcripts evaluated.”

“I’m worried about how this is going to come out because we’re the end users. We’re finding new stakes all the time,” said Plaza.

Despite persistent issues counselors have not been able to voice these issues properly even when a representative from Oracle HMC, the host of the ERP system, was on campus for a week; Plaza said the department was unaware the representative was there and could not give the input needed.

Faculty are not only unable to receive information about the ERP system, but on the future of open positions as well.

Charlene Nunes, Professor of Sign Language, asked if there was a way to obtain a list of people retiring for this year due to the fact that many faculty members will be taking their Supplemental Employees Retirement Plan (SERP).

The large amount of retirements begs the question of what positions will be replaced a question that currently cannot be answered.

“Even the Board of Trustees have requested that twice and the board hasn’t received that information,” said Academic Senate President Kathleen Bruce.

In the March 12 Board of Trustees meeting, Trustee Charles Jennings, who represents Area 4 which includes Lodi and Galt, asked about cost savings SERP currently being offered.

Vice President of Administrative Services Chris Nguyen said the district was “going to try and preserve that savings of anywhere between $1.3 to maybe a little under $3 (million) depending on the replacement of the positions. There may be some positions that we may have to replace, but the goal is still to try and find existing money to replace it.”

A list of 32 potential retirees included 13 professors.

“We can’t promise you that we will save every penny of the SERP. We can’t tell you which positions, if any of those particular positions will be hired back, because we don’t know that yet,” said President/Superintendent Dr. Kathy Hart at the mid-March board meeting.

Certain positions have an obligation to be filled, according to senators at the April 9 Academic Senate meeting, such as the librarian position because there is a requirement on campus to have five, but otherwise there is no way of knowing for sure what is being filled at the moment.

The next Academic Senate meeting is on April 17, located in the Mustang Room in Danner Hall.