Davis Faculty Association

Archive for July, 2013

Provost Hexter’s Response

The Provost responded to the DFA’s letter regarding the accommodation of students with special needs for examinations (available online at http://ucdfa.org/2013/07/dfa-board-letter-to-provost-hexter):

*From: *Ralph J Hexter
*Date: *July 13, 2013 10:41:02 AM PDT
*Subject: **responding to your email*

Dear Professor Shershow,

Thank you for your letter regarding the need to develop more robust  strategies for accommodating students with special needs.  I assure  you that I am well aware of this problem, and, most importantly, that  planning is already underway, coordinated by Interim Vice Provost for  Undergraduate Education Carolyn de la Peña, to develop a comprehensive  strategy for dealing with the challenges we face. Resolving the issue  may involve both physical space and additional personnel, as well as a  need to identify the funding sources that will support a sustainable  solution.

Carolyn and I intend to address this matter as expeditiously as  possible, and we look forward to additional input from the faculty as
our planning proceeds.

Provost Ralph J. Hexter

CUCFA Statement Opposing Threat to City College of San Francisco’s Accreditation

The Council of UC Faculty Associations (CUCFA) opposes the recent decision of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) to revoke accreditation for City College of San Francisco (CCSF). CUCFA joins the California Conference of the American Association of University Professors, the American Federation of Teachers and the California Federation of Teachers in asking ACCJC to:

(a) reverse its decision to revoke CCSF accreditation, and

(b) seek a new assessment which recognizes CCSF’s high academic standing as well as its financial and structural problems, from reviewers less top-heavy with administrators.

CUCFA applauds CCSF faculty and students for maintaining their commitment to quality education under extremely difficult conditions. We urge the city of San Francisco and the state to develop a process for enabling CCSF to fix its management and financial problems that will not interrupt its delivery of vitally important, high-quality, affordable academic and vocational instruction to the citizens of San Francisco.

DFA Board letter to Provost Hexter re: Student Disability Center and exam accommodations

The DFA Board sent the following letter to Provost Hexter to express concerns raised by some of our members:


July 11, 2013

Provost Ralph J. Hexter
Mrak Hall, Fifth Floor
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
Fax: 530-752-2400

Dear Provost Hexter:

We write to bring to your attention a practical issue regarding the accommodation of students with special needs for examinations.  It is
becoming increasingly burdensome for the faculty to satisfy these requirements.  In some cases, the student must be given five hours in a room without other students. During the quarter, at mid-term time, the problem is particularly acute because some Departments are starved of space and cannot find suitable rooms. The Student Disability Center (SDC) states that they cannot help in locating space – the burden currently falls entirely on the faculty, according to the SDC.

However, an amended regulation of the Davis Division of the Senate (538H) states in part:

“The instructor has a legal obligation to provide recommended academic accommodations, unless the instructor can demonstrate that the accommodations will fundamentally alter the nature of the academic demands made of the student, or decrease the standards and types of academic performance. It is the responsibility of the University to provide recommended physical accommodations. No accommodation shall require facilities or personnel that can be demonstrated to result in undue financial and administrative burdens to the University. The instructor should consult with the student and the SDC if there are any questions or concerns.”

The phrase “academic accommodations” is pertinent. According to this statement, it is not incumbent upon the faculty to identify space or personnel to monitor examinations; it is required of the University, not the instructor.

Will the University, via the SDC, identify suitable space and proctors for mid-term and final examinations? Resolution of the problem may require funding to augment the staffing at SDC – the funds would be well spent in helping to relieve the faculty of an increasingly onerous task.

We look forward to your clarification of our procedures.


Scott Shershow, Chair
on behalf of Davis Faculty Association board

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