The executive committee of Pierce’s Academic Senate voted Wednesday, Aug. 28 to include an item regarding the succession and vacancy of multiple positions in the agenda of their first Academic Senate Meeting on Sept. 9.
This item was added to the agenda due to a disagreement over who the rightful successor to the vacating president is.
Academic Senate President John Zayac announced his resignation via email on Aug. 8.
Kathy Oborn, vice president of academic policy, was next in line for the presidency but declined the position in an emailed response to Zayac and the rest of the executive committee.
This led to Margarita Pillado, vice president of the curriculum, and her email accepting the role.
“I expressed my acceptance of that responsibility in writing on Aug. 12,” Pillado said.
After the initial thread of emails, the majority of the Senate Executives Committee said that Oborn’s declination was not a formal declination making Pillado’s succession invalid, according to Oborn.
“I believe the senators, because of what is going on, will have questions, ” said Senate Treasurer Joe Perret. “It’s well that we explain what our position is in the succession issue. Here’s what happened. Here’s what’s going on. Here’s where we are.”
The discussion of procedure and presentation to the other members of the senate quickly turned into a passionate dispute as to whether the succession should be discussed as part of a regular meeting or if a special senate meeting should be called for this one particular topic.
“We should discuss this as a single item on the agenda on a special senate meeting not at a regular meeting,” Pillado said. “The only practical way to get a sense of where our senators are on this is to have this meeting, have both sides explain their points of view and bring evidence.”
Izzy Goodman, past president of the Academic Senate, said he would volunteer to present all of the evidence of the current succession issue and stated his stance that this item should be presented at a regular meeting rather than at a special meeting.
“You have a body of senators with all sorts of random schedules. The only time that we know and they know they are available for senate meetings are Mondays at 2:15 [p.m.],” Goodman said. “I think it is completely unfair to a body scheduling a meeting outside of the normal time because it is just going to be so problematic to get people there.”
The topic concluded with setting this succession issue to be part of the agenda for the first Academic Senate meeting on Sept. 9 with a time limit.