Academic Senate to address senate’s presidential vacancy

A Pierce College Academic Senate executive member is convening a special meeting that will take place at the same time and place as Monday’s regular bi-weekly assembly.

In an email sent to members of Academic Senate on Wednesday, Margarita Pillado, vice president of curriculum, said that she is calling the special meeting to order to discuss one issue: the succession of the senate presidency.

The succession of the senate presidency has also been put on the agenda for Monday’s 2:15 p.m. regular Academic Senate meeting. This will be the first time that the issue will be officially brought to the attention of the senators.

“You may receive another call for a regular meeting of the Senate for the same time and the same place, but that meeting would be out of order, since the Senate cannot conduct its usual business under such circumstances in which there is a contention as to who the Senate President is,” Pillado said in the email.

More than two hours after Pillado circulated her email, Los Angeles Community College District Academic Senate President Don Gauthier sent out an email addressed to Pierce’s faculty and senate leaders.

“The meeting called by the Curriculum Chair with a single agenda item is out of order and without merit,” Gauthier said in his email. “A single faculty member cannot be allowed to overturn the regular and orderly functioning of a body that represents all faculty and has pressing issues related to accreditation and shared governance before it.”

Pillado doesn’t agree.

“[The email] should be taken as a personal opinion. He’s entitled to an opinion like everyone else,” Pillado said in a phone interview. “The district [Academic Senate] has nothing to do with Pierce.”

Pillado continued to say that Gauthier’s position as president of the district Academic Senate only means that the senate presidents of all nine colleges under LACCD regularly meet with him, not that he is their “supervisor.”

Pillado said that though she is unsure of what to expect on Monday, “nothing’s changed.”