Senate shifts pace, leadership position

Instructor still finds time to teach, represent faculty issues while adjusting to role

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

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In keeping with the theme of change on campus this year, new Academic Senate President Beth Goehring takes her seat at the helm of the committee after being elected to follow two-term president Wayne Organ.

Goehring, kinesiology professor and longtime Academic Senate member, began her term May 1 and already has a to-do list planned. Some items suggested by her predecessor, Organ.

“I’ve inherited a few different issues,” Goehring said. “One of them is equivalency in terms of hiring.”

The president is tasked with writing the manual on the process of getting equivalency so instructors, departments and divisions will know how the process is supposed to be uniformly done.

As president, Organ wrote Contra Costa College’s Accreditation Report introduction and much of its contents.

Goehring also began exploring requests of including plus or minus signs when grading from some of the district science instructors and weighing the benefits it may or may not have on students.

“She (Goehring) really has the ability to see things from the students’ point of view and how it affects the classroom,” Classified Senate President and Student Life Coordinator Erika Greene said. “I really enjoy working with her. She asks good questions and represents her constituency well in meetings.”

For the former CCC volleyball coach and athletic instructor, it has always been about the students.

But shouldering the workload that comes with the presidency offers little time for classroom instruction and is opposed to the reasons some began careers in teaching.

“The college president (Mojdeh Mehdizadeh) has been wonderful and allows me to keep my fingers in the food chain,” Goehring said. “She’s allowing me to teach some online classes so I can be available during the day to represent the faculty.”

Kinesiology is one of the largest departments on campus with few full time instructors to teach courses.

“She’s (Goehring) definitely a fixture in our department. She is a wealth of knowledge and experience,” kinesiology co-chairperson Miguel Johnson said. “Myself and Sandra Everhart can handle the day-to-day activities.”

For the in-person classes, part-time instructors were hired to cover the time Goehring taught actively and academically so there is not that much of a workload to shift.

Goehring used to dedicate equal time to her in-person and online classes. Now, the professor only teaches online but is in touch constantly and believes in keeping students engaged no matter the medium.

In response to a question about a recent research project the professor woke up early to produce a 10-minute instructional video to show the student what was expected and then embed the video into the online course providing clarity for those who may face similar questions.

“She (Goehring) makes herself available to us all of the time,” kinesiology major and Black Student Union (BSU) President De Andre Russell said. “Even with her new responsibilities she is still thorough.”

Those snap reactionary methods of teaching will allow Goehring to remain in an instructional capacity while assuming the duties of president, which consist of a lot of meetings.

Academic Senate meetings are held, then concerns are brought back to constituencies and discussed in division meetings. Larger issues are discussed in the senate and then discussions points are handed down to divisions.

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