Geography Professor Tom Orf has begun his campaign to become the next Academic Senate President.
“I feel like I can do a pretty darn good job,” Orf said. “Once I decided to throw my name in the hat, that’s it, I’m not going to take it back.”
Orf has been the Chairman of the Enrollment Management Committee for the past three years and has a PhD in Educational Policy Studies, which he earned from the University of Kentucky. In addition, Orf was the Dean of Applied Arts and Sciences at College of Alameda and the Division Head for Business, Humanities, and Social Sciences at New Mexico State University.
While the needs and demands of the state of California’s education system could potentially change at the drop of a hat, Las Positas College programs will be undergoing an overhaul to meet more immediate issues.
“We really need to emphasize our technical programs (and) we really need to emphasize our transfer programs,” said Orf.
Changes to the technical and transfer programs are just the starting points for Orf. He realizes that Las Positas will be facing a growing enrollment rate in the coming years, while the UCs and CSUs are accepting fewer and fewer transfers.
Current Academic Senate President Sarah Thompson stated that Orf has experience in leadership positions, and although the senate is a new animal for Orf, new senate leadership are sent to statewide leadership training program over the summer. The training program covers parliamentary procedures and California state legislation, such as the Ralph M. Brown Act.
At the current moment, there is no Vice President candidate on the ballot to accompany Orf. He does, however, have a few individuals in mind, but he is not at liberty to discuss any of their names as of yet.
Orf has settled on a two-year tour of duty in the Academic Senate and does not know if he will want to extend for a longer term just yet. Orf acknowledges that two years is not a long enough time frame for all of the changes that he wishes to implement to transpire. He wishes that other members of faculty would take an interest in the Academic Senate and perhaps decide to run for Academic Senate President as well.
“This is a continuous process…it’s been difficult getting a lot of faculty to do this. We do have a lot of leadership on campus,” said Orf.