As you know, the NCCFT Executive Committee began to reach out to the administration in early April, seeking to schedule a meeting to discuss ways that we might be able to help the college save money. Yesterday we had a chance to begin that conversation. The NCCFT Executive Committee met with President Astrab, Board Chair Freeman, and members of the administration. Our conversation was cordial and a second meeting will occur at the beginning of the semester.
Today members of the faculty rallied on the plaza in the third of a series of ongoing demonstrations. It is vital that we continue to draw attention to the cuts NCC has suffered and to the ways that those cuts threaten the quality of education we can provide. Some of the important messages out there on signs at all of these rallies include “NCC is not fast food drive through education,” “Students are not sardines. Class size matters.,” and “Enrollment up. Faculty Down. Class sizes up. Services down. Concerned yet?.” In the video from our last rally, Barbara Horn reminds us all that we need to make sure to inform our students about what is going on. They are the ultimate stakeholders. A t-shirt at the rally put it perfectly. One side read “Ask me what it’s about,” and the other read “It’s all about the students”.
Please also take a look at this opinion piece published in Newsday on August 12 Daniel Akst argues that giving money to a college like NCC does much more social good than giving to a university like Yale, which just concluded a fundraising campaign that raised 4 billion dollars:
Yale draws some of the brightest students in the world, young people who would no doubt do well even without a richer Yale. Many come from wealthy families who, under other circumstances, wouldn’t be considered worthy targets of philanthropy.
Nassau Community College, by contrast, has no endowment, yet provides crucial job skills for blue-collar students — plus open access to higher education that could lead to a four-year degree elsewhere. Enrollment has grown since the recession, as it has at most community colleges, including Suffolk County’s. Yet government funding hasn’t kept pace.
A gift of $4 million, never mind $4 billion, to such an institution would have a huge impact on both the college and its students.
NCC is not Yale. NCC is public, and that is part of why we love it. We will continue to fight for full funding of NCC so that our students get the education they deserve.