I am Debra De Santo, President of the NCCFT.
Once again I come before you to speak about the need to replace FT lines. There are 105 faculty who opted for the retirement incentive but, if you recall, at the last meeting I discussed all of the other lines that were not replaced since the start of this semester. By our count, the number is significantly higher.
Last week, at the Academic Affairs meeting, once again we heard “no money”. When Dr. Saunders was asked when Chairs and P & B would know how many lines were being replaced, they were told there were budgetary issues and that faculty can still change their minds about retiring so these factors needed to be considered. Things weren’t looking good financially. You can imagine the reactions to these statements.
This incentive was well thought out at the table and we were told (somehow the benchmark was 50 lines) and then lines would be replaced. Yet at recent meetings we are hearing a different story. This was not a one-sided conversation as I discussed at last month’s meeting. We bargained in good faith and these lines need to be replaced. Of course, there is going to be an initial outlay of funds but this was discussed at length during negotiations. We were told that the buyout would be built into the budget. If the college decided to look to borrow money at the County level as you claim you did in the past, then it was your responsibility to get a commitment. Now you state that NIFA refused to bond the incentive at the last minute. At no point was it ever discussed that you were going to borrow money to cover this expense. Everyone knows the County has issues so to expect them to cover this agreement was a poor decision on your part. If you couldn’t cover it internally, then perhaps you should have capped the numbers.
In essence, departments are being pitted against each other to justify why a department that lost 6 lines and another department lost 6 lines — should get the lines. This was just an example; there are departments that lost double digits being pitted against each other.
When I raised the questions about criteria #6 regarding adjuncts and what number the administration feels is the cutoff for courses being taught by adjuncts —I was told there is no number. Why ask the question then?
We discussed last time the benefit to the students with full-time faculty in place. Adjuncts play an important role on campus and many adjuncts are waiting after years of service to apply for a F/T position. Within this particular group of retirees, we are losing two Distinguished Faculty and 17 Chancellor Award recipients just to name a few accomplishments. Let’s give the students the best we have to offer by bringing in talented new F/T faculty to replace these dedicated faculty members who are moving on.
So I ask you — the board –what will you do to maintain the reputation of this institution on behalf of our community and our students?