We don’t want to belabor the point, however, we will. The recent retirements of 105 Full-Time faculty is a zero-sum game. It will cost the College about $13,000,000 to pay out the retirees vs the $13,000,000 they would have paid these faculty if they never retired. Therefore, the “deficit” is a result of lower than anticipated student enrollment, retention, etc. The College has reached an agreement with NIFA to bond $7,500,000 dollars over a 4-year term equaling about $2,000,000 annually to pay this money back. In this zero-sum equation for the 2015-2016 academic year, the College has been able to hire 36 FT faculty on both temporary and probationary lines. This may or may not be an acceptable start, but it is the number of replacements we have. The Board of Trustees and the Interim President have issued statements recognizing the critical role of the FT faculty and indicating their commitment to increasing these numbers in the future. The NCCFT will be carefully watching the future budgets of the College in anticipation of the College keeping this promise.
The retirement of 105 FT faculty has created a staffing crisis for the Spring 2016 semester. Department Chairs have been working diligently to find day adjuncts to teach the classes and provide the support services previously provided by these retirees. At a recent Chairs meeting, a discussion ensued with Dr. Saunders and the President of the AFA, Stefan Krompier, regarding exceptions to the 8/18 AFA restrictions and allowing FT faculty with reassign time to teach day adjunct. While no answers were provided, let’s review this.
Several months ago, the AFA sent a survey to their membership. Their published conclusions included:
• FT faculty teaching adjunct also hold office hours per the NCCFT contract
• Retired NCCFT faculty teaching adjunct would have extra time to provide assistance to their students
This may, in fact, be true because FT faculty have a history of commitment to the campus and students. While we certainly don’t differentiate our FT class students from our adjunct class students, this begs the question “do the FT faculty teaching adjunct have different responsibilities than ‘pure’ adjuncts?”
In addition, there is a practice whereby the Administration prohibits FT faculty from teaching day adjunct when the Administration doles out reassign time for a project. Yet, these situations constitute a private agreement and are not contractually defined. However, this restriction has not applied to FT faculty on contractual reassign time. There is no such restriction in either the NCCFT contract or the AFA contract. The idea that reassign time and the services that we provide only occur from 8-5 is an insulting perception. In addition, FT faculty with NCCFT contractual reassign time (i.e. Chairs, Liaisons, ASEC, NCCFT) who are attempting to relieve the Spring 2016 staffing (105 retirements) crisis by offering to teach adjunct in the day (seniority permitting) are being denied their rights under the AFA contract. There are countless examples where FT faculty (with office hours) teaching day adjunct are teaching Honors, Learning Communities, Achilles and other special populations and initiatives that are designed to improve retention.
It is unfortunate that the Administration has decided to create and enforce a policy that does not exist in any contract. It is unconscionable on their part to create and enforce this policy at the same time the students, faculty, administration and Board of Trustees are talking about the positive differences the FT faculty make to the institution. This new policy exacerbates the loss of FT faculty during the day by replacing them with pure adjuncts, thereby denying the students the services and opportunities they deserve, need and are entitled to. This has been repeatedly discussed at every venue on this campus. This misguided and illegal effort denying FT faculty their AFA seniority rights, along with the AFA survey conclusions, point to a disparate set of working conditions for FT faculty teaching day adjunct. An AFA grievance has been filed regarding the reassign time issue. Thoughts? We would love to hear from you. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.