On Monday, Sept. 19th, faculty and students united to save NCC by presenting realistic academic funding needs that will jumpstart the college’s enrollment and catapult us into the future as a 21st century comprehensive college. This included “shovel ready” workforce development initiatives. Faculty speakers included: Richard Ginsburg, Chair of Theater and Dance; Izolda Maksym, Chair of Art; Suzanne Kaebnick, NCCFT Secretary; and David Stern, NCCFT Vice President of Classroom Faculty. Student speakers included: Ariel Silverman and NCC alumnus, Greg Resnick.
We should all note that currently NCC is not in debt but projects a deficit of 21 M over the coming years due to low enrollment. (Better enrollment this fall — only a 5% loss, as opposed to the projected 8.64% loss — means that projected loss over time should now be 15.1 M, not 21 M.) To increase enrollment and reverse losses, we are requesting the County invest in the college to ensure its future as a comprehensive college that serves the needs of this community. This requires investments in:
- New full-time faculty hires to replace our aging faculty — the current NCC budget projects a whopping 26% increase in administration but little for probational lines.
- Diverse faculty hires to meet a 21st century demographic.
- Investment in faculty initiatives which will provide the community with sustainable careers and serve the needs of the county. See our faculty initiatives.
Chairs Ginsburg and Maksym provided vivid examples of the college’s success in student lives, and its positive impact, culturally and economically, for Nassau. To continue serving, both chairs stressed their respective departments’ funding and hiring needs to: preserve programs, meet swelling enrollment in Theater; develop high-tech, new programs such as computer animation in Art, and mentor students.
Students Silverman and Resnick emphasized how faculty were key to the strength of the College. Silverman stated: “the lack of adequate funding has had a negative impact on everything that makes Nassau the incredible school it is. . [It has] placed a stranglehold on academics and clubs. . . in the Student Health Office [it has led to] scaled down support, and has placed pressure on Technologists and Professors to make do with less. . .” Silverman concluded by saying, “Nassau is only as strong as the people who teach….” and urged the legislators to work with the Board of Trustees to increase County funding.
Kaebnick pointed to the Biology department as an example of how years of not replacing retirees has resulted in that department only having 1 full-time instructional faculty younger than 56. For that department to grow, as with the entire college, full-time faculty must be hired. Without full-time faculty, grants such as the $5 M National Science Foundation NCC and Hofstra University grant, which opens the door to STEM careers for our students, will not be possible. . She also noted that the Nursing department turns away applicants for lack of faculty. Stern presented numerous academic initiatives, many of which are workforce development; Stern’s presentation may be accessed below:
The proposal includes about 50 new instructors for $5.9 M to implement approximately 36 new workforce development initiatives. The majority of these initiatives, if not all of them, are based on prior years’ Strategic Plans at NCC.
If you haven’t yet, we encourage you to sign our petition for increased funding for our academic departments, programs, and student services. Go to: change.org/launch23for2023.