President Serban solves mistake by State Chancellors Office

Kenny Lindberg, Kenny Lindberg, and Kenny Lindberg

A mistake by the State Chancellors Office could cost the district an estimated $500,000 in new faculty salaries if officials do not follow Superintendent-President Andreea Serban’s contingency plan.

To remedy the error, City College will need to fill five additional faculty positions by fall of 2009, fulfilling its full-time faculty obligation requirement. The mistake, which was made back in the fall of 2007, has affected 13 community colleges.

“They should have informed us about that in the fall of 2007, and then we (would) have (had) time to plan and hire those positions,” Serban said.

Serban’s proposal calls for including previously uncounted faculty members toward its obligation instead of hiring new staff, and will not cost City College a dime.

“By not having to hire these five positions, we roughly save the district between 400 and 500 thousand dollars,” Serban said.

Serban plans to count two Cosmetology positions, three DSPS staff members, and one Health Services job toward its full-time faculty obligation. These six positions, minus the one vacated by Jennifer Seigle from the physical education department, will make up for the error caused by the Chancellor’s Office.

“What happened with the five positions that we are going to be counting is that every college in the state counts them,” Ignacio Alarcon, president of the Academic Senate, said. “For example the college nurse, she is faculty, she’s even the vice-president of the senate, so she’s full-time faculty, but traditionally we weren’t counting her as full-time faculty in the full-time faulty obligation, but the district has the right to count her.

“It’s a good solution to a big problem that we would have had, because we were basically being asked to hire five new full-time faculty with no money for it,” Alarcon said.

The proposal comes at a time when City College is struggling with an unprecedented State budget deficit of $41.6 billion, and with the possibility of difficult funding cuts in its future.

“We want to make sure we don’t acquire additional expenses for the college,” Serban said. “This will actually help us. It will save us money over hiring new staff.”

Serban also outlined a plan to tell new faculty applicants – in a timely fashion – to look elsewhere, and that her proposal would eliminate the “unnecessary work entailed in getting together search committees and reviewing applicants.”