SBCC to hire new faculty as solution to excess grant money

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PATRICK MARAVELIAS, Channels Staff

The Academic Senate met Thursday afternoon to discuss City College’s financial and academic future.

President Lori Gaskin stole the majority of the show discussing the implications of the college’s plan to hire 15 new faculty members, including nine new counselors.

The attention of the room was not directed towards the need for the counselors to address overcrowding, but rather that they were the only solution to excess grant money, because the state has tied the funding to certain departments of the college.

Gaskin began by discussing the implications of new faculty in the event of economic fluctuations, and what that meant for new hires.

“It’s feast or famine and we’re feasting right now,” said Gaskin. “We will go into another fiscal crisis and it’s not because of mismanagement here, it’s because of the state.”

Gaskin firmly expressed that the state-ordered minimum number of full-time faculty was a floor rather than a ceiling to her, in that she was primarily concerned with having adequate staff rather than getting fined by the state.

“These numbers mean absolutely nothing to me,” said Gaskin “It’s a number we report, I don’t use it for anything other than ensuring I don’t fall below it.”

The meeting continued with discussions about student-teacher evaluations, and whether the current method of handing out generic paper surveys was an accurate way to go about it.

“I just think that talking to students face to face instead of only asking them questions over a survey is the only way that anything is going to get done that is going to benefit the students also,” said Colette Brown, representative from the Student Senate.

She also brought up important points about scheduling more classes on Fridays to relieve parking issues, as well as offering students more options to coincide with work schedules.

The issue of offering a stipend for full-time faculty who serve on various committees was also raised due to lack of participation, as well as the possibility to also include part-time teachers.

“Compensate them but let them do committee work,” said professor Cornelia Alsheimer from the business department. Alsheimer indicated that these committees are necessary and if financial compensation is what it takes, then so be it.

The meeting came to a close with discussions about the current amount of days-per-week an instructor has to log to be considered full-time. The current number stands at four days per week, but the rule is frequently overlooked and the committee began talk of possibly changing that number or enforcing it more.

“Being academic is being part of the campus community,” said Raeanne Napoleon from the science department, who joked about the notion of lowering the bar because the rules weren’t being enforced in the first place.