Academic Senate plans to rank new faculty hires, annual review

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Academic Senate plans to rank new faculty hires, annual review

Sydney Antil, News Editor

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The Academic Senate held a special meeting Wednesday for its members to request new or replacement faculty for their departments.

The math and English departments both requested replacement faculty in part to prepare for AB 705, a bill signed by Governor Jerry Brown that requires city colleges to maximize the probability students will complete transfer-level coursework in English and math within one year after they first take college classes. For the most part, this will mean the majority of students will begin in a transfer-level class.

“We are going to have a growth of sections due to AB 705…we might have up to 30 new sections of statistics leading up to Fall 2019,” said Jamie Campbell, an assistant professor in the mathematics department. “We anticipate dozens of new sections of [Math] 117.”

While many of the proposed positions were replacements for faculty either retiring or resigning, some departments requested for new faculty to be hired due to extremely high enrollment.

Nico Maestu, department chair and professor of film and media studies, said that while the amount of sections taught in the film department has increased from eight to 30 and the number of students enrolling in those classes has doubled, the number of full-time professors in the department has remained the same since 2006.

“We have classes in the BC Forum that are capped at 125 students, we’re up to 140 students, online classes are capped at 35 and we have 40 students in that class, everything’s in the red, everything’s full,” Maestu said. “So it’s just not viable or sustainable for us to keep offering this many sections to serve so many students with so limited faculty.

“Student demand will be affected, student success will be impacted and we’re gonna have to at some point change the scheduling and cancel classes.”

However, much of the data submitted by departments showing universal need for new faculty in each department was inaccurate.

Raeanne Napoleon, department chair and professor of chemistry, said this happens every year and while the inaccurate data may not impact the validity of the presentations themselves, the conclusions people draw from the data is what affects the outcome.

“My fear is that for the departments who don’t have accurate presentations it’s going to be completely unfair to them,” Napoleon said. “It’s a little bit baffling. The data is literally number of instructors in our classes numbers of students and things like that this is easy data to get at…Wherever they pulled it from they didn’t stop to think if it makes sense.”

Senate President Patricia Stark said the data presented this year was even more inaccurate than years prior. Senate members will continue to discuss the presentations at their next meeting Wednesday, Oct. 12. The senators also plan to rank each department using a new and improved ranking system.

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