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The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Academic senate continues the discussion regarding new faculty


On Wednesday, Oct. 5, the Academic Senate held a special meeting to finish the presentation requests for new faculty positions at City College.

In the previous meeting, the Senate started the process of listening to department requests who are in need of new faculty members. A spokesperson from each department prepared a request for why they need support. 

“This should be a joyous opportunity to hear how various departments want to grow,” chair of academic senate Melanie Eckford-Prossor said. 

English as a Second Language (ESL) professor Marit Ter Mate-Martinsen started off the second round of presentations, requesting two new faculty members for the ESL program.

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“The ESL program is the doorway to equitable educational and career opportunities for English language learners in our community,” Ter Mate-Martinsen said. “We are the point of entry to students who would not have access to higher education without academic ESL preparation.”

This program provides bilingual intake support to all students, bilingual peer mentoring, outreach work, and tutoring to help students progress toward reaching their goals. The program is working towards expanding in many ways and reaching toward providing ESL dual enrollment opportunities for English language learners at local high schools.

Assistant professor Geoff Thielst made a request for two full-time positions for the Marine Diving Technology Program in an effort to keep the program alive.

 “Our main purpose is to train technicians to operate in, on, and around the water,” Thielst said. “We provide opportunity to people who could not otherwise afford it.” 

Department chair Sarah Jackson is requesting a replacement faculty member for the Cosmetology program in response to a previously failed faculty search.

“It’s really a cool community that we have developed here in Santa Barbara through the realm of cosmetology,” Jackson said. “When the teacher-to-student ratio is not balanced, we are unable to provide the much-deserved attention our students need to ensure client safety.”

In response to Associate Athletic Director Ellen O’Connor’s departure from the program, Kathy O’Connor requested a new faculty lead position for Physical Education. In the last five years, the department has lost three full-time faculty positions and is in need of hiring a new faculty member, according to Kathy O’Connor.

Paloma Arnold spoke in support of a new full-time counselor coordinator for the Umoja program, a resource in place at City College dedicated to the cultural experience of African American students.

“The data that is being routed in the student equity plan confirms that Black and African American students are the most underserved population on campus,” Arnold said. “This position is a direct response to student needs.”

Laura Gardinali, French and Italian professor, requested a position for the Spanish language instruction for the School of Modern language. In addition, the English department and American Sign Language Program (ASL) are also requesting a full-time faculty member who is passionate and dedicated to teaching at City College.

Lastly, the Associate Degree Nursing Program is requesting three replacement faculty positions. 

“Our situation is even more dire than in the past,” department chair and assistant director Mary Sullivan said. “The nursing shortage is going to take a toll on all of us for sure.”

Next week, the Senate will rank the positions and provide a vote on which departments will be provided their requests. 

The Academic Senate will reconvene on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

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