Month: March 2012

Reminder: SAC AAUP Meeting Today @ 3:30pm

We will have a SAC AAUP chapter meeting this Thursday, March 29 at 3:30pm in MLC 230. There will be a short business meeting at 3:30 and then we’ll make way for our special guest, Ramiro Nava! Mr. Nava is challenging Roberto Zarate for the District 5 seat on the Alamo Colleges Board of Trustees. He is looking forward to meeting with faculty and listening to our concerns.

See our previous post on Mr. Nava.

Memo from Chancellor

M E M O R A N D U M

TO:                         Alamo Colleges Family  

FROM:                  Dr. Bruce Leslie, Chancellor

RE:                          You Make a Difference Now & In the Future

DATE:                    March 29, 2012

At the March 27th Board of Trustees meeting, the Board approved the faculty salary plan, subject to identifying savings of some additional $1.4 million to fund the package.  
 
Immense thanks go out to the Faculty Compensation Review Committee, co-chaired by George Johnson and Dr. Zeigler, for their commitment to this process.  Special thanks to Dr. Brian Stout for his significant contributions to the process.  This was a collaborative effort, involving much patience, open and honest dialogue, and compromise.  Discussions of this nature are never easy and all involved went above and beyond to develop the new salary package.    
 
If you recall, about three years ago, we completed the Fox salary study after investing funds to achieve market equity and eliminate compression disparities.  Our plan then was to invest in a similar project for the faculty salary plan, and last night the Board action brought closure to this important effort.  The next step is to complete a similar study for our administrators.  Each phase ensures that our compensation plans are competitive and sustainable and capable of remaining so over the long-term.
 
Our immediate sights are set on the budget retreat scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, April 2nd – 3rd.  Again, 50 leaders from throughout our system will gather to revisit and revise our budget plan and identify additional strategies to ensure a balanced budget for the next year.  The primary objective is to identify $5 million in savings in order to finance $1.4 million of the faculty salary plan and an approximate $4 million to self-fund salary increases for staff and administrators (self-fund meaning to find the funds through efficiencies or other savings rather than by increasing taxes or tuition).  Diane Snyder, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, will communicate outcomes from the retreat.

Not Working Hard Enough? A response to the Washington Post op-ed

Inside Higher Ed reports on the current flap surrounding the Washington Post opinion piece which questions whether or not community college faculty work hard enough.

See also: We’re professors, and we work hard

Mr. Levy appears to have spent too much time at the top of the ivory tower to understand what happens in its basement. Community colleges such as Montgomery College and Northern Virginia Community College are teaching institutions, and what we do, we do with limited and diminishing resources.

The faculty at community colleges continues to subsidize higher education by working for compensation far lower than what our credentials would earn us in other fields.

New Salary Schedule Passes

The Trustees authorized adoption of a new faculty salary plan for full-time faculty beginning FY13. This cost will be partially offset by cost savings produced by a new summer pay model to be implemented for summer 2013 that will compensate full-time faculty at rates equal to 130% of the current adjunct faculty rates for up to 12 workload units per summer and 3 additional workload units at 100% of the adjunct faculty rate.

See specifics in previous post here.

Look Back: Texas Hold Him

“Texas Hold Him” in Academe Online (May-June 2010) by Robert J. Pohl

Leslie has a history of resigning before his official time is up. He left the twelve‐college Connecticut Community College System in 1999 because campus presidents resisted his attempts to standardize the curriculum. Community College Week reported in 1999 that the presidents of all twelve colleges approached the board of trustees and requested Leslie’s resignation. “We agreed that we were unable to agree in terms of the direction of the system,” Leslie told Community College Week at the time. “I think that probably the issue came down to my belief that there needed to be some common standards across the system, and the colleges felt I was threatening their autonomy.’”

In 2006, Leslie resigned from the six‐college Houston Community College System two-and‐a‐half years before his contract was due to expire because of disagreements with trustees, according to the Express‐News. Houston Community College System trustees did not return calls for comment. “[Your audience] will have to read between the lines,” said the receptionist.

The official version, as reported by the Houston Chronicle, comes from former board chairman Jay Aiyer: “We are parting on great terms.” But in August 2004, amid allegations that Houston Community College System trustees were practicing nepotism in violation of district policy, Houston press reported that “instead of heeding complaints about the problems, the paterfamilias of HCCS, Chancellor Bruce Leslie, apparently has sanctioned a climate in which would‐be whistle‐blowers either stay quiet or live in fear of retribution.”