Hello fellow adjuncts,
Like many of you, my years as an adjunct instructor at WCC were spent somewhat on the periphery. I felt accepted and valued by my colleagues, and was integrated well into my department, yet there were a lot of meetings that I couldn’t attend due to other commitments, as well as many meetings that were restricted to full time faculty. Because of this, I often felt out of the loop when it came to the bigger picture at WCC. It is because of this that the initial ‘rumblings of dissent’ that I heard about our current president did not impress me very much. It seemed to me, on the periphery as I was, that there were often complaints about administration going around in every place I worked. However, over the last year, my outlook on this has changed significantly.
My mind began to change when I noticed that many of my colleagues, whom I had grown to respect and admire over the years, began to become more vocal about their concerns with our current president’s leadership. I knew that they knew more about the inner workings of the college than I did, and if they were concerned, then I should probably start paying more attention. Not very long after that, there were signs of trouble to be found easily. The VP of instruction, Stuart Blacklaw, was let go in an unprofessional manner. Steven Hardy, the VP of finance, who many believed had served the college well, was also let go. Last spring, I was asked to represent adjuncts in our contract negotiations. As many of you know, that was a very unpleasant experience. There was really no negotiating at all. It is because of this, that we only have a one year contract, and we have begun negotiations again this past week.
During the negotiations last year, I was appointed to the WCCEA Board as the adjunct representative. As you can imagine, as your representatives, the WCCEA Board hears the complaints and concerns of the faculty. The Board then takes these concerns to the administration. Now that I was no longer on the periphery, and was privy to these conversations, I could clearly see that WCC was indeed in trouble.
The financials of the college also concern me. As you may have heard from Maryam’s presentation to the Board of Trustees, the college has gone from 2 full VPs to 7. Also, we are currently adding another new associate VP position. At the same time, Julie Kissel’s SIA program, which I have worked in for years, was not granted $10,000 to continue even though it is a program that has been documented to show benefits to students. Why are we spending so much money on remodeling, administration, and consultants while cutting programs and raising tuition?
Finally, it seems that our best and brightest are jumping ship. I am very concerned about the staff turnover in some departments, and I am especially alarmed that 3 of our 5 academic deans announced, within one week of each other, that they were stepping down.
I could go on and on with my concerns, but, believe it or not, I am doing my best to keep this brief. These are my concerns, and I wanted to share them with you. As your representative, I welcome your feedback and concerns. Please email me, or reply all, if you would like to share your thoughts, or if you have any questions.
I hope to see you all on Thursday for this important vote. Be assured that the voting will be anonymous.