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Faculty dismayed by winter cancellation

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Disbelief swept the Jack Scott room of the Communication Education Center as the decision to eliminate winter intersession was made on Aug. 29.

After the vote, most in attendance — primarily faculty and students — left the building.

Many who were there left with mixed emotions — they were unsettled and shaken up by the events of the evening. Many were speechless.

Faculty Association representative Julie Kiotas — who delivered an impassioned address to the Board — admitted that “How did you feel about the meeting?” was a tough question.

“I am disappointed that the Board is not more interested in what the students have to say…. I was saddened. When you keep the students from talking, it denies their existence,” Kiotas said in an interview on Tuesday.

Newly elected FA Secretary Paul Jarrell felt that everybody lost sight of the primary goal of the discussion: an opportunity for students to get the classes that they needed.

“The Board is far enough removed from the students because they don’t see them on a regular basis. And when they do see them, we have outbursts like [Wednesday night],” Jarrell said in an interview on Aug 31. “And that’s what they see. They don’t see students in classrooms, students waiting in line trying to get into a classroom; they don’t see how things really affect [students].”

Earlier in the evening, Kiotas presented a letter written by the leadership of the FA. (Read the complete text of the letter) According to the letter, “the decision to eliminate the winter intersession is a woefully disruptive action that would undermine both student success and access, causing academic regression for thousands of students.”

After the decision to cancel winter intersession was made, Jarrell told the Board that he was experiencing a range of emotions including disdain, embarrassment, anger and confusion.

“I was embarrassed from the Board stand point for not…allowing students to be heard,” he said Thursday. “The other thing I am embarrassed about is that more students got escorted out of the room, than were allowed to speak. And that’s sad. [It] is disheartening that … we were willing to take more students out of the room than we were willing to listen to in the right way, even though they tried to speak in the proper way,” he said.

FA negotiation committee member Lynora Rogacs — who also spoke to the Board — was  concerned with the impact on at-risk students: parents of young children, students with long commutes, and economically disadvantaged students. She felt that the calendar change was “institutionalizing sexism and classism.”

Jarrell was deeply saddened by the overall tone of the meeting.

“Hindsight is 20-20; obviously things could have gone differently…[the arrests and ejections] could have been avoided,” Jarrell said.

After the meeting, Rogacs slowly paced around outside the Jack Scott room, isolating herself. She held her hands to her temples as she stared blankly into the distance. She forced a smile and said: “I am really, really not doing well.”

The FA intends to continue fighting and planned to make a presentation on Wednesday that will show the college does not have a budget problem.

“On a month to month basis we may be a little short in money, but we certainly have cash on hand to cover the shortfall,” Kiotas said via email. “The state is slow in paying right now, but they have consistently paid us…. The district has maintained for years that [it has] been saving money each year for an emergency.  It is hard to imagine a greater emergency.”

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36 Responses to “Faculty dismayed by winter cancellation”

  1. bear stearns says:

    Sam, Rocha only makes less than twice the salary of the highest paid faculty members at PCC–he may actually be underpaid. I’m beginning to like the guy despite his blemished history. He is willing to make some tough decisions to keep PCC from going bankrupt. Taxpayers should celebrate the defeat of the teachers in the Chicago teachers’ strike. Even the parents of the kids began to picket against them. Taxpayers CAN stand up to our greedy colleges and schools with their out-of-control spending on salaries and pensions.

  2. PCC Troubled says:

    Christian sounds like a board.member, maybe a VP, legal counsel or possibly someone wanting to become a dean…. Why don’t you post the work load of those faculty who made over 150 k as well as how many did add students as an LGI. How about the extra committees they are involved in on campus. They earn that money by taking on additional responsibilities. Not any better than our VP’s who get stipends for additional services they provide. Rocha came in with his own vision and its all taking, place with resistance by students and faculty. With that being said Christian let’s sit back and watch his, master plan unfold. You know why he needs such strong admin support,.because he realized he would never get the full support from faculty, classified and students. Can’t wait to see the outcome if his vision…one mans vision.

    • christian says:

      “Students Dismayed by Faculty Money Grab”

      Oh, hi Julie!

      Workload isn’t the issue here–the money grab is, and the consequential budget shortfall.

      Let’s see, $4 million spike by teachers for their own benefit, but a $4 million budget shortfall resulting in 600 classes cut and winter intersession gone. Factual evidence. 257 employees over $100,000 while 17 of those over $150,000.

      Why didn’t teacher William Foster got to administration and say, “Hey, look guys, I’m pulling in $196,000 a year, I think something is wrong here.”

      If this is not corrupt, why then has this practice been discovered and brought to a screeching halt?

      Thank you State Controller John Chiang. Shame on PCC teachers.

      VOTE NO ON PROP 30!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • ANGRY STUDENT says:

        I cannot believe that our own teachers would do this to us students out of there own greed!

        You better believe plenty of yells at next meetings!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Julie Kiotas making 211,000??? and saying the students are a priority. What a joke. Kiotas, everyone knows you are self serving and care about your pocket book above everything else. How much of your 211,000 salary have you donated to the students. That is right! NONE. Get off the podium.

    • Sam says:

      Professor Kiotas also probably works 60+ hours a week. Can you justify President Rocha making $270,000 a year with a mandatory 15% raise?

      • Sam says:

        In additon, the reason so many teachers are forced to work overload hours is because the school refuses to hire more teachers to take the burden off people like Julie. I guess they’d rather save the money to hire more vice presidents.

      • Christian says:

        $211,000 would have hired a helluvalot of adjuncts at about $3000 per class.

        Let’s see, fire one Julie Kiotas and have adjuncts teach = 70 classes more for the students with that $211,000. Hmmmmm. Wonder which the students would prefer, remember? The students that are human, not dollar signs?
        The very same students that cannot get classes?

  4. thrush says:

    Sam, I went to PCC when it cost a lot less in the 1980′s–but do you really want to be transported back to 1985? Can you live in a world with no iPod, no internet, no smartphones, no Xbox, and no HBO? Imagine–NO INTERNET and NO STARBUCKS !!! I remember in 1992 the only Starbucks I could find was near Beverly Center mall. So be careful what you wish for !!!! BTW if you think tuition at PCC is high, then good luck if you plan to go to Cal-State LA. It costs $1100 to take ONE class. And last I heard UCLA is around $14K a year. It will probably go up again when voters like me vote NO on more tax in November.

    • Sam says:

      Actually I’d rather go back to when Pat Brown was governor, and public education was actually a priority and keeping people in school was more important than keeping them in jail.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, before all the cockroaches, er, immigrants came…

      • Sam says:

        Or you know before Reagan cut funding for education.

      • christian says:

        The California Master Plan for Education was a noble idea,

        but it has proven to be a failure.

      • Sam says:

        Christian you’re doing my favorite Republican tactic. Cut all the funding out of something and then complain that it doesn’t work. FEMA was great when our chimney fell down in 1994, but look what happened with Katrina after Bush took office and slashed their funding.

      • thrush says:

        The Master Plan for Education failed because it’s no longer affordable. UC has 2100 retirees who get pensions of $100K or more. UC president Mark Yudof will receive a pension of $350K when he retires. UC wants the state to make pension contributions to its pension fund but the state doesn’t have the money.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/19/uc-pension-costs_n_1610323.html

      • christian says:

        @Sam (sept. 16 comment):
        Your “favorite Republican tactic”???
        ‘scuse me? Seriously?
        When was the last time Democrats produced a federal budget?
        Was it April 29, 2009? About 3 1/2 years ago?
        (Senate majority leader Harry Reid should be fired for dereliction of duty).
        Methinks thou dost PROJECT too much–typical lib strategy: to point the finger at others over what THEY are guilty of.
        Obama’s budget rejected in a senate vote 97-0, and rejected in house vote 414-0; not ONE single member of congress voted in favor of the Blamer’s budget!
        Libs create a crisis then provide the solution, liberal tactic 101.

  5. thrush says:

    Christian, you are spot on. I’m surprised that some of the profs I had when I went to PCC have salaries exceeding $100K. I don’t begrudge their huge salaries, but if anybody thinks I’m voting for a bigger property tax bill to support those salaries and pensions, they are really out to lunch–and I’m glad more huge colossal education cuts are on the way. My big tax bill sucks.

  6. Sam says:

    Christian complaining about teachers being the highest cost at a school is like complaining about police being the highest cost at a police department.

    • christian says:

      Yeah, Sam, that $4 million sucked up by teachers feeding from the public trough is no big deal at all. I mean who needs $4 million dollars? It’s not like the students are having trouble getting classes…

      You’re right, my bad.

      (sigh.)
      (hangs head.)

      • Sam says:

        Christian how about instead of cutting pay from the teachers who have vetoed a pay raise for the past 7 years to preserve classes we cut administration pay. Cutting Winter Semester saved about $500,000 and it cost about $1.5 million to hire the 9 new vice presidents. If you want to complain about someone “feeding from the public trough” complain about President Rocha’s mandatory 15% raise and expenses payments.

      • Sam says:

        Christian I assume you’re some sort of Capitalist, so I’m wondering how you fail to understand the concept of paying a person to do a service.

      • Missy says:

        How dare you blame the teachers! We have an education because of them. Our PCC Professors have not recieved a raise(willingly) in over 6 years in order for students to have classes. If you want to be mad at anyone be mad at Rocha for taking a million dollar raise at the turn of the new year after he was hired and before he could prove he even deserved it!

      • Anonymous says:

        @Sam: With all due respect, let us not ignore the $4 million teachers rewarded themselves with in 2011. Compared to the $500,000 for cutting winter, the $4 million grab by teachers is beyond alarming. As for the new VP’s several new programs, including Pathways and many others, were implemented which provides awesome student services and I stand by those decisions; mind you, I was against the new VP’s at first, but now see the benefits. $1.5 million for VP’s, but $4 million so generously misused by teachers. Hmmmm….

        I have no problem with Rocha and think he is underpaid. I blame whoever the Chief Financial Officer is; should have seen the corruption. I agree with paying someone to do a service, but come on, $153,000 a year for department chair? $196,000 for teaching? (Try earning that in the private sector). 257 employees earning over $100,000 in 2011 is why students cannot get classes.

        It’s actually funny to watch teachers trying to turn the students against the board members; typical liberals, grabbing the money for themselves, screwing others over, while diverting blame elsewhere. Higher ed in California is quickly sliding down the toilet. There are many causes, but clearly the liberals are ruining a once-great state. (@Missy: I’m sure you are misinformed if you think Rocha got a million dollar raise. Let’s keep it real here; I deal in facts).

        And Sam, of course I’m a capitalist, what, are you a commie socialist?

        VOTE NO on Prop 30: DO NOT FEED the Greedy Beast!!!

      • Christian says:

        @Missy: You may want to check your facts if you think Rocha gave himself a million dollar raise, and yes, I blame the teachers for their money grab of $4 million dollars–the effects are just now being felt. That is a fact. Let’s stick with facts, mkay?

        @Sam: So teachers vetoed a pay raise but awarded themselves $4 million. Cutting winter saved $500,000, but can you see the correlation between that figure and the $4 million?
        I was against the VP hirings beforehand but now see the improved services such as Pathways and several other new services that improve student success.

        The teacher’s salaries are an outrage: come on, $153,000 annual pay for a department chair? $196,000 annual pay for teaching? Try doing that in the private sector. I personally feel Rocha is underpaid; I blame the Chief Financial Officer for not catching the greed of the teachers. Thank God for State Controller John Chiang or we would know none of this!

        I find it funny that teachers are trying to turn students against Board members, blaming them: typical liberals, grabbing all they can for themselves, no regard for the damage, while diverting blame elsewhere.

        And of course I’m a capitalist, that is what makes this country great. What, are you a socialist? Please name one socialist utopia that has been successful…

      • Sam says:

        I don’t know why when I question your capitalist credentials do you assume I’m a greedy socialist? Unlike when my parents, and I’m assuming you Christian went to college when it was damn near free. So don’t criticize me and others like me for not wanting to pay astronomical tuition costs to get less classes taught by angry underpaid professors when the administration openly admits they’re hoarding money to spend on pet projects.

  7. christian says:

    I wonder if the Julie Kiotas mentioned in this article is the very same Argiro Julie Kiotas who got $174,679 in 2011 but after insurance, etc, cost the school $211,829???

    Hmmm…Since this article discusses who has cash, the figures are relevant.

    Kiotas: “We may be a little short in money… but they have consistently paid us… It is hard to imagine a greater emergency.”

    ’nuff said.

  8. christian says:

    “Faculty dismayed?”
    Students cannot get classes?
    School out of cash?
    Hmmm…

    Could be because there are 257 PCC employees who earned over $100,000 salary in 2011. These exorbitant salaries are not sustainable.

    The following PCC instructors earned over $150,000 in 2011:

    Donald Gallon
    Daniel Meier
    Russel Frank
    Daniel Hamman
    Claudia Van Corva
    Lauren Arenson
    Jia Shi
    John Sepikas
    Argiro Kiotas
    William Foster $196,000 – in one year!

    Perhaps students should ask these instructors why they cannot get classes.

    Please see http://www.pasadena.edu/general-counsel/documents/2011%20Calendar%20Year%20-%20W2%20wages%20-%20by%20w2.pdf

    This is public information. Courier, please quit censoring this important information that students should know about.

  9. christian says:

    The following Instructors earned over $150,000 in 2011:

    Donald Gallon
    Daniel Meier
    Russel Frank
    Daniel Hamman
    Claudia Van Corva
    Lauren Arenson
    Jia Shi
    John Sepikas
    Argiro Kiotas
    William Foster – $196,000? Really?

    Perhaps students should approach these instructors to ask why they cannot get classes…

    http://www.pasadena.edu/general-counsel/documents/2011%20Calendar%20Year%20-%20W2%20wages%20-%20by%20w2.pdf

  10. christian says:

    Students cannot get classes?

    School out of cash?

    Wonder why?

    Could be because there are over 257 employees who earned over $100,000 salary in 2011. Not sustainable.

    http://www.pasadena.edu/general-counsel/documents/2011%20Calendar%20Year%20-%20W2%20wages%20-%20by%20w2.pdf

  11. Student Peterson says:

    Of course this is emotional. People’s lives are at stake. There is nothing passive about losing education, losing opportunity and losing time. I, personally, am frustrated beyond words. Not only has one of my production classes been scheduled without a studio and therefore essentially useless, but the winter intercession was pivotal in finally completing my certificate in the spring.

    Now, after classes being cancelled this past summer, I fear I will never be able to complete my studies and move on with my life. I can’t put everything on hold forever, especially when there’s no guarantee of completion.

    This is a very big deal to thousands of us. So, yes, it’s emotional.

  12. Maria Elena says:

    The football team is not the only group on campus that fumbled the ball at the start of the school year. The board of trustees and the college administration has really dropped the ball with the elimination of the winter intersession. For years, the administration worked harmoniously with faculty, students and staff to decide what was best for the campus. This board and this administration, however, have basically eliminated even the pretense of shared governance. The new policy has become “we’ll do what we damn well please, and if you complain too much, you might have a family emergency that will force you to give up your position at the college.” How sad!

  13. Frustrated faculty member says:

    Of course faculty members are upset. Quite understandable. First, they were totally diss’ed by the Board and the administration. Second, their lives have been upended … it for some, it will cost REAL money.
    A huge majority of teachers were not expecting to have classes to teach in January. Many have made other arrangements – part time jobs for extra income? vacation reservations that are non-refundable? family commitments that will be broken?
    This ill-considered decision by the Board has REAL WORLD consequences for real people who matter.
    Ooops. Guess they didn’t have time to think about that.
    And THAT is the entire point.

  14. Christian says:

    Perhaps if the students behaved like adults, then actual communication could take place. Their behavior was deplorable. The faculty is more concerned about their own paychecks and would rather bankrupt the institution. What a ridiculous article–all about emotions. Can someone bring Rogacs a kleenex? Better call a waaaahmbulance.

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