The issue of “realignment” was the center of attention at the Faculty Association meeting on Oct. 20, with many voicing heated opposition to it.
According to FA President Roger Marheine, the goal of the realignment is to remove a large group of deans who were seen as not doing their jobs. He said that for a problem like this, these people can simply be removed, but it does not require reconstruction. “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater,” he said.
At the FA meeting, Marheine said that if the deans were removed, faculty chairs would have to step up with minimal to no compensation. “It’s doing a dean’s job for free [and] a huge undertaking to go through all 12 divisions,” he said.
“It’s not called reconstructing or reconfiguring, but realignment,” he added. “I’ve never seen so much uncertainty. The train is off the tracks.”
After attending the meeting, Jane Hallinger, former president of the PCC Academic Senate, said the process is moving too fast for people to have a valid discussion.
“It sounds like a pre-determined plan that faculty would not have a voice in. It’s insane,” Hallinger said.
“We need the deans,” she added. “Forcing them to retire within a year is detrimental to the academic [needs] of the college. The deans review the teachers and programs, and aren’t just there for faculty, but for students as well.”
In a later interview, Marheine said it is the dean’s job to schedule the classes and to find and hire teachers, both part time and full time, to fill empty positions. With the position of dean removed, faculty chairs with no prior experience could make mistakes and thereby affect the students despite their good intentions.
Some of the major concerns voiced by Marheine and other members of the faculty during the discussion were confusion about how realignment could be beneficial, as well as the deadline PCC President Mark Rocha had set for Dec. 14.
“There is no written document or evidence to clarify why [realignment] would be a good thing,” Marheine said. “The timeline, [of eight weeks], proves to be irresponsible and unprofessional. One year would be more appropriate.”
The remainder of the meeting was dedicated entirely to discussion of the realignment issue. Many hands and voices were raised.
Eloy Zarate, an instructor in the Social Sciences Division, said that the faculty needed to argue Rocha’s plan point-by-point to show the members of the Board how strongly the faculty disagrees with realignment. “We need to be there to oppose it,” he said.
There seemed to be a consensus among the speakers that a number of faculty members should show up for the next Board of Trustees meeting to take a stand.