Deliberations within the Faculty Position Priority Committee took place Friday in the Online Conference Room on the first floor of the Library/Learning Crossroads Building to determine which department at Pierce has the highest need for new staff.
The FPPC takes each staffing need into account and rates its level of importance according to a scoring rubric containing eight factors such as program viability, staffing needs, program needs, etc. The rubric scores are then compiled and those with the highest scores are discussed among the Committee.
While positions need to be filled within 40 disciplines throughout different departments, only a handful of those will be chosen due to budgetary restrictions.
Ten staff members appeared before the committee during the time allotted for public commentary to advocate for positions within their departments, and were permitted two minutes in which to plead their case.
Cindy Herbst, who teaches American Sign Language and ASL English Interpreting, opened the public commentary time with a request – in sign language, which she then translated – for a new full-time hire within the Modern Language Department due to a retirement last year.
“I get that they have a list and they have to prioritize,” Herbst said. “I’m speaking on behalf our need for a new full-time teacher and hoping that the priority will be given attention. I know they have other things to consider.”
Herbst asked the Committee to take into account not only the fact that her department had a retirement last year, but that she herself will be retiring next June, which she said would leave the entirety of the program in the hands of part-timers.
Committee member Kathy Oborn spoke on behalf of the need for continuity in any given department, and said that if someone has been teaching at Pierce for 37 years and is on their way out, it would be smart to hire someone for that department so they have time to mentor the new teacher.
“If you have a department with only one full-timer, and we wait for that person to retire, then you have no mentoring of that department and you lose the continuity,” Oborn said.
Margarita Pillado, who advocated for a position in the Spanish Department, is the chair of the Curriculum Committee and told the FPPC to consider the shortage of office space for teachers at Pierce, but Lyn Clark said that space would not be an issue.
“The ASO is vacating those rooms next to the Great Hall,” Clark said. “That’s a central campus location and nothing has been decided on who is going to be in there. They could be used for office space, so I don’t think that should be a consideration.”
The FPPC put a list of 48 positions in order of priority and have passed that list on to the Academic Senate for approval. From there, the list will be given to Pierce President Kathleen Burke, who may choose to pass over any position she does not agree should have priority.