As this semester ends, Pierce College will be hiring 11 new staff members to take up different positions around the school.
According to Interim President Larry Buckley’s College Administration Report only a few departments have been given positions to fill.
Eddie Tchertchian, the chairman of the math department, states that most of these candidates are chosen by the Faculty Position Prioritization Committee (FPPC). A group that is made up of different members of Pierce’s own staff decides if an applicant will receive a job.
“So that committee gets all the applications from the department chairs every year, on who to hire in their department and ranks them,” Tchertchian said. “It has a rubric that it uses, and they meet one day and they get pictures from the chairs and ranks the list in order. Once they do that they submit it to the president, and the president has the final say.”
Once the acting president receives these applications from the committee, they will select the given amount of hires the district has allowed for school, which itself is usually based on current staff retirement.
According to a letter from Buckley regarding the Academic Senate faculty new hire recommendations, he addresses their worry.
“The concern of the Committee was that if these positions were not prioritized this year, they would not be available for ‘automatic’ consideration next year as the timeframe for such consideration would have expired,” Buckley wrote.
Unlike past years, full-time staff members will be hired during a deficit period. Yet this will not be too taxing for the school, as some of the funds will be coming from the school district rather than the college itself.
“So one thing that president Buckley did that was great was that he called the district and he managed to get the positions funded through district funds not college funds for a while,” Tchertchian said. “Some of it is for lifetime, so the school will not be held responsible financially in a budget crisis situation to pay for these hires.”
While some of the old staff is being replaced with newer faces, some see a new opportunities for growth in college as well as more dedication to the school and students themselves.
“It helps the college grow, it replaces people that retire, and that’s very important. You want to have full time instructors teach the classes that we offer because they are more committed to the campus,” Tchertchian said. “Full time instructors are responsible for between 12, 15 or 18 units depending on which department they teach in. You want to invest in someone who is going to be committed to Pierce, who is going to be involved on campus in many different roles and who is going to be working with students directly.”
Although Buckley is in favor of filling positions in the New Student Counseling, science, math, art history, combined agriculture, Chicano Studies and political science departments, he foresees that some of the recommended positions from other departments don’t have the same level of priority.
“The need for the additional six prioritized positions on the Faculty Senate list were well articulated and are certainly important to the college,” Buckley wrote. “However, as the District is authorizing financial support for only 11 positions, and the college is not in a position to take-on the budget implications of additional positions on its own, these positions will perhaps need to be reintroduced and reprioritized in a future year.”
The new positions are needed in order for the campus to progress and bring in more students.
Elizabeth Navarro, a nursing major, said that a newer set of staff members would help foster intellectual diversity to the campus.
“I think it does, because I think it modernizes us,” Navarro said. “We have more residents sticking to the old times developing as we are developing too. We have younger kids here, so maybe new staff would help.”