To download a copy of this file, click here: FAQ Addendum 2013.docx
This document contains the additional questions submitted by faculty regarding the RFP.
1. Why weren't you honest with faculty on the FAQ page with regards to your plan to destroy tenure in this district? The proposed changes to the RFP, under the probationary faculty evaluation plan, makes very clear your future intentions for altering and ultimately eliminating true tenure for appointive faculty.
A: The concern appears to be that changing the probationary faculty evaluation plan will put at risk tenure for appointive faculty. It is true that tenure is under attack nationally. (http://chronicle.com/article/Tenures-Dirty-Little-Secret/130185/) In the view of the team, one of the best ways to strengthen tenure was to increase the rigor of the probationary process. The revised probationary process ensures that a new faculty's promotion is based on a peer review process with meaningful mentoring, rather than an FEP that does not require mentoring or any substantial interaction with faculty peers. This peer review process is, in our opinion, an additional layer of protection for the faculty member because her/his promotion to residential status is ultimately endorsed by three or more faculty members; these additional endorsements ensure a much higher threshold for a decision to non-renew. Additionally, the added layers of accountability will also ensure that we as a faculty are making sure that we are practicing a tenure process that will pass public scrutiny.
2. How can any member of the meet and confer team, as well as the administrative team, look themselves in the mirror each day, knowing that because of salary inversion, new faculty are currently four steps ahead of a faculty member hired in 2008. That means a new faculty member with the same experience as I have, is making $12,000 a year more than me. You should all be ashamed of yourselves for allowing this to happen.
The faculty members on the Meet and Confer Team not only identified the inversion issue, they negotiated intensely on the issue for two years before reaching an impasse with the administrative members of the team. During the 2012-2013 negotiation year, the Faculty Compensation Task Force worked to identify solutions to this issue. We anticipate that this will be identified as a priority issue for faculty in 2013-2014 and is an issue we are prepared to renegotiate. Some members of the Meet and Confer Team also are experiencing salary inversion along with hundreds of other faculty.
3. Regarding the PAR process, how many members of the four member committee [PARC] have to vote yes for you to keep your job? Is it a simple majority, or must every member vote yes?
The PARC must reach consensus on the recommendation. That is, the entire committee must be on board with the recommendation. If the committee is unable to reach consensus, it will forward the recommendation form to the College President without a recommendation. In this case, the probationary faculty member may also submit a rebuttal to the College President before a decision is made.
4. If the probationary faculty evaluation committee [PARC] all vote to extend your employment, can the college president still fire you?
The College President may choose to renew a probationary faculty member or may recommend to the Chancellor that the probationary faculty member not be renewed. As a technicality, a person who is not-renewed has not been fired. This becomes important on future employment applications when asked, "Reason for leaving your last job?" The statement "end of contract" carries less baggage than "fired".
5. Why don't you all come clean and admit what the long/short term plans are for abolishing faculty autonomy?
The concern appears to be that recent changes to the RFP are disruptive to faculty autonomy. It is unclear as to what RFP changes are perceived to abolish faculty autonomy. If autonomy is referring to tenure, please see the response to #1 above.
6. Why do you all assume making the tenure process more difficult and stressful is representative of "excellence"?
The proposed Peer Assistance and Review process is more rigorous than the existing FEP process. However, many colleges and universities have tenure processes with comparable levels of rigor to that which is being proposed. The FEP process has lost credibility with many administrators and some faculty. By increasing the rigor of the process, we hope to enhance to image of faculty as viewed by decision makers, critics, and fellow faculty.
7. When is administration going to fire/lay off tenured and full-time faculty when the Reduction in Force Policy is changed?
Like most people, faculty want job security. Consequently, the fact that we have a reduction in force policy at all causes a certain degree of angst. In the 2012-2013 negotiation year, we began to dialogue about the reduction in force policy. The administration drafted a proposed RIF policy in late March/early April for consideration of the Meet and Confer Team; however, we have not discussed their proposal specifically. Our focus has been on dialoguing about how to provide the maximum amount of security for faculty while simultaneously allowing flexibility when economic factors necessitate program reduction or closure. Nobody on the Team, faculty or administrator, has indicated any desire or plan to lay off tenured faculty for the purpose of replacing them with non-tenured faculty or adjuncts.
8. The current reduction in force policy is not "complicated." Why change it?
Concerns have been expressed by the administration that the current policy is not workable and is overly complex. We are investigating this issue to see if changes are warranted.
9. Why don't you all come clean and tell us what changes to the Reduction is Force Policy are gonna be made?
The team has not yet reached agreement on any proposed RIF policy language. RIF discussions are still in the early stages. Once the team has reached consensus on what appears to be a viable option, we will share that option with the faculty at large and allow people to provide feedback before a final decision is made.
10. I still see NOWHERE that we have to approve the RFP to keep the raises that the Governing Bd gave us Please clarify this.
The underlying question is, "Should salaries and other pay rates be in the RFP (and thus subject to ratification) or should salaries and pay rates be removed from the RFP so as to not be subject to ratification?" The faculty on the meet and confer team have been operating on the premise that it is in the best interest of faculty to keep pay rates in the RFP. We are concerned that if salaries and pay rates were removed from the RFP, the faculty would have even less influence over administrative and Governing Board decisions related to pay. As a case in point, in the 2010-11 negotiation year, we negotiated compensation rates for dual enrollment supervisors and evaluators. Those changes first appeared in the 2011-2012 RFP. If those pay rates weren't in the RFP, the administration could have made unilateral decisions related to those pay rates.