Adjunct faculty members were not consulted while a new faculty salary plan was being formed, Jerry Townsend, media communications full-time adjunct and Adjunct Faculty Council chair, said.
“When the board takes up salaries, it’s important to take up all faculty,” he said, noting adjunct faculty teaches 37 percent of all sections offered at this college.
Townsend, who retired from this college as an assistant professor in 1999, returned part-time in 2002 and became a full-time adjunct in spring 2003.
Dr. Thomas Billimek, psychology and sociology chair, said adjuncts teach 65 percent of sections in sociology and about 50 percent of sections in psychology.
Townsend said he does not oppose the plan for full-time faculty but said neither full-time faculty nor adjuncts will be well-served if they are treated separately.
“They (the district) should treat faculty as faculty, period,” Townsend said.
In a phone interview April 3, President Robert Zeigler, who co-chaired the Faculty Compensation Committee with George Johnson III, Faculty Senate president at St. Philip’s College, said there are no plans to adjust adjunct faculty compensation.
He said the committee was not charged with adjusting adjunct pay.
Under the new salary plan for full-time faculty approved by the Alamo Colleges board of trustees March 27,the district will:
• implement a 6-percent increase in average salaries;
• move from a step system to salary ranges;
• pay full-time faculty at 130 percent of the adjunct rate during summer 2013;
• increase full-time faculty duty days from 164 to 166;
• allow full-time faculty to teach a maximum of 15 hours during summer sessions: 12 hours at 130 percent of the adjunct rate and three hours at the adjunct rate.
Staff, administration raises
At the March 27 board meeting, Dr. Brian Stout, biology professor at Northwest Vista College who also served on the Faculty Compensation Committee, said the plan would cost between $1.33 and $1.45 million to implement.
The minute order trustees considered in an Audit, Budget and Finance Committee meeting March 20 estimated the cost at $3 million.
At the meeting, Chancellor Bruce Leslie said the district would locate funds to implement the plan at the district’s budget retreat April 2-3.
In a phone interview April 5, Diane Snyder, vice chancellor for finance and administration, said the district located an estimated $3.9 million during the retreat.
She said the district is looking for $4 million-$5 million to fund the faculty salary plan as well as pay increases for staff and administration.
Snyder said pay increases for staff and administration would go before the board when they take up the budget for fiscal year 2012-13 in July.
Celita DeArmond, librarian and president of this college’s chapter of American Association of University Professors, said she could not speak for the association, but she was concerned the district does not have the funds to pay for the plan.
DeArmond said she told Dawn Elmore-McCrary, English professor and Faculty Senate chair who attended the retreat, to encourage attendees to avoid cutting funds from college libraries.
“This turnip’s out of blood,” DeArmond said.
She said the plan was long overdue. The Faculty Compensation Committee worked hard on the plan, and the cooperation between Leslie and the committee was a good example of shared governance, she continued.
“Shared governance is hard,” DeArmond said. “A lot of people say it’s dead. I say it’s just in a coma.”
She said she would like to see the district increase staff compensation.
“We couldn’t run this place (the library) without them,” DeArmond said.
Billimek said he does not know how faculty will react to the plan but said he hopes the district will not cut funding from areas that help students, such as library databases that support instruction, enrollment services and counseling.
“The district talks about student success, yet it tends to make cuts in student support services,” he said.
Bill Richardson, kinesiology and dance chair and Faculty Senate vice chair, said he approves of the district’s aim to be in the top three among its peers in the state in faculty salaries.
“Everybody would like to be No.1, but being No. 3 has worked out well,” he said.
Richardson said he was glad to hear that faculty served on the committee that recommended the plan. “It’s important that there be shared governance,” he said.
At the Audit, Budget and Finance Committee meeting March 20, Leslie said revamping the faculty salary plan was essential to staying competitive with the district’s peers in the state: Austin Community College, Dallas County Community College District, El Paso Community College, Houston Community College, Lone Star College System in The Woodlands, San Jacinto College in Houston and Tarrant County College.
The Faculty Compensation Committee formed in summer 2010 reviewed the district’s 2008-09 faculty compensation study conducted by UM Global HR, a consulting firm, and recommended a change in the salary schedule.
The committee also consulted UM Global HR Dec. 2, 2011. The district paid the firm $27,495 for fiscal year 2011.
Under the current system, salary is based on initial placement of faculty at the time of hiring based on degree, credit hours and prior experience. Increases are based on board approval and fund availability; promotion to a higher salary classification is based on degree and credit hours; and promotion in rank is based on the current promotional system.
There are seven salary classifications based on education: bachelor’s, master’s, master’s plus 12 hours, master’s plus 24 hours, master’s plus 36 hours, master’s plus 48 hours and doctorate.
Under the range system, faculty still will be divided into classifications based on level of education.
According to the presentation given to the Audit, Budget and Finance Committee, faculty who teach during summer sessions will have to meet a faculty service requirement of 15 hours per course, such as holding office hours, student advising and serving on internal or external committees.
Dr. Jessica Howard, vice president of academic affairs, said she was unsure if office hours are considered service although advising can take place during office hours.