By Edward Mahurien
Editor in chief
Sociology professor Janet Hund has been told that the logic behind the programs put on the list for discontinuance was that they are an “easy target.”
Hund’s unnamed source on the Academic Council cited the lack of part-time teachers or only one full-time teacher as reasons that made the programs vulnerable.
“That’s logic? If that is the criteria, I think we need to press our faculty leaders to raise questions,” Hund said Thursday, Nov 15.
At the forum and potluck luncheon in T1334 on the LAC, more than 55 teachers flowed in and out of the event to plan the teachers’ next step following the passing of Prop. 30 earlier on Nov. 6.
It was also revealed the support staff union would be moving into the offices shared by the full-time and part-time teachers associations.
Full-time teachers union President Lynn Shaw and classified staff union President Tom Hamilton drew applause from the crowd of more than 30 teachers in attendance with the announcement.
The focus of the meeting, coordinated by history teacher Mary Marki, was how to deal with the ongoing discontinuance process involving 19 programs, 30 professors and thousands of students.
The programs under most scrutiny are the trades located at PCC, even with the passage of Prop. 30.
Several teachers expressed frustration with President Eloy Oakley’s response to the passage of the proposition.
In a release to the lbcc.edu website immediately following the Nov. 6 election results, Oakley said, “We are not of the woods, yet the worst-case scenario has been avoided.”
Social science professor Adrian Novotny referenced Oakley’s comments in his opening presentation at the forum. “What he’s telling us is, it’s not as good as you think its going to be.
“We still have problems and people are still going to go and we have to reduce and reorganize and that irks me. It really irks me,” Novotny said.
The former union president was particularly frustrated with what he feels is a broken management structure stemming from Sacramento.
Change must be rewarded at all costs and simply maintaining the status quo of a working functioning department is unfairly penalized, Novotny said.
He said management is forced to make unnecessary changes as a means of job security.
“First thing you do as a manager is you change every damn thing, everything. The more you change, the higher your review is,” Novotny said.
Dysfunctional and mismanagement was a common theme among the teachers present.
Marki said, “It’s mis-management. How do we get the message out that this college is being mis-managed? How do we make our community aware? That is our next challenge.”
Nancy Allen of the recording arts department was a vocal critic of financial decisions the college has made. “Don’t they still own that property at the (Los Coyotes) Diagonal and Wardlow? What the hell is that about? Sell that and keep us here,” Allen said.
The property’s buildings were infested with asbestos, a common building material in the 1950s and 1960s, but in recent years has been linked to numerous respiratory diseases and cancers.
The buildings have since been torn down and the lot sits vacant, but as Charlotte Joseph, political science professor and member of the Academic Senate, the college would take a great loss on the property if it was to sell it at this time.
Several teachers attributed budget cuts to creating a fractured climate among the teachers, where friends and colleagues could be forced to take on classes not necessarily in their specific areas to save their jobs.
The responses drew an impassioned response from English professor Diane Gunther about greater unity:
“You have to build the net between people. Solidarity is not a word. It’s a connection thing.”