December 2019 Advocate: Interim Chancellor answers faculty questions


Interim Chancellor Mike Claire answers faculty questions at CSM Townhall meeting

Interim Chancellor Mike Claire held a Townhall meeting on November 12 at CSM, hosted by the Academic Senate, to answer faculty and staff questions about current issues in the District. Below are summarized highlights of Claire’s statements on important issues and his answers to significant faculty questions.

Q: What changes do you want to make from the previous chancellor?
MC: Focus on this year’s goals:
Student food insecurity–we want to set aside $1 million to address this.
Student housing insecurity–we need to do more research on this.
Student transportation–we need to continue working on this.
We also need to improve relationships and increase transparency.

On workload

Q: When will the district make a commitment to faculty around hiring and issues of workload?
MC: I understand that faculty are being asked to do more.  We are looking at full-time faculty hiring, which right now is at 70% full-time to 30% part-time (FTE).  I have goals to get to 75/25 ratio of full-time to part-time faculty.  We need to look at the work we are asking faculty and staff to do and think of taking work off of faculty.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of commitments one can take on?
MC: I think people have to let go of things.  Part of faculty’s role is to mentor new faculty/staff.  Working through deans, how do we spread the work around to find a balance?

On Galatolo investigation

MC: This is a closed process in the hands of the DA.  We are fully cooperating.  Galatolo is officially on administrative leave, respecting the due process.  The salary he has is still being paid…The irony is we are coming out even at the end of the year because we haven’t filled hiring for VP positions.  The total budget for this year is $426 million.  As a percentage of the budget, 1/10 of 1% of the whole budget [is on the chancellor salaries].

On part-time parity

Q: There is a cost, part-timers are facing issues. I can’t make it, the $400k would go a long way towards pay parity for part-time faculty.  I want to hear a commitment from the district that part-time faculty make a living wage.
MC: We have to go through negotiations.

On low-enrolled classes

Q: How come the district cannot run low-enrolled classes but we can pay for two chancellors?
MC: My philosophy is, if we have the money, keep it flying straight and level.  Load isn’t everything.  We can run low-enrolled classes especially when we have the money.  I’ll commit to send this message to the other college presidents.

On dual enrollment

MC: I’m in favor of dual enrollment serving students.  It’s about a balance.  (MC expressed an openness to having an MOU on dual enrollment, and orientations for faculty at the high schools, and release time for faculty coordinators.)

On diversity of hiring

Q: We are an HSI (Hispanic Serving Institution) with only 3 Latinx faculty.  How are we going to ensure that we are diversifying?
MC: We have had finalists who are Latinx; we lost a few to other colleges.  We need to look at the adjunct pool.  Key to diversify faculty is to also diversify the adjunct pools.

On evaluation of administrators

MC: We have a 360 evaluation process.  Administrators do have a choice of who would evaluate them.  If this is an issue, we should look at the evaluation process and not have it be punitive.
Q: Faculty get evaluated by every student on a regular basis.  I don’t understand why administrators are not evaluated in a similar process.  You should trust faculty.  We do this with students.  There’s a lot to be gained.
MC: The danger is you don’t want it to be a popularity contest.  We do climate surveys.  If it’s really that bad, there are mechanisms.  It needs to feel like a safe process giving people the opportunity to improve.  Let’s make it be a humane process.  It’s a lot harder to be an administrator than you all think.  We can formalize what has been an informal [evaluation] process.

On District housing – Questions of accessibility and how many administrators are in housing

Q: We’ve heard from folks waiting for 4 years and then new administrators/managers arrive and they are then given housing over others who have been waiting.
MC: Mitch Bailey handles this. There is a complexity in the wait list because of different housing types.  It needs to be more transparent.  We also have more employees who need housing than what we have.  New units are being built at Skyline.

On full-time temporary faculty hiring

Q: Has there been any progress around full-time temporary faculty hiring?
MC: Agree to establish a more formalized hiring process, which would allow for the tenure process to start sooner.

On taking on Acting Chancellor position

MC: I only took on the chancellor role because I know all of you at CSM were here doing the work you do that I could take on this role.