May 2019 Advocate: FLCs for lab courses need to be reallocated


Why FLCs for lab courses need to be reallocated: Statements from the Music and Art faculty

Faculty Load Credit (FLC) for laboratory classes in the Sciences, Music, Art and Physical Education/Athletics have been paid at less than 1.0 FLC per hour (e.g. 0.8 FLC/hour for science labs and 0.7 FLC/hour for music lab courses.) The historical reasons for these allocation rates vary, but analyzing the time and work required to teach lab courses in these disciplines shows clear inequities faced by the faculty members who teach these lab courses. AFT 1493’s contract proposals (see Appendix F for FLC allocation rates), which are currently being negotiated, call for allocating lab courses in these disciplines 1.0 FLC per hour. Below, statements from the district’s entire Music and Art faculty provide explanations for why their lab FLC rates need to be reallocated. In addition, CSM Music Professor and Band Director, Mike Galisatus, explains how the increased workload for the District’s music faculty due to the past reduction of FLCs in music courses has contributed to his decision to retire from SMCCD. -Ed.


How past reductions in FLCs for Music courses have led to excessive workloads for faculty

Statement from the SMCCD Music faculty

Several years ago, due to the necessity of articulating with Cl-D descriptors for our AA-T in Music, Ensemble (Band, Choir, etc.) and Musicianship courses had to be reduced to 1-unit labs for the courses and degrees to be approved (due to unit caps and the number of semesters of ensemble needed to match the UC and CSU requirements.) This change did not reflect the actual workload for instructors or students because the coursework did not change. Because our “lab” units are only paid at 0.7 FLC instead of 1.0 FLC like a lecture unit, music faculty are forced to teach 6 sections per semester to have a full load. This is not a fair workload on top of all of our other institutional duties.

Ensemble/performance courses meet 3 hours a week and are entirely faculty-led classes. An ensemble course is actually MORE work for the instructor than a lecture course because every moment is instructor-led, and the course material changes every semester with new repertoire (music.) Every semester involves preparation work such as:

  • researching new repertoire and arrangements composition and arranging by instructor
  • ordering music
  • score study
  • creating practice files for students
  • language/diction and performance practice research
  • cultural/historical context research that corresponds with the repertoire
  • Ensemble/performance courses require students to work outside of class time to learn their music and for performances:
    campus events (e.g. graduation, President’s breakfast)
  • community events
  • competitions and festivals
  • creation & distribution of PR materials & concert programs
  • coordination with theater technicians, accompanists, and guest artists
  • dress rehearsals
  • sound checks

We are not compensated for any of this time. Festival performance tours can require anywhere from 2-7 days of additional instructor time.

We were also forced to change the lab/lecture ratio of our Musicianship, Performance (piano, voice, strings and guitar) and Electronic Music classes last year which resulted in a pay DECREASE for adjuncts for the same amount of work. Only the lab/lecture coding was changed. The hours of instruction and student workload (homework, assignments, practice hours) remained the same. The “lab” and unit values do not match equivalent courses at the UCs, but we were forced to make these changes due to the AA-T unit caps. For example, Musicianship at Skyline College is 1 lab unit but 3 lecture units at UC Berkeley, although the coursework is equivalent.

Increased workload factors into CSM Band Director Mike Galisatus’ decision to retire

by Mike Galisatus, CSM Music Professor and Band Director

I began teaching at CSM in the fall of 1989 as director of the CSM Repertory Jazz Band. I was hired as a full-time tenure track faculty member in the fall of 2005, with the hopes to revive a once robust instrumental music department.

Through recruiting efforts, school visitations, holding positions on Bay Area music education boards, attending music educators’ association conferences as well as staying active as a free-lance musician, our program grew from a single evening jazz ensemble, adding two large jazz ensembles, four jazz combos, and symphonic band.

Perhaps the event that brought the highest visibility to our music program around the community was the College of San Mateo Jazz Festival, which brought twenty high school jazz bands (approximately 400 students) to our campus each year to perform, attend workshops, and receive constructive critique from collegiate jazz educators. This event required a range of 50-75 hours of preparation, the details of which are too long to list here.

In 2014, CSM implemented the Transfer Model Curriculum (now AA-T), which reduced the unit loads of all performance and musicianship courses to become one-unit lab courses, which went from 3.0 to 2.1 FLC’s. Music faculty District-wide were mandated to teach an additional course in order to meet the minimum load requirement.

Applied (studio) lessons were added to the curriculum as a requirement for the TMC/AA-T. For my “extra” course, I was now required to administer the applied lesson program at CSM, which involved delivering weekly lectures, hiring and communication with eleven instructors, scheduling independent lessons, grading and monitoring weekly progress of the students, and 8 hours of the final “jury” audition at the end of the semester.

Each performing ensemble requires concert preparation and performance. For the past three years, CSM has not employed a theatre manager. Our faculty were now required to arrange sound and lighting, theatre set-up, equipment transportation, all of the duties typically performed by theatre managers at our sister campus facilities.

Our groups have performed at various music festivals in and out of the area. All arrangements for transportation, lodging, performing, and food were the responsibility of the faculty.

I was brought onto the faculty to build an instrumental music program, then became penalized for doing so with the reduction of our FLC’s.

The load changes are a catalyst for me to consider retirement. I approached the administration and was directed to our contract which is clear about load. The rules were changed for us, and I feel that the college should absorb the FLC discrepancy and not put it on the backs of the faculty involved, since we had nothing to do with this change.

After 30 wonderful years at the College of San Mateo, I am opting to end my tenure in good health with nothing but fond memories of my incredible colleagues and students. It is my hope that music and the arts will be allowed to thrive in our district for generations to come, as art speaks to the soul of the human spirit.


FLC assignments for Art lab courses do not reflect faculty workload

Statement from the SMCCD Art faculty

The Art faculty at Skyline College, College of San Mateo and Cañada College are requesting that Art lab sections of their courses have equal FLC to Science labs.

Studio Art course labs have responsibilities and workload equal to a science lab. We want our lab units to be assigned at the same FLC factor as science labs and to be recognized distinctly in our contract for the work we do.

  • We perform specialized laboratory demonstrations that typically require extensive material preparation in advance, including construction of samples representing multiple stages of an artistic process. These samples are further developed in hands-on technical demonstrations during the lab period. Multiple sampler series are needed for stacked classes, which include different demonstrations for various student levels.
  • Materials, equipment and finished works can be numerous and massive, so that processing assigned work is very labor intensive.
  • Like science lab, we must maintain chemical inventory, safety data sheets, and hazmat information.
  • We operate and teach students how to use specialized equipment that needs to be maintained, supervised and operated under specific guidelines and conditions. Equipment must be regularly maintained, often on a weekly basis, requiring additional work hours outside of class.
  • We must perform grading and evaluation of assignments, portfolios, and reflections that require extensive additional time in the lab.
  • We have TBA hours that are attached to our courses and require additional hours spent without compensation.
  • Skyline College and Cañada College have no lab technicians, and without the same staff support as the science lab, faculty are working even more in lab than in lecture.
  • We have many outside-of-class events related to lab work that are not compensated, including on- and off-campus art shows, assisting students in documenting art work for applications, and community events.