The Academic Senate expressed concerns about the hiring process for the Faculty Job Fair at its regular meeting this week, arguing that new online faculty don’t have the proper expertise to teach useful courses.

Eduardo A. Cairó, President of the Academic Senate, said the lack of online teaching experience and training for new online faculty recruited at the job fair on January 18 is unfair to students. He also said the Administration broke college policy by creating its own list of faculty hiring priorities.

Matthew Jordan, Interim Associate Dean of General Education, said all faculty at PCC have to meet minimum qualifications and that the administration did not violate college policy in identifying faculty hiring priorities.

The Faculty Job Fair flyer states no online teaching experience is necessary to teach the seven online classes listed.

“It is common for 30% of online students to drop or fail a course,” Cairó said. “We can expect an increase in students receiving a non-passing grade for students who receive instructors with inadequate experience.”

Jordan said new hires must meet all minimum qualifications required of all professors to teach at Pasadena City College. The standards are the same whether they teach in the classroom or online.

Cairó said professors for the new online courses will only receive a quarter of the previous required training for online instructors before being “tossed” into an online environment and then expected to complete the training at the same time they are teaching the course.

Jordan said the seven new online courses are model courses created by other professors. The new instructors act more as facilitators of the course material and interactions with students. Their training requirements differ from that of professors who develop their own online courses.

“We have knowingly created a situation by staffing courses with undertrained instructors and…our students deserve better,” Cairó said.

At a meeting between the Academic Senate’s Faculty Hiring Priorities Committee and the President, two lists of faculty hiring priorities were presented.

The list of 11 new faculty to be hired created by the administration violated college policy, Cairó said, referring to Faculty Procedure 6100.10 (1.A.).

“The Academic Senate will form the Faculty Hiring Priorities Committee to assess and rank requests for new or replacement positions,” the procedure states.

Senator Kris Pilon said not following this policy could negatively affect the school’s accreditation review.

“Nowhere in those procedures does it state that the Administration can’t come up with a list,” Jordan said.

Jordan said the policy actually states that the president receives the Faculty Hiring Priorities Committee recommendations. If the president differs, he will meet with the committee, then act on their recommendations. He acts based on what he feels is best for the students, Jordan said.

“Although it is commendable that PCC is attempting to give more students access to necessary courses,” Cairó said, “the process by which PCC has decided to hire instructors is deeply flawed.”

6 Replies to “Academic Senate concerned about faculty job fair”

  1. well, it could be worse and it may be coming soon; they could be outsourcing the online teaching jobs to third world countries. I hope the admin doesn’t get any idea from this comment.

    Or this one?! 3 positions being filled this year that have NOTHING to do with teaching!

    • Provides leadership in working with corporate partners, community leaders and with college personnel in furthering the internship opportunities to students
    with the College’s industry partners and enhancing the workforce and economic development component of the college’s strategic plan.
    • Works with a diverse group of managers, faculty, staff and community representatives to plan for the provision of quality programs and services in the areas of business and community training, education and partnerships.
    • Coordinates additional activities including: internship site visits, intern spotlights, internship fairs and other special programming.
    • Maintains database of student referrals, placements and outcomes.
    • Organizes and delivers presentations related to the Work Experience Education Program, the development of critical workplace skills, and the career planning and job search process.
    • Serves as liaison between the college and employers regarding administrative and operating requirements of the program.
    • Supports, consults and collaborates with internship advisors within the academic departments to provide high quality and academically relevant internship work opportunities and experience.
    • Monitors, evaluates and maintains existing internships and develops additional opportunities to address the needs across academic programs.
    • Facilitates the resolution of concerns brought forward by students, faculty, and/or internship site personnel.
    • Develops business contacts and internship sites in San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles County area.
    • Utilizes the Alumni Relations database to create active lists of alumni willing to mentor students and encourage internship opportunities at their place of employment.
    • Designs, updates and maintains automated database and web page.
    • Prepares progress reports and semester reports concerning the Internship/Cooperative Education Program.
    • Recruits, verifies, and provides individual advising to students interested in an enrolled in the Internship courses.
    • Meets one on one with students to assist with resume preparation, interviewing skills and to discuss individual career goals.
    • Designs and implements marketing strategies to identify, attract and involve students and employers, and faculty to integrate academic studies with work experience.
    • Disseminates occupational information of cooperative education opportunities using various methods such as the website, emails, flyers, newsletters and bulletin boards.

  3. How is this job a faculty position?

    The Coordinator is responsible for overseeing the general operation of a wide variety of patient simulation experiences.
    This individual will promote an optimal learning environment in all simulation areas for all participants and facilitators, run simulation events as needed, provide assistance to students and faculty using simulation and maintain safety standards with regard to the use of equipment and hazardous waste disposal. The coordinator will establish practices and procedures for simulation and the laboratory activities that provide for effective learning experiences and safe practice. The coordinator evaluates the effectiveness of the simulation laboratory processes and makes recommendations to the Program Director and the Dean for improvement. The coordinator monitors the laboratory budget and makes recommendations for equipment purchases to maintain standards essential for effective instruction to the Dean. The coordinator directs and maintains inventory of supplies to support all instruction in the laboratory and provides direction for all support staff including student tutors for the laboratory. The Simulation and Skills Lab Coordinator reports to the School of Allied Health Dean.2

  4. When they drag in more bodies, Admin gets more money. Their drive is to teach the cheapest classes in the cheapest way, in biggest batches. Sadly, now there’s online teaching being slid across the counter — a failed fad, embraced by bean counters and avoided by most educators. McTeaching is not worth a happy meal.

  5. Yay! More hastily thought-out classes with poorly prepared instructors! It’s the “short-term classes after cancelling Winter to make up for lost FTEs” syndrome all over again. Maybe our “teacher” president can pick up the slack.

  6. I saw the flier in question on facebook it says as quoted, “No online teaching experience necessary!”

    As a student I will say this from personal experience. I took an online courses with one of what I call the rock stars of the anthropology. I felt I was missing out on the first hand experience that I would of had with that professor. If I had taken her for a real course, and I believe I would have had a more detailed experience. Oh well.

    As a member of the political community. The language is inflammatory to a community who has been repeatedly betrayed and lied to by the administration. The administration last year went on a Public relations campaign defaming the school and its teachers. Despite our college being an award winning community college which regularly sends students to Berkeley and sends students to Caltech(one of my friends got into caltech :)) and Harvard. I think it is completely fair for the academic senate to hold heighten scrutiny of language meant to attract anyone.

    As a person who remembers the history of the school. We must remember that both the necessity for the course increases and the new teachers are, due to the colossal problem of the loss of winter. This put at risk our Prop 30 money and is something the administration is trying to rectify.

    In regards to accreditation. It is extremely interesting to see the administration repeatedly take these risks when it has three votes of no confidence under its belt for violations of shared governance. The academic senate was speaking about evaluating the president very recently and faced threats of retaliation for alleged illegal activity. The consequences never verified aside from vague rumblings of “illegality.” The shattered trust of the community by the administration even before this incident makes accreditation a forefront issue to be aware of. Though last I saw on Sacramento the state representatives were not happy with the as far as my knowledge goes current accreditation head.

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