Thought-provoking questions challenging all of those involved were being asked during Superintendent-President Dr. Rajen Vurdien’s forum held in the Creveling Lounge Tuesday afternoon.
Issues spanning from PCC’s budget to student success rates were discussed by Vurdien, in a packed room with an engaged audience consisting of students, teachers, deans, and concerned citizens.
Vurdien began the forum by discussing the upcoming hirings for PCC.
“The hiring process is in full swing,” Vurdien said.
There are 50 full time faculty members being hired ranging from teaching positions to five dean positions that need to be filled.
“We are receiving plenty of applications for all of these positions,” Vurdien said.
There has been an issue of applicants not completing their applications, and Dr. Robert Miller, the school’s assistant superintendent, told the audience that the school is reaching out to those applicants proactively.
Vurdien expressed his desire to hire the right people for the job.
“We want to hire the best for Pasadena City College,”
Benjamin Wilkes, a technical support specialist with the School of Visual Arts and Media Studies, said that classes are not being funded properly to supply teaching assistants, which will affect student’s ability to successfully pass a class. Wilkes said classes losing teaching assistants would see a drop in completion, adding that the “teaching assistance account is zeroed out.”
Vurdien throughout the forum fielded questions from those in the crowd, and often referred people with questions to the person in charge of the department they were curious about.
He also addressed budget concerns by explaining the differences between what the budget covers, what is included in the curriculum, what is not within the budget, and what is not required for the classes.
Vurdien’s main message for those in attendance was that he wants to see success rates of classes being achieved and the number of students graduating increase.
Amy Ulmer, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, was eager to share the exciting news that a group of about 28 students are going to Washington D.C. over spring break with an instructor and have an appointment to visit the White House.
Trustee Berlinda Brown was very pleased with the way the forum was conducted. She was happy to see the amount of communication going on between the different departments on campus, adding that communication is one of the most important things.
“What a wonderful place to gather, ask questions, and challenge one another,” Brown said of the forum.