Natalie Russel, Dean for the Language and ESL division, sits in her office in the C building on Wednesday, July 6, 2016.
Natalie Russel, Dean for the Language and ESL division, sits in her office in the C building on Wednesday, July 6, 2016.

At the end of the spring semester, the Board of Trustees hired a new batch of full-time faculty members, deans, and counselors. In addition, changes in the learning model from ‘schools’ to ‘divisions’ have immediately taken effect.

There are close to 60 faculty members that currently hold positions with the school, including five deans, seven counselors, and three executives – all holding permanent positions. Some of these hires started last month, while others had their first day on July 1, 2016. There were deans that held these positions on an interim basis and then had to switch to new ones. Recently, all the positions were filled permanently., until all of the positions were recently filled permanently.

The reason for this surge in numbers of faculty is due to a formula that the state uses, called the Faculty Obligation Number (FON). PCC is required to hire a number of full-time faculty (at least 75%) based on a number of students enrolled, among a number of things.

“We didn’t have enough full time faculty, only because we had major retirement about a year ago where we had about 30 or 35 faculty left,” English division dean Amy Ulmer said.

In Ulmer’s department, there will be forty full-time instructors, as well as five new tenure-track English instructors. Tenure-track instructors are full-time employees that have four years to get granted a permanent position.

In addition to the new dean hires, there was a change in the learning model from schools to divisions, which unfortunately left some departments without a dean.

The Board of Trustees has switched the learning program back to divisions after an unsuccessful run under the schools model, which lasted less than three years.

Under the schools program, the deans and faculty had to tackle a number of related subjects clustered under one “umbrella” in order to cater to the student’s needs.

This wouldn’t be the case under the divisions program; students can be at ease knowing they can go directly to the department in their respective field of study and get help. In turn, it will be beneficial to the deans because the “umbrella” is broken down into smaller departments, making it convenient for the deans and faculty to engage with students due to their immediate needs.

Terry Giugni is one of the new executive hires from Napa Valley College, who now holds the Assistant Superintendent/VP of Instruction position. He will be presiding over twelve division deans and their instructional operations.

Giugni is looking forward to better understanding the culture of the campus, as well as increasing its popularity and making it a better college than what it is now.

“I want to know what made Pasadena City College such a great college… it has been a great college for many years, and I want to better understand that,” said Giugni. “I want to identify things that we have done well, and to improve and increase that so that we can be even better than we are right now.”

Another one of the new hires for the dean position is Natalie Russell, as Dean of Language and ESL from Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada. She’s been teaching English for 11 years, as well as working in numerous positions in the administration, such as department Chairperson of the English department.

“PCC has such a great reputation for serving students,” Russell said. “It was just a really attractive place to come.”

Russell is hoping that the first year in her new position is that things will run smoothly.

“I would like to maintain the vibrancy and richness of the programs (Language & ESL), making sure that we have efficient use of resources… and I’m offering the right classes that students are taking. Keeping my faculty happy and working with the other deans to learn as much as I can. Also making sure that the students are getting what they need.”

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