By REBECCA SALINAS
This college is moving toward faculty advising, President Robert Zeigler said at an open forum Tuesday in response to English Professor Dawn Elmore-McCrary’s question on how advising will be handled in the spring semester.
Dr. Robert Vela, vice president of student affairs and interim vice president of academic affairs, said he wants to keep advising simple to minimize confusion.
He said first-time-in-college students will continue to look for a major, then once a decision has been made, that student will then see the chair in the department of their major.
The chair will assign an adviser to that student, Vela said.
“The chair will have the ultimate decision on where the advisees go,” Vela said.
He said they will finalize training steps to get it started in the spring.
Vela said advising is something the college needs to ease into, rather than students rush to department advisers.
Julie Cooper, public information officer, asked questions submitted anonymously.
One question asked for more information on salary increases.
Staff and administration received a 2 percent raise, while faculty salaries were based on a range system.
The Ranger reported that faculty increases ranged from 1.65 to 14.55 percent.
Chancellor Bruce Leslie received a 7 percent increase.
Zeigler said faculty salaries were looked at for two years to align them with peer colleges in the state, and raises varied with each faculty member.
He said it also depended on summer pay, which used to be if faculty members taught the whole summer, they would get an extra three-month salary in addition to their nine-month contract.
The summer salary was reduced, and the money that was saved from the summer was put in faculty’s nine-month schedule.
“Everybody is important,” Zeigler said. “Wherever you are, whatever you do, how you do it, how well you do it affects students. It just does.”
Fine arts Chair Jeff Hunt asked about the new rule change in the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, which states adjunct faculty with 7.5 or more semester hours will be required to contribute 6.4 percent of compensation to the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
The college will also have to contribute 6.4 percent.
Hunt wanted to know how chairs can go forward with scheduling the spring semester and if the college is willing to pay to keep adjuncts teaching 7.5 hours.
Zeigler said there are three options: Teach within 7.4 hours and hire more adjuncts, let adjuncts teach more than 7.4 hours with justification or cut classes.
He said there needs to be justification to show efforts for hiring adjuncts and more information will be made available to faculty as it comes.
He clarified that the rule change does not apply to retired employees.
Go to theranger.org for more coverage from the forum, with topics ranging from complaints about The Ranger to construction on campus.