No quorum, big problems

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Amanda Martin, Adjunct Faculty Council chair, and members Randi Wayland, Dr. Gustavo Valadez and Arisa Rice discuss proposals concerning payment for extra work Feb. 23 in Room 100 of Gonzales.  Photo by Eddie Chozet

Amanda Martin, Adjunct Faculty Council chair, and members Randi Wayland, Dr. Gustavo Valadez and Arisa Rice discuss proposals concerning payment for extra work Feb. 23 in Room 100 of Gonzales. Photo by Eddie Chozet

Adjuncts can’t get a quorum for pay proposal.

By Kyle R. Cotton

sac-ranger@alamo.edu 

This college’s Adjunct Faculty Council has a proposal to revise the adjunct compensation policy and has support for it from Faculty Senate and President Robert Vela. However, in a meeting Monday, members of the council said they have not been able to achieve a quorum to vote on or amend the proposal, whichcreates some form of a leave policy; compensation for participation in campus committees, task forces, office hours and professional development; and a compensation tier-system based on years teaching here and community participation.

At present, none of those elements of the proposal are in place. Adjuncts earn $740.67-918.71 per class hour depending on their level of education, ranging from a bachelor’s degree to doctorate. Each adjunct can teach up to 12 class hours, and are not required to maintain office hours beyond 10-15 minutes before a class starts.

For professional development, adjuncts are only not compensated, but also have to pay for their own travel and conference fees, in addition to a salary deduction for time missed.

Kinesiology Adjunct Randi Wayland said the Adjunct Faculty Council has only been able to reach a quorum once in the five meetings this school year.

Wayland said, “I was extremely embarrassed last month when five people showed up, the president on down, and there was only three of us sitting here,” referencing a Dec. 1 visit from Vela; David Mrizek, vice president of college services; Tim Rockey, dean of continuing education and workforce; Vernell Walker, dean of professional and technical education; and Kristine Clark, interim vice president of student services.

“I feel we are representing the four of us and we’re not representing the 5,000, or however many adjuncts there are.”

Linda Boyer-Owens, associate vice chancellor of human resources and organizational development, said this semester, there are 1,147 adjuncts with teaching assignments across the district.

Martin said the council only represents the 928 adjuncts affiliated with this college despite being the only such council in the district. The Adjunct Faculty Council has eight members and requires a five-member quorum.

The four members in attendance, adjunct Chair Amanda Martin, Wayland, math Adjunct Gustavo Valadez and ESL Adjunct Arisa Rice were all perplexed.

“I’ve hand invited people, face-to-face in my department, and they look at me like I’m from across the street in the library, ‘Who are you?’” Wayland said. “They always say thank you when we do something, but there is never any support while or before we do it.”

Martin said, “It’s one thing if you’re not actually signing up to be a representative, but if you’ve done that, you ought to have read what you are committing to.”

Dawn Elmore, English professor and president of Faculty Senate said, “We voted unanimously to approve the proposal from Adjunct Faculty Council.”

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