AlamoInstitutes reorganize departments

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Chairs should see a final draft proposal this week.

By Wally Perez

gperez239@student.alamo.edu

Department chairs at this college are soon to be downsized with a proposed reorganziation of departments to better fit the AlamoInstitutes.

The AlamoInstitutes are career pathways, which include academic programs that suit their respective institute, which include creative and communications arts, business and entrepreneurship, health and biosciences, advanced manufacturing and logistics, public service and science and technology.

The last-known proposal had three chairs assigned to the creative and communications arts institute, five to the science and technology institute, one to the business and entrepreneurship institute and three to the public service institute.

The proposed plan was distributed during a joint chairs meeting Feb. 4, and chairs were given until Feb. 19 to provide feedback. Chairs submitted feedback to the deans and Dr. Jothany Blackwood, vice president of academic success.

Chairs have had the chance to look over the proposal and changes were to be presented to the college executive team Tuesday.

It’s all about equity, workload and aligning with the institutes, Dr. Teanna Staggs, biology chair and chair of the district Chairs Council, said, echoing a dean’s remarks.

“The proposed plan is to reduce the number of chairs from 19 to 12,” Staggs said. “Any current chair can apply to those 12 positions if they want to, while some may become program coordinators.”

Along with this change, the proposed 12 chairs will move to 12-month contracts so the workload will be distributed evenly and they will be compensated fairly for work in the summer. “This change was necessary for the type of strategic work that they want us to do,” Staggs said.

With these new positions, chairs are part of the administration, but will still be considered faculty.

“Dr. (Robert) Vela wanted to assure us that chairs would still be faculty; he mentioned that it was a type of hybrid position, administration/faculty,” Staggs said.

Going back to the updated chair description draft, chair responsibilities fall under five categories: Leadership, management and administration, personnel, promotion and tenure, and students.

Each category includes bullet points with lengthy descriptions for each point.

“In no way are the chairs required to teach … ” Staggs said. “ … But most chairs argue that teaching is essential to understand what’s going on in the classrooms.”

It may be necessary for chairs to teach during peak times if needed. They will have an option to teach if they would like, but only after their normal workday or online.

“You may have guessed that not all the chairs were pleased with the proposal; some were shocked at some of the changes,” Staggs said.

The final proposal was scheduled to go out Thursday, with an updated job description of chairs following shortly.

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