A second wave of faculty will be hired fall 2017.
By Wally Perez
President Robert Vela announced this college has received approval to hire 16 faculty members for the fall semester during the monthly College Council meeting Tuesday in Room 120 of the visual arts center.
Vela said the hires will be in areas and departments that have been traditionally low in representation as far as faculty go.
The positions were determined by Dr. Conrad Krueger, dean of arts and sciences, Vernell Walker, dean of professional and technical education, and Dr. Jothany Blackwood, vice president of academic success.
Blackwood and the deans looked at full-time and part-time faculty ratios, which had fallen to 50/50. They want to raise the ratio to 55/45, he said.
“It’s going to be hard to accomplish the ratio all at once for a college, so we’re going to do it in steps,” Vela said. “Phase 1 is to hire these 16 faculty members in the fall, which actually may increase to 20 with the current vacancies.”
Vela said they would look to hire another group of faculty for next fall 2017 to achieve the 55/45 ratio, advising current faculty to work closely with their deans to make sure their departments are well represented.
“This may be the first time in probably 10 years where we’re looking to bring in 20 new faculty; it’s a tremendous thing for us and something we can be proud of,” Vela said.
Dr. Johnnie Rosenauer, program coordinator for real estate in the business department, agreed saying the college hadn’t hired this much faculty since 2006, when about 25 positions were filled.
Vela said some of these positions have already been posted on the college website, www.alamo.edu.
The website currently lists openings in the following instructor programs:
American sign language, art, biology, business management, chemistry, computer information systems, criminal justice, dental assisting, emergency medical services, mortuary sciences, philosophy, sociology and an ASL adjunct position.
Regarding the budget for these positions, Vela said, “We still have a budget to manage; there isn’t more money; we have to make it work with our current budget and we will.”
An orientation for the new hires is planned, with a possibility of new hires having a mentor for the first year.
Fine arts Chair Jeff Hunt added that they should include any faculty who had been hired over the last three years because they didn’t receive any type of orientation.
In other business, the Teaching with Technology Committee mentioned the beginning of “Appy Hour,” sometime in April in the tech store of the Duran Welcome Center to introduce new apps.
Speech Professor Jolinda Ramsey said the new applications could help in the classroom.
Usha Venkat, director of information technology, talked about the tech store, noting that although it’s an Apple authorized store, it will also sell other products, such as Dell.
“We’re trying to make it an innovation playground where we not only sell equipment, but showcase great technology such as 3D printers and drones,” Venkat said.
Venkat is working with the purchasing and finance departments to make sure the store has an account set up, an online purchase option and a wholesale distributor who would partner with them to supply inventory to the store.
“This technology also will be repurposed; whatever we introduce at the tech store; we will request faculty to create a proposal to use this innovation in some way, either in the classroom or in the work they do on a daily basis,” Venkat said.
The goal is to showcase the technology at the store and later infuse it in the classroom when new waves of technology come through.