De Anza College academic division deans Jerry Rosenberg and Anita Muthyala-Kandula petitioned to add full-time positions to their departments in an Instructional Planning and Budget Team meeting on May 18, emphasizing the importance of full-time educators to student success.
Cramped physics classes
Jerry Rosenberg, dean of the Physical Science, Mathematics, and Engineering division, petitioned the IPBT to give the physics department a replacement full-time faculty position as a physics professor retires.
Even though the physics department has three full-time faculty members and 10 part-time faculty members, Rosenburg said physics classes have long waitlists. He said, one week after the very first day of priority registration, ten sections of physics that were full and had full waitlists.
“A loss of one third of our full-time faculty just really hurts our program,” Rosenberg said. “I got literally hundreds of emails (that ask) ‘Can we increase the capacity here because there are many students who are trying to finish a transfer?’”
The department also has trouble filling part-time positions to help with classes because of qualification and training needs, Rosenberg added.
“You have to interview the people, you have to go through the hiring process, which takes staff and faculty resources,” Rosenberg said. “Many of these people have never taught in our college before, so you have to provide them (with) the curriculum and lab materials, and mentor and evaluate them.”
Rosenberg also said that keeping a third full-time faculty member would help the physics department to better address the inequities in the field, like working with Math Performance Success.
“We can only do this if we have the full time faculty (who) have the time and continuity to work individually with students,” Rosenburg said. “And make them feel like they belong here.”
Understaffed environmental studies
Anita Muthyala-Kandula, dean of the Biological, Health, and Environmental Sciences division, petitioned for a full-time position to be added to the environmental sciences program.
She said that, although the environmental studies department has tools to address student inequity and does not have overflowing classes, a new full-time position is needed.
“Although there isn’t that demand in terms of classes, we still need full-time faculty to address individual student needs,” Muthyala-Kandula said. “That’s difficult with part-timers who (have to) work in multiple institutions in order just to put food on their table.”
Jeff Staudinger, an environmental studies professor, said that though environmental studies has three full-time faculty members, environmental sciences (a subset of environmental studies) has none.
“I would guess that you’re going to look at this past year, and you’re going to see like 90% of it has been taught by part-timers on the environmental science side of things,” said Staudinger. “And I don’t think anybody out there thinks that’s a good thing.”
The next IPBT meeting is on June 1.