LCCEA President Update April 7, 2021

LCC Faculty Colleagues,

I hope your term is going well thus far.

I’m writing on a number of topics including atrocious, increasing Anti-Asian violence as well as local and statewide updates regarding: reopening, “hyflex” modality, program “sustainability analysis,” one retrenchment, the college budget and federal funding, state funding and legislation, LCCEA endorsements for Board of Education, the separation incentive, and more.

Increasing Bias and Hate-Based Violence Against Asians and Asian Americans

Thank you to Anne McGrail and many colleagues who have brought forward concerns about increasing Anti-Asian sentiment and violence for public discussion among faculty after the deadly shootings in Atlanta. Horrifyingly, such acts continue. (See a recent New York Times analysis.) It is paramount that we condemn all acts of hate-based violence as well as the underlying biases they evince and recognize that the impacts of hate-based violence are broad, complex and extend to the entire community to which survivors belong. LCCEA stands in solidarity with our Asian and Asian American colleagues, students, and community members and asks each of you to do the same and to reaffirm our commitment to building a supportive community and just society through our work as faculty.

Local and Statewide Updates:

Reopening and “hyflex” modality

The College has announced a plan to offer approximately 50% of instruction face-to-face in Fall term, which diverges from typical pre-pandemic offerings when approximately 75% of instruction took place in person. Given that the current COVID-19 Working Conditions MOA expires at the end of this term, LCCEA will negotiate provisions regarding safety and working conditions impacts for the Summer term interim.

In addition, your LCCEA Bargaining Team will conduct a survey to assess faculty interests regarding safety, working conditions, workload, and compensation pertaining to substantial reopening planned for Fall as well as hyflex* teaching. Please keep an eye out for the survey — your participation and your voice are important to help ensure LCCEA can best represent faculty interests. Thank you to Kelly Collins and Nancy Wood for their service on the Bargaining Team.

* Provost Jarrell has announced the introduction of a new modality, “hyflex.” Hyflex teaching is a modality that is a distinct version of hybrid courses. Like hybrid courses, the hyflex modality offers some face-to-face instructional time with the remainder of the course online. However, for the face-to-face time in hyflex courses, instructors teach live in a classroom with some students physically present while simultaneously teaching some students who are off campus via Zoom for the “in-person” portion of the course

“Program Sustainability” Update and Retrenchment Notice

As noted in my all-faculty email in Winter term, the College Administration has been conducting a review of programs and services to determine their long-term sustainability. As of January, the Administration had identified a preliminary list of programs that were undergoing consideration for possible elimination, including the following instructional programs: Aviation Maintenance, Culinary, Flight Technology, and Hospitality, as well as the following services or non-academic programs: Printing and Graphics, Senior Companion, and Specialized Support Services (S3). Academic Learning Skills had also been identified for possible restructuring or reorganization, and Manufacturing was identified for curricular revision.

As of early February, the Administration determined that Flight Technology and Aviation Maintenance would not be considered for elimination this Spring. Also in early February, the Administration scheduled meetings with the faculty in both Culinary and in Hospitality to inform them that their programs had been identified as programs for possible recommendation for elimination. On a positive note, after hearing overwhelming community support and advocacy for the programs, the Administration later removed both Culinary and Hospitality from the list of programs that would be considered for possible recommended elimination as of the end of February. Thank you to LCCEA Action Team Co-Chairs, Wendy Simmons and Paula Thonney, as well as to numerous faculty advocates for their successful organizing effort.

However, the Administration did provide official notice to LCCEA of intent to retrench (i.e. lay off) one full-time non-instructional contracted faculty position, affected by proposed departmental reorganization. LCCEA and Administration representatives have met to discuss alternatives consistent with Article 10.2. LCCEA has advocated that this proposed reorganization be presented to the Board of Education publicly in accordance with Board Policy and the role of the Board in decision making.

In addition, this week the Administration has “announced” more detailed plans for continued “sustainability” analysis. The “announcement” was not actually an announcement but rather has been made public by posting documents this week on the LCC BoardDocs website for the Board of Education work session tonight. In the documents, the Administration again identifies the following programs: Academic Learning Skills, Aviation Academy, including both Flight Tech and Aviation Maintenance, Culinary Arts, Hospitality, Manufacturing, and Specialized Support Services (S3).

The Administration’s recommendations for each instructional program are to continue the analysis next year for decision-making in Spring 2022 as follows:

Academic Learning Skills: “review the need for a separate ALS department… should the department be eliminated; current ALS faculty may need to be ‘transferred’ to other departments… Should retrenchment be necessary, the College will work within the requirements of the [contract].”

Aviation Maintenance: “Complete Program Review … review staffing levels … Should retrenchment be necessary, the College will work within the requirements of the [contract]”

Flight Technology: “Consider moving … to the general fund … continue to regularly assess program outcomes.”

Culinary: “Continue to support the CA program in [its] new design…”

Hospitality (Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management): “Eliminate the HRTM AAS* and restructure this program to a 1-year Hospitality certificate and a stackable Career Pathways Certificate.” 

[Please note: the current (new) HRTM AAS was just approved by the Board of Education in March and is on the consent agenda at the HECC (Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission) for tomorrow. After requiring the sole remaining contracted faculty member in the program to develop a new version of the HRTM AAS, the Administration is now recommending eliminating the same new HRTM AAS next year that was just approved last month, replacing it with certificate programs.]

Manufacturing: “Eliminate the current AAS degrees and restructure this program into stackable, shorter certificates… [Utilize grant funding to develop] a new Advanced Manufacturing AAS.”

It is important to note that this information is preliminary and that the Board of Education is ultimately responsible for making decisions about program cuts or major substantive changes to programs should any programs be recommended for reduction or elimination in Spring 2022. Please also note that the fiscal data presented about many of the programs are already outdated due to the retirements or other separations of full-time faculty in multiple programs on these documents. The attached reports appear to be the first presentation of this data to the Board of Education and campus community. LCCEA will keep faculty appraised of new developments and opportunities for advocacy should the program “sustainability analysis” continue as planned next year.

As many are aware, among other deleterious effects, cutting instructional programs results in lost revenue, which has sent the college budget into a downward spiral in years past. At this time, however, the fiscal outlook for the College has improved dramatically, making program cuts for financial reasons entirely unnecessary. (Details below.)

Federal Relief Funding, State Funding, and the College Budget

Excellent news on the budget front –

While Governor Brown had proposed keeping the CCSF (Community College Support Fund) flat at $641M for 2021-23, the legislature’s Ways and Means Co-Chairs have initially recommended $673M, a 5% increase, which would result in approximately $1.4M in additional funding each year for LCC. While this falls short of the $703M requested by OEA, OCCA, and other statewide partners, it is a very positive development especially relatively early in the legislative session. The CCSF allocation will likely be finalized in late May or June and could increase more.

In addition, LCC will receive substantial relief funds from the federal government, which will also directly benefit students. 

CARES Act (March 2020): $3M for LCC with $1.5M of that sum dedicated to emergency grants for students.

CRRSAA Allocations (December 2020): $8.9M for LCC with $1.5M of that sum dedicated to emergency grants for students.  

American Rescue Act Allocations for Higher Ed (March 2021): $15.7M for LCC with $7.9M of that sum reserved for students 

Total: $27.6 M, including $10.9M for students and $16.7M for institutional use

This funding far exceeds lost revenue due to enrollment declines (estimated at approx. $2.5M for this fiscal year) and increased expenses from the pandemic. The federal grants will also help restore the general fund ending fund balance and set LCC back on a path toward fiscal sustainability. (For context, the total projected annual expenditures in Funds I (general fund) and IX for next year amount to $90.9M.)  

Oregon Legislative Updates

In other promising news, the twin Senate and House statewide part-time faculty healthcare bills have both passed out of committee and on to Ways and Means.  If they pass, Oregon will establish and make appropriations to a “first-in-the-nation” statewide part-time faculty healthcare fund, providing much-needed affordable healthcare to part-time faculty throughout the state. While the LCCEA contract is one of the few community colleges in the state that provides healthcare to part-time faculty, the additional positive impact for LCC if the bills are enacted includes mitigating pressure on the LCC budget and providing that savings be utilized for the purpose of labor relations (i.e. negotiated for the benefit of faculty). For more information, please read details on the bill and LCCEA testimony. Please keep an eye out for more details on how to advocate for part-time faculty healthcare from our statewide union, OEA.

Congratulations to the LCC Torch Student Newspaper!

Congratulations to the LCC Torch on winning the Oregon Education Association News Media Award for thorough reporting on LCC-LCCEA contract negotiations in Fall 2019, including coverage of part-time faculty pay inequity and declining full-time faculty positions. Editor-in-chief David Galbreath and Faculty Advisor Charlie Deitz participated in a virtual ceremony to accept the award.

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LCCEA Endorsements

LCCEA proudly endorses Austin Folnagy and Holli Johnson for LCC Board of Education for the upcoming election in May. We are very fortunate to have such highly qualified candidates running for the Board. Learn more about Austin and about Holli. Thank you to LCCEA Legislative Action Chair, Cybele Higgins, for coordinating the endorsement process.

In addition, Lane ESD Candidate, Rose Wilde, invites LCC faculty to attend a virtual house party hosted by LCC faculty member (and Lane ESD Board member)Leonora Kent on April 11th at 2pm, for Lane ESD candidates and for Holli Johnson, who is running for LCC Board.  Faculty may register here.

Shout Out

Please join me in thanking Christina Howard as she continues her incredible work as Grievance Chair in developing a team approach to protecting contractual rights for all faculty and ensuring faculty are well represented.

Separation Incentive—deadline this Friday, April 9

A quick reminder for contracted faculty considering the separation incentive – the deadline to submit paperwork to Human Resources is this Friday, April 9. You will find the details of the separation incentive on the MOA.

Coming Up This Term for All Faculty:

LCCEA All-Faculty Survey, watch your email in-box for a link in the next few days

Know Your Contract Info Session on Workload, Date TBD

Coming Up This Term for LCCEA Members:

LCCEA Meeting, mid-May, date TBD

LCCEA Elections, late May, dates TBD — the Treasurer and five Vice President positions will be up for election

If you are unsure of your membership status, please contact LCCEA Membership Chair, Wendy Simmons. In case you missed it, you may enjoy watching the delightful faculty “Show and Tell” video organized by Wendy and the Membership Committee in winter term.

Thank you for the work you do today and every day.

My best,

Adrienne

About LCCEA

The Lane Community College Education Association
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