LCCEA President’s Update

LCC Faculty Colleagues,

I hope this message finds you well.

I’m writing with a few brief updates regarding: Winter term, a resolution on contracted faculty positions, college budget and enrollment, Minimum Qualifications and Instructor Certification procedures, and the All Faculty Survey.

Winter Term Safety Protocol

LCCEA and LCCEF have coordinated to ensure that social distancing will continue on campus in Winter. Classes will be scheduled at 50% of the room capacity in order to facilitate social distancing, consistent with the LCCEA-LCCEF Joint COVID MOA. The MOA provides that campus safety measures align with the most protective guideline from any of the four cited public health authorities (i.e. CDC, OHA, Lane Co. Public Health, OSHA). Current CDC guidelines indicate social distancing indoors, so that will be required for Winter term unless that guideline is removed from public health guidelines. (Please note: room capacity is not the same as maximum class size. Class capacity will not exceed the maximum class size allowed by contract for the course, but will vary depending on the size of the room where the section is scheduled. Please see attached spreadsheet for room capacities with 50% listed in column H.)

Other safety protocol include: masks, provision of HEPA filters for classrooms and shared spaces upon request, daily cleaning of high touch surfaces by Facilities, etc. In addition to safety measures, the MOA outlines a good number of provisions related to compensation as well as requests for remote work accommodations. Another resource for information is a succinct FAQ written especially for LCC faculty by Aryn Bartley and Kevin Steeves. Please see the Center for Learning Handbook’s section on teaching during COVID. The FAQ includes details on how to request a HEPA filter, how to check out a wireless microphone for teaching while masked from the library, among many others.

Contracted Faculty Positions Resolution

As you may recall, the College was required to ensure that contracted faculty positions and FTE (full-time equivalency) for the 2021-2022 year total at least 195.864 for Fall; however, the contracted FTE as of September 25 was only 187.821 – a full 8 positions below the contractually required FTE.

LCCEA filed a grievance over this contract violation, and I am pleased to announce that the parties have reached an agreement to resolve this matter favorably. The resolution requires that the College fulfill numerous remedies to make the faculty whole. The College will:

o   Hire at least eight temporary contracted faculty to begin no later than Winter 2022;

o   Hire eight extra permanent contracted faculty above the number required for this year to begin no later than Fall 2022 for a total of no fewer than sixteen such that the contracted FTE at the beginning of Fall 2022 will be no less than 203.864 (eight more than the 195.864 that had been required for this Fall);

o   Provide all savings accrued from not filling the contracted positions for Fall 2021 to the Faculty Professional Development fund;

o   Require all upper administrators to attend a one-hour workshop on the requirements of the Public Employees Collective Bargaining Act (PECBA) and the contract;

o   Post all future positions by February 15 each year, and strive to post by January 15 each year;

o   Post publicly on the LCC website a list of all positions approved for hire with posting dates, and periodic updates on the status of each search; and

o   Change the system going forward so that the number of full-time positions required is determined far in advance (i.e., Winter FTE each year determines the number of positions/ FTE required for Fall of the subsequent calendar year, for example Winter 2022 for Fall 2023) to provide ample time for planning and to help ensure that this lapse in hiring sufficient faculty does not happen again.

College Budget, Enrollment, Programs under “Review,” and College Revenue Background Information

There are three primary revenue streams that fund college operations: tuition, state funding, and local property tax revenue. Enrollment impacts College revenue in two ways. The number of credits for which students are registered drives tuition revenue, and student FTE drives state reimbursement. State FTE reimbursement to LCC also depends on how LCC’s enrollment tracks in relation to other community colleges in the state. For instance, when LCC has enrollment increases that exceed other similar sized colleges, LCC’s reimbursement increases because LCC receives a greater “share” of the state’s Community College Support Fund (CCSF). Likewise, when LCC’s enrollment decreases less than other similar sized colleges, LCC’s reimbursement increases. In addition, because the CCSF is a fixed amount for the 2021-2023 biennium, when FTE is down statewide as it is now, the reimbursement per FTE increases.

Enrollment

As you are likely aware, LCC –like community colleges throughout the state and nation– has seen enrollment declines over the course of the pandemic. According to data from Institutional Research, credits and FTE at LCC decreased 19.89% and 19.6% respectively over a two-year period from Fall 2019 to Fall 2021. However, state reimbursement per FTE to LCC has increased by 23.98% over the same period because LCC has fared better than other community colleges in the state and because the overall funding for community colleges also increased. Please see table below. While the enrollment decline negatively impacts the college budget in terms of tuition revenue, the nearly 24% increase to LCC’s state reimbursement per FTE is a substantial mitigating factor.

Comparison of Enrollment and State Funding Pre-Pandemic to Current (Fall 2019 to Fall 2021)

 CreditsFTEState reimbursement per FTE
Fall 201974,6182018$3,223
Fall 202067,1281802$3,445
Fall 202159,7791622.5411$3,996
Actual Change over two-year period (2019 to 2021)-14,839-395.4589 $                       773
Percent change over two-year period (2019-2021)-19.89%-19.60%23.98%

Budget Development

Jim Arnold, LCCEA Vice President for Part-time Faculty, and I serve as your representatives on the College Council Budget Development Subcommittee this year, which has just begun to meet. We will strive to keep faculty appraised of the process as it goes into full swing in Winter term.

Programs Under Review

In the meantime, the College has requested meetings with three programs that had been identified last year for “review.” These are Culinary, Manufacturing, and Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management (HRTM). These meetings have been identified as a “follow up” from last year and are scheduled for next week. One noteworthy issue is the status of HRTM, which has suffered enrollment losses after the program was suspended while a new two-year degree was developed. The new two-year degree was approved last Spring, yet the Administration asked the program during the summer to create a one-year certificate to replace the newly approved two-year degree. Since that time, however, the Administration has advised the program that they are disallowed from presenting a new one-year certificate proposal to the Curriculum Committee because it remains “under review” by the Administration. We look forward to learning more about these “reviews.”

While enrollment declines and budget deficits frequently raise discourse around potential program reductions, it is important to note that the vast majority of programs produce net revenue for the college, without which the college could not operate.

Minimum Qualifications and Instructor Certification Procedures

As previously reported, Academic and Student Affairs (ASA) published final procedures in COPPS for MQs and Instructor Certification and announced their publication via the September 28 Weekly e-newsletter. These procedures are inconsistent with the faculty contract and also represent unilateral changes to mandatory subjects of bargaining (issues about which negotiations are legally required). An analysis of the procedures by the LCCEA Executive Council and Grievance Team as well as legal counsel indicates that the procedures: reduce the role of faculty in determining the minimum qualifications for their discipline and also contravene job security and assignment rights for both part-time and contracted faculty.

OEA-appointed legal counsel has notified the College of their legal obligation to negotiate and, absent a response, that the actions of the College constitute an unfair labor practice. LCCEA will continue to keep faculty updated as more information becomes available.

All Faculty Survey

All faculty members should have received an email invitation earlier this week to participate in a comprehensive all faculty survey. The survey is longer than many recent LCCEA surveys and includes questions that seek broad information on faculty working conditions at Lane in order to inform bargaining priorities as well as advocacy on behalf of faculty. Please do schedule 20-40 minutes to complete the survey as your input is vital. Thank you! If you do not find the invitation or experience technical issues, please contact Joe Escobar at: lccea-elections@lanecc.edu

Solidarity

Stay tuned for more information about the emerging Lane County Education Caucus — a newly formed coalition of education unions representing classified staff, teachers, faculty, and all education workers from K12 through university within Lane County. We are stronger together.

Best wishes for a wonderful rest of the week and weekend.

My best,

Adrienne

About LCCEA

The Lane Community College Education Association
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