A town hall meeting conducted Tuesday, September 17 regarding the new vice chancellor of educational services and technology brought to light the many funding issues and faculty complaints against the district.
The chancellor of the North Orange County Community College District, Ned Doffoney was present to answer any questions from attendees. This town hall meeting was open to any faculty and students.
The chancellor began the meeting by stating he had brought to the board’s attention the need to fill this position on July 23.
“This is an important aspect of leadership necessary to improve things,” he said.
The feelings prevalent throughout the gathering were of disapproval, especially among the faculty who viewed this new position as unnecessary, especially in order to further student success.
One such voice was of Marcus Wilson, business instructor who saw the hiring of this position as a backtrack, especially with the budget cuts.
“We got $22 million in cuts and the first decision we make is to spend $300,000 on a vice chancellor of instruction,” said Wilson.
The chancellor replied stating, “it’s not an either, or.”
In his opinion it was possible to hire this new position and meet the needs of the faculty.
Wilson added, if they had already hired a new vice chancellor, what the purpose of the meeting?
According to the chancellor, the final call to decide if this position should be filled is a board decision.
Many faculty members were not shy in raising questions for what they felt the district should be spending their money on.
“I have never been to a conference that said you are going to reduce your achievement gap by hiring another bureaucrat,” said Wilson.
In addition, many others spoke up about the lack of funding going into the infrastructure of the school. Instructors spoke out about the need for security cameras and better lab equipment for the arts department.
Others spoke out about the need for better servers, which always crashes, especially in the beginning of every school semester.
“If we have money increasing student services, like extra hours in the writing center, those things lead directly to student success,” said Robert Lundergan, English instructor.
“I understand there are broad issues that need to be addressed within the campus, and there are very capable staff here who are responding to your issues,” said Doffoney.
There were a lot of nods of approval, when Wilson and the other instructors spoke out about the large number of problems and funding needed for FC, but Andrea Sibley-Smith, SCE Faculty, was the only one who spoke out for the other side of the argument.
“I can’t think of another position that we need at this time and this place,” said Smith.
She stated her views by saying that even if she did not receive everything needed for her classroom, this new position will bring in someone necessary to collaborate on research and grants.
Smith added, “we need someone who can do all the collaborations that can make things better for instruction.”