February 11, 2007

Parttime Community College Faculty Issue Affecting UW

By Randy Hodgins

Today’s Seattle Times has an interesting story written by Nick Perry that chronicles the difficulties of some parttime community college faculty to establish successful careers due to their inability to gain full-time status.  This has been a perennial issue in Olympia and one with no easy solution as the story indicates.

Two bills which attempt to remedy this issue (SB 5514 and HB 1875) will be heard in the Senate and House higher education committees this coming week.  Both measures are similar and set goals for overall two and four year faculty compensation as well as prescribing ratios of full and parttime faculty positions at all higher education institutions in the state.

While the UW applauds the salary goals of both measures to peg faculty compensation to the 75th percentile of global challenge states, the prescriptive nature of the bills which would establish full and parttime faculty ratios down to the departmental level are simply too onerous for the campus to be able to support.  The Council of Presidents (which includes the UW) has taken a position against these aspects of the measures and will be seeking amendments to have all four year universities omitted from the bills.

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