Goldstein Named Part-time Faculty of the Year

Martin Goldstein, a Santa Monica College associate professor, was unanimously voted the statewide 2010 Part-Time Faculty Member of the Year award but humbly believes it was not due to his talent of teaching.

"The award is more for my activism in the community than for my teaching," explained Goldstein.

He accepted the award last Sunday, Feb. 28 in Sacramento at the 2010 Faculty Association of California Community Colleges Advocacy and Policy Conference.

"I'm not surprised; [Goldstein] is a very active member of our community," said Nancy Grass-Hemmert, full-time faculty member and professor of Speech Communication at SMC.

Former editor of the Faculty Association Bulletin, Goldstein believes his recent neutrally positioned article explaining the ongoing merger between two separate school unions' subsets is what got him recognized and nominated for the award.

The Community College Association, a subset of the California Teachers Association, and the Community College Council, a subset of the California Federation of Teachers, are undergoing a merger known as the New Merged Organization, or "NMO."

In 2008, part-time teachers made up about 45 percent of the faculty in California Community Colleges. "What has been clear from the start is that working on part-time issues is an important agenda for NMO," Goldstein wrote in his fall 2009 FACCC Bulletin article titled, "The Merger: A Work in Progress."

With budget cuts and the economic decline in mind, this merger has stirred up an extreme amount of tension and controversy, according to Goldstein. "To some it may be fearful, a danger to the status quo; to others it holds unparalleled promise to fix a damaged system."

Goldstein is a part of the Faculty Association, but not a member of either unions involved in the merger. He believes his neutral position and 30 years as a member of the Santa Monica community gave him the credibility to explain the merger to both concerned parties, without revealing any "sensitive details."

Starting as a member of the union when he began teaching at SMC in 1999, Goldstein quickly became more deeply involved in the Faculty Association.

In 2002 he ended up on the negotiating team. Later, in 2003 he asked to take over the part-time faculty newsletter, "The Hourly Advocate." After editing for three years, Goldstein took over the full-time "Faculty Newsletter," the 2006 Faculty Association Bulletin, and became Political Director for SMC's Faculty Association.

Goldstein believes his training in writing and communications gave him a great advantage in keeping communication flowing easily between the heads of the unions and the other members and people affected and involved.

Currently, Goldstein has been serving as the political director for the last four years, but resigned as editor of the Faculty Association Bulletin last fall. One of his responsibilities is to work with the community to elect trustees to run the schools. As one of the three officers of the Association's political action committee, Goldstein helped direct the PAC's funds.

After moving from Brookline, Massachusetts Goldstein chose to raise his three children in Santa Monica. Goldstein worked as an award-winning Writer's Guild writer in the film industry at first, then after his last child graduated high school ten years ago he began teaching screenwriting and communications part-time at SMC.

"People trust me because I've lived here for so long. I really know this community and what it's been through," said Goldstein.

News, LocaladviserComment