Tsang to hire 20 new full-time faculty members
A plan to add 20 new full-time faculty members to the Santa Monica College staff over the next two years was recently approved by President and Superintendent Chui L. Tsang.
Tsang’s plan is to hire five full-time faculty members by fall of this year, and 15 full-time faculty members by the next academic year, no later than fall 2014.
Tsang said it is important for SMC to have more full-time faculty, even though the hiring process is rigorous and takes time.
Tsang emphasized the importance of hiring qualified faculty who spend their entire career at SMC as full members of the community, taking part in SMC’s values and devoting their time to the students.
Janet Harclerode, Academic Senate president and SMC professor, agreed with and pushed for the hiring of full-time faculty.
“Even though part-time faculty is good, full-time faculty can take on more responsibilities besides just teaching classes,” said Harclerode.
Some of these responsibilities include serving on committees and working as club advisers, she said.
"Research shows full-time faculty members are more successful," Harclerode said. "They develop relationships with students and can mentor the students. Full-time faculty can also help develop new curriculum and programs.”
Tsang said that because of the economic downturn and decreased funding for education this past year, SMC was not able to hire as many full-time faculty members as they would have liked.
As part of the hiring process, Harclerode said that Human Resources has to send out job announcements, gather resources and resumes, coordinate with an interview committee and find time and a space to interview the candidates.
The final interview process goes to Tsang who has to interview one potential candidate after another, making it virtually impossible to hire 20 new faculty members by the end of 2013, said Harclerode.
The college departments will also make a presentation to the Academic Senate about why their program should be chosen for full-time faculty members, said Tsang. After that, it is a detailed process of analysis that goes through the Academic Senate to the Tsang, who then discusses it further with the dean and vice president.
Most of the funds for the new faculty will come from funding expenses used to pay teachers and the school's budget. However, a few additional funds will be needed, but as Tsang described them, “they are a worthwhile investment.”
Harclerode said she could see the advantage of hiring part-time professors is that they can divide their time between specific industry work and campus work. An example would be hiring a professor who works part-time in the film industry and also teaches in the film department.
With the new full-time faculty will come a “continued supply of fresh ideas, fresh blood, and new energy that is important for not just the students, but the faculty colleagues,” Tsang said.