The letter written by Judy Darst [Triton treated adjunct faculty with disrespect, Viewpoints, Oct. 17], unfortunately misrepresents the contract worked on for more than two years by adjunct faculty and administration at Triton College.
Prior to the ratification of the adjunct faculty contract, part-time teachers were given nothing but a form listing the course(s) they would teach, the date(s) the course(s) start and the amount they would be paid for each course. The 87-page contract of new language guarantees intellectual property, office space when made available, the right to participate as a collective bargaining unit, the ability to create online courses and more.
The policy of teaching no more than 10 credits in the spring and fall and six credits in the summer is not a new policy. This is a long-standing practice that had been followed. The only change is that it was then placed in a binding contract.
Adjunct faculty approved their contract in November 2006. The Triton College Board of Trustees approved the contract in December. At a meeting for department chairs and coordinators in February 2007, it was relayed to them by Vice President of Business Services Sean Sullivan that the 10-10-6 clause would indeed be enforced and spring schedules should be looked at for compliance.
Triton’s Human Resources Department followed up in July with a letter informing the academic vice president of adjunct faculty that either needed to reduce scheduled hours or could not teach scheduled classes because of 10-10-6. This was a follow-up. Chairs and coordinators had since February to look at each adjunct faculty’s schedule and notify those who had gone over the allotted hours. If the chair or coordinator was not aware of an adjunct’s hours in another department, the responsibility lay at the foot of that individual teacher to provide that information.
Furthermore, by contract, adjunct faculty are given at least a seven-day notice of canceled classes. In this case, notice that classes taught needed to be reduced or dropped was given nearly one month in advance.
We in no way prevented people from making money. All members of adjunct faculty as well as department chairs and coordinators were well aware of the amount of hours adjunct faculty could schedule. Furthermore, our purpose as a community college is not to guarantee our staff makes as much money as possible; it is to provide quality education.
The mutual purpose of the adjunct faculty and college as stated in the contract is “maintaining high standards of instructional quality and to support students’ achievement of the widest possible range of educational, career and personal goals.”
I take all accusations of disrespect toward staff and students seriously. This is a situation where the college extended a deal of rights to adjunct faculty.
I am proud to stand by this adjunct contract. I am proud that such an agreement was put in place during my presidency. I believe it shows a great deal of respect for the dedication and time our adjunct faculty devote to Triton College.
By ratifying this contract with the adjunct faculty we hired for their expertise, we are holding up our guarantee of top-notch education to our community.
Patricia Granados, Ed.D.
Triton College president