Academic Senate discusses more credits, new hires

By Amanda Rodarte

The Academic Senate discussed a change that would allow students to take more units for winter yesterday.

The change would allow students to take up to six units. Students are currently capped at five units, with the exception of veterans.

A final decision for the coming winter semester will occur at the Dec. 10 Academic Senate meeting.

Other business dealt with at the meeting concerned confirming a proposal for new hires.

East Los Angeles College has 68 percent full-time staff members . In comparison to many other schools in the district, ELAC surpasses the district’s average which is 65 percent.

According to California state law, colleges are required to have a minimum of 75 percent full-time professors. Although ELAC has made progress throughout the years, the numbers are still not where they should be.

Full-time faculty numbers have not reached the state’s requirement. Jeffery Hernandez, member of the budget committee said this is because of  staff retirement and budget cuts.

Another reason is the rapid and continuing growth of ELAC which creates more part-time jobs.

By hiring part-time employees, expenses that come with full-time employees like health and retirement benefits are avoided. Part-time employees may benefit the school budget, but Hernandez says, “It may be cheaper for the college, but may not be good for student success.”

Not only is ELAC lacking teachers, but also counselors. Hernandez said that on average, there is one counselor per every 2,200 students.

To increase the number of full-time staff, ELAC is looking to hire 20 new full -time faculty members.

By using the new electronic budget request, departments were given the opportunity to state their needs.  Laura E. Ramirez, member of  the Staff Guild, said, “Some chairs are much more vocal than others,” which leads to an imbalance of needed faculty for each department.

The committee hopes to have an idea of what positions  will be opening,  by mid-December, so the job announcements can go public. The Hiring Prioritization Committee (HPC) selected the positions to fill and sent the list to the Academic Senate. Yesterday, the Senate forwarded the list to President Marvin Martinez. who will make the final decision and will decide what positions are needed in order to improve student success.

In the Academic Senate, Senators said that, colleges  do well in terms of budget, when they prioritize and have meetings to express their needs. Changes have been made in hopes to pursue a clear and effective budget process.

The purpose of the new electronic budgeting is to allow the committee to have a visual idea of how much money is needed for ELAC students, and how the school will continue to function. The final  budget won’t be known until the end of January or the beginning of February.

With the new budget process, the committee hopes to find what needs are most vital to students in order to promote success.

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