Full time faculty hires decrease due to enrollment drops


Jasmine Martinez

Cerritos College faculty member Hagop Najarian expressed concern over the drop in expected faculty hires. The Board of Trustees listened to other concerned faculty members on Feb.6 as the agenda item was set to be addressed during that Board meeting

Jasmine Martinez, Editor-in-Chief

Cerritos College expected to hire 27 new full-time faculty members for the fall 2019 semester, but due to enrollment drops, the number was revised to 13, causing concerns among other faculty.

The faculty obligation number was directly affected by a drop of at least 1,000 full-time equivalent students, causing for a decrease in new hires.

Faculty Senate President, April Griffin said, “The FON is a number that is set forward by the chancellor’s [office], which is basically the number of full-time faculty we are required to have in order to not be fined.”

Vice President of Business Services, Felipe Lopez, said he did not expect enrollment to drop off so much and is an inconvenient position to be in.

Faculty members from the Fine Arts Department Lisa Boutin-Vitela and Hagop Najarian expressed their concerns for not having a full-time hire for ceramics at a Board of Trustees meeting on Feb. 6.

Najarian felt that the committee he was on was kind of a data-driven process that left out a lot of specifics, including the Fine Arts building.

However, Griffin pointed out using a metric system instead of negotiating for positions is cause for a more objective board.

TM Oceana Christopher

“It’s a health and safety issue, really. We currently have adjunct faculty piecing it together and an adult hourly who is overworked,” Najarian said.

He believes the ceramics division needs professional supervision by a full-time hire, due the kilns to possible dangerous chemicals.

Boutin-Vitela agrees that hiring more full-time faculty members would benefit the students and staff.

“Fully staffing our faculty will help support student success and completions, and thus benefit the college in light of the new funding formula,” she said.

Boutin-Vitela continued by saying with the full-time faculty retirements that occured last year, many programs are struggling with low morale, the workload and loss of program and institutional knowledge.

Applicant positions were posted on the Cerritos College website, but then pulled when the number of hires dropped.

Boutin-Vitela hopes the applicants were contacted about the situation and that this doesn’t happen with future applicants, as it looks bad on the college.

Lopez said nothing was promised to applicants applying for the positions before they were taken off the website.