Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Senator John Kefalas meets with the Campus Instructor Coalition on the Larimer Campus

By Joe Schicke, Co-chair of FRCC Larimer’s Campus Instructor Coalition

           As co-chairs of the Campus Instructor Coalition (CIC), the adjunct organization of Front Range Community College’s Larimer Campus, Hollie Kopp and I make regular efforts to reach out to adjunct allies in the community. Recently, we were able to sit down with Colorado State Senator John Kefalas. Senator Kefalas listened intently as we described the life of an adjunct and some of our specific concerns we have. We expressed our apprehension about the Affordable Care Act and how it may affect adjuncts’ class loads. We want to make sure that our institution does not our cut hours in order to avoid having to pay for health care.

           Kefalas had already started to investigate this issue before our meeting, and one of his colleagues at the Colorado Health Institute unearthed the CCCS Benefits manual which states that any “regular employee” who teaches the equivalent of a “part time load” is eligible for benefits. Kefalas suggested we learn from our administrators how this language applied to adjunct before he pursued the matter further. Hollie and I will be working on that in the coming weeks and will report back to Kefalas so that he may take further measures.
Senator Kefalas also urged us to strengthen our “power wheel” as he called it. He applauded our efforts at developing a relationship with Colorado Adjuncts and our plans to form a Front Range chapter of the AAUP, but urged that we also make contact with the Colorado AFT, Ray Hogler at CSU, Steve Mumme from the AAUP, Chair of the House Education committee Millie Hamner, and Colorado Commission on Higher Education board member Evie Hudak. Lastly, Senator Kefalas reminded us of an upcoming meeting that he scheduled with Larimer Campus VP Bruce Walthers, and asked us to consider what Hollie and I would like him to discuss with VP Walthers at that meeting. All in all, it was a great meeting, and it is encouraging to know that we have Colorado Adjunct allies in the Senate working for the citizens of this state.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Highlights from the 
Colorado Community College System
2012 Basic Financial Statements and Compliance Audit
Note: One of our community supporters, a finance officer at one of Colorado's largest corporations, has been studying our governing board's financial reports, at our request. The data below, distilled from the recently published 2012 audit, reveals that our college system has been hiring nearly three new employees per day for the past several years, and that several thousand of these new employees are administrators. This, while college leadership has repeatedly told adjunct faculty during this same time period there has never been money in the budget to pay them a living wage.

It is clear other employees in our college system have someone advocating for them, as described below.  Adjunct faculty at the college have not had anyone to advocate for them--until now. Join our FRCC AAUP chapter today or write to us for more information.

Administrators and full-time faculty in Colorado's Community College System (CCCS) have the Colo. Department of Personnel and Administration, Colo. WINS, the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, and the American Association of Community Colleges to formally tabulate wage statistics, advise on benefit packages and to promote their professional status. The facts below, distilled from the KMPG auditor’s report for the CCCS 2012 Basic Financial Statements and Compliance Audit, * describe the value of such advocacy, while revealing the situation for the faculty majority in black and white. The 4,012 adjunct faculty (71% of the total faculty) working in Colorado’s 13 community colleges have been working at below-poverty-level wages for more than a decade, in spite of the below-listed highlights from recently published 2012 CCCS audit:

1.      Colorado Community College System (CCCS) revenue has grown to $579.811 million.
2.      Total CCCS revenue, all sources [tuition and government], is up $36.417 million since 2009.
3.      CCCS employee count has grown to 8,600, up 2,966 from 2009; this means an average of 988 more per year; 82 per month or nearly three new employees per day.

4.      Currently, there are 8,600 employees; 4,012 adjunct faculty; 1,728 full-time faculty; 2,860 are non-faculty.

5.      Price tag for the one-stop student center completed in 2012 on the Westminster campus was $5.253 million; it was part of the $59 million spent on construction projects system-wide.

6.      Instruction brought $378.32 million into the CCCS.

7.      Of that $378.32 million in revenue from instruction, just 11% was returned to the adjunct faculty who teach 70% of all courses the system offers.

8.      The CCCS spent $220 million on instruction total; of that, $62 million went to the 4,012 adjunct faculty, while the remaining $158 million was spread among 1,728 full-time faculty and other elements of instruction unspecified in the auditor’s report.

9.      Less than 5% of CCCS revenue was from state appropriations.

10.  Although the CCCS Foundation support has quadrupled, according to recent FRCC Frontline reports, those funds are “discreet,” according to the auditor’s report, and do not need to be included in financial disclosures.

These notes, from the Colorado Community College System 2011 Salary Survey
1.      Adjunct professors comprise 71 percent of the CCCS faculty.
2.      Adjunct faculty, average, annual income was [and remains] $15,500. [Poverty level wage for Jefferson County, Colo. is $19,275.]
3.      The top two concerns of the CCCS HR Department in 2011 were salaries for full-time faculty and deans.
4.      The CCCS HR director recommended status quo [in regard to all other salary issues.]
5.      The average salary for CCCS deans at the time was $74,959 [plus benefits].
6.      The average, annual, salary for the remaining 1,728 full-time faculty at the time was $46,618 [plus benefits].
7.      The average salary for CCCS vice-presidents was $101,845.
8.      The average salary for CCCS directors was $86,703.
9.      The 2013 annual salary for Front Range Community College President Andy Dorsey is $161,000.*
10.  The 2013 annual salary CCCS President Nancy McCallin is $291,000* up $24,695 from her 2009 salary. **
* From CCCS Headquarters, courtesy of Rhonda Bentz, Media and Government Relations
** “CSU chancellor’s lower pay not uncommon,” The Pueblo Chieftain, July 25, 2009.

This note is from the Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration 2013-14 Annual Compensation Survey: The average, annual, before-tax income for a Colorado State Employee Custodian III is $33,420 [plus benefits].