Falling Outcomes – NCCFT Response

Falling Outcomes

Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos’s Report “Falling Student Outcomes at Nassau Community College, 2009-2012” is troubling in so many ways.  Here are some key points for discussion.

·         We believe this report exceeds the responsibility and competence of the Comptroller’s Office.  The Campus has been addressing this issue for years, a sobering report was made to the faculty and the trustees this past semester and both the faculty and the Board of Trustees are still waiting for the administration to flush out the details. Proposed action is detailed in our new contract and by the Academic Senate. In addition, we have been examining, proposing and implementing strategies to remedy these issues for years at both the departmental and college wide levels.

·         The time period encompasses SIX years of ZERO increases in contributions from the County.  The College has not failed the students, the County has.

  • For half of the years cited we had CUTS from New York State.  We are still below 2007 FTE rates.  State Aid for 2015 is set at $2,497 per FTE; an increase of $75 or 3.1% over the prior year. Although this is an increase, the rate is still lower than the rate was in 2007-eight years earlier.
  • These reductions and freezes have resulted in an unconscionable increase in the students’ share of overall costs.  Regardless of how these funding inconsistencies are explained, the original law was written to provide for 1/3 share of the cost by the State, 1/3 share of the cost by Student and 1/3 share of the cost by the local sponsor.  Furthermore, as a full opportunity Community College, the States share should be 40%.
  • Cuts in funding have resulted in a 10% decrease in full time faculty, overloaded classes, fewer course offerings, few, in any, tutorial centers and curtailment of hours and services in all student services offices -Admissions, Testing, Advisement, Financial Aid, Registrar , SPS, etc.
  • The time period cited in the Comptroller’s report encompasses perhaps the most dramatic crash of the stock market and the economy and its very slow recovery starting in 2008.
  • This time period encompasses an entirely new management information system (Banner) and a new Director of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.  Data from the Legacy System is not available for comparison.  Perhaps they are sending incorrect information to IPEDS.
  • Drop in high school enrollments has affected admissions though we are still over 22,000 students.
  • There has been a major change in enrollment from full time to part time students.  Part time students are much more difficult to track and have sporadic enrollment and obviously take longer to graduate.
  • The Affordable Care Act means that students no longer need to be full time, or even attend college at all in order to qualify for health care.
  • In general, the data and the report do not correspond with our experiences with students.  We just had a graduating class of 3,300 students, we send thousands of students to private and SUNY colleges every year and they are excellently prepared and successful at their 4 year institutions.  Various surveys indicate most students have had a positive experience while attending Nassau. 
  • Finally, this issue of retention, graduation and transfer are problematic system-wide in Public Education. From Common Core, Mandatory Testing and the Tax-Cap to reduced funding in Higher Education, a decrease in Full Time Faculty, a decrease in services and a never ending crisis of incompetence, transient administrations at every level and ill-conceived initiatives by political operatives in the State Capitol just add to all our additional concerns.

We agree with the Comptroller that a permanent President is needed at Nassau Community College and we are all too aware of the dysfunction on this campus since President Sean Fanelli retired.  However, reading the Comptroller’s report and watching the interview, he mentioned that a permanent president would be able to make “unpopular” decisions. This statement belies his understanding of how this campus functions through shared governance, accrediting bodies and a CBA.  In addition, just as the College’s “retention report” lacks any details, so does this report.  It is unfortunate the Comptroller does not recognize the value of our faculty, the number of Distinguished Faculty, Chancellor awardees and other meritorious achievements. Nor, does he mention the success of our remedial students and honors students as well as the countless initiatives and special programs that so many of us have participated in to insure the successes that have occurred. There is so much more that needs to be discussed and will be discussed in the Fall semester.  It is interesting to note, these discussions were planned and agreed to long before the Comptroller’s report. Why then….?

The NCCFT Executive Committee

Programs for NYSUT Members

NYSUT May June 14

The Nassau Community College Board of Trustees Meeting – May 1, 2014

 

The NYSUT Representative Assembly – 2014

This past weekend, April 4-6, the 42nd Annual NYSUT Representative Assembly (RA) was held in New York City. The “RA” is the yearly opportunity for all the NYSUT affiliated local delegates to gather together to discuss issues, propose resolutions for adoption and NYSUT action and to vote in the leadership elections. Over 2300 delegates from across the State, including NCCFT Executive Committee members and At-Large Delegates, participated in the RA this year.

As many of you may have already heard from news accounts, the election has resulted in a significant change of top leadership for NYSUT. The incumbent Richard Iannuzzi slate was defeated and replaced by a new team including:

  • Karen Magee-President (Harrison Assoc. of Teachers)
  • Andrew Pallotta-Executive VP (incumbent)
  • Catalina Fortino-VP (United Federation of Teachers-Teacher Center)
  • Paul Pecorale-VP (Patchogue-Medford Congress of Teachers)
  • Martin Messner-Secretary-Treasurer (Schoharie Teachers’ Assoc.)

While a more detailed account of the RA business can be found on the NYSUT website, a few are worth mentioning here. Of much importance to us at NCC, the RA unanimously adopted a resolution regarding the de facto core curriculum being imposed by SUNY.  The NCCFT played a major role in crafting this resolution. As adopted, the resolution directs NYSUT to oppose mandated de facto core curricula that have not been approved through a shared governance process; calls upon the SUNY Board of Trustees to direct SUNY System Administration to suspend implementation of Seamless Transfer Requirements as delineated in the memorandum to Presidents dated 6/13/2013; NYSUT respectfully calls upon the SUNY Board of Trustees to direct SUNY System Administration to engage in established state and local campus shared governance processes prior to implementation of Resolution 2012-089: Seamless Transfer Requirements.

On a more general note, the RA overwhelmingly supported a “no confidence” resolution in State education Commissioner John King Jr., calling for his immediate dismissal.

NYSUT – Member Benefits Shopping Program

March April NYSUT Ad

NCCFT Health & Safety Committee & NCC Nursing Dept. Health & Wellness Fair

H&S Wellness Fair 2014

Medical Coverage Update

Medical Coverage Update

NCC Board of Trustees Meeting – February 25, 2014

Nassau Community College Board of Trustees Meeting – January 27, 2014

Travel and vacation planning with NYSUT Member Benefits

NYSUT Jan Feb