May 24, 2017

AAUP Update: Testimony to Montgomery County Council

Testimony by Professor Harry N. Zarin
President, Montgomery College Chapter of the American
Association of University Professors (AAUP)
Montgomery College
To the Montgomery County Council

April 5, 2016

Members of the Council:

My name is Harry Zarin. I am a Professor and Counselor at the Germantown Campus of Montgomery College. I am speaking to you today in my role as President of the Montgomery College Chapter of the AAUP.

I am in the process of completing my 23rd year as a professor and counselor at Montgomery College. Each semester my colleagues and I see a new group of students arrive at the college with hopes and dreams, some with clearly defined career and academic goals, and many with undefined career and academic goals. They all know they need a college degree but many have no idea of what they are capable of doing or exactly what they want to do. Our students are also very diverse, coming from over 170 countries and speaking a vast array of languages. Some students arrive with academic skills at the honors and advanced placement level while other arrive with reading, writing, and math skills that are well below the college level. In addition, many arrive from other countries and have to participate in our American English Language Program in order to bring their reading, writing, and speaking abilities up to the college level.

Many of our students also enter college with what I’ll call “baggage.” Some come from dysfunctional families, some are single parents, some have been victims of abuse, or are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, others have psychological, physical, or learning disabilities. Some are struggling because they and members of their families have to work multiple jobs in order to pay the bills and put food on their table each day.

Now imagine you, as an instructor, arrive for your first day of class, knowing what I just said, and you have no idea of who is sitting in front of you in your class. Yet, as a faculty member, you are expected to be prepared to work with a diverse class of students and teach such subjects as chemistry, English, literature, biology, physics, calculus, the engineering sciences, networking and cybersecurity, history, philosophy, economics, art, and music. We also may be required to teach them how to fix cars, how to install an HV/AC system, how to do basic plumbing and electrical work, how to be a certified nurse’s aide or a variety of other subjects as part of our Workforce Development and Continuing Education division of the college.

In order for us to do this, we must be at our best all the time when we are working with students. This is true whether we are an instructional faculty member or a counseling faculty member. We are well aware that, in many cases, we are a major part of the support system students need in order to be successful in school and in life–and in many cases we are their only source of emotional support. As professors we educate, we change lives, we create opportunities, we counsel, we advise, and we mentor, support, and help our students become more mature and successful students. There is a tremendous amount of pressure on us to be our best so that we can provide our students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to be successful, whether they are leaving Montgomery College to pursue employment or to transfer on to a four-year university. This is a challenge that we readily accept and one that brings us great satisfaction. It is very fulfilling when we hear from former students once they graduate and find that first job or are admitted to a four-year university.

And it is now, once again, time for all of you to play your part in helping the College succeed and continue to provide for our students. There is an old saying, “You get what you pay for.” And at Montgomery College this means that when we are provided with the fiscal support we need, we can hire the likes of the following Maryland Professors of the Year:

Mary Furgol-History, Susan Bontems and Navart Tahmazian-Chemistry, Joan Naake and Greg Wahl-English, John Hammond-Math, Kenyatta Rogers-Theatre, Dawn Avery-Music, and Deborah Stern-Psychology.

By providing the College with the funds needed to continue and recruit, hire, and retain a diverse, quality faculty, we will be able to continue to provide for the needs of our ever growing student population. By providing the funds we have requested, you will help us keep Montgomery College affordable for our over 25,000 credit students.

As our older and more experienced faculty retires, we want to make sure that we have the funds during these difficult economic times available to continue to hire experienced faculty who are capable of meeting the needs of our diverse students who are trying to learn. Our ability as a faculty to create new programs, design new classes, maintain our level of expertise in our respective fields, keep up with technology, and revise our current classes, is only limited by the time we have and the funds available at the College to pay us to do our work and to be retrained.

Montgomery College is an integral part of the county and I encourage you to fully fund the proposed operating budget submitted to the County Executive by our Board of Trustees. On behalf of the faculty I thank you for your previous years support and for the support I hope will be provided to the College next year.

Thank you.

AAUP Update: Montgomery County Council Testimony (4/5/16)

Dear Colleagues,

I have been asked to testify at the Tuesday, April 5th public hearings in front of the Montgomery County Council. The Council is holding public hearings on the county’s operating budget and on Tuesday evening they will be hearing testimony from representatives from Montgomery College. Students, union representatives, and an alumni board member will be testifying in support of the College’s operating budget on Tuesday evening from 7:00pm to 9:00pm at the County Council Building (100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, 20850) in the Third Floor Hearing Room.

It is very important that we as a faculty support the College’s advocacy efforts. If your schedule permits, I am asking for your support by attending the hearings on Tuesday evening. Let’s try to pack the hearing room with PURPLE so that we visibly represent the College.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing you there.

Harry Zarin, Chapter President

 

AAUP Update: Food Drive (4/11-4/15/16)

From April 11 to April 15, the AAUP-Montgomery College Chapter will be doing its part in keeping the food pantries on all three campuses full for students and others needing assistance in getting enough to eat. We will be holding a food drive with donation boxes at various locations. The food pantries are especially in need of healthful food that students can easily eat on campus. Look for the “AAUP Fill the Food Pantry” signs and leave your donations in the box.  If you are interested in volunteering to put out and monitor a box, please contact:

AAUP Update: March Chapter Update

March Chapter Update-Harry N. Zarin, Germantown (Counseling), AAUP Chapter President

Welcome:

After a rather rocky start due to the weather, the spring 2016 semester is well underway, and spring break will be here before you know it.  I hope that all of you survived the inclement weather, didn’t lose power, and didn’t injure yourself while you were shoveling snow.

We had a very good opening meeting in January, and the faculty who stayed for the Chapter meeting actively participated in our question and answer session.  The members of the Executive Committee appreciate your participation in these general meetings and enjoy communicating with all of you whenever we are given the chance to do so.

All faculty who were new to the college in the fall were told at the opening meeting that they had to make a decision between joining the chapter as a full member or paying the service fee, if they hadn’t done so already. I personally contacted each new faculty member and assisted them in processing the application for dues/service fee deduction.

We also heard about the recent Supreme Court case which may or may not have an impact on the faculty who are service fee payees.  Oral arguments in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case were heard by the Supreme Court in mid-January.  As stated in the national AAUP response, “the case threatens to reverse a decades old decision allowing for the collection of fair share fees from public employees.” We will have to wait for the Supreme Court to announce its ruling on the case before we will know if their decision will have an impact on our ability to collect a service fee from faculty who are not interested in becoming a member of the Chapter.

You can read the national AAUP’s response to the oral arguments by accessing the aaup.org site and looking in the news and for the media link. Here’s an overview article.

Coordinator/Chair Duties:

I mentioned to all of you on several occasions, including at the January opening meeting, that members of your Executive Committee worked with members of the Administration over the last year-and-a-half to develop an agreed upon list of Coordinator/Chair duties.

\With the completion of the academic reorganization the duties of these two positions became clouded and the list posted on the Chapter Documents web page helps to clarify what Coordinators should and should not do.  If you are a Coordinator I strongly encourage you to review and become familiar with this list.  You now have the right to politely refuse to perform any duty listed under the Chair’s Role.

Parking Violation:

Several members of the faculty have contacted members of the Executive Committee about an increase in the parking fee, which apparently occurred last fall.  After some investigative work we have learned that there was in fact an increase in the parking fee which was unannounced and which we feel is in violation of our Collective Bargaining Agreement.  The fee apparently was increased from $108.00/year to $120.00/year during the fall 2015 semester.

During the fall of 2014, in accordance with our contract, the Administration created a Joint Transportation and Parking Committee, of which I was a member.   After some discussion an agreement was reached, and as of January 2015 the parking fee for all full-time employees increased from $96.00/year to $108.00.year.  This increase was in accordance with our contract.

During the summer of 2015, I was contacted by Janet Wormack, Senior VP for Administrative and Fiscal Services about her decision to increase our parking fee by $12.00 for the 2015-2016 academic year.  I told her that this could not happen because it was a violation of our contract.

The contract stipulates the following:

“If, after the second year, Management contemplates changes in the parking fee, it will establish a joint committee consisting of equal representation among the administration, non-bargaining staff, bargaining staff, and the Chapter to review such changes and make recommendations to Management regarding such changes. With respect to any increases in the amount of the parking fee only, the Chapter agrees to increases recommended by the Joint Committee up to a maximum increase of $15.00/year, not to exceed $30.00 over any 3-year period without further negotiation or ratification by the Chapter.”

The Chapter’s position, in accordance with our contract, is that since Management increased the parking fee by $12.00 in January 2015 they could not and should not have increased it by another $12.00 until a Joint Committee met and until January 2016.

While the dollar amount we paid over the agreed upon $108.00 is not that great, the issue is that a violation occurred and it must be acknowledged by Management and a fix put in place to make all members of the bargaining unit whole.  I have been in touch with both the Chapter’s attorney and College’s attorney and we are working on fixing this issue as quickly as possible.

Advancement in Rank:

Many faculty members at the college have no idea how to initiate the process to advance in rank and there are probably a number of Dean/Chairs who also do not know how the process works.  Dr. Rai as charged the Faculty Council with the task of developing a set of procedures for him to review which will clarify the procedures necessary for a faculty member to advance in rank. The procedure will stipulate who can initiate the process, where the initial records regarding the original rank assignment are kept, and exactly what the procedure is.

Several members of the Chapter’s Executive Committee are on the Faculty Council so you can be assured that we are looking out for your best interests.  All of you should also be aware that advancement in rank comes with no increase in salary but in the field of academia advancing in rank is very important.

Faculty Outstanding Service Awards:

Last year Dr. Rai, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, informed us that he was interested in changing the structure of the Faculty Outstanding Service Awards. Joan Naake was assigned the task of reviewing the best practices from many other colleges and drafting a new way of rewarding the faculty for their hard work and dedicated service to Montgomery College.

A Committee, appointed by the Faculty Council and chaired by Joan drafted a new structure that was approved by the Faculty Council. Contractual issues related to this change in structure have been reviewed and will be resolved in short order.

A total of 14 Outstanding Faculty Awards for full-time faculty will be awarded later this semester.

  • 9 Award will be given for Excellence in Teaching and Counseling and Advising
  • 2 Awards will be given for Excellence in Scholarly or Professional Accomplishments
  • 2 Awards will be given for Excellence in Service to the Institution or the Community
  • 1 Award will be given to celebrate the Montgomery College Professor of the Year

More information about this new award structure and nomination packets will be announced later this month.

At-Large Vacancy:

Bryant Davis (English and Reading) has been serving as the Vice President for the Germantown Campus for many years. For personal reasons he needs to step down from this position so that he could pursue other interests.

As a result of this situation the Executive Committee has decided to move Denise Dewhurst into the position of Vice President-Germantown.

We are now looking for member of the Chapter to fill the At-Large position for the remainder of the semester.  If you are interested in helping out and serving in this capacity please contact me as soon as possible.

AAUP Food Drive:

Look for an announcement about our first ever MC AAUP volunteer project shortly after your return from spring break.

AAUP Update: Welcome Back!

November 2015 AAUP Update to the faculty

From Harry N. Zarin-G Counselor,  AAUP Chapter President

Welcome back:

During Professional Week in August we held a very informative Chapter membership meeting.  This meeting gave those in attendance an opportunity to ask the members of the Executive Committee questions, to voice their opinion on a variety of topics, and to hear some of the latest happenings of the Chapter.  We on the Executive Committee look forward to these membership meetings and hope that in the future more of you will attend and so that your voices can be heard.  Our next Chapter meeting will occur during professional week in January.

As I stated at the membership meeting we all owe a debt of thanks to Dr. Pollard, the Board of Trustees, the County Council, and the State Legislature for all of their support during last year’s budget deliberations.  This support led to all of us receiving a raise at a time when many other local colleges and universities were not able to offer increases in salary to their employees.  Dr. Pollard stated on many occasions that providing us with an increase in salary was one of her top priorities and we are all thankful that our elected officials agreed with her.  Last year we completed the negotiation of a 9 year contract which included raises for a three year period of time.  We can only hope that the economy will improve so that we will all benefit from these negotiated increases.

I am also pleased to report that, despite the hiring freeze, all full time faculty positions were filled by the start of the current academic year with the exception of a couple of positions where the search failed.  Hopefully these positions will be filled after future search committees complete their work.  Also, additional ESH was given to TP/SS and Germantown for tutoring ESH in our learning Centers and additional funds were allocated to TP/SS to upgrade their science equipment and supplies.  We are grateful to Sanjay Rai for his support of our learning centers and the full time faculty.

Prior to the official start of the semester I had an opportunity to speak with our new full- time faculty at the New Faculty Orientation.  During that meeting many of these faculty members joined the Chapter and some are now service fee payees.  Those faculty who did not make a decision on this issue will be contacted by me in January and at that time they will be required to make a decision on this issue.

Semester and Academic Year ESH Limits:

If you are planning on teaching a winter session class, please remember that winter session ESH is part of your spring load.  It is also important for you to remember that you are allowed to work a maximum of 20 ESH in any academic semester and 36 ESH in any academic year, August-May.    

Elimination of the 4th Year Evaluation:

When negotiations concluded in 2010 an agreement was reached with management to eliminate the required 4th year evaluation, however, this provision was never incorporated into either the printed or on-line version of the contract.  I am pleased to report that after a few brief discussions with representatives from management and the College’s attorney we were able to agree on a side letter that essentially incorporates what was previously agreed to into our contract.  A copy of that side letter will be posted to the documents section of the Chapter website.  How does this impact our newer faculty members?  All full-time faculty are evaluated during each of their first three years of employment at Montgomery College and are then appointed to a three-year contract.  Their next evaluation will be during the second year of the three-year contract, their 5th year of employment.

Extended Winter Term:

I mentioned at our opening meeting that the Academic Affairs Division was considering offering an extended winter session that would begin in December and continue until the end of the regularly schedule winter classes.  The idea allows for more teaching time, which is a good thing, but it also requires teaching during a period of time when the college is officially closed.  Only distance learning classes would be offered during this extended winter session.  For a variety of reasons the Academic Affairs Division has decided to delay the implementation of the extended winter session until next year.

Distance Learning Side Letter: 

It is important for all of you to know that a new distance learning side letter is now in effect.  The current side letter is in effect from July 1, 2015-June 30, 2018. During last year’s negotiations a sub-committee met and recommended that some changes be made to the previous side letter.  These changes were accepted by both management and the Chapter and they were incorporated into the new side letter.  The new side letter has been posted to the Chapter documents section of the Chapter’s website.  If you currently teach distance learning classes of any kind or are considering teaching or creating a class with a distance learning component, I strongly encourage you to read this side letter.

New Office Hour Requirements:

Perhaps the one issue that the Chapter has had to deal with this semester more than any other is the change to the office hour requirements.  As stated in the Collective Bargaining Agreement on p. 14, “During an academic year, with the approval of days and location by Management, instructional faculty shall post and maintain either (a) five in-office hours per week or (b) four in-office hours per week and two additional hours online or in an alternative location per week, for student consultation.”  This wording seems fairly straight forward but for some reason there was much confusion earlier in the semester about this provision of the contract by both the faculty and the Deans/Chairs.  If you are being asked to do anything other than what I just quoted, please contact myself or Tim Kirkner.  We will be glad to talk privately with you about your particular concerns.  Please remember that for purposes of scheduling office hours and hour is a 60 minute period of time.

Important Benefits Information from our Benefits Office:

Montgomery College’s benefits open enrollment period is a chance for you to enroll in or change your coverage in any benefit plans offered by Montgomery College.  Open Enrollment will take place from October 26, 2015 through November 20, 2015.  This year, the college has implemented a new benefits system called Benelogic.  All benefit eligible employees are required to go into the new online system to confirm benefits and information (dates of birth and SSN’s) on covered dependents.  Even if you are not changing your benefits selections, the Affordable Care Act requires confirmation of information to ensure compliance on 2015 tax returns.  All benefit eligible employees must take action by going online to select benefits they are interested in for a January 1, 2016 start date.  All Benelogic benefit selections need to be completed in the Benelogic system by November 20, 2015.

HR Benefits is also offering an incentive!  For Cigna participants, the first 100 employees to complete their Health Risk Assessment (HRA) and Benelogic update get a $50 Visa Gift card (taxable benefit).  For Kaiser participants, all employees who complete their HRA and Benelogic update will be entered in a raffle to win a bike, Fitbit, or Juicer.

For Cigna, log on to: https://my.cigna.com/web/public/guest

For Kaiser, log on to: https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/health/care/consumer/my-health-manager

Topics to be Covered in the Next Chapter Update:

Advancement in Faculty Rank

AAUP Update: Lobbying Efforts with the County Council

The County Council will make final decisions about the county’s budget, including decisions regarding funding for the College, next week on May 14th.  Now is the time for you to help yourself and your fellow colleagues by communicating with the President of the County Council, George Leventhal, at councilmember.leventhal@montgomerycountymd.gov.  At your earliest convenience please send an e-mail to the Council President share with the Council stories of your good work with our students and ask the Council to support the faculty and to keep tuition affordable.

Please communicate from a private email account and be sure to provide your home address or name the campus at which you teach.  Your immediate action is necessary.

Thank you!

PS  You can watch the recent Council discussion of the College’s budget here http://montgomerycountymd.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=&clip_id=9393&meta_id=82824   And, despite the overall positive comments of the Council members, your immediate action is necessary to be sure next week’s vote goes our way.

Your Chapter leadership will be participating in this lobbying endeavor by personally calling Councilmen Leventhal and speaking to him on behalf of the faculty.

Thank you for all of the work you did this year with our students and for participating in this lobbying effort.

Harry N. Zarin, Professor/Counselor
President-AAUP
Montgomery College

AAUP Update: Chapter Website

Colleagues:

Please take a few minutes to check out the most recent updates that have been posted to the AAUP Chapter webpage.  One update relates to lobbying for funding from the County Council and the other relates our annual call for nominations for next year’s AAUP Executive Committee and the voting process we will use for this year’s elections.  You may access the Chapter website at www.mcaaup.org.

You may also review the full collective bargaining agreement, an executive summary of the agreements that we reached during negotiations, and the testimony I gave last month in front of the County Council by clicking on the Chapter Documents link on the Chapter’s homepage.

I look forward to seeing all of you at our end of year meeting on Tuesday May 19th at the Rockville Campus.

Harry Z.

Harry N. Zarin, Professor/Counselor
President-AAUP
Montgomery College

AAUP Update: 2015 Chapter Nominations/Elections

In a few weeks, the semester will end, and we will again hold our year-end meeting and annual election of Chapter Officers. During the elections process, if you are a dues-paying member of the Chapter, you will have an opportunity to vote for our Chapter President, Secretary, Treasurer, and one Vice President from your home campus. If you are interested in running for office or wish to nominate another Chapter member for one of these positions, please contact Julie Levinson, Counseling-TP/SS, at 240-567-5076 or by e-mail at julie.levinson@montgomerycollege.edu. Julie has agreed to Chair our Nominations Committee. All nominations must be received by 5:00pm on Monday, May 11.

For the first time, the Chapter will hold both online and on campus voting during our elections process.
Online voting will begin on Tuesday, May 12, and will end at midnight on Sunday, May 17.

The year-end meeting will take place at the Rockville Campus in the PAC on Tuesday, May 19, at 10:45am. At the year-end meeting, all eligible dues-paying members who did not vote online will be allowed to vote in-person. All votes will be totaled, and the officers for the 2015-2016 academic year will be announced at our year-end meeting.

Please plan on attending this important meeting and on voting for our Chapter Officers.

Harry N. Zarin, Professor/Counselor
President-AAUP

 

AAUP Update: Lobbying for Funding

Colleagues:

The Administration has provided us with information on the process that is followed in order for the College to obtain funding from the County.  Several weeks ago members of the college community (myself, staff, BOT representatives, and students) spoke in front of the full Council on behalf of the college.  Our testimony is part a major effort to help convince the  County Council to support the BOT recommended budget request which is about 15 million dollars over last year’s budget.  Approximately 11 million dollars of this request is needed to cover contractually negotiated increases in our salaries.  The County Executive recommended that the college receive 3 million dollars over last year’s budget.  It was recently reported in the Gazette that the full Council is recommending the college’s funding include an 11 million dollar increase over last year’s budget in order to assist the college in paying for contractually negotiated pay raises and keep the tuition increase for our students at a reasonable level.  The BOT recently voted to increase student tuition by $3.00 for in county residents, $6.00 for in-state residents, and $9.00 for out of state residents.

The County Council will now attempt to meet the needs of all of the county funded agencies by reconciling the entire county budget and our budget is on this reconciliation list.   It is very important that the full time faculty participate in the lobbying efforts that are currently underway.  Attached are the names and e-mail addresses of the County Council President and the Chair of the Education Committee.  Please consider sending an e-mail to each stating who you are, your home address, brief information about your career at MC, the impact your work has had on the lives of our students, and a few lines about some of your memorable successful students.  We have all had a positive impact on the lives of many students and now is the time to toot your horn and possibly help sway the County to provide us with the dollars we have requested.

George Leventhal
Council President
240-777-7811
Councilmember.leventhal@montgomerycountymd.gov

Craig Rice
Chair, Education Committee
240-777-7955
Councilmember.rice@montgomerycountymd.gov

Below are the names of all of the members of the County Council.  You may also send each of them a copy of the same e-mail.

Roger Berliner (Bethesda & Potomac area) Tom Hucker (Silver Spring-Takoma Park-Burtonsville area) Sidney Katz (Rockville-Gaithersburg area) Nancy Navarro (Wheaton-Olney-Laytonsville area) Craig Rice (Germantown area) Marc Elrich (at large) Nancy Floreen (at large) George Leventhal (at large) Hans Riemer (at large)

Thank you,

Harry Z.

 

AAUP Update: Testimony to County Council

Harry N. Zarin, President
American Association of University Professors
Montgomery College Chapter

Operating Budget Testimony
April 15, 2015

Members of the County Council:

My name is Harry Zarin.  I am a Professor and Counselor at the Germantown Campus of Montgomery College.  I am here today in my role as the President of the Montgomery College Chapter of the American Association of University Professors, AAUP.  I am here to ask that you fully support and fund the College’s proposed operating budget that includes funding for contractually negotiated raises for our faculty.

Twenty two years ago I came to MC after having worked at two different local universities in several different roles. At the time I had no idea that my job would place me in a position where I would play such an important role in the lives of our students. Faculty counselors at Montgomery College provide our students with a tremendous amount of direction and advice which helps prepare them to become better students, to graduate, and in many cases, to transfer on to 4-year universities and work on receiving their Bachelor’s degree.

We as a faculty have been given the privilege of helping to shape and change the lives of thousands of students and this is a privilege that we take very seriously.  We are a creative and accomplished faculty, a faculty who have earned advanced degrees, published papers, written books, and have designed new and innovative ways of teaching courses. We need to do this because every day we work with students with varying learning styles and difficulties.

Imagine being a computer science teacher and trying to keep up with changes in your field.  Imagine you are teaching in our nursing program and you have to keep up with the ever changing field of medicine or being a history teacher with a moving target as a subject you are required to teach.  Below are a few examples of some of the accomplishments of our faculty.

  • Professor Loir Kelman, Biotechnology, co-authored an article for the Annual Review of Genetics on Archaeal DNA replication.
  • Professor Nathan Zook, Political Science, took a delegation of students to represent Argentina at the National Model United Nations conference last November in Washington, D.C.
  • Professor Robert Giron, American English Language Program, is the Editor in Chief of the Sligo Journal. This compilation of works, mostly by MC students, won the 2015 Florida Book Festival award for Compilations and Anthologies.
  • Professor Roger Coleman, Music, is writing an e-book while on his sabbatical on music theory.  This book will be offered free to students as part of an Open Educational Resource program.
  • Professor Swift Dickinson, English, took a group of student and faculty to Cuba for a 10 day study abroad program and he has presented on Caribbean Literature at several international conferences on this topic.
  • For the eighth time in 11 years–and the sixth consecutive year– a Montgomery College professor has been named Maryland Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Mary Furgol, a history professor, received the honor in 2003. In 2006, Joan Naake, an English professor, won the award. In 2009, the award went to Chemistry Professor Susan Bontems, followed by Dr. Deborah Stearns, a psychology professor; Music Professor Dawn Avery; Math Professor John Hamman and English Professor Dr. Greg Wahl, respectively.  Most recently KenYatta Rogers, a professor of theatre, received this award.  Since 2000, Rogers has taught classes at Montgomery College in voice and diction, movement for the performer and fundamentals of acting. As a professional actor, Rogers has garnered three Helen Hayes Award nominations for his stage performances. He has more than 50 film, television, radio and voice over credits including the National Endowment for the Arts’ The Big Read series and PBS’ Standard Deviants.

Our students are wonderful to work with and here are some relevant statistics.

  • Over 25,000 students were enrolled at Montgomery College this past semester. That’s more than many 4-year universities have at their institutions.
  • 535 high school students took a MC course this past fall.
  • 5,242 graduates or students who earned 12 or more credits transferred from MC last year to a four year institution.
  • 70% of all students who transferred from MC went on to attend a University System of Maryland institution.

Our students come from various backgrounds and over 100 countries.  They have seen or been in combat, have lived in communities that were ravaged by war, are the first in their families to attend college, are looking for a second chance, and are looking for an economical way to begin their college education.

Our students come with the potential for an enriched life, a life that will serve both self and community.  But their potential can flourish only within the context of opportunity, and it is within our classrooms and offices that these opportunities exist.

Students such as Joanna, came to Montgomery College several years ago with tremendous doubts about her ability to attend college much less actually graduate.  As a student with a severe vision problem she needed to learn how to learn in a college environment with technology that she had never touched.  Through the combined efforts of our Disability Support Services Offices, our creative faculty, and Joanna’s intense motivation to succeed, she earned an Associate’s of Applied Teaching degree in Elementary Education at Montgomery College and then transferred to Towson University’s Elementary Education program at the Universities at Shady Grove.  There Joanna continued her higher education journey and in May of 2014 she graduated with a 4.0 g.p.a., dually certified in elementary education and special education and she is now a 5th grade teacher in the Montgomery County Public School System.  Joanna was also given the honor of being selected as the graduation speaker for the entire Universities of Shady Grove at the May 2014 graduation ceremony.

A group of Montgomery College honors students attended the Northeast Regional Honors Council (NRHC) Conference in Gettysburg, Penn., April 9-11, which showcases the work of honors students from both two and four year colleges from Maine to Washington, D.C. Jonelle Bowen, Emily Christian, Shannon Freed, and Michael Kissiedu represented three of the college’s honors programs; General Honors, Renaissance Scholars, and Montgomery Scholars Program. Their presentation “Honors Student Researchers – Allies in the Campaign to Modernize the College Library” described and explained Montgomery College Libraries’ initiative to improve and modernize by using anthropology (visit http://libguides.montgomerycollege.edu/ethnographic?

Matthew came to Montgomery College after experiencing a difficult childhood and floundering academically.  He was mentored by several faculty members, was accepted into our Renaissance Scholars Program and began to flourish as a student.  He then attended and graduated with honors from St. Mary’s of Maryland as a history major.  He studied history while residing in Germany, applied to and was accepted to Middlebury College’s exclusive language program, and later studied Russian in Kiev, Ukraine. He was recently accepted to study history at Oxford University in England.

Montgomery College is the communities college and I hope the information I have given you will help to convince you to find a way to support the needs of the college as presented in the college’s proposed operating budget.

On behalf of the faculty I am asking for full funding of the requested budget in order to pay for contractually negotiated increases in salary for the faculty.  We did our fair share during the down turn in the economy by graciously accepting no increases in salary for several years and taking required furlough days.  We need you all to do your part to assist the college in delivering excellence inside and outside the classroom by funding compensation and the much needed student success programs proposed in its budget request.

On behalf of the faculty of Montgomery College I thank you for your time and continued support.