May 22, 2018

AAUP Update: Testimony to County Council (April 2018)

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

April 11, 2018

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.  I am here to ask that you fully support and fund the College’s proposed operating budget, which includes funding for compensation increases for our valued full-time faculty.

Community colleges are the entry point to a higher education for a multitude of students who for a variety of reasons, are not able to or choose not to attend a 4-year university.  Our annual entering class includes a very diverse population of students:  minority students, students with disabilities, international students from over 150 countries, and students at all learning levels, whether they be developmental learners or honors students.

The full-time faculty at Montgomery College are privileged to help shape and change the lives of these students and this is a privilege that we take very seriously.  We are a creative and accomplished group of faculty members, a faculty who have earned advanced degrees, published papers, presented at national conferences, and some who have written books.  We must remain current in our field while at the same time must design new and innovative ways of teaching courses. We spend countless hours with individual students and groups of students outside of the classroom. We need to do this because every day we work with students with varying learning styles and some with learning difficulties. As you can imagine, we also have to grade a seemingly endless stack of papers, quizzes, and tests.

Faculty are also deeply involved outside of the classroom.  Among other initiatives, we are creating and expanding our dual enrollment partnerships with MCPS. We have increased the number of distance learning opportunities for our students, and are developing OER courses – courses that do not require students to purchase a textbook – in order to help reduce educational expenses for our students.  Faculty also redesigned our general education and general studies programs. We have worked with our Transfer Articulation Office to help create more transfer partnerships with our local 4-year universities.  These partnerships help to ensure that our students will be better able to transfer seamlessly upon completion of their studies at Montgomery College.

Faculty are constantly challenged to grow, to expand our programs to meet the needs of our students, to design and develop new and challenging programs and learning opportunities for ourselves and our students. We need your continued support to enable us to continue to prepare our students to move on in their education and their careers. We have earned and deserve the increases in compensation that we negotiated in good faith.  We need your support to enable the Administration to meet and honor its contractual obligations.

On behalf of the full-time faculty, I am asking the Council to continue their investment in excellence, affordability, and training in higher education by fully funding the College’s FY’19 budget request.

We thank you for your past support and your anticipated continued support.

Thank you.

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