May 22, 2024

AAUP Update: Side Letters & More!

Hello MC Faculty,

We have a few quick updates on academic restructuring, the ongoing negotiations of two key side letters, and the upcoming county council budget meeting.

1. Academic Restructuring: Department Chairs – Many of you have been patiently waiting for the official posting to full-time faculty of the position description and selection process of the new department chair position that will begin, presumably, on July 1.  We anticipate this posting will be forthcoming early next week.  This posting will include the job description, job requirements, necessary qualifications, salary grade, etc.  Please be on the look-out for this email.

2. Side Letter: Department Chairs – We have completed the side letter dealing with the new role of the department chair.  We understand that this was an important issue for many of you in answering, among other things, how much protection a department chair would have under the new system.  Below, you will find the side letter in its entirety (it is very short).  You may view the official document on our website under the “chapter documents” tab.

The side letter:

This confirms the understanding between the College and the Chapter regarding Department Chairs. When a faculty member accepts the appointment of Department Chair, the employee will leave the AAUP bargaining unit for the duration of the term(s) as Department Chair.  The evaluation cycle as a bargaining faculty member will be suspended, and the employee will be evaluated annually on duties as Department Chair.

A Department Chair’s term may end due to expiration, voluntary resignation, or removal based on performance.  A Department Chair may resign during the course of the term provided that he or she completes a full semester.  Except in cases where the Department Chair is subject to dismissal for cause unrelated to performance, upon conclusion of the appointment, the employee will return to his or her bargaining faculty position. Compensation and benefits will return to the ten-month faculty salary and will include all salary adjustments and increases in rank that would have been attained during their time as Department Chair.  The faculty member’s evaluation cycle will resume from the point where it was suspended at the time of appointment as Department Chair.

**You will note that Department Chairs can return to the bargaining unit at any time (provided that it is not in the midst of a semester – for obvious reasons – and that the person was originally part of the bargaining unit, i.e. not an external hire) and that the faculty member will be afforded all increases in pay/rank that would have accrued if they had never left the bargaining unit.  Also, as a matter of clarification, Department Chairs are not officially administrators/staff, they are non-bargining faculty.

3. Side Letter: Distance LearningThe negotiations for the update to our distance learning side letter are going very well and the letter is just about completed. We will finalize the last set of changes at our next meeting on April 9. It has been a great example of not so much a good negotiation but rather a collegial work group. As soon as it is completed and signed we will update you and post it to our website.

4. County Council Operating Budget HearingOn April 9 at 7pm the County Council will hold operating budget hearings. The hearings are held in the 3rd floor hearing room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville. Parking is available at the rear of the building off of Monroe Street. As President Pollard noted in her March 17th email, the Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett supports an $11 million dollar increase in funding. While this is certainly encouraging it is still $7.9 million short of our $18.9 million request.  The hearing is an opportunity for us to show support of our institution and to encourage the county council to provide full funding of the MC budget to help provide the necessary resources to fully serve our students, faculty, and staff. An AAUP representative will be testifying as will various other members of the college. We STRONGLY encourage you to attend the hearings, dressed in your latest MC garb, to demonstrate to the council your support of Montgomery College!

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading and we will see you soon. Have a great second half of the spring semester.

On behalf of the AAUP Executive Committee,


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