December 8, 2023

MC-AAUP Spring 2023 Opening Meeting

Hello Colleagues,

The much deserved and well-earned break is coming to an end, but I hope it was restful and all that you needed. If you were able to avoid the various ailments floating around, good for you!

We are back next week after the holiday on Monday. So, Tuesday the 17th, the Professional Week starts with the College-wide Opening Meeting. This will be held at 9 a.m. in the Cultural Arts Center on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. We hope to see you there, but this will be live streamed as well.

At this meeting, Dr. Williams will share a presidential address and details regarding the MC Strategic Plan refresh. There will also be a student panel discussion along with other speakers who will briefly present on matters relevant to our return. For additional details about the Spring 2023 Professional Week and other scheduled meetings, please visit the Spring Opening Meeting website.

After the college-wide meeting has concluded, ALL full-time faculty are strongly encouraged to join us for our AAUP Opening Meeting. You may recall that this will be a very important meeting! At this meeting we will discuss in detail the Strategic Plan that we have been working on for the past year. This includes changes to our Bylaws and our organizational flowchart, which align with our main long-term goals of improving outreach and member engagement.

So, we really need / want your participation and feedback as we share critical information that will help guide us for years to come. We will also discuss many of the matters we have been addressing, on your behalf since we last met in August. It is an extensive list to be sure. Further, we want to recognize those who are retiring and have given so much to MC. So please join us online at:

MC-AAUP Spring 2023 Opening Meeting

Jan 17, 2023, 11:15 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Meeting ID  935 0093 5904

Invite Link

Lastly, we have VERY EXCITING news that you will NOT want to miss! When I say EXCITING, I mean it!

See you Tuesday!



Transition of Covid mandates for Spring ’23


I trust by now that you are aware that as of the beginning of the spring semester, the college will pivot away from some of the current Covid mandates that are now in place. Montgomery College was the last institution of higher education in Maryland to require masks in the classrooms while many other colleges and universities eliminated their mask mandate, some just days before the semester started.

However, as of October / November, the health metrics used across the county to access trends and risks seemed to show that the time was at hand to make this transition. We asked that any changes to these policies take place AFTER the fall semester as to limit disruption to the classrooms and we appreciate that this was heard and heeded.  

But of course, decisions like this are not easy. It is quite difficult to appease everyone and almost impossible to address the needs / concerns of all 500+ faculty. This is where we can come in and help.

We have asked the college to continue to be as flexible as possible for those with documented medical concerns or fall into a high-risk category. They have agreed to do so on a case-by-case basis and when prudent based on scheduling parameters and the needs of students.

If you meet the aforementioned criteria and after conversations with your Chair and your supervisor, an agreeable solution to your accommodation request is still unsatisfactory, please reach out to us. The college may not be able to honor every accommodation request, but alternative options to address these concerns are being explored and again will be considered whenever possible.

However, please note that ADA guidelines in the workplace are in place to protect the employee. Therefore, unfortunately they are not applicable for concerns related to other family members or those living in the home. This is not to say that options for these considerations are not entirely void of any conversation, but it does mean that the legal implications and college obligations in this regard are clear. Still, your well-being and that of those close to you is still very much a priority. 

So please work with your Chair and Dean when possible and should you feel the need to contact us for help, do not hesitate to do so.

Stay safe and reach out when you need us.



Your MC-AAUP Renewed! Strategic Planning Forum (Online) on 12/7 at 4pm!

Hello Faculty Colleagues,

By now, you likely know that the Executive Committee has been working on a Strategic Plan for our Chapter over the past year! During that time we have held open forums and trainings to help us better understand how we are doing as your union representatives. Further, we have explored best practices related to labor group organization in higher education to help guide us moving forward. 

The culmination of all this work will be January 17th at our opening meeting (ONLINE). This is when we will hold a full member vote on some significant changes to our bylaws that will help to better position us moving forward.

However, we are required to provide advance notice of any proposed bylaw changes. Therefore, we  would like to invite you to one last open forum on this matter on December 7th. It will be at this time that we share our ideas and proposed changes, but also solicit your feedback. This will afford us one last opportunity to consider edits and changes before our draft is finalized and put forward for a vote. 

If you are not sure about what we do, much of which is behind the scenes and without a lot of fanfare, you were strongly encouraged to attend. We work on your behalf every day! So, this is not only an opportunity to find out more about the work we do, but also to have a say in how we do that work in the future.

Please join us as your time allows, even if just for part of this meeting. Your participation and support is critical to keeping you informed and to the effectiveness of the Chapter.

Topic: Strategic Planning Forum
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Hope to see you there!

On behalf of The Chapter,


AAUP October update – Critical information for ALL FT faculty!!

At the end of each month we will try to update you on what we have been working on and the latest happenings as they relate to you and all FT faculty. There are some significant things going on that you should be aware of as a FT faculty member. Some of this is new regarding open enrollment and concerns ALL employees of the college. The process is different this year so please read below for this and other information we hope is helpful.

1. The “Required Trainings” for all employees can be found in MyMC at the HR web site. Please check these out soon and be aware of deadlines to complete them! Some of the required trainings were recently added and most of them are online! Please find them at

Required Training | Montgomery College, MarylandTitle & Duration Required For Recommended For Description Type/Availability Completion Date; Data Security @MC – Annual Review FY23 new window 30 Minutes: Administrators, Department Chairs, Full-time Faculty, Part-time Credit and WDCE Faculty, Staff, Temp w/ Benefits, Casual Temporary and Student

2. The respective Labor leaders met with Dr. Williams in early October. We hope was the first of regular semester meetings in the future. We were able to discuss the Presidential Transition Advisory Committee (PTAC) Transition Plan and some of his new initiatives. We shared concerns about day long meetings that interfere with daily activities without faculty input on timing, changes to policies related to Covid that should wait until the end of the semester, and ongoing communication challenges across the college.

We also briefly discussed returning to the IBB model for negotiations with an intent to discuss further at our next meeting. This is something that has drug on too long and we will continue to pursue this as we feel this is in the best interest of faculty and the college.

3. Many at the top of the salary scale were due a “Longevity” step as part of their salary increase this year, if they had already been at the top of the scale for 5 full years. Despite an MOU and many years of agreement on this, plus memos from college counsel and administrators to this effect, the college took issue with the language and did not interpret it as they have in the past. In essence they felt as if no “step” was warranted, so the “step” was not included in the Work Day salary computations at the beginning of the semester. We consulted with counsel and then articulated our disappointment and frustration with what we felt was their misinterpretation of the language, which again had been used as a guide for many years.

Ultimately the college agreed to honor the MOU and employ the language as we have in the past, for the next two years until we can discuss next year during our open contract collective bargaining negotiation sessions. We are still waiting for those salary improvements to take effect for those who meet the criteria outlined in the MOU but have been assured that this will happen soon. Stay tuned.

4. Open enrollment has started and runs through November 18th. ALL employees at MC MUST use Work Day, whether they plan to make changes to their benefits, flex spending accounts, or withholdings…, or not! You can contact Human Resources for questions but watch for email announcements on open enrollment help sessions. Go to
to get this done ASAP?!

5. The MC-AAUP Fall Labor Organization Summit is this Friday. We have invited representatives from institutions in higher education from all over the country to discuss issues that face us all in academia and best practices to best confront them. Please join us for as much of the day as your schedule permits and plan to share how our Chapter has benefited you, your discipline, and/ or department. You can join us for a brief meet and greet at 8:45 AM at AAUP / MC /AFT/ Fall Organizing Summit – 11/4 – ZOOM

6. Recently the college announced changes to COVID related policies for next semester. We were told about potential changes coming but did not have as much time as we would have liked to discuss these changes and the implications. Our understanding is that a premature announcement was sent out to the college community before everyone had time to weigh in and actual true “consultations” took place. But we have shared concerns about how these decisions were made without our input at that time and the quick turn-around for feedback that was requested from us before this was to be sent out. We also have had some preliminary discussions with MGMT about the implications for those faculty who may still need some flexibility with their schedule and inquired as to what if any right they might have to continue to require masks in their classroom.

The health pandemic is not over, it is just in a different phase. But we now have more information from which to base our professional and personal decisions, and data from new research should continue to guide us for years to come. However, as you likely know, there are lots of moving parts when it comes to developing policies on matters such as a health pandemic, and the college will never be able to come to a decision that suits everyone. Having said this, we will continue to advise management that the best way to help ensure that at least all voices are heard and as many are accommodated as possible would be to invite us into these conversations at the beginning so that we have the opportunity to share valuable information and perspectives that can better inform those decisions.

Stay tuned as we attempt to flush this out a bit more. 

7. A call for nominations for Full-time and Part-Time Faculty Awards, which are presented at the end of the academic year, was announced yesterday by Dr. Rai’s office. There are so many deserving faculty members who do amazing things here at MC, but the number of nominations for these awards often does not reflect this. Please consider nominating someone who continues to shine as a faculty member and deserves recognition for their contributions to the college.

8. The position of Ombudsman here at MC has been vacant for some time now but will be posted soon. Those who have served the college in this role have made significant role in resolving challenges and disagreements in the past. So we were happy to hear that this position will be advertised soon and the hope is that this position will be filled in the near future and again be another place where all employees of the college can go to help find resolutions to issues that arise.

9. We know that there are ongoing challenges with Work Day. Unfortunately HR has experienced significant turnover in recent months so there will be times when things move a bit slower than everyone would like. They are very much aware of these challenges but are working hard to fill in the gaps as best they can. We have asked for more frequent updates on significant matters and a heads up when contact information changes so we know who to contact for specific assistance and they have agreed to do so. We all need to do our part and read those updates, including the HR Employee Matters emails that are sent out regularly to update us so we know the “what, when, where, and how” on HR related information. New training and tutorial links can often be found here to guide you on Work Day tasks.

10. Last semester we conducted a survey related to Coordinators and their respective duties / compensation across the college. It was quite insightful and we are still working on how best to compile and present that information to Management in a way that will help guide Deans and Chairs alike in how duties are assigned. We obviously expect that the compensation for that work, whether it is done during the academic year or in the summer, to be consistent across the college. So please do not think we have forgotten about this or that the feedback we received hit a dead-end. We want to be thoughtful and deliberate about next steps.

I hope that this update is helpful and you stay well!

On behalf of The Chapter,

MC-AAUP Fall National Organizing Summit

Dear Colleagues,

Since 1980 the Montgomery College AAUP Chapter has been the ONLY organized labor group to represent full-time faculty at a Maryland institution in higher education. In fact, because of newly passed legislation in Annapolis last year, it is just this year that other community colleges in Maryland can now start to consider whether they want to have organized labor groups for their respective employee groups at their institution. This is still NOT the case for 4-year colleges and universities.

But even across the country, there are not as many organized Chapters with collective bargaining rights as you might think. Most Chapters are “advocacy groups” without a “contract” that would guide process and policy with legal leverage. As a matter of fact, it was at the National AAUP Conference this past summer that we discovered just how unique and fortunate we are to have an organized union with these rights. It was here that we took note of how many more colleges and universities want to get better organized, including large 4-year institutions like UMD – College Park. When I shared even just a little about our history and role here at MC, many representatives at various institutions wanted to know more and more about all that we do on behalf of our members and the “how.”

So a collaboration idea that we had, which started out as an intention to help advise and coordinate with other in-state institutions, blossomed into a national effort to connect online with Chapters across the country. Afterall there is strength in numbers and we all share common interests in higher education that connect us. In addition, the recent new affiliation between AAUP and AFT strengthens respective members and affords us new opportunities for growth.

It is for these reasons that we are proud to host a National Labor Organizing Summit this Friday (ONLINE) starting with an informal meet and greet at 8:45 AM. We have invited 2-year and 4-year state institutions and dozens of others from around the country to join us as we explore best practices in labor relations, organizing, and collective bargaining. You are welcome to join us as we discuss our role here at Montgomery College and share useful information to those considering how best to organize at their respective institutions. The agenda is attached here so you can see that we will have two panel discussions where you might find it useful to actively participate. We not only want to share our viewpoint as your Executive Committee, but that of our members who rely on our work as your representatives. This perspective will be quite useful to us and those who are hoping to organize.

Please note that some faculty at many institutions are divided on whether or not they even WANT to organize. They are fearful of retribution, an adversarial relationship with Management, and / or being part of a “trouble making group.” So, our goal is to provide accurate and helpful information for participants so that they can make informed decisions that guide them moving forward. We hope that they can see that having union representation does not mean there is constant disagreement and adversarial relationships, but instead should be constructive / collaborative with the end goal of making the institution better.

I hope you will consider joining us and representatives from AAUP and AFT for at least part of the day as it suits your schedule. We know you may have insights that could be particularly helpful and urge you to jump into the conversation as you see appropriate. We all have much to share with these groups, so thanks in advance for considering to participate/ attend.

AAUP / MC /AFT/ Fall Organizing Summit – 11/4 – ZOOM

On behalf of The Chapter,


AAUP Update: Chapter Communications with Dr. Williams


As previously communicated to all of you, on April 18 representatives of the three employee unions at Montgomery College wrote to Dr. Jermaine Williams about our concerns with the administration’s decision not to drop students who are unvaccinated from classes.  Allowing these students to attend classes weakens the safety net that we all agreed to create when we voted in favor of a COVID-19 mandate for all employees and students. A copy of that communication is posted on the Chapter’s webpage,

Dr. Williams responded to our concerns and explained the administration’s rationale for its decision.  We replied with a request that faculty and other employees who need flexibility to teach or work remotely be given that opportunity. We also requested that the administration rethink the unrealistic goal of 10% for remote classes for the Fall 2022 semester. 

Below is our reply to Dr. Williams. We sent this reply on Wednesday May 3. Directly below that is Dr. William’s original response to our April 18 memo.  Please take a moment from your busy schedules to read both.  

You can post any comments you may have about this on the Chapter webpage or you can send them directly to me.  In addition, we can discuss this at our virtual meeting during Professional Week on Wednesday, May 18, from 11:15 am to 12:15 pm.  Here is the Zoom link to our end-of-year meeting:

Thanks for your support. 

Harry Z. 

May 3, 2022

Dr. Williams:

We appreciate your thoughtful response to our concerns about the change in the vaccine mandate for students. The improvement in health conditions in Montgomery County and other areas around the country is encouraging.  We hope that Dr. Anthony Fauci is correct in his estimation that the U.S. is now in a “transitional phase” that may ultimately lead to a future in which COVID-19 is as controllable as the seasonal flu. 

But, as Dr. Fauci noted, the pandemic is still with us.  Vaccines have gotten us this far, and vaccines continue to be the most critical tool we have to fight this deadly disease. We have seen COVID-19 spawn many variants, each more contagious than the previous one. Although the rate of deaths has declined, new cases and hospitalizations have recently increased. The fact that the overall COVID death toll in our country will soon reach 1 million is a sober reminder to remain vigilant.  

Montgomery College currently employs many faculty and staff members who are at higher risk of COVID because of age, medical condition, or the condition of family members. As the union representatives of these employees, we should have been brought into the discussion before the decision to rescind the student mandate was made.  We have heard from many of our constituents who oppose the college’s decision. Here are excerpts from two letters we recently received:

“I will be returning to f2f classes this summer.  I have been teaching online and am freshly recovered (I hope) from cancer surgery this past Jan 24th.  I am not thrilled to be immune-compromised with unvaccinated students roaming the halls.” 

I “will not be returning to MC if this policy will be adopted as I have several health issues which take precedence. Just as other immunizations are required, COVID should be necessary to protect the health of all in the community. I also have disabled family members that I must protect.”

As leaders of the unions that represent almost all of the employees at Montgomery College, we respectfully disagree with the college’s decision not to drop students from classes for failure to get vaccinated.  Now is not the time to go backwards.  Even if students continue to be advised that vaccination is expected, the knowledge that they will not be dropped from classes if they do not follow through is a disincentive to comply. 

This decision is likely to undermine the safety net that all of us agreed to create when we overwhelmingly voted to support the mandate.

Therefore, we request that the administration make the following adjustments:

  • Employees at high risk should be given permission to teach remotely or do telework if they so desire.  The current policy allows for up to 3 days per week of telework, but in many offices, specifically Student Affairs, employees have been instructed that the limit is one day per week.  Considering the change in the student vaccination mandate policy, this is unacceptable.
  • The college should rethink its target of 10% for structured remote and online classes for the Fall 2022 semester.

The 10% limit will make it difficult for employees to get the flexibility they need to stay safe and do their work effectively. If this limit is imposed, there will be insufficient remote classes for all the faculty who will request them due to their medical and/or personal circumstances. A target of 35% for remote classes would be more realistic.

Thank you for considering our views and suggestions.  We look forward to your response.


Harry Zarin, President AAUP

Lori Ulrich, President AFSCME

Victoria Baldassano, Director SEIU


From: Jermaine F. Williams, President, Montgomery College <>

Sent: Friday, April 22, 2022 2:31 PM
To: Baldassano, Victoria A <>; Ulrich, Lori A <>; Zarin, Harry <>
Subject: Your recent message

Dear Victoria, Lori, and Harry:

Thank you for your April 19, 2022, email message communicating your concerns about the College’s decision to adjust the vaccine requirement for students. As I noted when we last met, I am pleased that the unions are engaged in these critical topics, and appreciate hearing your views, individually and collectively. Our conversations with the three of you prior to adjusting the masking requirement highlighted several coronavirus concerns among employees that were also considered in our decision to adjust the vaccine requirement for students. The two mitigation strategies both share some important impacts on classroom and workplace health, enrollment, and student success.

I want to assure you that the health and safety of the College community continue to be paramount, as they have been from the start of the pandemic. The College has demonstrated this commitment in multiple ways. We established one of the most rigorous requirements for student vaccination among community colleges in Maryland. Only one other community college required student vaccinations, and we were the only two colleges that removed students from face-to-face classes for failure to be vaccinated during the spring semester. As you may know, more than 700 MC students were deleted from classes for failing to comply with the student vaccine requirements.

The College’s recent decision to remove the penalty for non-vaccinated students in the summer sessions and fall semester was the result of careful consideration by my senior leadership team. At the same time, we are redoubling efforts to continue to educate and encourage all in our College community to be vaccinated, get boosters when eligible, practice good hygiene, and wear masks in certain venues. By informing students that they are expected to be vaccinated and directing them to our system to upload their vaccine cards, we contribute to the robust vaccination culture established over the past two semesters. These efforts build on the reported student vaccination rate of more than 90 percent accomplished thus far.

Our commitment to ensure equitable access and opportunity, as well as fuel the economy and drive economic mobility, rests on enhancing access for the diverse populations we serve and seek to serve. We believe the College can increase access in ways that continue to follow evolving health guidance, are safe and healthy, and meet the needs of our students and employees. As you know, masks continue to be required in classrooms and learning spaces.  Employees are also empowered to request masks be worn in their personal office spaces.

The process by which the student vaccination decision was made included consideration of the following.

• Health conditions are now very different than when the vaccination requirement was announced in September 2021: there is a high vaccination rate, medications are available for infected individuals, and state and county COVID conditions have vastly improved.

• The Montgomery County vaccination rate is very high: 95 percent of residents have at least one dose, 87 percent are fully vaccinated, and 54 percent are boosted—our students’ vaccination rates are comparable.

•  The transmission rate in Montgomery County remains consistently low.

•  The hospitalization and ICU bed utilization rates for COVID cases in Montgomery County are very low (and these are the key indicators informing updated CDC guidance).

•  Masks are required in classrooms, but even if the requirement is dropped in the future, a mask can be worn by anyone, anywhere, anytime.

We have also benchmarked what other higher education institutions are doing for comparison. And, most importantly, if conditions should change significantly, we are prepared to pivot as needed.

As health and safety conditions continue to change, we must appropriately respond. We look forward to engaging union leadership in this conversation.

As you know, the College has a full-time public health director whose expertise includes interpreting data on local conditions to inform real-time decision-making and advise senior leaders about evolving conditions. I have found her to be very adept with these issues, and well-equipped to guide us through directions from national, state, and local health authorities on topics such as masking.

We are dedicated to communication and transparency. Respective members of the senior team remain committed to meeting with each union to discuss matters of interest related to the collective bargaining agreements. Furthermore, I look forward to our meeting later this semester when we can continue our conversation about relationship building and a positive path forward that advances the mission of the College.

I very much appreciate your concern for the health and safety of faculty, staff, and students. My senior leadership team and I hold this as our highest priority and welcome your collaboration on meeting our shared goals—empowering students to change their lives and enriching the life of the community.



Jermaine F. Williams
Office of the President
Montgomery College
9221 Corporate Boulevard
Rockville, MD 20850

Call for nominations for MC-AAUP Executive Committee (Deadline Friday, May 6, 2022)

Dear fellow faculty,

Thank you for all you do to support the union. Please consider participating in our nomination and voting process over the next few weeks. Here’s the timeline:

Nominations: We are accepting nominations for the following Executive Committee positions: President, Vice-President for each campus, Treasurer, and Secretary. The nominations period will end on Friday, May 6. Please consider nominating an appropriate candidate for a position. Self-nominations are welcome. More information about our nomination and voting process is available in our Constitution, which you can find on the MC-AAUP website. Please send your nominations to Julie Levinson,

Please find the linked description of each open Executive Committee position: President, Vice-President for each campus, Treasurer, and Secretary. Any AAUP member collegewide may nominate someone for the positions of President, Treasurer, and Secretary. Only AAUP members on a particular campus may nominate someone for their respective campus Vice-President position. Please check with the person you would like to nominate before sending their name forward.

Voting: After the nomination process, you will have the opportunity to vote for the officers who will represent you. This step does not take much time, but is one of the most significant actions you might take for the union because you are choosing your leadership. Electronic voting will begin on May 12 and will end on May 17.

End-of-the-year meeting, May 18, by Zoom. The results of the election will be announced at this closing meeting. Your attendance at the year’s-end meeting is not only an opportunity to receive crucial information and vote on contract-related issues, but your participation is also a marker of an engaged membership.

Thank you again for all that you do for our college, for our students, and for our chapter.

In solidarity and on behalf of the chapter,

Michael LeBlanc, PhD

Acting Treasurer, AAUP, MC Chapter

AAUP Update: Nominations and Commencement

May 3, 2022


I have decided that rather than sending all of you one very long update to send you two shorter updates, one this week and one next week.  This week’s update will focus on nominations for Chapter Officers for next year and Commencement.

This is a very busy time for all of us, the last week of classes, getting ready to give final exams next week and the massive and time-consuming grading of final assignments and final exams.  Adding to the stress we usually feel at this time of year is the fact that this has been a difficult period of time for all of us because of the COVID epidemic.  We are still adjusting to the return to campus, many of our families and our students’ families have been impacted in negatives ways by the COVID epidemic, and we are now having to adjust our work-life balance due to the increased emphasis on our return to campus plans.

Please make sure you take some time to take care of yourself and get away from your work.  


As was announced in an e-mail on Monday by our Treasurer Michael LeBlanc, nominations for all elected Executive Committee positions is now open and the nominating period ends on Friday May 6.  All positions are open because, according to our constitution, we each serve a one-year term of office.  The open positions include President, Secretary, Treasurer, VP-Germantown, VP-Rockville, VP-Takoma Park/Silver Spring.  If you are interested in knowing who is currently serving in each of these positions go to and then click on the Executive Committee link towards the top of the page.  A brief description of the responsibilities of each Chapter officer is located in our Constitution and that document can be accessed by clicking on the Chapter Documents link on the Chapter webpage.

If you are interested in running for a particular office or if you are interested in nominating another faculty member for a particular office, please e-mail your communication to Julie Levinson, Counseling TP/SS.  Each Chapter officer must be a dues-paying member of the Chapter, and we will verify said membership before the faculty member is added to the ballot.

Our Executive Committee meetings typically occur twice a month on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30-5:00.  Some of the Officers receive ESH, and all Officers are expected to participate in various activities throughout the academic year.  The workload is usually spread out so that no one Officer feels overwhelmed. 

My involvement in the Chapter started in 2000 when I was drafted to be the Chapter’s Chief Negotiator.  I was sent to a summer training program that was organized by our National Office, and I had a full negotiating team to work with me throughout the negotiations process.  This was an enjoyable, while at times, frustrating experience.  I was then elected to my first term as the Chapter’s President.  Since that time, with the exception of a three-year period, I have either been the President or Past President of the Chapter.

I believe it is very important for the Chapter that others in the faculty ranks learn how to do this job and that now is the time for this change to take place.  I have informed the members of the Executive Committee that I am not going to run for office for next year.  I will still be involved with Chapter leadership and Chapter activities because I will still be a member of the Executive Committee but in a different role, the Immediate Past President.  I believe that due to the complexities of this role the person who replaces me should be one of the members of the current Executive Committee.  We definitely have several members of the Executive Committee who have the ability to take on this role and manage the Chapter’s affairs. 


This year’s commencement will occur on the Rockville Campus on Thursday and Friday May 19 and 20.  We have all seen the announcements and call for volunteers.  This is the time of year when we want to celebrate the accomplishments of our students and attending graduation is one way we can do this.  Several e-mails have been sent to the College community with a call for volunteers and notifications about commencement.  I encourage all of you to attend at least one day of graduation.  Whether you volunteer to assist with graduation or if you decide to march in your cap and gown, our collective participation will be appreciated by the students and their families. 

Closing Meeting:

On Wednesday, May 18, we will host our end of year meeting via Zoom.  A Zoom link will be sent to all of you as we approach that date.  Our meeting will start around 11:15, and we will open the Zoom room around 11:00.  We have worked with IT and can now host over 300 people in the meeting.  The Executive Committee appreciates all who attend and participate in these meetings, and we like hearing from the membership during these meetings.  As a faculty we only get together three times a year, so please plan on attending and participating in the meeting.

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Z.

AAUP Update: Negotiations Primer- next week! Please join us!

Dear FT Faculty colleagues, 

Good evening! 

The AAUP negotiating team will be sponsoring a “Negotiations Primer” to be held on Zoom on Wednesday May 4 from 3-4:30 pm, with Monica Owens, a trainer from AAUP National. Monica is joining us to discuss both traditional and interest-based methods of bargaining, the process of negotiation,  and strategies to increase effectiveness at the bargaining table. This primer will be a good introduction to the work of the negotiating team.  We are moving rapidly towards the negotiation of the full contract in fall 2023. To that end, we will be expanding membership on the negotiating team over the next year, so if you have ever thought about, or been curious, about negotiations, please join us at this forum! 

A zoom link/invitation will be sent out with a reminder later this week. Please let us know if you have any questions, and we look forward to seeing you at our final AAUP forum for this spring 2022 semester. 

Thanks as always for your continued support and trust as we represent you in collective bargaining for our union contract. 

For the Chapter, 

The AAUP Negotiating team- 

Sharon Piper, Lead
Tito Baca
Carrie Fitzgerald

AAUP Update: Testimony to Montgomery County Council

Montgomery County Council
FY28 Operating Budget Public Hearing
Testimony of Karl Smith, MC F-T Faculty

April 19, 2022

Dear Council Members,

My name is Karl Smith. I’m a professor of history and political science at Montgomery College. I’m here today as a representative of the Montgomery College Chapter of AAUP.

I came to Montgomery College in 2004 for the work and the career opportunity. I stayed for the remarkable students and the chance to be a part of an institution that shapes lives and is an essential part of the community.

To be at MC is to be immersed in a sea of student success and diligent, persevering faculty and staff. Stories of student maturity and development abound. One such story is a former student of mine who went from MC to UMBC to Virginia Commonwealth University where she got her MS in genetic counseling and is now an investigator of clinical trials at NIH. She and her husband recently bought a house in Bethesda. I can’t tell you how energizing it is to see that kind of growth; from a student taking 100 level courses to a career professional, contributing to the health of our community and the county tax base. Or, there’s the student who went from MC to UMD to study pharmacy, and after working in Maryland for several years, is now working at an elder care facility in California. I have seen a former student wearing the MoCo police uniform. He joined the force about 10 years ago. Further, I have had several wounded veterans from Walter Reed/Navy Medical facility in my classes at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus.

These successes are facilitated by the work we do at the college. For years I have taught in the honors programs. Students doing honors work elevate their academic status, and as a result they become strong candidates (and often winners) of the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship for transfer students. These students are applying for and getting accepted to places like Cornell, Colombia, UMBC, Howard, Smith College and many more. Right now three of my former students are at Smith College. As far as I know, at least two are planning to return to the DMV when they are done.

Incidentally, I have lived in Montgomery County for about 16 years. I am struck by the number of my neighbors who have taken classes at MC, couples who met at MC, or have family member studying at MC. I believe a few members of this council have also taken classes at MC. This kind of community reach is deep and transformative.

All this success has not wavered in the face of the pandemic. On the contrary, I see all around me faculty, staff and, most importantly, students, who show grit in the face of overwhelming difficulties due to covid. To their credit, they persist.

With all these achievements in mind, I think this is a good time to express gratitude for the Council’s prior financial support of Montgomery College. I sincerely hope that the council will continue to support the college in the future and fully fund MC‘s FY23 operating budget and fund pay raises for AAUP members and all faculty and staff. With full funding we can continue to be an instrument for achievement, growth and personal success in Montgomery County.Thank you for your attention.

Professor Karl Smith
Montgomery College Faculty
Humanities Department