On Tuesday, March 28, Adjunct Faculty Association President Gail Haase provided the following
comments to the Maricopa Community College Governing Board:
On Saturday, February 18, The AFA, along with the Maricopa Center for Learning and
Instruction, hosted L.E.A.D. the
Conference at South Mountain.
This was the first time we have been at South and it turned out to be an ideal venue. We would like to thank South for graciously hosting us. It was not easy – they are a very busy place on Saturdays. They also gave us a very generous supply of SWAG, and there was something for everyone. I think that contributed a great deal to the energized climate of the conference.
For the first time, a past member of the board was our keynote speaker. Doyle Burke brought a well-organized explanation of institutional knowledge to the adjuncts and it was very well received. He explained some of the changes in growth, in funding, and future strategic planning. The adjuncts responded very well to his warm style, and they also asked questions that were really heartfelt, such as how to navigate and do your job well during a period of change and polarization. He talked about shifting demographics and systemic changes. It was gratifying to see how strongly the audience responded to Mr. Burke’s presentation.
Because adjuncts are actually only connected by email, we built some social time into the conference. At the close, we hosted a mocktail hour, and had adjuncts sit with their school reps, but with a twist. This time, the tables were arranged in the proposed regions. This turned out very positively as they spontaneously discussed becoming a region. The exchange was intriguing as they talked about their school’s respective climate, and speculated as to what it might mean to become a region.
At this conference, the videographers from Mesa’s Media Team were there to capture video on the benefits of professional development. They will create a video from this that will be used to promote professional development for adjuncts.
Because adjuncts come from so many different disciplines and backgrounds, there are many sets of needs. Programs such as Adjunct Academy or Institute at Gateway and EDGE at Paradise, have paved the way. Now schools, such as Phoenix and South are participating and building similar programs and all have a vision for growing.
The Centers for Teaching and Learning (CTL) are kicking off Spring Training, which is a major element of on their program called CTL Near You, which emphasizes that adjuncts can take any of the professional classes offered at any CTL in the district. So right now, there are many excellent training opportunities available.
There are many more needs to address. Part of the mission of the adjunct district-wide Faculty Development Team has been to embrace the challenge of communicating and incentivizing these opportunities.
I would also like to give a shout out to Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction. This team, especially Stephanie Williams and Don Jensen-Bobadilla, works very hard to help adjuncts, whether with our events or with Adjunct Faculty Professional Growth. The AFA appreciates the support of the district through MCLI.