A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA

SACMedia

A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA

SACMedia

A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA

SACMedia

Faculty will not add students above class’s capacity this summer

Mt. SAC faces demands including from the Faculty Association and incomplete construction projects
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Sara Hager
Mt. SAC’s construction plan has gone over budget, needing $50 million more from the community.

The Mt. SAC Faculty Association demands their cost-of-living wage adjustments which have yet to be met in full by the college impacting students for the summer 2024 semester and possibly the upcoming fall semester.

The college is also reviewing its construction budget, asking the community for $50 million to complete ongoing projects.

In a press release from the Mt. SAC FA, they stated that they have yet to receive their proportional share of their Cost of Living Adjustment when the district received it last year in July.

FA Interim Organizer Lori Nguyen stated in an email to SAC Media that faculty and staff have received a 4.11% COLA increase after negotiations but the full COLA given from California to Mt. SAC is 8.22%, which the FA has now resorted to “begging” for.

Nguyen added that administration and management are not affected by COLA.

FA President Emily Woolery, 54, mentioned that the school has an inflated reserve, which could be used to pay faculty.

According to Board Policy 6250, the total reserve should be more than 10% of the total unrestricted general fund expenditures but below 18%. Ten percent of the reserve in 2023 would be $27.7 million, but it sat at $54.1 million, over 19% of total expenditures.

 

“…Mt. SAC does not appreciate us going above and beyond so we must stop,” Nguyen stated regarding the FA’s new “Mind the Cap” movement.

Starting this summer 2024 semester, faculty will not add students above the class’s capacity.

The movement comes after an increased student enrollment, which benefits the college’s ranking. However, faculty do not get paid more for “going above and beyond” and taking on more students. Faculty get paid more for taking on more classes.

As Mt. SAC’s student enrollment increased this spring semester, Nguyen said that many classes and over 500 sections were canceled, instead affecting faculty’s scheduling, full-time status and pay. This change has also led faculty to “mind the cap” of their classes.

Nguyen, who also teaches ANAT 10A at Mt. SAC, said that around 20% of the students she teaches are over the cap because students beg her to take these classes.

“We feel we have to do this because of the way the district has treated our negotiation process. So if students can please understand, we’re not wanting to turn students away by not taking extra students. It makes us feel terrible.”

— Lori Nguyen

According to Nguyen, students unable to get into classes they need for graduation because their classes were canceled would mess up a lot of students’ plans to graduate.

“… that may mess up your schedule, it may mess up your plans to graduate on time or plans to transfer,” Nguyen said. “The classes that are currently open may not fit your schedule so that may delay your plans.”

FA President Emily Woolery, 54, expanded on how the district should help both faculty and students with this issue.

“The way the district can recognize that best is by passing along the cost of living adjustment increases that they receive,” Woolery said. “…Then, the additional sections so that faculty are not overworked with high class sizes.”

 


 

Mt. SAC’s ongoing construction with the MSAC sign looming over it all.

 

Additionally, Mt. SAC is struggling with financial issues following the construction of the student center and are looking to find more funding to complete other campus projects. Despite the original proposal of $750 million from Measure GO in 2018, Mt. SAC is said to need an additional $50 million to fully complete further construction projects.

The college is exploring funding options that may help finish the under-construction technology and health building.

Jill Dolan, Mt. SAC’s director of public relations, shared her insight on the budget issues and what caused the lack of funding.

“…we spend the majority of that money on the new student center and currently building the campus store and instruction office…,” Dolan said. “So now we’re at a point that if we want to move forward on that new tech and health building, we are $50 million short.

The budget shortage is mostly attributed to inflation, the increase in material cost and the college divisions taking on multiple large-scale projects simultaneously while the budget is slowly running out.

Mt. SAC is looking to secure additional bond money in November of this year.

 

Construction of the new instruction’s office taken on March 2023. (Sara Hager)

 

The Faculty Association will be protesting at this week’s board of trustees meeting this Wednesday on June 5 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

“This is the best way to say ‘thank you’ to your teachers and staff,” Nguyen stated.

Nguyen is asking for people to join the FA on Grand and San Jose Hill where trustees usually park to honk their horns and show support to faculty and staff.

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About the Contributors
Adam Young
Adam Young, Editor in Chief
Adam Le Young is the Editor in Chief. He has been pursuing journalism since 2022. Adam likes covering local news as well as being vocal on his various, polarizing opinions. He is interested in Dungeons and Dragons as well as keeping up with politics.   Email: [email protected]
Ariel Phillips
Ariel Phillips, Co-Features Editor
Ariel Phillips is the Co-Features Editor. For the past year, she has been pursuing journalism and likes to write personal feature stories. A fun fact about Ariel is that she knows her numbers in seven different languages.
Cassidy Olson
Cassidy Olson, Co-Features Editor
Cassidy Olson is the Co-Features Editor. She has been in the journalism program since 2022 and  likes to cover feature and sports stories. A fun fact about her is that she is double jointed.

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