Hard decisions for NWC trustees

Submitted by Connie Coltrell Moore
Posted 2/25/21

Dear Editor:

I have been teaching Spanish at Northwest College in Powell Wyoming for 18 years. I taught as an adjunct professor for 14 years before I was promoted to visiting instructor in January …

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Hard decisions for NWC trustees

Posted

Dear Editor:

I have been teaching Spanish at Northwest College in Powell Wyoming for 18 years. I taught as an adjunct professor for 14 years before I was promoted to visiting instructor in January of 2017.

The teachers at NWC are the heart of the institution and their jobs must be protected. As constituents of Northwest College, it is imperative to contact the board of trustees to inform them of the importance of the teachers.

The board members are in the process of gathering information to decide how to budget for the shortfall in funding. Decisions regarding cuts will be made in April.

With the proposed reduction in force, there will be the following cuts made to faculty:

• Fixed-term animal science faculty position

• Fixed-term English (foreign language) position

• Fixed-term music faculty position

• Fixed-term political science position reduced to support statutory instruction

• Non-tenured biology faculty position

• Open education faculty position

• Non-tenured math faculty position

 

Tenured faculty recommended reduction in force:

• Anthropology/sociology faculty position

• Communications faculty position

• English faculty position

 

Great teachers will be terminated and this will begin a downward spiral for NWC. Students go to NWC because of the great teachers. I know each of these teachers personally and know they are amazing teachers. Unfortunately, they are fixed-term or are lower in seniority so their jobs are not protected by tenure or seniority.

Those who are not tenured and even the adjunct professors are a great asset to this institution. This is the wrong direction because we sacrifice the future of NWC. Why are we cutting new teachers who have many more years to devote to the future of this institution?

I propose that the board cover the budget shortfall by spreading out the shortage of money between all NWC employees. Each employee could take a cut in their pay. This course of action best supports the NWC mission statement.

The mission statement states: First, we are student-centered. Our students are our customers, our product and our best advertisers. Second, we are forward-thinking, innovative, and investing in continuous learning for faculty and staff. We cultivate community by retaining and recruiting select professors who will make lasting contributions to the college.

COVID has taught us education and learning is not about the buildings. Education is about teacher-student interaction and the quality of instruction given. Schools only need students and teachers.

There are many potential solutions to the current budget shortfall. We are friends who live in a small community. We best adhere to the NWC mission statement by sharing the load of budget cuts together.

NWC must retain a variety of course material to meet our students’ needs so they do not choose other education options.

We need to invest in the future by keeping new and good teachers who are adept with technology. The students’ opinion of their professor matters. Professors, adjuncts and fixed term instructors contribute to the bottom line. The teachers have the greatest impact on the students.

All could take a pay cut to help. We could all sacrifice on our salary for the good of the whole. We should all share the load of the budget cuts together.

Ultimately, I desire what is best for Northwest College. I want to continue as a Spanish instructor and am willing to make sacrifices so that NWC will continue to be an outstanding institution of learning for all. As a matter of fact, I have already offered to return to teaching as an adjunct and take a 72% pay cut and lose benefits. Are others willing to do the same? 

Connie Coltrell Moore

Powell

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