We Need a Union


Fellow SSC faculty, we need a union. It will be protective for us, it will be formed by us, and it will be run by us.

We need a union, for ourselves:

We need a union, for our students:

  • Because faculty working conditions are student learning conditions.
  • Because academics are being continually rehoused under enrollment and marketing.
  • Because our diverse population of students deserves increased diversity in our classrooms.
  • Because an increasing focus on the approach of “butts-in-seats before all else” is a detriment to their education.

We need a union, for our profession:

We need a union, for our society:

Fellow faculty, we need a union. Because together, we are strong.

~ Angela Adkins
Associate Professor of Sociology

*Reposted from Facebook, links added 


Updates and questions from the Board minutes


Update 7/24: A college email announcement was sent confirming that health care costs would be increasing 6.85% starting on the September 2018 pay. 

Update 6/29:
A college-wide email announcement was sent subsequent to our request for information regarding the new VP position. It appears that this was title and salary change by appointment, and there was no public hiring search to fill a job position. As of yet, no further associated division/department restructuring has been announced. It is unclear why this change was not announced to the college community in early May when it was approved, as is the standard practice when personnel or structural changes are pending.

Update 6/27:
We received the following from SSC in regard to our request for clarification on healthcare cost increase and when any known potential for increase would be announced to employees:

“The cost for the medical and dental insurance premiums are split between the employee (15%) and the College (85%). The COG’s board has to vote on the rates each year which is generally done in June with a July 1 effective date to correspond to the fiscal year. The COG has shared that the rates have increased 6.85%. Rates per pay have historically been distributed via email from payroll.”

As noted below a 10% increase was assumed in the fiscal year budget, but that figure is not a certainty yet. Yet it is something to be aware of as a distinct possibility (otherwise why budget for it?), particularly given that it impacts and offsets salary increases. For instance, current family medical cost is $251.04 monthly for employees. An increase of 10% in total insurance rate would equate to $276.14 monthly as the 15% employee share of the premium. It appears official notification of any increase will be made to employees only once a change is to go into effect.

Original post 6/25:
The recently-released minutes from the Stark State Board of Trustees meeting in May noted that  “Healthcare costs are assumed to increase ten percent as presented by Stark County Schools” in the FY 2019 budget. It is unclear when/if these increased costs are anticipated to take effect and whether or how an increase in such cost will affect SSC employees, as well as when and how these potential increases would be announced to the college community.

From the SSC Board of Trustees Record of Proceedings for May 9, 2018 section on New Business

From the minutes, it also appears that there will be a new division/department name: Advancement & Strategic Partnerships and/or Advancement & External Relations as well as a new VP for it, effective 7/1/2018. It is unclear from the minutes whether this represents only a name change (from Advancement, Marketing and SSC Foundation) or if it will involve any restructuring of any existing divisions or departments. It is also unclear if there was a public hiring search to fill the VP position.

From the SSC Board of Trustees Record of Proceedings for May 9, 2018 section on Personnel Actions

Stark AAUP has reached out to the college for clarification on these questions and will report back to our colleagues here with any information received. Also, the already-pending changes in job positions and division/dept name listed in the minutes were not included in the requested salary records received in June 2018. We will update the most recent 2018-2019 salary index page to reflect these changes as soon as the clarifying information is received.

Repost: Faculty Survey Results


SSC colleagues, this is an opportune time to repost the findings from our Faculty Climate Appraisal Survey last year. As many of you know, Faculty Association recently sent an open survey to SSC faculty, and then a listing of summary items to rank as top 5 choices, in preparation for the closed salary discussions that are upcoming. While the Faculty Association has opted not to share their full initial survey data with faculty (and we continue to ask why that is the case), the edited summary line items which were provided do suggest that many of the issues and concerns reflected in our results below still remain unaddressed.

* Originally posted March 30, 2015

Below are the compiled results of our recent Faculty Climate Appraisal Survey, conducted February 13-27, 2015. Thanks to everyone who took the time to provide such valuable input. We greatly appreciate your participation!

The overall results indicated a number of areas and opportunities for improvement on our campus. We have initiated a request regarding discussion of these issues and ways they might be addressed. Unfortunately, Faculty Association has declined to collaborate but we await a response from other administrative areas as to collaboration possibilities. Further details will be forthcoming and posted here once we have them. We also look forward to hearing from faculty regarding ideas about next steps. Feel free to leave a comment or to contact one of the chapter officers directly.

* Update 4/6/15: Stark AAUP received a reply from Provost Gibson-Shreve regarding our invitation for further discussion of results with leadership and collaboration opportunities to address issues raised in the survey. The Provost stated that she and the President have reviewed the results posted here and are discussing the collective information they’ve received.

General summary:
In total, there were 203 respondents representing a range of faculty from various divisions and positions. Duplicate submissions and incomplete surveys were removed.

Among part-time faculty, more than half reported teaching at more than one institution. Average number of courses was 3.6 and average hours taught were 13.9 (averages include all institutions where applicable, but do not account for contact/credit hour variation). Among full time faculty, average number of courses was 4.2 and average hours taught were 14.6 (averages do not account for variation in required course load by position, nor for contact/credit hour variation). In addition, 62% of full-time faculty respondents reported teaching overload courses, with more than three-quarters of those stating that their primary reason for overloads was additional salary.

The survey included a number of questions asking for level of agreement/disagreement with various statements, and there was also an area provided for open-ended comments on each of those topics. Summary charts and the open comments have been included here ***. In summary charts, the Agree and Strongly Agree responses were collapsed into a single item, as were Disagree and Strongly Disagree responses. Percentages reflect the proportion relative to the total of those responding to the statement. Don’t Know or Not Applicable item responses were not included.

Questions about SSC meeting needs of various entities:


  • Clear hierarchy of whose needs are prioritized and whose needs are not. Students and faculty always seem to come last.
  • The college’s focus on DE and high school students has shut out the majority of our typical student body. Resources are allocated to attract those students while our current student body suffers from a lack of course offerings, support services, and classroom resources. The role of a community college should be to meet the needs of its community; however, SSC’s focus on high school students is ignoring the very population the college was designed to serve.
  • I do not believe that Stark State pays much attention to its adjunct faculty. In my experience, those hired for this position are pretty much on their own.
  • Needs of faculty are not-micromanagement is affluent! One of the needs of faculty is to be respected for what you know, to make decisions. There is a serious lack of communication between the ranks–deans do not communicate effectively–sometimes not at all. It is expected that the deans will tell the department chairs and the chairs the coordinators, by that time the information is so watered down, and questions go answered.
  • Administrators are paid too much.
  • The Affordable Health Care Act caused major changes in the amount of hours that adjunct faculty are permitted to teach. And now adjunct faculty need to account for nonteaching (prep) hours that we do not get paid for. WHY is this necessary????? Stark State College should also hire more full time faculty from its adjunct faculty members before looking to outside resources.
  • Advising is still an issue. Too many students receive either little advising or mis-advising that sends them in different directions, or finds them taking classes that were ill advised. Administration is forced to make decisions about schedules so far in advance, that schedules are posted prior to actual knowledge of the needs are in place. This year, schedules from previous semesters were rolled over and posted and more importantly, opened for students to register without assurance that they were correct.
  • We could do better with having more services for students in satellite campuses. books/food/support services
  • Several issues in the past 3 years with students being correctly dual enrolled
  • I was hired to do a specific set of duties. I have since been asked to handle many other duties including a full teaching load for dept. chair which is unrealistic (including CE and apprenticeship director). I could be much more effective as an administrator to our faculty and staff if I had adequate time to concentrate on these tasks outside of always being in the classroom, etc. Department chair duties vary widely within the college. This should be taken into account when assigning teaching loads. I actually love the teaching component of the job… just don’t like not being able to perform at my very best in all aspects of the job due to time constraints and constant deadlines that have not been adequately planned for and on the calendar in advance.
  • The needs of the students are not always met with regard to scheduling sections and offerings of classes. For example, I have a student who needs one class to graduate. It is only offered in the Fall, one section at 9:00 am. He works full-time and will not be able to attend that class. I am confident our Department Chair will work something out like and Independent Study for this student, however, I hear a lot of complaints about not enough varied class times/offerings. If we are about completion, let’s be about completion and be more creative in offerings–even if they are Independent Study, etc.
  • SSC has a reputation in the greater community of NOT cooperating with other institutions of higher learning in the sense of matriculating courses and of “moving the goal post” for students’ programs.
  • Supervisor is Outstanding – –
  • As an Adjunct I do not understand all the “unwritten rules” that have ultimately affected our students in a new curriculum as they prepare for graduation.
  • We are concerned with “Completion” but yet I have a core of students who completed one degree in my programs with accepted substitutions. Now these students are trying to graduate with a second degree within my program and those same substituted courses are no longer allowed due to a “new” substitution rule, so these students will not graduate from SSC. They are all A students. They will go forward, ungraduated to a 4 year college ‘bad-mouthing” SSC due to this. VERY ‘un-student’ oriented in this situation!
  • It’s difficult to make an informed response as an adjunct and without knowing what “needs” refers to specifically. Think about that, there are any number of ways to define needs; sure, I could guess at what they may be but let’s be clear, I’m not the arbiter of anyone’s “need”. Plus, I’m at the school twice a week at night and my interaction with students, faculty and administrators is very limited. While my experience is more extensive because of my involvement with AQIP, that still leaves me woefully short on knowing about “needs”. What little knowledge I have is essentially grounded petty bitching bounded (sometimes) by cynicism. How good is that information? Who knows if the problems are legitimate or if the complainer is just having a bad day? I will say that virtually everyone that complains back down when I let them know that SSC is very well managed and a great place (based on 31 years in industry) to work. With all this in mind, a survey is simply a poor vehicle to learn if the needs of students, faculty or administrators are being met. Here’s a novel idea, sit down and TALK to a representative cross section of each group! Whoa, Novel idea, huh…
  • I do not always feel the staff is appreciated. They work so hard! We know we do not make as much money as our competitors but some appreciation would help…
  • policies are not adhered to fairly from one department to another
  • The reduced hours for the part-time faculty and the lack of benefits is a hardship for many people. There should be an impartial person looking at what is being taught and how it is being taught. The students are not being served by memorizing material for tests without being taught how the lessons are going to be used in the real world. More hands-on and less lectures will get students better able to perform the jobs that are in industry or any job. Working in groups and solving problems is what will be expected of many of our students and we are not getting the job done.
  • I feel very isolated and alone. I think without support from a colleague at another higher education institution, I would not still have the desire to teach. I love what I do, but I am often frustrated by administration (including my department chair). I recently had a student tell me that she will not bother trying to talk to our department chair about her future needs because when she did, she felt “…belittled and worthless.” I’m sure that administrators are under pressure and have needs, too. I’m just not aware of what those needs are.
  • I think cancelling so many classes, especially at the branches, shows a poor job of meeting the students’ needs. They are counting on a particular class with a particular instructor, and then it goes away. This is not good for public relations, or showing a caring atmosphere.
  • Lacks in providing support to middle management.
  • I do not believe the administration understands the needs of faculty or….does not consider it as important as they should.
  • It is difficult teaching in the evening when there is little support from full time faculty for questions that the students have about the course.
  • I am particularly disappointed by the emphasis on the Student Evaluation program. The evaluations are no more than a personality contest. The are several universities that have abandoned the practice because they have found that there is no relationship between good student evaluations and good instructors and often the opposite is true, the good instructors get poor evaluations. Students have no idea whether or not the instructor is prepared, students are not qualified to judge the instructor’s knowledge, then the topic of delivery and communication are judgmental at best. The Student Success text book says that the students must adapt to different instructor styles and the student is responsible for understanding the material.
  • “Broader needs of the community” – tough question – when scheduling directives are contrived on an individual and departmental level to make requests unnecessarily onerous (especially in the academic realms where there are 70 offerings and 5-6 full-time instructors), these administrators do themselves a great disservice as to our ability to fulfill the third realm of essential job function of community involvement. I have no idea why the micromanagement continues at this institution. It’s simple psychology – work with your employees to allow for a schedule that incorporates the three essential functions of teaching, professional development, and community while also pursuing the opportunity to go to the gym (now, there’s an employer health initiative). Provide the schedule, and then, you will have possibly happy and healthy employees much more willing to attend commencement, be hall monitors, etc. Think out of the box.
  • Administrators receive a lot of perks along with great salaries.
  • Over the last several years the content of courses has been diluted to facilitate higher throughput and graduation rates, apparently to retain funding levels. This serves neither the community nor students well. There appears to be rampant gaming of the financial aid system by students. Necessary academic experience is assumed rather than screened for, setting up less-motivated students for failure. The bar for academic excellence and personal responsibility are set way too low, in many instances.
  • I’m not certain what comes under the umbrella of “needs” when it comes to faculty, staff, administrators.


Questions about SSC teamwork, cooperation, efforts to improve:


  • It is difficult to improve quality when students and faculty are not institutional priorities.
  • Employee suggestions are cherry-picked from the proverbial administrative golden faculty members who would not dare speak against administration. While I think shared governance is delusional, the spirit of teamwork, on the other hand, is equally problematic.
  • There is a disconnect t between faculty and the emphasis on education versus administration and assuming a more business environment.
  • I still feel that the health science area requires more full time faculty and needs less reliance on adjunct instructors to make the student experience the best it can be. And this is coming from an adjunct.
  • I am not sure how much we are “heard”or “valued”
  • See earlier comments. Efforts visible to me indicate a reverse trend.
  • There are no teams. Unless it is the I “team”. There is no teamwork! No collaboration.
  • Although the administration claims that we will not compromise rigor or quality of education in public, too many faculty are feeling the effects in individualized situations where we are asked to overlook academic issues in favor of passing the students to get them to graduation. I’m not entirely sure what our quality plans are exactly. It does not appear that improving the academics of the college by ensuring faculty and students have necessary resources in the classroom is a priority. The constant hiring of new administrators while more and more pressure is put on faculty to “work more” is also a major issue. It feels as though we are discouraged from collaborating, and efforts to do so across disciplines have been met with so much political orchestrations, I don’t want to engage in those activities anymore when they are offered. It is very clear that any sentiment that is not aligned with upper administration’s vision, even when in support of students, is quickly extinguished. Further, those who speak out tend to be punished. Opportunities are stripped from them, and I have witnessed members of the upper administration be actively rude to those who question decisions.
  • I believe that administrators and full-time faculty believe they are “better” than adjunct faculty by virtue of their full-time status. For example, when a new full-time faculty person is hired, they suddenly become the expert and/or mentor for those who have taught the class much longer and may even have a higher degree than the full-time person.
  • I’m not certain about employee suggestions. Since I’m an adjunct and my classes can be on or off campus, I don’t have access to any form of survey that asks specifically for suggestions, pay quality, unless it is online. Most decisions of the above questions are made by committee’s or full time faculty.
  • Sometimes, I hear negative things about our reputation. Mostly outside of Stark County.
  • Too many pissing contests
  • Due to this core of students and their inability to graduate, any 4-year college that we have tried to work with will have no respect for us. I have heard administrators tell me “Oh well!”
  • We have TEAM work in our area. Our Program Coordinator is always open for our input. As far as Stark State being well-respected, many persons in other communities outside of the Canton area, do not know that we exist!
  • Stark State fosters a climate of harassment, especially from department chairs. Dept chairs are vindictive. Policies of who teaches classes and how many you can teach and which are online are not the same from one department to another which is unfair
  • Our student population is in decline. All of the things we are doing to improve quality has not worked to stop the decline. Quality improvements do take a lot of time to implement and takes time away from teaching. I’m also worried about academic freedom.
  • I’m impressed with the (forgive the business cliche) agility of Para J. and the administration in monitoring and reacting to changes in the community (e.g. Fracking education). I’ve had the pleasure to work with several truly terrific people on AQIP on the “assessment process.” In this role, we’ve had to work with a variety of leaders in programs “Sciences” to Allied Health Programs. The responses to our information requests on Assessment ranged from comprehensive (more typical) to minimal (a couple of times). The lack of consistency suggests that most of the folks here truly understand how important AQIP is at SSC while a few others see at as an administrative burden. Two things come to mind based on that experience: 1) everyone needs to share the same vision for the school’s future success and 2) we need a leader to inspire everyone to take the steps (e.g. enthusiastic support of AQIP) required to reach that vision. I’d guess that this message is inconsistently delivered.
  • Each department is like an island of itself. Getting cooperation between departments is like pulling teeth. There should be more collaboration on courses that build on a previous class for a smoother and as seamless transition as possible. Using classes as if they are building blocks for success, not ego pumping, would best serve the students and the community.
  • Faculty members, in fields who should really know better, unwarrantedly bully, harass, mob, and ostracize respective colleagues based upon unilateral gossip. Unfortunately, this has also been my experience with this AAUP group as well. Many faculty and staff members have asked if my membership in this group has been worthwhile. At this point, I have very little positive to say.
  • As department chairs… it would serve our students better if we had time to observe adjuncts in the classroom routinely. Even the faculty association newsletter highlighted many student comments addressing this obvious need which ultimately would improve the overall quality of instruction at SSC.
  • The bulk of students seen at starkstate are rowdy and disrespectful. Preperation prior to classes starting- including emphasis on dress and behavior, would be helpful. To my understanding, students are assigned an advisor. How often do advisors meet individualy with students? Perhaps advisors should make apt to meet with students to encourage professionalism during schooling.
  • there seems to be quite a difference in the quality of instructors, both adjunct and full time
  • There are small pockets of very cooperative people and groups. I associate with those people. Then there are quite a number of divisions, departments, and areas that are anything but cooperative.


Questions about SSC guidelines, policies, practices:


  • Why are positions being filled with people from outside the college? We have people who are qualified that could take new positions and free up some of the budget.
  • There are pockets of people who do not follow SSC guidelines and see them as obstacles. Also when it comes to hiring, we seem to do whatever we want in different situations. Some internal candidates have to interview while other internal candidates simply are transferred to new positions. There is a lot of politics going on.
  • Why can we not hire faculty?
  • There seems to be a tremendous amount of favoritism across the board at the college. Things like professional development funds are not evenly distributed among faculty who apply. The climate at SSC is one where it is very clear that our students are not the priority for administration and some faculty.
  • There’s a clear lack of transparency at SSC, which makes it difficult for me to actuslly answer these particular questions.
  • There are too many department heads that are teaching full class loads and not being able to do what needs to be done ,which is to coordinate the teaching practices and success of the faculty (full and part-time). It is unfair to not credit a department if they are able to recycle class material, such as scrap metal or unused equipment sales. These funds should not be returned to the general fund without crediting the respective departments first.
  • Nursing does not have the budgeted amounts it needs to run the simulation lab/labs. We do not have updated equipment/technology.
  • I think resource allocation is a closed-door process. I am unclear as to why one person, Department, and/or Program is given funding. This could be a clearer process if the APR and Co-curricular Reports were used more universally throughout the College.
  • Hiring very slow process, doesn’t feel like priority…
  • Our strategy is toward student success. But there are barriers to our students being successful. Lack of tutoring, lack of resources. Policies are enforced according to department. The larger the department the more lax the policies as far as office hours and days on campus.
  • Tough to say that the guidelines and policies are consistently followed. First thought….depends on whom you are. Second though, Well, what about non-policies? No dress specifications in our P&P, but…..? No 4-day work week mandate in our P&P demanding that we have classes on all four days. What’s wrong with two days office hours/two days classes? Bottom line…..if it’s not in the P&P, why are Chairs and Deans creating nonexistent policies?
  • Guidelines and policies are not well communicated. Sure, they’re available on the website but who wants to go digging around in all of that information. I mean, I know people that are still trapped in Banner & Angel…surrounded by tabs and lots and lots and lots of detail. In addition, very little of this information was formally communicated to me during the…um…”on-boarding” process when I hired in. Simply put, SSC should not rely on passive sources (like the website) to communicate important policy information to the staff. I liked the training sessions on Title IX and FERPA but my guess is that there was government mandate to address these subjects so we’re seeing real commitment to get those messages all employed by SSC.
  • I do not find maintenance of funding in the mission statement. Of course SSC can’t help anyone if it is not operating. So if SSC has to game the system to keep operating, perhaps the system needs a rigorous examination in light of its mission statement. Another system “requirement” seems to be a master’s degree in the subject field to be able to teach. In actual practice, outside academia, job functions cross degree specifications regularly if not normally. Experience counts and should be valuable especially in accredited education.
  • I believe we excel at our hiring processes. I have only been on one search committee and I thought it was very appropriate and consistent.
  • I know of several instances where people were hired because of family ties to the school. Although that in itself in not wrong, I know of at least one case where the spouse who was given the job was obviously less qualified than others who applied. I also know of one person who was asked to apply for a full-time position even though he had just begun work on a master’s degree and was therefore not qualified. He was hired for the position. While he may be a good teacher, I believe the school selectively enforces its own rules when hiring faculty.
  • Takes too long to fill full-time openings
  • Full time faculty and committee’s determine the above.


Questions about SSC communication:


  • Somehow we don’t get told about new positions and structural policy changes until the last minute, but I can always count on 15 emails a day about clicker training and prayer rooms. Need better communication priorities.
  • EVERYTHING of any significance is always last minute. Even notices of campus events, training opportunities, etc. as communicated days before when it should be weeks. Additionally, I’m fairly certain we have “Organizational Communication” experts at this institution, however, their expertise only seems to be useful in a classroom. TIP for SSC: use the experts at your fingertips.
  • I am thankful that my chair works to keep us informed as the content of emails communicated around the college by committees is not very helpful.
  • Information is still spread out over too many places. I get lots of e-mails that are not pertinent to me, which makes it harder to focus on the ones that are pertinent.
  • The best lines of communication seem to be informal snippets and rumor. Policy and standards changes always seem to be rolled out at the last minute.
  • I have experienced a lack of communication from the course lead instructors with me, an adjunct instructor. A lack of communication regarding student roster, meetings, assignments, students joining my group for a make-up day, etc. I feel like I am doing my own thing, what benefits my students, and hope for the best.
  • we have 2 hour department meetings and then I find out I was not told everything the other departments were told. Info is sent out with email but its so much you do not have time to read it all
  • There is NO effective communication within our division. Program Coordinators are not told of changes and we are the ones responsible for the students.
  • I believe the school does a good job of getting information about meetings out to everyone via e-mail. However, there is other information that doesn’t seem to get transmitted. For example, I finally saw something about the new building (I believe in Dr. Jones’ newsletter). Up to that time, I was asking what it was and no-one I asked (admin. assistants, etc.) seemed to have a clue. Also, I believe that the department and division chairs needs to make an effort to be in direct contact (not just a newsletter) with the adjunct faculty. I know that they have meetings throughout the semester with full-time faculty. I believe that the Stark State web-site is under utilized in communication in general. While the success stories of students are interesting, that seems to be the only stories that appear on the web site. There needs to be a calendar posted on the home page with upcoming events and other important announcements.
  • “Important” is subjective. What is important for one person or Department may not be regarded as such by another.
  • The policies, procedures, and the President’s newsletters and other information is shared online. As an adjunct I rely on the this information to keep me in touch with campus changes, upcoming events and current issues that impact the use of computer since I’m not always on campus.
  • Communication is good.
  • In the past, our dean would send out an email asking who would like to be involved in a certain committee, now different events/committees are doled out. There was no announcement about NACE or when registration would begin (I found out at a committee meeting not in my division). We have no idea who is representing us on standing committees. Past Deans would send out an email, summarizing what effected us being discussed at the Dean’s meetings. Do they have a dean meeting anymore?


Questions about job performance of various positions:


  • The President’s business priorities take precedence over academics and valuing people.
  • There should be a friendlier and more open relationship between the President and Provost with the faculty. I know they are the people in charge, but they should be united in the common goal of doing what is best for the students and getting a quality and useful learning experience for them.
  • The business model that our president is pushing is not effective. It is discouraging to see more and more six-figure administrators being hired when we are told we can’t replace faculty because of a budget issue. Then, these administrative duties are then pushed down to faculty to handle.
  • Chair and dean are so buddy-buddy my dept. has no one to complain to about either. A wicked situation.
  • The president states she has an open door policy, but yet my core of students who can not graduate have tried to talk to her only to be told they can not. “She is too busy”. No effort for an appt. was offered to the students. As PC’s we are not allowed to talk to her without “permission” from the chain of command.
  • I have sent e-mails to my department chair on multiple occasions only to meet with no response. I know he is busy but this is not acceptable.
  • I do not have any idea of the job description of the President, Provost, Dean, and Department Chair (other than teaching classes)
  • I don’t think we have a dean
  • It comes down to one word: Communicate!
  • Corruption in department chairs Dean is awesome
  • Another tough one as I truly believe that there is a collusive network that extends from the chair to the President. Left to their own devices, I think the Chair and Dean would probably have better things to do than micromanage or given directives to do so.
  • I think unless we stop the decline of the student population, the President and Provost cannot get strong support. I do not like all the new work that is pushed down to the instructors. In my department, there is a level of unprofessionalism that has continued for years. No matter how much we complain to the Dean, it doesn’t work. I do not trust my department chair.
  • I appreciate the work of my department chair. I think she could be more patient and understanding with both faculty/staff and students.
  • Again, I really don’t know what most of them do because of the lack of transparency. I can’t really comment.
  • The President has too much of a focus on job training for students. Academics are lost in this process. Where is the advertising for transferability of credits?
  • The department Chair in the Education Division does an excellent job supporting adjunct faculty. She is always willing to assist in any way she can 🙂
  • I feel that the Department Chair is very personable, but deligates too much of his duties to the already busy coordinators.


Questions about SSC governance practices and morale:


  • With so many cancelled classes, faculty schedules aren’t very good, and many have several preps. That doesn’t lead to good morale.
  • There are many faculty members that are not happy. There is a feeling of being under-valued; not because of monetary issues but rather due to the disrespect senior faculty and staff are experiencing.
  • SOME faculty are included in decision-making if they are in the inner circle.
  • Morale – not too good. Extremely overworked department chairs, coordinators, and faculty. Reprimanded when we rarely trip up, but never told when we are doing well. Again, there is not enough time in the day to do our jobs (not at night or weekends either).
  • Faculty are encouraged and AIR relies on things like faculty involvement around campus; however, it is very discouraging to learn that many opportunities are invitation-only for faculty (the LMS committee as an example). Then, it is not uncommon to see the same faculty members on these committees. It is not a fair process, and many faculty are left penalized because of the political and cliquish orchestrations.
  • I have never worked in a place that is this dysfunctional.
  • Morale is dependent on how well we are able to be a support to our students. When we have a cohort of students who have worked for 2 years to graduate only to not be able to because of new rules that I did not know about – my morale and that of my staff, is horrible. We care about our students but yet we can’t help them when we don’t know these new “unwritten” policy changes.
  • For the Emporium Math courses there is way too much administrative work for the instructors. (attendance reports, progress reports, no show reports…ad infinitum in Angel) . Their time would be better spent helping students. With the new split into 8 week sessions the administrative overhead has effectively doubled. There has to be a better way to handle the administration of these classes.
  • we are not listened to in course development which is why we have so many worthless courses. Shared governance is an illusion. We are well supported by the dean but no one else. I do not think administration above the dean cares about the faculty at all. They recently removed our lunch period to fit in classes but gained nothing from it but making faculty upset.
  • As an adjunct I feel that efforts are made to make us feel we are part of the SSC family. But my contacts with FT faculty are limited and I don’t have knowledge one way or the other about faculty morale.
  • we need better facilities at the satellites
  • Maybe for full time faculty, but certainly not for adjunct faculty. Adjunct faculty should be included in department meetings and committees as well.
  • I believe the representation and morale issues depend on which department you work in and who you associate with. Sometimes, people seem to be very down about the reduction in our enrollment and the methods being used to combat this. While I always remain positive and spirited, it is sometimes difficult when there is negativity around you. That makes me wonder if our interests really are well represented–the negativity can outweigh what the majority of the faculty might really be thinking.
  • I assume that most of these questions really pertain to full-time faculty because adjuncts are not included in many of these areas. I believe if you checked, you would find that the morale among adjunct faculty is low. We used to have offices. Now, we have a room with computers. Even providing drawers to store things in would be a great improvement for those who teach several classes. The number of classes we can teach has been restricted due to the school’s reluctance to offer insurance. Many of us already have insurance through spouses, but the school will not allow us to sign a waiver. My understanding is that doing so is possible but requires some effort on the school’s part to set that up. There are a number of other issues that lead to lower morale for part-time faculty: the requirement to fill out time sheets, the loss of a class at the beginning of a semester to a full-time faculty person because the full-time faculty person’s class was cancelled, an attitude expressed by some administrators that adjuncts are only there for the convenience of the school, the exclusion of adjunct faculty from usage of the professional development fund even though we are asked to contribute to it, the attitudes sometimes expressed in the faculty association meetings that the full-time faculty members are ones who need to be considered, the absence of sick days for part-time faculty and docking of pay when one is sick, the exclusion of part-time faculty from serving as student organization sponsors, and the lack of tiered job classifications and therefore of advancement opportunities (universities offer this for part-time faculty) among other things. Another area which I am not sure is restricted to part-time faculty is the uneven treatment of bereavement notices. When my mother died, there was no recognition of that fact — not even a card. However, there are announcements and collections taken for others who have lost family members.
  • Personally- because of the issues Ive had with accessing resources for my courses.
  • There are pockets of good and bad. Shared governance has created more work than management ever did at this college. As long as management agrees with shared governance, everything is o.k. If they don’t, management does what they want to. My personal moral is very low. I have been in one of those bad pockets for years and don’t see a way out.
  • Divisions are represented fairly in our shared governance procedure, but there are too many people competing for each position. Younger, lesser-known employees who would genuinely like to get involved with shared governance and/or wish to build their advancement in rank portfolios are often beaten out by better-known employees who have been at the college for many years.
  • Really overworked….Especially full time even if I am parttime!
  • There needs to be more collaboration with faculty to discuss the identity of the College in the community and as an institution of higher education. There also need to be more valuable opportunities for faculty to participate in professional development. Focus Days don’t cut it. Personally, I’m the only one in my field at the College — I have no peers in house. Having funding for professional development opportunities would help me be a better professional and educator.
  • Unless there are adjuncts involved in the above, I am not able to make a statement to the above questions. In my department, and as an adjunct and occasionally when I am able to stop in and talk with my department chairs, the morale appears to be positive.
  • I personally don’t want more shared governance. I just want the college to be what it started out to be, “ A place to learn, like no other place.”


Questions about SSC professional development and opportunities:


  • Professional development funding is inconsistent and unfairly applied, needs a better system of distribution. Why are some requests and departments routinely denied while other areas seem to have a full menu of opportunities? Without tenure, the advancement in rank system is next to meaningless except as a method of status attainment and a mechanism for grinding axes. AIR guidelines seem like someone purposely attempted make them as convoluted as possible, and the decision committees are not accountable to using objective review criteria.
  • There is a real problem with the closed-door way professional development funding is allocated. Why am I turned down for funding when others have been granted funding and vice versa. Having a way to present my need for specific conference opportunities may help the committee better understand my request. Also, there is a problem with faculty advancement. I’m tired of seeing faculty members reach the level of Assoc. Professor, have no additional coursework under their belts, and just quit participating in College initiatives because there is no room for further advancement.
  • I completed the process two years ago, and it was unclear. I wasn’t sure if they have improved the process this past year.
  • There are no advancement opps for adjuncts. No tenure for full time. Contracts are always contingent. Going through the advancement process three weeks ago, I can attest that it is not clear, extremely time consuming (for already overworked folks) and overall, seems like an unnecessary burden as there is no real payoff (no tenure)
  • The advancement in rank procedure appears very subjective and based off of the make-up of each year’s committee. I received conflicting advice when I was going through the procedure. Now that the process is all electronic, the instructions/examples are even less clear.
  • How does an adjunct instructor advance to the rank of a full time faculty member??????
  • The raises provided for advancement in rank are ridiculously low. I have heard of raises for first level of $3500. Associate – $5000, and full professor $10,000. There is too much busy work required in putting the AIR portfolio. Especially considering the low pay raise.
  • Advancement in rank is a joke. Does not represent the above and beyond work of faculty. Any incompetent faculty gets advanced.
  • professional development is cut off or so low it will do any good
  • When your teaching load and responsibilities are so heavy that you do not have any available time to join or get on other college wide committees, then the opportunity for advancement is not an adequate opportunity. I have noticed that some faculty who only have to carry 10-12 contact hours have much more free time to participate in other college wide activities. Thus, they have an advantage when it comes to advancement in rank. Their schedule is more open and have greater availability.
  • If adjunct faculty are expected to attend professional development meetings, then compensation should be given for the time.
  • Advancement, as far as I can tell, is mostly based on additional learning. The more education and degrees that are received, the more opportunities there are for advancement. Higher education is admirable, but it does not replace common sense. I for one sincerely hope that it does not.
  • Compared to other schools I have worked at faculty development does not seem to be a priority here.
  • Very little training for Adjunct, unless mandated – – –
  • There are some good training opportunities but they are not always offered at the best times for me . Training sessions are often only offered when I am in class.
  • What is seen many time as professional development opportunities are only in the general faculty teaching role an not in the technology areas.
  • Opportunities for professional development are available. These opportunities are communicated effectively and are always available at convenient times.
  • Too much politics going on.
  • Again, I am looking at this as part-time faculty. I suspect your questions are really aimed at full-time faculty. I addressed much of this in the previous question.


Questions about job satisfaction and security:


  • I feel like faculty and staff are tolerated by administration, but not valued.
  • As an adjunct faculty member, I am earning almost minimum wage. I am not guaranteed employment from one semester to the next. I do not have benefits either.
  • It is ridiculous that professors have to fill out time sheets which don’t represent the amount of time put into class teaching and preparation. This is the most irksome thing that I have to do. Respected professionals on salary type jobs such as adjuncts should not have to do time sheets.
  • Having adjuncts report under 30 hours per week, in order to circumvent the Affordable Care Act, is not a good use of time. Why do we have to perpetuate this scheme? Whose idea was this anyway? As an institution, Stark State College should pay a portion of the health insurance of the adjuncts or give them some additional compensation if they do not want the insurance. With computers and Excel, this could certainly be calculated.
  • Morale is horrible among faculty as a general rule. Our pay scale does not lend itself to a livable wage for many of us, and we are forced to teach overloads in order to financially survive. There is something wrong with this when we are told over and over that we have to ensure our students get a good return on their investment at SSC. The college doesn’t do a very good job of showing its support for faculty.
  • Faculty should not be doing academic advising. Period. A college of this size needs dedicated advisors who know what they’re doing and can afford to spend adequate time advising students. As a full time faculty member, I teach five to six classes, serve on committees, and contribute to my department. I do not have enough time to do the kind of advising that our students deserve.
  • The pay rate for hourly personnel in my position is decent- but restrictive hours. A contract for the course I teach
  • As a staff member that falls under the aegis of the “Adjunct Model” there are no benefits. Given the responsibilities of the faculty (particularly adjuncts) I appalled by the poor pay. I made more in two weeks in industry than I do for teaching 7 contact hours. It’s important to note that the pay is irrelevant to me; I’m hear because I want to teach and give back to the community as well as I can. Because I don’t have a dog in the (salary) fight, you can trust my view on salary to be objective. As far as acknowledgement for my work or any words of approbation from my leades: nada. I’ve been observed once in three years and was given a (“your fine’ “your students are “engaged” (i.e. awake) and “interested”), beyond that, no other communication, written or otherwise. Seems like SSC could do better. Finally, I have no job in Fall of 2015 because of the totally irresponsible decision to remove chemistry from the nursing curriculum (are you kidding me! Statistics was kept, and chemistry dropped (ya know, chemicals, the stuff delivered by nurses orally, by IV and with needles, chemicals that could potentially KILL ME! that stuff…which reminds me has anyone checked with Aultman on what they do in there RN curriculum (hint…they KNOW chemistry is important ..does anyone outside of the sciences recognize this?)
  • I addressed much of this already. I appreciate that Stark State gives us raises. However, I believe it is still the lowest paying school in the area. We have no benefits. I believe adjuncts should at least be able to accumulate sick days. I don’t think any adjunct feels secure. I do not feel valued because I do not feel that adjuncts are appreciated. Some pay lip services to telling us we are valued but actions say otherwise.
  • There has been a change or shift in job security as an adjunct. Prior to the last 2 semesters, I taught 2 or more classes. Spring semester 2015, I was fortunate to get 1 class due to another instructor who could not teach in the evening. This summer..no classes…fall 2015, 1 class. Enrollment plays a part in job security, but also when full time faculty take more than their required classes to give them additional income is a big reason why adjuncts hours have been drastically reduced. Adjuncts can’t make a living on 1, 3 hour class. There should be a limit or policy as to how many additional courses full time faculty should teach. I think it would be more cost effective to have adjuncts teach additional courses. Why? ( less salary, more willing to cover off campus classes, willing to work evenings, insurance coverage).
  • It would be nice to receive more encouragement.
  • It’s the nature of the beast: adjuncts do a ton of teaching “in the trenches” (in fact they are the reason the college is a functioning entity); are not paid well, have few benefits, and absolutely no job security.
  • Well, I would be remiss if I thought my salary couldn’t be better–hence the ranking of “Agree” rather than “Strongly Agree”–who wouldn’t like to make more money for what they do? My satisfaction with my role at SSC comes from watching students succeed. It isn’t all about the money. I get tired of the “nay-sayers” when I am happy to be here and get instant rewards and personal satisfaction watching a student do well on a project or an exam or just in general. That is my “pay” for my job and I am fortunate and lucky to have this one.
  • My supervisor is corrupt. My supervisor is good a playing politics. I am not happy.
  • Please see comments at the end of the survey.
  • I am valued by other faculty and my immediate supervisor, but I have no idea how administration feels….never see them.
  • I do not need any benefits nor do I get any, but there are many part-time faculty that do need benefits and are not being offered any. I do not require any raise in salary, but there are many part-time faculty that could use the class hours being taught by department heads.
  • I love the work that I am doing. However, in order to get it all completed well, it involves working extra hours that I do not get compensated. I work through lunch, stay over, and take work home. I took a large pay cut when I came to Stark to teach compared to my last teaching job. I have the responsibility of a coordinator, but since I do not have the “title”, my load is heavier. This is why I had to check disagree. I have discussed this with the dean of my department. My contact hours do not reflect this responsibility which takes more of my time.
  • I like teaching but am strongly considering leaving because of all the non teaching work we have to do. It’s impossible to get it all done. Sometimes I am asked to do something and by the time I get it done they do not even need it anymore because they changed their minds.
  • independent study pay is disgraceful
  • If they are placing silly micromanaging 4-day work week in which I was told that the Provost was demanding and would get an affidavit from her, then I would argue that we should not be expected to complete three essential job functions. One organization that prospected me requires me to be available all day Monday (community). Well, that’s not happening, and quite frankly, Fridays are grading days for me. My class (professional development) was only available on Wednesdays this semester. P.S. You need a “You’ve got to be kidding me option” on many of these.


Questions about scheduling, resources, responsibilities:


  • We cannot keep hiring administrators when we keep losing faculty and don’t replace them. What does that say about our priorities?
  • Scheduling practices are no longer based on tenure and hiring practices are not clearly communicated.
  • Need to hire more full-time and stop depending on adjuncts. Also need to look into the hiring process and the time it takes to hire and put in place the needed faculty.
  • I chose strongly disagree because I am trying to run a simulation unit and lab without adequate budgeting. According to the accreditation body, our department has been understaffed since I have been employed. I heard they are not replacing the ones who left or retired. That will be a problem for our department and our accreditation next fall.
  • In recent years, the average academic preparation/retention and motivation levels of students has deteriorated. If we are to be tasked with remedial instruction to prepare students to accept the full challenge of college level instruction it needs to be established and funded. If we are going to relay on self-directed study (as in the remedial math studies) then we need to screen for the need and make sure students get the help they need to succeed. If F2F classes are required in addition, or as an alternative, they need to be set up as well.
  • my department is understaffed. it does effect the quality and consistency of our course offerings.
  • PC’s need P&P that are effective and clear IN WRITING. There should be no need for everyone to have a different interpretation of what they mean.
  • Scheduling is NOT fair, its done by who is favored and if you are not liked you get a crappy schedule on purpose.
  • Many issues with Banner, ANGEL for my course Always budget crunching- equipment needs updated
  • I don’t feel that it is clear at all what is supposed to be done in certain classroom situations. Therefore, it takes time to find out how to handle certain situations and therefore to resolve certain situations. There have been occasions in the past when dealing with student issues that I did not think I had the backing of the administration. In fact, I was pressured to give in to the student’s demands instead of upholding the requirements for the course. This is not reflected in the actions of current administrators.
  • My supervisor is corrupt. I am unhappy. As far as dealing with students, I deal with problems at the class level and have had success.
  • Scheduling in my department has been completely derailed by one person and the ongoing incompetence of HR and administration in dealing with that situation. We NEED more full-time faculty across the college rather than more executives.
  • I believe we have more than the needed/required staff and that’s where some of the discontent and negativity comes from, in my opinion. People seem to want to “out do” each other.
  • Our Department’s budget is a mystery to the faculty. Also, my position is so different from when I started, my job description is not applicable anymore. Therefore, it can be difficult to prioritize my day based on what the College expects me to do versus what my experience leads me to believe the job requires.
  • As previously stated, schedules are a joke. Everyone knows that if you speak up/complain, they will mess with your schedule and deny you overloads. It has happened tons!
  • Can’t really comment on budget in relation to “doing the job well.” Not privy to this information and am ignorant. During the “on-boarding” process, communication on “job responsibilities” was limited. I learned quite a bit from colleagues and asking my “chair” questions when I encountered a problem. Worked Okay I guess.
  • The staff I have worked with are competent and motivated. I do not know enough about budget issues or overall staffing to respond to those questions.
  • I do not know about the budget. For faculty numbers in our departmental, there are too many.


Focus areas for improvement:


 Sources of satisfaction and dissatisfaction:

Greatest source of dissatisfaction:

  • No communication from supervisors/administration. Everything seems so secretive and academics are no longer the focus nor seem important.
  • Not much to say here–maybe just wondering if I have job security or not. I wouldn’t want to lose the opportunity to keep doing what I love to do.
  • My pay. I made more on disablity.
  • Admin values political expediency above all else.
  • The lack of respect shown for part-time faculty.
  • Administrative bloat and non-support of the academic mission
  • Making low student graduation rates always the fault of faculty as if we have control over institutional policies or a student’s social economic consitions.
  • Not having the necessary equipment needed to provide the training required.
  • That the business model trumps everything else.
  • low moral of SSC employees. perception that faculty input is not listened too and valued and acted upon.
  • lack of term-to-term job security as an adjunct
  • Not being able to get full-time position due to budget constraints. Our department (Medical Assisting) needs the ability to give more contact time to the instructors.
  • Dealing with students that are not truly committed to being here.
  • when major changes take place and the faculty learn about it after it happens or when the change is rolled out. When we focus on ways to make more money in terms of recruiting students instead of focusing on the students we have. Empty answers to important questions.
  • The biggest source of dissatisfaction is not being praised or congratulated from administration. It doesn’t have to be anything more than a simple “Thank you.”
  • As an adjunct, lack of benefits beyond salary and STRS contributions.
  • I have never received a copy of my evaluation in the ten years I have been employed with Stark
  • The overall climate at SSC for faculty. I feel as though I was misled as SSC does not value its students (members of the administration have referred to our students in disparaging ways in public meetings), its mission (academic cuts while increasing admin), or its faculty (our pay is appalling).
  • The abuse and collusion seen in administration and HR. Employee dishonesty/ostracism/communications. Adults in academia should be well-versed in communication skills, hostile work environments, ostracism, dishonesty, etc.
  • Failure to consider seniority in scheduling adjunct classes
  • Lack of appropriate professional development opportunities. It’s expected that you teach the curriculum and you can get the materials needed but not the training.
  • Additional responsibilities required with same amount of time to complete tasks.
  • I have applied for many openings over the last two decades that I have been perfectly qualified for and have never even been interviewed. I have no idea how a person gets a job here.
  • No classes scheduled for this semester, and no way of knowing if I will be given any classes next semester.
  • salary
  • My supervisor doesn’t have any of the traits of a good manager. My supervisor talks about quality but doesn’t show quality in his/her work. My supervisor lies and makes up answers so you will go away. He/she manages with emotion and is not fair to all under him/her. 4 professors have complained over the last 3 years and has angered the supervisor be even more unprofessional. I am unhappy.
  • Faculty scheduling.
  • Undervaluing developmental education programs. Since they do not lead to certification/degree, minimal PD support is provided.
  • Lack of support for new academic programs such as photography
  • bad schedule lunch hour being removed harassment by department chair loss of overload if you disagree with something computers are not up to current standards in classroom too much babying students instead of asking them to change their work ethics
  • There is not enough time to do everything. I feel pulled in many directions: teaching, committees, department responsibilities, advising.
  • Lack of benefits (especially dental), initial training, and opportunities for advancement; vacation days/breaks (because this means lost pay); insecurity/inconsistency in work schedule (especially as enrollment continues to fall).
  • Student Evaluations are in need of overhaul.
  • The rules at the college change every day. Too many responsibilities that should be on the student are put on the instructor or the department chair.
  • Not sure about the future since enrollment is down.
  • Having to drive to various satellites
  • One faculty member who frequently causes problems with the students and doesn’t seem to think rules apply, but seldom appears to get corrected for it.
  • The extras. I love teaching but not all the extra meetings, committees, and duties. I want to be involved but it just seems over time the extra responsibilities and duties are just expected but not often compensated. I also feel if we are expected to do professional development each faculty member should be guaranteed approval for a minimum number each year. It seems some people get to go way ,ore frequently than others. Many from our area have paid out of pocket to go. I can not afford to do that and do not feel we should be expected to do so
  • not knowing my schedule or if I will get classes each semester
  • ?
  • When I attend a class and see students sitting around and not able to learn, due to lack of equipment or the inability of the instructor to help more of them. This is usually because of the subject matter is new and they are not familiar with some new equipment.
  • worry that the number of classes that are available each semester to teach will drop and I have to maintain at least 3 at a time or I will financially have to look at additional colleges/universities.
  • Too much work outside of classroom/student responsibilities…. i.e. Committes and sub-committees (divisional, institutional, AND departmental). Too many “initiatives” happening at once and the people who are proactive and committed get called upon over and over again, while the “slackers” (for lack of a better word at the moment) continue to slack. Overall, spread too thin (but I’m paid so poorly that I still need to teach at least one overload to make ends meet).
  • Work load.
  • Not being able to help the students. I advise them based upon the knowledge and skills that are given to me. When it is too late to help a student due to information I did not know, it is heartbreaking to tell students on the Dean’s list, “Sorry you can not graduate because there are now unwritten rules that I did not know about!”
  • Dilution of course material to facilitate grade inflation and improve advancement and graduation rates. Not screening for basic algebra and reading comprehension skills. This slows coverage of material which frustrates both the math literate, who would like to move faster, and those who struggle to try master new or dormant math skills while trying to keep up with course material. But if a person has no clear idea of what a problem statement says or asks, the math skills are irrelevant. The entitlement attitude of many, especially younger students, who are not particularly interested in learning or practicing concepts, or do not accept the value of a structured approach, and may not have anything but their class time reluctantly invested in the education process. The reputation of any institution depends on its product. Students do not often “bite the hand that feeds them” but I have had students question the level of challenge provided by course content. Students rely on education professionals (based on experience, competence and passion, not just pedigree) to structure programs and content to give them a competitive edge in the job market. We are letting them down. If that is because SSC must kowtow to the system, then the system is letting them down as well. Regional employers relying on the same professionalism may one day question our reputation. My thought is the bar should be raised, not lowered. If excellence is still a sought-after commodity, small and good is better than large and ineffective. Are we turning out graduates we would want to hire?
  • independent study pay
  • A lack of teaching hours.
  • Schedule (12 hours, evenings, weekends) travel between satellites High number of students per section. Very little assistance with administrative work. Need for more updated equipment for students. Stress of accreditation, need for constant stats and reports.
  • Over emphasis on the “chain of command” for everything
  • Pay
  • Not being valued by younger faculty because I am “old”.
  • The direction the college is going. We used to be different from the other two year colleges and valued knowledge and experience more than degrees. I feel like I used to make a difference with my students, but not so sure any more.
  • Lack of respect, communication, fairness, and support to carry out duties to allow for student retention and completion.
  • There is no health insurance for adjuncts. Full-time staff seem to take all of the on-line courses. The full-time staff should primarily teach face-to-face classes and be primarily involved in the day-to-day matters of the students.
  • The pay and the lack of hours I am permitted to work.
  • Frustration over wondering whether a class will be cancelled and whether I will teach.
  • Professional Development opportunities and resource allocation demystification.
  • Funding for classroom needs.
  • The constant struggle with scheduling and classes. Getting enough classes, having them run, not having to teach here, there, and everywhere to make that happen.
  • Being offered fewer classes than requested. If additional classes are offered, they are at satellite locations and have a slim chance of reaching necessary enrollment.
  • Lack of training opportunities – – –
  • Not knowing how many classes will be assigned from semester to semester.
  • Instability of location where the OPOTA Class is held Rooms are not sufficient for some of the Psycho-dynamic role-plays.
  • Overload- not enough time to get job done. Do not get compensation. Out of balance between work life and home life.
  • Already mentioned, filling out weekly timesheet. No other institution would have me do this.
  • Teaching workloads and number of preps for health faculty at the program coordinator level and higher.
  • Many other schools were closed due to weather and temp. and we were not. Allot of our students rely on the bus system and stand outside to catch the buses to come to classes. The classes did not have many students in them on these days when we had classes. We also need another means of providing food for staff and students.
  • 1. Time- it is difficult as a department chair to teach and conduct all the administrative duties to appease governing boards and accreditation issues. 2. Outdated equipment- the scantron does not provide adequate data analysis to meet accreditation standards, the labs have equipment that is in pieces and parts. Budget does not allow for maintaining state of the art equipment.
  • The cancelling of classes
  • none
  • Salary
  • Change and lack of transparency in scheduling practices.
  • I wish there were more opportunities for adjuncts for full time jobs.
  • The feeling that adjunct are ‘below’ the full time in decision making.
  • The demographic of students (non-traditioanal students who are apathetic, over-worked) lowers our success, transfer, graduation, and completion rates. I understand that the main function of any community college is to serve the under-served, marginalized population, so when atrition rates are high, faculty should not be punished (i.e. deprived of advancement in rank). One solution might be to attract a greater number of post-secondary students because they are young, without the burdens of raising children or dealing with ailing parents. There is actually a generation now called the “panini generation” or the “sandwich” generation: those who have yound children and ailing parents; it’s a situation that does not enable them to perform optimally at work or at school. Teenagers who are post-secondary are not in this catergory so they are more likely to succeed in college.
  • Allowing all adjuncts, good or bad, to only teach one class due to enrollment. Seniority and ability should allow adjuncts two classes and leftover classes to others.
  • Unfairness in assignments for teaching and failure to follow up – I am not sure my department head or dean even read my evaluations by the students. I have never received a signed evaluation – just a quick e-mail.
  • Lack of communication
  • Regularly wondering what political motivations are driving decisions on the part of the administration and faculty.
  • Student’s the learn and graduate.
  • Rude and disrespectful students–often a result of frustration because so many students’ basic educational skills are not up to a level that facilitates successful completion of college-level courses and at a pace consistent with their’ own unrealistic expectations. These same students often expect their instructors to do the reading and studying for them and move them along quickly without any real mastery of subjects having taken place. Then the students are asked to evaluate their instructors, which creates a popularity contest situation and puts an instructor who is trying hard to raise the bar in a no-win position. Students with already unrealistic expectations are not prepared to fairly judge the value of an instructor to them based on skewed views of their own efforts and potential for employ-ability.
  • Too diverse to complete all required tasks as well as I want to. It should either be an administrative position or a faculty position, not both. I spend up to 20 hours (prep and instruction) in the classroom each week of each semester before any administrative duties can be worked into the schedule. The administrative duties assigned are easily a full time position within itself without a 2/3 teaching load required. I also don’t think it fair to have us teach in the summer semester leaving us to not get any needed vacation time b/c we have to be here at least once per week to teach.
  • the lack of resources for improvement in the labs and lack of resources for faculty development outside of SSC
  • Too much administrative work. We do a lot of things twice and so do the students. The Emporium math course itself has navigational inconsistencies within its design. It is just a bit too complicated for non-traditional students who do not have computer savvy.
  • As an adjunct instructor, my greatest source of dissatisfaction is having my scheduled course(s) cancelled due to enrollment thresholds. I understand the reasons involved, but it remains frustrating nonetheless.
  • Information delay; read in pubic media prior to getting info via intra-school media
  • Issues with BANNER and ANGEL
  • We promote laziness. No matter how hard one works or how little one works everyone gets the same no matter what.
  • Too many complains that are not well found it.
  • Student attendance and effort.
  • College president and provost are ineffective leaders.
  • Faculty who don’t realize how good it is at SSC.
  • The lack of urgency across the college for simple things like returning emails or phone calls. Morale would increase ten fold if administration (registration, HR) just return emails or phone calls. It is disrespectful to those of us working in the trenches. If I performed my job the way some are allowed to do, I would be written up. Advising is terrible. Students are being told to take classes that are not needed by advisors and faculty are the ones who have to work with angry students. HR is scary terrible.
  • lack of teamwork and communication outside of my department
  • Process improvement does not seem to be a s great a priority as I believe it should be.
  • Knowledge to do my job adequately. Job security.


Greatest source of satisfaction:

  • In class one-on-one interaction with students.
  • I love teaching the students so if I have to drive to satellites, so be it
  • Working with students to assist them in their academic, professional and personal lives
  • Working with students and seeing them succeed in their career objectives.
  • helping students reach there goals, learn something they didn’t know before
  • dual credit
  • Positive classroom environment and student participation
  • Working with students
  • Helping students meet and exceed their goals; watching a student flourish who thought she would never succeed.
  • Teaching and friends at the college.
  • The students
  • Being so peripheral to the school and it’s operation. By volunteering on my own time for AQIP, I feel involved, appreciated and more knowledgeable but this is only because I made the choice. Before choosing to get involved it was pretty much C to C. Car to classroom. No idea how to improve the lot of the Adjunct….the way it is I guess. Maybe incentives of some sort?
  • My classroom interactions and contacts with my students is the #1 reason I continue to teach.
  • working with students and making a difference in their education and lives
  • Having the opportunity to teach
  • working with students and my immediate coworkers
  • Student satisfaction and education.
  • The abilty to give students insights and life lessons that they would not have known had they not attended my section of the courses that I teach. The material I choose to present to my students provokes them to question what they think they know (but aint’ so!). I also appreciate the opportunity to shape their outlook in life; to enable them to develop better habits (eating healthy, sleeping adequately, making friends easily, collaborating in groups effectively, attending classes regularly) so that they have a fighting chance of making their own lives better by using what they’ve learned to be better students in other courses, be better at work and at home.
  • When student thank me.
  • Students
  • Feeling that I am doing a good job helping students reach their goals.
  • Students. Other faculty members who hold the same values.
  • I am often recognized for my achievements and respected by my colleagues.
  • teaching students
  • ?
  • Helping my students and seeing them evolve into professionals in the workforce.
  • I love working with the students and seeing them “get it.”
  • 1. Interacting with students and keeping the lines of communication open. 2. Leading an excellent faculty team.
  • The students.
  • I feel that I am contributing to the education, well-being and future of every student in my classes.
  • Teaching and learning
  • My dept head and staff members
  • My students. I love knowing I have done something to make their lives better. Seeing them succeed is my sincerest pleasure.
  • making an impact with students.
  • My students! They are extremely complimentary and appreciative of the work that I do and what they learn in my classes.
  • Student Success – – –
  • The impact I apparently make on my students and the broader campus community. I am slowly becoming aware of the extent to which my classes are highly recommended by both students and advisors.
  • Students and my staff.
  • Seeing students aspire
  • Working with the students.
  • Fellow employees.
  • I deeply enjoy interacting with the students.
  • My experience, class planning, a willingness to continually make changes and improve my teaching methods. Exposing students to the variety of ways Stark State offers them help by arranging for speakers,exposing them to seek help not only in their studies, but to counselors in order to keep them on the road to being a successful student.Education is not just ingesting information but it should treat the whole person. Involvement with my mentor, asking others with more experience in the classes I teach, class visitation to see how other full time faculty plan and instruct their classes.
  • The academic freedom I have as an adjunct
  • My students. The classroom experience. That’s why I put up with all this. 🙂
  • My greatest source of satisfaction in my job is the personal and professional support I receive from my coworkers and supervisors. I also feel that my relationship with my students is a very positive one and that they are comfortable with approaching me about anything that concerns them either personally or academically.
  • Teaching. Knowing I am making a difference in others lives and shaping the community in which we live
  • Helping the hardest working students (often students facing the greatest challenges) meet their goals. There is no greater satisfaction.
  • Students.
  • Student success.
  • Seeing the students benefit from my help.
  • I absalutely love teaching the subject that i’m teaching
  • The most satisfactory part of the job is working with the students. Stark State does a lot of things to help with that. One of the most helpful things is providing good classroom facilities (good tables and chairs, computers and projectors in all rooms, HELP desk support, etc.) which makes the class run smoothly. There also are numerous ways that students are provided with outside help which in turn helps support the teachers.
  • Student success!
  • Seeing former students who are now working as professionals in hospitals, doctors’ offices, etc.
  • my time in the classroom and with my students.
  • The job itself. My colleagues. Feeling appreciated and supported by my department chair. Benefits. Proximity.
  • Personal satisfaction that the courses I prepare and instruct to students are appreciated b/c they are high quality. Student feedback is what keeps me loving my job.
  • The students send many encouraging emails, and I’m happy to be able to help them in their learning of math.
  • meeting with students and getting to know them in small class sizes
  • LOVE LOVE LOVE facilitating learning for students.
  • Watching my nursing students learn and grow, becoming more comfortable in their new roles
  • Respect from colleagues.
  • Working with motivated, receptive students to extend or reinforce their problem solving abilities, and see them succeed. Once in awhile a student will want to go beyond what we cover in class and providing help in that context is very satisfying.
  • More students showed motivation to persist through their struggles.
  • Working on student success initiatives in my department. Working with students in the classroom. I work with some great people. I like bouncing ideas off of my colleagues.
  • Classroom interaction
  • helping students
  • Great colleagues
  • The smiles and success of my students
  • Teaching and advising students, interacting with the colleagues in my department. I enjoy working at SSC.
  • Personal satisfaction when working with students
  • The atmosphere here is wonderful, my department chair and dean are wonderful.
  • Colleagues and faculty that report to me.
  • The colleagues with whom I work.
  • Building professional relationships with the students in my program, and watching them grow in knowledge and confidence.
  • Teaching content I love!
  • Helping and supporting other instructors and students.
  • I am supported in my department by the full time faculty, department chair, and administrative assistant.
  • Working with the students and seeing them succeed.
  • I LOVE the students!!!!
  • Having positive classroom experiences for my students and me
  • Staff are happy and supportive of one another. This provides a good learning environment for the students.
  • Seeing the students make incremental progress. The Emporium math course is a good method for remedial math, allowing students to proceed at their own pace. Many of the students have exceeded their own expectations. It is rewarding to see them put forth serious effort and accomplish their goals one step at a time.
  • Overcoming initial thoughts and misnomers about my subject, watching students battle through it and emerge on the other side with a strengthened sense of pride, accomplishment, and confidence.
  • I love the department leaders in my division..they are always friendly and helpful.
  • teaching students prepping classes
  • Now a lot to say here–interacting with students, watching students succeed, opportunity for personal development and advancement, interacting with my colleagues, opportunities to be involved through committee participation, being empowered to do what needs to be done to handle issues and getting the backing of Department Chair, Dean or Provost when needed, being able to advise students about their careers and futures (yes, I really do love advising!)–all of these things are what contribute to my sense of satisfaction in my job.
  • First, communicating with students– listening to their stories and developing empathy for their situations and persons. Second, learning that I have helped students to succeed, especially after seeing improvements in students’ work from meeting to meeting. Third, quickly bringing students’ abilities in certain skills up to levels expected of college students– being a mediator, as it were, between high school/GED and college curriculum.
  • When I can help fix a piece of equipment and when I am able to make someone else’s job easier. When working with a student and you see in their eyes that you have connected. That the idea has been presented in a way that they can understand and it may someday be of use to them.
  • students department chair is great other instructors true team players wonderful to work with classroom and equipment is excellent support from other areas, departments excellent
  • I am greatly satisfied with the number of students that leave with a significantly improved level of math understanding. I believe that can translate to an improved level of problem-solving.
  • My department chair is fantastic, I feel I can go to him with questions and concerns.
  • Students. The students are amazing.
  • Love working with the students and seeing them become successful.


Final comments, suggestions, or responses:

Additional Comments:

  • Thank you for doing this survey. I am glad for the opportunity to share my opinions. I hope that positive differences can be made with the use of the results of this survey.
  • I hope that faculty and staff are not going to be asked to make financial sacrifices while we watch another new building being built. That will be very disappointing.
  • I’m tired of hearing how broke we are, but there’s always money for more cushy positions to be added and we are not even told until the last minute?
  • Fix the salary. A fulltime faculty shouldn’t HAVE TO teach overloads to make ends meet.
  • As a longtime member of Fac Assoc, I’m sorry to see many colleagues so fearful of a union and we don’t even have one or talk of one. I hope this chapter succeeds for all of our sakes. Keep trying!
  • Thank you for caring enough to survey faculty for our input. Too bad no one will listen. Good luck!
  • SSC needs to formally acknowledge this chapter. It’s embarrassing how they’ve tried to brush it under the rug.
  • I have lost my trust in HR, management, and the college. There are too much politics going on. If you complain, you will be pointed out and treated badly.
  • Thank you for doing this survey, PLEASE DO SOMETHING WITH WHAT YOU GET. We are tired of charades like anyone cares about input but nothing gets done. Faculty Association is a condescending ‘old boys’ network and its insulting they think we don’t see it or don’t care. Faculty need actual representation instead of lip service.
  • I wish the bosses would treat us like we matter.
  • I am usually against unions but I think we need a union here because things are not fair. Dept. chairs are allowed to openly harass faculty without repercussions. Policies from one department to another are not the same. Schedules are given out by who is favored instead of who is knowledgeable or has seniority. If you disagree with anything you get little or no overload. Online classes are given to favored people. Some people get all online classes, some only get 2 some get none(based only on favorability of department chair).
  • No’p. It was nice to say something. Who knows if it’s heard or for that matter, valuable.
  • no
  • I would like to be a full-time faculty at the institution.
  • I enjoy working for Stark State and really have few complaints as an adjunct instructor.
  • No, thank you for allowing me to share my opinion.
  • Promote JOLT and the annual retreat more effectively. I have consistently attended both events and find them to be useful, informative, and a great opportunity to get to know other members of SSC from other departments (faculty, staff, and administration). Those who do not attend have no idea what they are missing! Of course, it is a self-selected group. If the administration ever wants to know who is interested in learning and being a teammember, all it needs to do is to pull up the records to show who has attended JOLT and the retreat. Only those who want to learn, who want to connect with others in order to be abrest of the resources at SSC so that we can be more effective in teaching and helping students, will attend such events.
  • I have worked at several different governmental and private locations. I have enjoyed working at each of the other locations, but I love working here.
  • Students and staff should be given access to the president when their graduation is in jeopardy. They are so upset they are willing to NOT graduate from SSC because they can go to a 4-year college where the students “feel cared about.” That is a quote from one of my students – a 4.0 student who anticipating graduating with a second associate degree from SSC.
  • I have great people running my department. Not so much running the rest of the college.
  • None
  • SSC is a great place to work and the faculty and staff are fantastic. Please stop with the “we are poor” attitude and let us do what we are hired to do. We value our students and go beyond what is required to assist them. Hire people when need and fire the ones not doing their job.
  • I do not have anything further to add.
  • The president barely hides her contempt for “we the little people”. I’ve never felt less valued by a boss. But the students and my department are wonderful. They make all of it worthwhile.
  • SSC is a great place to work. Staff is motivated and so are the students.
  • I enjoy working at SSC because I believe the college makes a real and positive difference in our community!
  • Thank you
  • I love Stark State College. This is a wonderful campus that is willing to make changes to maintain the excellent community reputation.
  • I enjoy my job at STark State. I enjoy the faculty I work with. We have some of the most dedicated, hard working personnel in the Health Division.
  • Overall, I am very happy to be an instructor at Stark State. After many satisfying years in another profession, it is equally rewarding to be spending my pre-retirement years in a more mentoring role.
  • The College President earns plenty of money and does not need bonuses. The number of faculty members and classes in a department should be taken into account in setting the head of department’s salary, if it is not.
  • Dept. Chairs are doing corrupt and possible illegal things. Lunch was removed from IT for no apparent reason, although some people still get classes scheduled at 1 to allow lunch while others do not. Some dept. chairs do nothing, in fact they are rarely even here. Faculty have so many non teaching duties its hard to be effective in the classroom. The college is too strict about working outside of contract, we are not slaves. One faculty member had to get permission to play the piano at his church because the church paid him a stipend. The college wants us to work 24/7 which is ridiculous. I do not feel the college cares about its employees at all.
  • I told you a lot of things that I feel could be better because those were the questions you asked. There are a lot of things that Stark State does well that weren’t touched upon in this survey. I do feel that the climate overall is better for part-time faculty at Stark State than at the university where I teach. However, the climate was much better for part-time faculty at Stark State when I began working here 10 years ago than it is now.
  • SSC is not living up to its stated mission and has lost sight of what should be the most important priority: students.
  • None that I haven’t already written about in this survey. Thank you and have a great day.
  • I would like to see opportunities for job sharing.
  • I feel as if SSC is moving in the right direction on a lot of items, but it just takes time to get there.

*** Some responses included identifying names or specific individualized cases – these were redacted where appropriate. [back to top]

Everyone Deserves a Voice


*originally posted 11/8/15

Dear SSC Colleagues,

The last few weeks, Stark State College has been a flurry of activity. Information about new programs and executive-level hiring has been communicated through emails or the college’s social media and press release pages. At least, that’s where most of us seem to be learning about major changes at the institution.

We have learned about executive restructuring and hiring via email; however, faculty openings are now relegated to the college’s Facebook page. As our satellites are increasingly losing money, we learn the college is working to acquire another building for a satellite in Akron.

Increasing pressure is being put on programs with low student majors, yet we only see newspaper articles, promotional events, and sponsored ads for a select few of our programs. In department meetings, faculty are repeatedly asked for suggestions on ways to recruit new majors, but don’t worry—there is no budget for marketing our programs. Get creative in your approach, and think of ways that you can volunteer your time to help make it happen. Do us this favor; it’s for the students.

At Stark AAUP, we believe that every member of the Stark State College community counts.

Classes are getting cut; students can’t complete their degrees; faculty and staff are taking on more “with less” across the institution; money is being spent even though we are told that we can’t afford to pay our people respectable wages. They wish they could pay us more, but enrollment is down, and remember, you don’t work all year.

Attend any meeting around campus, and it is evident the passion and dedication that faculty and staff feel when it comes to fighting for our students and their futures.  But it is time to start asking uncomfortable questions, Stark State College. When do we, the people who dedicate our lives to the institution and its students, gain an equitable voice in the process? When do we, as faculty and staff, apply the same passion to standing up for ourselves? When do we start to matter?

Members of our executive committee are routinely approached and asked “Why AAUP?” We formed this organization because we believe that every member of our college community should be treated fairly, equitably, and respectfully, regardless of department, years of service, or personal affiliations. We tried to be a part of the current system, and in short, the current system often ignored, belittled, or downright failed us. At Stark AAUP, we believe that every member of the Stark State College community counts. And we have spent the last few years fighting for those very things because we believe in these principles, and we are not afraid to stand up and voice our support for our colleagues.

Are you tired of seeing your paycheck shrink while your responsibilities increase? Are you tired of being afraid for your job as you read about a new, innovative program the college has launched in the newspaper? Are you tired of witnessing inequality among your peers? Are you tired of being beaten down, ignored, and disregarded? Are you tired of feeling like no one is listening?

We are listening. Join us.

Why Join an Advocacy Chapter?


Stark AAUP is an Advocacy Chapter

Before deciding on whether you ought to join an advocacy chapter, you need to understand what it is—and what it isn’t.

An advocacy chapter is not a union or a collective bargaining unit. It has no legal authority to negotiate with the administration of the college or university over salaries, benefits, workload, or working conditions. It cannot legally require the administration to reconsider its treatment of an individual faculty member or to apply the same fair standards to their treatment and evaluations of faculty members. But, frankly, even though a bargaining unit has the legal authority to do all of those things, it will not be effective in doing them if its membership is disengaged.

Since faculty working conditions are student learning conditions, the core mission of a college inherently depends on consistently honoring the principles of academic freedom and shared governance.

Establishing an American Association of University Professors (AAUP) advocacy chapter is really about creating a venue in which faculty can discuss institutional issues and attempt to develop solutions and strategies that truly reflect faculty priorities. Ideally, a Faculty Senate or Faculty Association would provide this function, but in most institutions, the Faculty Senates/Associations work so closely for and with the administration that there is not much diversity of perspective or ideas nor much opportunity for broad faculty participation in governance.

Some advocacy chapters will ultimately work toward unionization and becoming a collective bargaining unit, some will not. Certainly, an advocacy chapter will not provide a magic “cure all” to the issues facing an institution or to its members’ concerns. But an advocacy chapter is an important source of open dialog and carefully considered faculty input.

What an AAUP Chapter Can Do

The AAUP recently celebrated its centennial as the pre-eminent American faculty association advocating for and fighting to protect the core principles of academic freedom and shared governance. Academic freedom is the right to engage in free and open inquiry and discussion of all issues related to one’s discipline and work environment. Shared governance is the right to have meaningful input into the decisions that affect the ways in which the institution operates. Since faculty working conditions are student learning conditions, the core mission of a college or university inherently depends on consistently honoring both of these principles.

The AAUP is a national organization representing more than 50,000 faculty working at colleges and universities in every state, including the “right to work” states and states that limit the union and bargaining rights of public employees. AAUP’s broader policy statements, its statements on specific issues at individual institutions, and its sanctions against institutions that fail to address major violations of academic freedom and shared governance are regularly and widely reported, not just in media sources focused on academia such as the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Education, but also in major newspapers and periodicals including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Atlantic.

By joining the AAUP, you become an important voice in helping shape the future of our college and our profession.

This means that when faculty face major issues at their institutions, they have the support of a national association and can bring that added leverage to bear to be heard on those issues. As a result, faculty at institutions such as Colorado State at Pueblo and Purdue-Calumet have recently been able to forestall major cuts in faculty positions and academic programs that were being justified by “financial exigency” when no actual crisis warranting such drastic actions existed—when the administrations simply wished to accelerate major reallocation of institutional resources to new initiatives. Both of those institutions have advocacy chapters, and the assistance that the AAUP has provided in bringing attention to the issues there has had considerable effect.

When the legislature in Michigan recently proposed penalizing any institution that offered programs or courses or that even sponsored special events related to labor studies, the AAUP was in the forefront in bringing attention to the issue, declaring it a “major attack on academic freedom.” Although there are AAUP bargaining units at a number of Michigan colleges and universities, there is an advocacy chapter at Michigan State, the institution at the center of the controversy. Likewise, when individual faculty members at the University of Kansas, the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse, and others have come under intense political attack and have been subjected to institutional discipline simply for making very brief political remarks that were more factual than inflammatory, the AAUP has influenced the institutions to reconsider the broader implications of their reaction to this intense political pressure and to rescind the unwarranted discipline.

So, why join an advocacy chapter?

Joining an AAUP chapter says that you’re concerned about academic freedom, and how that basic freedom protects your teaching, your colleagues, your students, and education at large. It says that participating in faculty governance is important to you, and that you are concerned about institutional issues such as curricular resources, funding priorities, and the overuse of contingent appointments. By joining the AAUP, you become an important voice in helping shape the future of our college and our profession.

Another management position?


Update: This morning 11/30/15, SSC employees were sent email notification of several posted employment opportunities including the one mentioned in the post below as well as an internal opening for an additional management position: Assistant Director of Admissions. It is worth mentioning that a few of the listed positions are for faculty, primarily in departments where a certain ratio of full-time faculty is required for accreditation. The remaining faculty position is “Temporary Full-time Lecturer” for Environmental, Health & Safety Technology. We have to wonder why this is not being offered as a typical full-time position given the existing need in that department, and what that might mean for needed faculty positions offered in the future across the college.

Dear SSC colleagues:

In late October, members of the SSC community received an email notification from Dr. Para Jones that the Advancement/Stark State Foundation and Marketing/Communication Divisions were being combined into a single division of Advancement and Marketing, headed under a new position: the Executive Director of Advancement and Marketing (see email from Dr. Jones in this post).

This unexpected restructuring move was made by executive decision (presidential appointment) and was not subjected to shared governance or the college’s standard hiring practices for a newly formed or open position.

The email announcement indicated that the newly combined division would result in improved effectiveness and efficiency, presumably also resulting in a cost savings by consolidating staff and resources. The announcement of the current Executive Director of Advancement and the Stark State College’s Foundation’s retirement and this restructuring was quickly met with the downsizing of positions within that division.

In a move that was never announced to the overall SSC community, it seems the college is now hiring an additional Director of Marketing and Communications, the very position that was folded into this new position as identified in Dr. Jones’ email. The job ad (attached below) leaves us questioning why are we now hiring yet another administrative-level position when faculty and staff positions are eliminated upon vacancy?

This position was posted on 11/18/15: https://jobs.starkstate.edu/postings/3554

Email dated 10/26/15 marketing

FYI Flyer


As we head into another start-up week, we wish you all a wonderful Fall semester. In case you missed it on campus, here is today’s informational flyer brought to you by Stark AAUP.

We also invite our SSC colleagues to join us for the next Stark AAUP chapter meeting on Friday, August 21 at 1:00pm in room S204/205. Hope to see you there!

FYI Flyer Aug 2015