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Dear NCCCFA members:
VP External Legislative Update:
It was my pleasure to visit the legislative buildings on Tuesday March 17, 2015. My afternoon started with a meeting with Senator Mike Woodard. Senator Woodard reminisced about his years at Durham Technical Community College, and confirmed his commitment to the community colleges and for community college faculty. I then met with Representative Larry Yarborough, who is a first term republican to the House of Representatives from Granville County. I greatly appreciated the warm reception from Representative Yarborough and had a wonderful discussion regarding business development in rural counties, including the role community colleges can play in such development. I discussed how it was important to have support for the Governor’s proposal to fund community colleges year-round. We also discussed the importance of raises for community college faculty and staff. After the legislative session that afternoon, Representative Paul Luebke invited me to meet with him on the House floor. Rep. Luebke is an educator at UNC Greensboro and a staunch supporter of community colleges and the education system in North Carolina. I greatly enjoyed our candor on the house floor, and his proposals for some strategies for the NCCCFA. Upon leaving the house floor I met Senator Floyd McKissick Jr. I appreciated his request to take a picture with me so that he could post to Facebook. I finally, met with Senator Angela Bryant, who also expressed great concern about faculty retention in the community colleges. Overall, my first visit to the General Assembly was exciting and very informative. I found all members to be extremely welcoming and enthusiastic about the community college system.
On Thursday, March 26 2015 I called into the legislative review at the North Carolina Community College System Office (NCCCS). During the call I learned that there is a survey to the college presidents regarding faculty retention. I found this very interesting as the NCCCS research committee which I also serve on proposed to submit a survey regarding faculty retention in conjunction with Dr. Duane Akroyd of NCSU. I will be contacting the proper authorities to see if this is the same survey or if people want to join efforts on the matter. Overall, I have repeatedly proposed to collect data on faculty retention at the system level and I am glad that the NCCCS is definitely moving on the matter. Other matters on the legislative review were:
Proposals to add dental hygienist anesthetics training at certain community colleges.
Proposal to have any student who has attended North Carolina high schools for 3 years to be recognized as “in-state” at the community colleges.
Proposal to create high achieving tuition scholarships (for high achieving students).
Legislators have started to question how adjunct faculty are paid and why they are only compensated for in-class work and not for out of class work such as office hours or grading.
Governor’s proposal to have year-round funding for the community colleges seems to have a favorable response from legislators, especially since indicators are showing that tax revenue projections seem to be accurate.
Big concern about senate bill 281 which proposes that community college audits be performed at the state level and not at the community college level.
Overall, this is a very busy time at the legislative level and I will do my best to bring you all the latest happenings so that you can remain informed. I urge you to look up your state representative and senator for where you live and where you work (if they are in different legislative districts). I will be happy to provide assistance in contacting your representatives, and if you like I will happily help you meet with them in Raleigh. Furthermore, please check "Hot News" to the right of the screen on the www.ncccfa.org home page for more detailed links to legislative information. You can direct your questions to me via my email (email@example.com) and you can also follow me on Twitter @DrTahmasebVP.
Kambiz Tahmaseb, Ph.D.