Hannah Pederson, Senior Online Reporter
Pierce College has seen a significant rise in faculty retirees in the past few years, and finding new faculty to fill those vacancies hasn’t been easy.
In the 2015-2016 academic year, 16 faculty members retired leading to 13 new tenure track faculty, one specially-funded nursing employee and one one-year full time faculty being hired, with six positions currently open.
“Being tenured faculty grants you a lifetime appointment,” said Matthew Campbell, vice president for learning and success. “It’s not that people are retiring because they’re at the end of their career, it’s because they’ve reached retirement age and have determined that they have other priorities at that point.”
For Pierce, the process to find replacements is involved and incorporates a lot of different people.
Deans look for vacancies in their departments, inform Lindsay Derrick, Pierce’s faculty recruitment and tenure specialist, and she hunts for potential candidates.
Once she has enough interviewees, she organizes hiring committees made up of current faculty to extensively test and screen the candidates.
“For faculty, it’s such a robust process that really tries to connect the folks interviewing with the positions they might fill,” Campbell said. “It certainly takes time and resources to put those committees together, but I think on the other hand it’s really worth it for the candidate to understand what Pierce is all about and connect with their colleagues.”
According to Derrick, this year has been more complicated.
“This year we’re doing things a little differently because of ctc link, and we just have more positions to fill than we typically do,” Derrick said.
Normally recruitment season is from January to early June, but due to the sheer amount of hiring necessary they started early in the season. Taking most of January as a break, hiring will resume at the end of that month with tenure track positions, moving on to regular hiring in early February.
“A faculty recruitment is a very intensive process in terms of time and energy,” Derrick said. “Obviously, Pierce College has done a lot of growth and the vacancies are a sign of that, but one of the constraints is that we only have one person in this position.”
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