Under the new faculty contract, required office hours for professors have been reduced from one hour per class taught to 40 minutes.
“It just gives less time for one-on-one with the teachers. It’s setting us up for failure, almost,” said Jonathan Binner, a business administration student.
Some students agree with Binner,“I think it could be an inconvenience considering the size of some classes and multiple students needing help,” said Cassandra Squires, a biological sciences student.
Construction technology student Janaye Heber said, “They are not available when I am. When I need help with something, I have to go to a student or a previous teacher who does have office hours.”
Gregory Sausville, a history professor who also heads the Faculty Association, said that the recent reduction was due to new federal legislation that would force adjunct, or part-time, faculty to go from teaching four courses a semester to three, or, in many cases, two. “The reasoning behind that wasn’t to disenfranchise any students, it was trying to keep the adjunct faculty from being unemployed,” he said.
Hiring part-time instructors is more cost effective for colleges because it eliminates the extra costs required for full-time benefits. “You have people who have to teach at three different schools just to make ends meet. They don’t have health care, and that’s where it gets hard,” Sausville said.
Sausville also pointed out that teachers are unlikely to turn away any students seeking help: “The vast majority of faculty are not going to kick students out of their office on a break.”
Biology student Patricia Rivenburg was not as concerned as some of her peers stating,“While it is severely unfortunate that [teachers] will not be as available to students, I feel that students here still have so many different resources available to them, like the LAC, that, given they use them efficiently, then they should still be fine.”