Just months after Long Beach Community College District Superintendent-President Eloy Oakley revealed during his annual State of the College address that the school was hiring over 50 full-time faculty members, LBCC announced again this week plans to bring on even more faculty and to increase the assignments of previously-reduced staff positions.
The proposal will be presented to the Board of Trustees as part of a preliminary college budget that will be reviewed by the Board in late June, but if approved, the school will hire 27 new faculty members, 3 new staff members and extend 44 staffers who had their service reduced from 12 months to 10 months during the recession. The new hires and extensions will become effective July 1 if passed by the Board.
The move will cost the college $3.6 million but is a step in the direction of filling some of the empty classrooms and offices that were vacated due in part to budget cuts during the recession. The college said that the rollback in months of service for some staff positions was a cost-cutting move to avoid additional layoffs.
“This is an investment in the future of Long Beach City College,” Oakley said. “These new positions will allow us to offer our students more of the classes they need and will give our faculty additional support.”
The 53 full-time faculty hired by the school in the last year was a record for the college and the additional workforce allowed for this past Spring semester to be one in which the school offered more courses than it had in the previous five years. When Oakley delivered that speech in February, he admitted that while the course offerings and hirings weren’t at the level they were at before the recession’s peak in 2007, he was cautiously optimistic that the worst of times were in the past.
Speaking at last night’s Board of Trustees meeting, Oakley acknowledged that it had been a long time coming and offered up gratitude to all those involved in putting the proposal together.
“I just want to thank all the faculty and staff and management team that have worked to put this planning together to ensure that we bring back the right positions and hire the right positions to support student learning, and also for helping us work through the planning process,” Oakley said. “I know sometimes it takes awhile, but as it usually works in our system, it takes time for that planning process to come to fruition.”