Tonight’s board packet includes the retirements of Professors Thomas Ruehlman of Biology, Janice Miller of Nursing, Edison Wells of Counseling, and Barbara Anderson also of Biology.
Among her significant accomplishments at the College of DuPage, Professor Anderson has served on the Instruction Committee. This committee is instrumental in the development and implementation of issues related to teaching. Professor Anderson is retiring after 42 years of service to the College of DuPage and the community. Barb shared today that when she started there were 100 full-time faculty. I don’t know the number of FTEs in the early Reagan Administration, was but I’m guessing it was significantly less.
Professor Ruehlman served 32 years.
Professor Wells served 22 years.
Professor Miller 20 years.
That’s nearly 120 years of institutional memory walking out the door to new challenges and opportunities.
How do we as an institution replace that institutional memory? Well, I can tell you how we don’t do that, and that’s by not hiring full-time tenure-track replacement faculty.
According to an extremely informal poll of our colleagues:
English is down at least four FTF not counting those serving in administrative roles.
Music two announced retirements this year, not counting the botched tenure track of a Harvard PhD.
Graphic Design: 2 retirements with a 1 year temp position.
Photography: down 3 full-time.
Accounting/Business: Down 2 replacement faculty.
Math: Ten retirements in the last seven years with two hires.
Welding: Down 1.
Automotive Tech: Down 1.
Interior Design: Down 1.
That’s at least 26 full-time faculty that retired and have not been replaced.
In looking at the budget, I saw that the College received over $60million in COVID-related federal dollars. While some of that money is restricted, the nearly $160 million in the General Education fund has more flexibility.
Why has Academic Affairs not been more aggressive about supporting the core mission of the College? Millions of dollars are spent pursuing the latest academic fad, while the programs that necessitate our existence continue to wither on the vine by design.
Let’s honor the legacy of the women and men who made their careers here by hiring the appropriate number of full-time faculty and stop chasing academic fads.