As one who was a full-time faculty member at Northwestern Michigan College for over 30 years, I found Ann George’s Forum contribution (May 23) to be timely and insightful.
She reminds us that NMC’s mission statement pledges that “keeping learning at the center” is a core “value,” and contends that the college leadership has changed its emphasis “from learning to the business of learning.”
Among her examples of this change include pressure for uniformity in instruction and the practice of hiring more part-time instructors at low pay and no benefits (the Record-Eagle reported that the college has over 200 adjunct instructors and fewer than 100 full-time faculty members).
These changes certainly save money and open more room for growth, but one wonders if they are serving the needs of individual students, especially in the core courses that prepare students who transfer in pursuit of a four-year degree. George notes that even the public board meetings are carefully regulated to focus on business rather than issues of learning.
I sincerely hope the Board of Trustees and the college leadership will publicly address these issues and heed Ann George’s call for restoring learning to the center “where it belongs.”