State of Washington
64th Legislature
2016 Regular Session
By Representatives Pollet, Haler, Moscoso, Appleton, Fitzgibbon, Gregerson, Ormsby, Ortiz-Self, Lytton, Riccelli, Ryu, Reykdal, Cody, Tarleton, Frame, Van De Wege, Stanford, and Goodman
Read first time 01/15/16. Referred to Committee on Higher Education.
AN ACT Relating to improving student success at community and technical colleges by considering benefits of full-time faculty and staff; amending RCW 28B.50.850; and adding new sections to chapter 28B.50 RCW.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  A new section is added to chapter 28B.50 RCW to read as follows:
(1) The legislature recognizes that student outcomes and success may be significantly improved by increasing the percent of full-time faculty and staff at community and technical colleges to provide instruction, provide counseling and advising, and perform other functions, and that such improvements should be guided by research. The legislature's goal is that over the next several years, community and technical colleges increase the numbers of full-time tenured positions on their campuses and to eventually have seventy-five percent of state-funded classes taught by faculty in full-time tenure track positions by 2021. This goal is best accomplished by allowing the colleges to convert assignments currently held by nontenured part-time academic employees to assignments held by full-time, tenured or tenure track academic employees. The legislature recognizes that efforts to increase access to higher education through tuition supports and aid may increase enrollment, and that student success may be improved if such expansions in access are accompanied by increased use of full-time faculty and staff. This will require careful, strategic planning between the colleges, the state board for community and technical colleges, and the legislature. Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature to develop a planning process through which the colleges and the college board develop a long-term strategic plan and timeline for faculty and student support staff conversions. In developing the strategic plan, the colleges and college board must use research support from the Evans School for Public Policy at the University of Washington and use and build upon the 2005 task force report on best employment practices for part-time faculty that was issued pursuant to chapter 119, Laws of 2005.
(2)(a) To assist in creating the strategic plan and meeting the legislature's goal within six years, the college board and student achievement council must conduct a joint study on priorities and impacts of the overuse of part-time faculty in the community college system. The study must examine:
(i) Student success, including student access to faculty, advising, and counseling, in the community and technical college setting where there are full-time tenured faculty and part-time faculty;
(ii) The impact on industry and professional instructors in high-demand certificate programs and the ability to attract and retain full-time faculty in those fields;
(iii) The differences in certificate or degree programs and the differences in regions with regard to ability to hire well-qualified full-time faculty;
(iv) The need for increased compensation for faculty in high-demand fields, or fields with high degrees of specialization, and the impact on other faculty; and
(v) The need for diversifying the faculty of color to better represent the students of color in the system.
(b) The study must be completed by October 1, 2017. The college board and student achievement counsel may use researchers from the Evans School for Public Policy at the University of Washington and enter into agreements for funding such research from funds appropriated for the study required by this section. Based on its findings in the study, the college board and student achievement council may prioritize and revise goals for individual programs.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  A new section is added to chapter 28B.50 RCW to read as follows:
(1) To implement the goal set forth in section 1 of this act, the plans developed by the colleges and college board must be used by each community and technical college to increase the number and percentage of full-time positions.
(2) In addition, the legislature also has a goal of ensuring that part-time and nontenured faculty in community and technical colleges receive priority consideration for continuing employment and for new tenure track positions.
(3) Each community and technical college shall establish a process under which part-time and full-time nontenured faculty members, after successful completion of an evaluation period, receive timely notice of and priority consideration for academic employment assignments for which they are qualified in their discipline in coming academic terms.
(4) Each community and technical college shall create a process for ensuring that qualified internal applicants receive priority consideration for attaining a tenure track position when one becomes available. The process should take into consideration the value of a diverse faculty, and may include provisions such as, but not limited to, granting job interviews for positions where minimum requirements have been met and notifying faculty members of job openings before posting the openings outside of the institution.
(5) The processes in this section must be consistent with the terms of collective bargaining agreements and other institutional and state policies and other personnel policies.
Sec. 3.  RCW 28B.50.850 and 2015 c 55 s 228 are each amended to read as follows:
It shall be the purpose of RCW 28B.50.850 through 28B.50.869 and section 2 of this act to establish a system of faculty tenure which protects the concepts of faculty employment rights and faculty involvement in the protection of those rights in the state system of community and technical colleges. RCW 28B.50.850 through 28B.50.869 shall define a reasonable and orderly process for appointment of faculty members to tenure status and the dismissal of the tenured faculty member.
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