Community College of Philadelphia
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2 people found this helpful  

Comfortably lost in the bureaucracy, but scared for my students and the future.

Adjunct Faculty (Current Employee) Philadelphia, PA

ProsThe most important thing here is the sense of a shared mission: we serve our students. We recognize the disadvantages too many of our students face upon entry - many are poor, and most are products of the direly failing Philadelphia Public School system, where the only requirement for graduation seems to be physically surviving 12 years. Just about every person I work with directly and many of the other staff and faculty I've met are committed to truly educating our students: helping them become skilled and self-sufficient from Day One through graduation and beyond. Employees of CCP seem to genuinely enjoy our students' success and take pride in contributing to it.

For an adjunct, the pay is pretty good. Much of this is due to our strong union, which represents all faculty and staff, not just teaching faculty. Benefits are pretty good for full-time positions, and even as an adjunct the College pays half my medical insurance premium.

ConsOur biggest challenge right now is not so much our budget problems (which every public institution faces now) but our lack of leadership at the top. The President of our College is disconnected from the realities that students, staff, and faculty face, and refuses to engage in dialogue about how to either increase funding or make do with decreased funding - in fact, at a recent forum, he stated that we all have to tighten our belts, yet when asked if he would take a voluntary pay cut just like the Mayor of Philadelphia did, he refused to even discuss it.

The College has added administrators at an alarming rate over the last decade, now accounting for 21% of our total payroll (up from 14%), without any visible benefit - and at the expense of teaching and support faculty. Hours and resources for libraries, tutoring, and educational support services have been slashed, and many students cannot get the help they need simply because facilities are closed or unstaffed.

Senior administration neither listens to or appears to care about students, low-paid staff, or adjuncts (who make up more than half the employees). At present there is a huge divide between senior administration and the rest of the College's employees, and it is just getting worse each day. We are in the midst of a long-standing contract negotiation, and have been working without a contract since September 2011. The administration has spent absurd amounts of money hiring outside counsel during the negotiations, and has repeatedly violated the terms of negotiation by issuing press releases regarding the contract talks with outright false information.

Faculty and staff perceive the administration as uncaring, unwilling to listen, secretive and selfish. On the other hand, the administrators with whom I've spoken generally perceive faculty as entrenched bureaucrats who are unwilling to change when necessary. The result has been a heightening of tensions and an increased divide - an "Us against Them" mentality on both sides.

The college is excessively bureaucratic, stuck in dysfunctional and stagnant habits, and shows the worst aspects of being in Philadelphia: a reluctance to change or even care about changing for the better. We are too "Philly Corrupt" at CCP, and our students are suffering when they need us most.

Morale among faculty and educational support staff is heading south - many of our best people are already looking for employment elsewhere. Students also feel left out, and the ones who speak up to either raise issues or offer solutions are routinely ignored or even punished (a student who asked the President about taking a voluntary pay cut was slapped with a violation of the Student Code of Conduct simply for asking the question).

Communication is terrible - just to find out simple information on procedures, policies, or contact info requires a trip through a labyrinth of false leads and misinformation. Add to that the recent PR hype issuing from the President's office and the morale issue is no surprise.

If we continue as we are now, there may not be a Community College of Philadelphia in the next decade.

Advice to Senior ManagementOpen your minds, ears, and hearts to students, staff, and faculty! There is no "Us vs. Them".

Stand in a student' shoes for a day or two (or a week), see how it is to try to figure out who your adviser is, what classes you need and how to register for them, how to afford textbooks and fees, how to try to communicate outside of class with your instructor who has to commute between three different campuses just to make ends meet.

Stand in the shoes of the lowest-paid staff at the College and see what it feels like to be told that not only you will get no pay raise - not even a cost of living increase - but that you will also have to pay an out-of-pocket deductible for medical tests that are beyond your means, meaning that you or your family may face having to forego necessary health care.

Stand in the shoes of adjunct faculty who can't budget their lives beyond the current semester since they have no idea whether or not they will be working during the next one (or even if their current hours will last through the term), who pay as much as half their take home salaries back to the College for medical and prescription coverage, or face having to choose not to carry prescription coverage just to afford food, rent, and utilities.

Be the leaders the College desperately needs - or step aside for those who will.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
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    1 person found this helpful  

    A former faculty member.

    Assistant Professor (Former Employee) Philadelphia, PA

    I worked at Community College of Philadelphia

    Pros: Salaries were entrenched in a salary schedule. Movement vertically about… Cons: Promotions were awarded in a capricious and arbitrary way, making horizontal… Advice to Senior Management: Leave! I know that you have had greater longevity than previous management, but it is… More
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities


    CCP needs improvement

    Teacher (Current Employee) Philadelphia, PA

    I have been working at Community College of Philadelphia

    Pros: great city, good diverse student body. Cons: students having harder time getting financial aid. p/t needs better… Advice to Senior Management: fight harder for grants to fund programs and be pro-active… Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend More
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