I worked at Merced College part-time
I worked at the off-campus center. Great place small tight knit family. Students are great.
Contracts were an issue almost every year.
I have been working at Merced College part-time (More than 10 years)
I KNOW I posted a review on this site several years ago, but for some reason it is no longer here. Anyway, the students are, for the most part, great to work with, as is the classified staff. A lot of the quality of the work environment has to do with your department/area and who the Dean or VP is. Small campus is good for getting to know people, and the hours (again, depending on your department/area) can be great. It's also good to have the title "college professor" on your CV/resume even if it is a crummy community college.
The administration still, after accreditation drama, hirings, firings, rehirings, lawsuits, has not gotten its act together. For example, the last VP of Administrative services was fired after about two years. Merced hired her AFTER she was fired by another college after an investigation over misappropriation of public funds! Some of the deans (like the guy over math/science) are very good, some (like the English/child development/basic skills dean) are horrendous. I have had SEVEN "bosses" in twelve years. The hiring nightmares are endless. Nepotism and cronyism are RAMPANT. One of my deans hired BOTH of her daughters for full-time, tenure track jobs, both of whom had little to no teaching experience. Now neither of them actually teaches - they take up department positions but fill their schedules with "release time" doing other jobs. Another of the deans hired his son for a full-time classified job over numerous more qualified applicants. Seriously, tenured people resign and go to better colleges all the time, and it's not about the pay, it's about the working conditions and terrible management. Back to the hiring, the most recent f/t hires in my department were a PhD from SoCal, which was awesome, and a long-time adjunct with a reputation for being a mediocre teacher, calling in sick every week, and who constantly complains about wanting to leave teaching. Another hire never worked a full semester. She constantly complained on Facebook about how exhausting it was for her to teach more than one class a semester, then her buddies who happened to be on the hiring committee gave her a full-time position. She worked the first week of each semester she was there then went out on sick leave. And she thinks she will be re-hired when she gets "well." The college stopped giving classes to another full-time faculty member recently hired, because she was so hard to get along with. Then, ten years later, they hired her full-time, and guess what, she's a nightmare! Although RMP is not really a great measurement of teacher performance, this lady's overall rating of 1 should have been a clue. Another woman, well past retirement age, came from a tenured position at a state university and then also promptly went out on sick leave. Postings for this department are repeatedly re-opened because they can't get quality applicants and then they scrape the bottom of the barrel for hiring. Some of the full-timers in various departments are straight-up psychos, and while many years in academia have taught me this is fairly common, the psycho-to-normal person ratio here is disproportionate. The newest faculty union president and vice-president basically now have two full-time jobs dealing with all the grievances filed. If you can't get classes anywhere else, take classes here and then get hired somewhere else and never look back!
Advice to Management
Hiring practices, while seeming to fit the letter of the "law" and policy, are still a joke. Does NO one on the campus have good instincts about the people they hire? Even though you don't have to respect seniority for certain assignments, show some appreciation for people who have been busting their humps for you for years.
Going to a JC helps in many ways.
Feel like there aren't enough night classes to accommodate working single parents
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The health, dental, and retirement benefits and the generous vacation allowance (24 days for management, 12 or more for classified staff depending on time in) are wonderful. The pay is competitive for the area, especially for management.
The current administration is out of touch with reality. Their complacence has led to us being put on warning with our accreditation agency and it remains to be seen whether they will do what is necessary to ensure our continuing accreditation. The administration seems more concerned with covering their own hides, defending their territories, and preparing for their next jobs than they do in responsibly managing the college.
Advice to Management
Quit denying the problems we have and deal with them head on. Try to come up with real solutions and not vague "strategic plans" that have no meaning, no actionable goals, and only a tenuous connection to our current problems. Real solutions require thought and sweat, not buzz words.
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