By Mario Hernandez
CSU Bakersfield is in need of 41 new instructor positions for next year. However, there is no guarantee all positions will be filled.
Vice Provost David Schecter said the decision regarding the total number of professors being hired next year was part of a larger goal to increase the number of tenure – track faculty on campus. This is a goal of all 23 CSUs.
“This academic year we’re [hiring] about 41 [faculty], and that is a mix of about 35 tenure-track and six lecturers,” said Schecter.
Many programs are growing at a rapid pace and the campus is structurally expanding.
“Engineering would be one example where the number of majors is going up, and it’s very important for us to have the number of faculty in place to support those majors,” said Schecter.
The deans from each school at CSUB inform the Provost how many new faculty positions are needed. The Provost makes the final decisions.
A department may ask for a dozen new instructors, but the school might only be able to add 10 for this year.
Bianca Garibay, a senior kinesiology major, said it was important for professors to have their own office space.
“Professors and faculty, in general, need their office space in order to meet the needs of the students and fulfill their role as a professor. How can they do that without adequate office space? Why aren’t we utilizing the old dorms for office space?” said Garibay. “I’m sure not every single room in the old dorms is being occupied.”
The budget for the current faculty search is still unknown. There will be a budget forum on campus in December.
“There is a cost associated with the hiring, like we bring people in, we fly people in from around the country, around the world, we put them in hotels. Each of those hires is allowed $5,500 dollars,” said Schecter.
In addition, the university also must budget for new hires’ salaries and benefts.
Along with the search for more faculty comes the problem of where to put them. Schecter said the process takes a lot of planning.
“There is some truth to that concern, absolutely. We do the hiring process each year, where we start the hiring process a year in advance. We plan how many positions will be approved,” said Schecter.
Part of the planning involves taking into consideration which faculty will be leaving and retiring.
Sandra Hernandez, a liberal arts major, felt that the lack of office space was only a part of a larger problem, the lack of space all over campus.
“Students as well as professors face the problem of available space on campus.
“Space is a problem for everyone right now, including students. Every location is over flooded. The Student Union is no longer fun to be at because you have nowhere to sit. The library has the same problem of needing a place to study. With this Bakersfield weather always being too cold or too hot to be outside we need more indoor places to study and hang out,” said Hernandez.
Lack of space is an unavoidable conflict for any growing university. However, CSUB is doing its best to provide every individual on campus with adequate space.
“It doesn’t always work out well enough where we have specific offices lined up for every new faculty. But we do our best and I would say 90 plus percent of the tenure-track faculty have space,” said Schecter.
Lecturers are viewed differently in terms of office space due to their lack of time on campus and their constant travel from one campus to another.
“For lecturers it’s a little different because some of the departments and schools do not have enough offices for each individual lecturer, and sometimes lecturers are teaching two classes here [at CSUB] and two classes at Bakersfield College or two classes at Taft,” said Schecter.
Different measures are taken by different universities to accommodate the instructors as best as possible. Some of those measures may result in the sharing of an office.
“I love and value a higher education, and we need to supply our professors with the right resources,” said Garibay.
Part of the new Humanities Office Building was allocated for office space for new instructors.
The next building with additional office space will be the Natural Science, Math, & Engineering Building IV.
“NSME IV is the next building in line that has already been approved by the campus and the Chancellor’s Office and they are now doing architectural plans and all that for that building,” said Schecter.
An NSME IV structure will not be seen until two to three years from now.