The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

124 employees take early retirement plan

By Bethany Peterson/editor-in-chief

As dozens of employees leave their full-time jobs, TCC officials said they have restructured the vacant positions to better fill the college’s needs.

The leaving faculty had accepted TCC’s Voluntary Separation Plan and they, along with the plan’s designer, Vice Chancellor of Administration Bill Lace, will leave their posts by Aug. 31.

“This was never a layoff alternative,” Lace said.

NE Campus President Larry Darlage described the result of the plan as “rightsizing.”

Of the 272 eligible faculty and staff, 124 accepted the plan. Those eligible were either over age 65 and had been employed at TCC for at least 10 years, or had their age plus years of service equal 80.

“Most have been here 25 years, some 30 or 40,” Lace said.

Those who took the plan will receive 80 percent of their annual salary in a lump sum when their separation goes into effect.

“I was intending to work after this year, but this came along, and it was perfect for me,” Lace said. “I’m going to be coming back as a freelancer in marketing and an adjunct in mass communications.”

Those who accepted the plan are allowed to be employed by TCC in the future, just not as full-time faculty, Lace said.

After employees made their plans official, the campuses had to decide what to do with the vacancies.

South Campus decided to move four of its open faculty positions to tutoring developmental education classes.

“We are going to expand our writing center. We are going to expand our tutoring for all of our areas,” South Campus interim president Joy Gates Black said.

NE also moved four instructors to areas with higher growth, Darlage said.

“We track enrollment in each discipline each semester,” he said.

Growth is determined by enrollment numbers as well as the ratio of classes taught by full-time and part-time instructors.

“We try to keep it about 50-50,” Darlage said.

Full-time faculty serve on committees, organize events and do other things part-time faculty cannot, he said.

In the past, NE has hired new faculty to meet the campus’ changing needs. This year, with cutbacks in state funds, the campus decided not to hire any additional full-time faculty beyond positions opened by the plan, Darlage said.

On NW, the most radical difference was on the staff side.

“In the last five years, we’ve gone from about 8,000 to almost 14,000 students, and we haven’t been able to keep up with the human resources piece of that, so we actually had people doing two and three jobs that when they retire we will have to replace them with two and three people,” said Elva LeBlanc, NW Campus president.

For instance, the health director’s position will be split in two — a health services coordinator and a disabilities coordinator.

The district offices will fill seven administration openings, including police chief. Business services eliminated all seven of its vacant positions. Real estate and facilities eliminated nine positions, and information and technology repurposed four positions.

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