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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Instructors worry due to changing office space

Construction workers on site building the foundation and initial walls for the new library extension on SE Campus. Ariel Desantiago/The Collegian
Construction workers on site building the foundation and initial
walls for the new library extension on SE Campus.
Ariel Desantiago/The Collegian

 OLLA MOKHTAR
campus editor
olla.mokhtar@my.tccd.edu 

Southeast Campus will be adopting a new office neighborhood model for faculty and staff.

According to the SE vice president of academic affairs Zena Jackson, this will be a “neighborhood” where staff and faculty will be placed together with focus rooms and huddle spaces available should they wish to meet with someone privately.

She said the decision was made years ago.

“There was always an intent to move TCC into the 21st century in how offices function, and having what are called ‘neighborhoods’ for our staffing allows us to be more efficient in how we work together as a team.”

Jackson explained how this will enable more collaboration between staff and faculty. 

“Offices and companies and systems and educational institutions function as a team, this allows us to be more collaborative in our spaces where we are together as one as opposed to isolated in offices, a silo if you will,” she said.

According to her, this will also help students.

“This will give greater access for students to our faculty and our staff,” she said. “Instead of students having to chase down offices, you actually get to see us at work. Schedule appointments with us and have opportunities to meet with us in focus rooms.”

An anonymously sourced professor at SE disagrees with having to be put into collaborative space and describes how it disrupts their work.

“My concern stems from my experience as an adjunct professor,” they said. “I found it difficult to work because of other people’s work. It will be very difficult to concentrate, read, grade and write lectures because of the business going on around.”

They explained their position with administration about the neighborhood arrangements.

“Our campus president, vice president and deans are for the most part supportive about our feelings but this was not our decision.”

The professor believed that faculty was afraid to speak out because of possible repercussions and that this is something that will happen regardless of their opposition and the data and statistics the faculty presented to administration.

Further, they believe that the administration is not yet ready to adapt to the plan.

“They haven’t told us where we’re going to go after they remodel the original building or how students will access us when you need a key card to get into these neighborhoods.”

 History professor Bradley Borougerdi expresses his dislike of the plan as well.

“It’s the worst thing that I am ever going to experience in the workforce in my entire career in academia,” Borougerdi said. “I think it’s horrible. I wish that district administrators had the courage to get rid of it.” 

He believes that the reason many professors chose not to speak even under the guise of anonymity is because of fear.

“Well, this is America, you’re not going to bite the hand that feeds you,” he said. “And people are worried about security which is understandable. Maybe they’re just scared of the repercussions.”

Borougerdi is concerned about how he is going to adapt, even though he describes himself as someone who can adapt easily.

“I’m the type of person to adapt easily, but I’m a historian, I need to learn, study and educate myself. In my field, it takes 20-30 years just to be good at it. Where will I put my books and do my research when I just lost 40-50 hours a week that I usually spend in an office?” he said.

He also shares the sentiment that district administration has not given faculty the chance to share their opinions on the matter.

“Our opinions were not really asked for and no evidence has been given to convince me that this is a good idea other than the reason to collaborate when I collaborate with a scientist in a different building with no problem,” he said.

He feels as though this will take away from him as well as his students and has known people that left TCC because of this change.

“It’s unfortunate and sad when I feel these things are being taken away when they very much help me do my job,” Borougerdi said. “And I understand that you can’t tailor the needs to one person. But, I can’t see any possible scenario where this will make my job more productive, meaningful and better for my students.”

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