Student Voice

Board of Trustees approves 25 professors for tenure

Counselor+Trulie+Thompson+stands+among+fellow+Moorpark+College+faculty+after+receiving+tenure.++Twenty-five+people+received+tenure+at+the+board+of+trustees+meeting+on+Feb.+21.+Photo+credit%3A+Martin+Bilbao
Counselor Trulie Thompson stands among fellow Moorpark College faculty after receiving tenure.  Twenty-five people received tenure at the board of trustees meeting on Feb. 21. Photo credit: Martin Bilbao

Counselor Trulie Thompson stands among fellow Moorpark College faculty after receiving tenure. Twenty-five people received tenure at the board of trustees meeting on Feb. 21. Photo credit: Martin Bilbao

Counselor Trulie Thompson stands among fellow Moorpark College faculty after receiving tenure. Twenty-five people received tenure at the board of trustees meeting on Feb. 21. Photo credit: Martin Bilbao

By Kevin Bell

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Twenty-five professors received tenure during the board of trustees meeting on Feb. 20.

Tenure offers a contracted job opportunity that closely ties professors to their college and students. Such is the case for Moorpark College Theatre Arts Professor Haleh Risdana.

“It’s not just a job one clocks in and out of,” said Risdana. “Being a tenured professor means we are dedicated to the outcome of the students and dedicated to the college.”

The board and presidents of each college reviewed professor’s tenure packages and performance reports at a prior Administrative Services Committee in January, according to the trustees’ meeting’s agenda. At the meeting, the board approved 25 out of 26 suggested tenured positions for professors at Ventura County Community Colleges.

Tenure is an important step for professors, who frequently work at multiple colleges prior to achieving tenure. Yet it is also a significant benefit to students how get more dedicated instructors. The process involves completing the track and evaluations from faculty and administration. This can take four or more years and gives professors continuous feedback. Moorpark College also requires professors to take a new faculty orientation course where professors learn about campus resources, so they can then communicate those to students.

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Theatre Arts instructor Haleh Risdana shakes the hand of trustee chair Arturo Hernandez next to chancellor Greg Gillespie. Risdana sees tenure as an opportunity to get more involved on campus and get closer to students. Photo credit: Martin Bilbao

Beth Miller, a Biological Sciences professor with 11 years teaching at Moorpark College, was approved after completing the tenure evaluations process.

“I feel I’ve had these five people invest so much time into me,” said Miller, “that I feel significantly integrated into the school.”

When a professor is granted tenure, they have passed boards of their peers and the ties to the college mean they will be around for students.

“The biggest difference I have experienced is that when you have a professor who is always around, always there for students, who students can find on campus and are involved in their learnings as well as involved in the colleges positive outcome as a whole,” said Risdana. “Students benefit because we are here for them as a team and all the time.”

The team mentality of a department is constant through the tenure process. Professors are encouraged to attend other professors’ lectures, compare teaching styles and learn other academic tools. They provide feedback and can act as expert coaches leading each other to success. Coaching and feedback defines the effort it takes to be an outstanding professor.

“You’re going to have a professor that puts in a lot of time and is pushed to improve teaching effectiveness,” said Miller.

Time provides growth through the tenure process, creating a connection with other staff and administrators. The progression develops a professor by pushing them to improve year after year. This makes tenure far more than a contract to teach.

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