Faculty, staff and administration at Truckee Meadows Community College have a busy spring ahead.
First, faculty and representatives of the administration are preparing to renegotiate the collective bargaining contract, which was last negotiated the spring of 2008. The contract covers a wide range of work-related and academic issues, clarifying the process by which the TMCC administration and faculty conduct business and themselves. The contract provides stability and protection, while fostering a collective sense that both entities have a stake in the institution.
TMCC is the only community college in Nevada with collective bargaining. It is anticipated that the renegotiation will be completed before the end of the academic year, and that the TMCC NFA membership and the NFA state board will ratify it soon after.
At the same time, the college is engaged in a five-year Major Gifts Campaign seeking much needed funds for equipment, scholarships and current programs. Paula Lee Hobson, TMCC foundation director, reports that the campaign is ahead of schedule, having received $4.7 million in cash and pledges to date. Additional proposals, either pending or in development, push this figure to $10.8 million.
Also, TMCC recently received notification that the Neil J. Redfield, EL Cord and Dorothy Towne foundation has voted to make a $200,000 gift to the institution. This significant gift will be used to fund scholarships, purchase equipment and to support professional development.
During the current funding crisis in Nevada, it is extremely important to note the contributions and effort put forth by education advocates within our community and within the institution. Because of their efforts and monetary gifts, students are able to find classes and adequately equipped programs that very likely would not be available otherwise.
Faculty, staff, and students at TMCC are coping with furlough days, increased workloads and classes that are increasingly difficult to register for. Given the sluggish economy in Nevada, and the apparent disregard for an adequately funded system of higher education, faculty, staff and students feel increasingly pessimistic about the future.