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February 2019

 

Declining enrollment and bumping: Know your rights
Kim Ng Southard

 

  bumping process -- avoiding the domino effect
 
The longstanding FA bumping policy is designed to address issues of seniority when assignments are lost due to cancelation and to avoid the "domino effect" of multiple members being bumped out of assignments. Details are in this article.
   

You've noticed that student enrollment at SCCC has been declining. As the economy continues to improve and the size of graduating high school classes continues to decline, we are going to face even lower enrollment numbers.

This, of course, means less work for our members as fewer class sections and assignments are offered by the college.

You should know that the FA has a longstanding bumping policy for handling course and assignment cancelations, which is below. This policy is designed to address issues of seniority and to avoid the "domino effect" of multiple members being bumped out of assignments.

If you have questions about how this policy applies to your specific assignments, feel free to contact an FA officer for further clarification.


The teaching and work loads of both full and part-time faculty are occasionally affected by last minute course/assignment cancelations. When cancelations do occur, faculty then are often placed in a situation in which they must "bump" an assignment from another faculty member.

The bumping procedure was developed jointly by the FA and the college administration in the late 1970s in order to address the faculty-related issues that arise from course/assignment cancelations, namely: to ensure that all full-time faculty have full teaching loads and work assignments before anyone is assigned overload or adjunct courses/work where ever possible, to comply with the contractual provisions that affect the assignment of courses/workload and to be as least disruptive as possible to the schedules of other faculty.

Basic Load, Overload and Adjunct Assignment Scheduling Guidelines

In general, the first priority in scheduling is to provide each full-time faculty member with a full load during the day program in the discipline on the campus to which he/she is assigned. This scheduling of basic load assignments should accommodate the contractual provisions of seniority, compact scheduling (wherever practicable) and maximum number of course preparations. After full-time basic load assignments are made, all other unstaffed courses are assigned as overload or adjunct courses on the basis of seniority to faculty within each discipline, first to full-time faculty and then to adjunct faculty according to the contractual provisions affecting such assignments and the overload request or NORA form submitted by each faculty member.

However, once a course/assignment is canceled, regardless of whether the course/assignment is staffed by a full-time faculty member or an adjunct, the procedure known as "bottom bumping" should be implemented.

The following is a general outline of this procedure:

Bumping Issues Involving Full­-time Basic Load

  1. A full-time classroom faculty member who has lost a regular day section may select any section in the master schedule (that he/she is qualified to teach) that is either unstaffed or part of an overload or adjunct assignment. A faculty member who is thus removed from an overload or adjunct assignment may then take a section from the least senior adjunct.

  2. In the event that there are no unstaffed, overload or adjunct day courses available, a full-time faculty member may bump a course assigned to the least senior faculty member in the discipline on his/her home campus.

  3. When an insufficient number of courses/contact hours is offered on a campus to provide a full-time faculty member on that campus with a full load during the day program, that faculty member may bump a course assigned to the least senior faculty member in the discipline college-wide.

  4. When an insufficient number of courses/contact hours is offered in a discipline on a campus and when a course cancelation results in less than three-fifths of a faculty member's basic load on his/her home campus, that faculty member must bump the least senior full-time faculty member in the discipline on his/her home campus in order to maintain his/her home campus designation.

  5. No full-time faculty member may be bumped from more than two sections in his/her schedule.
NOTE: Obviously, when a shortage of courses in any one discipline on a campus occurs, the administration will try to work with the affected faculty members to allow for light loading, split loading between the day and evening programs and between campus, etc. so that the basic load requirements of a full-time faculty member can be met in a reasonable manner, given both individual and institutional constraints.

Bumping Issues Involving Overload Assignments

A full-time faculty member whose overload course/assignment is canceled may bump an overload course/assignment from the least senior adjunct in the discipline. In the event that the only course/assignment available is an overload assignment of the least senior full-time faculty member in the discipline, bumping may occur only if the more senior faculty member does not have an overload assignment. If the more senior full-time faculty member has only one assignment but had requested two, he/she can only bump a second overload course of the least senior full-time faculty member who has been assigned two overload courses. The guiding principle is that no full-time faculty member gets two overload courses/assignments before another full-time faculty member in the discipline gets one.

One complicating factor to the overload bumping scenario is that bumping assignments will be allowed only on those campuses a full-time faculty member designated in his/her overload request form.

Bumping Issues Involving Adjunct Assignments

For adjuncts, the "bottom bumping" process is also followed. A more senior adjunct who has lost a course may bump the least senior adjunct in the discipline. The guiding principle for adjunct "bumping" is the same as for full-time overload "bumping," namely no adjunct faculty member on the A list gets two courses/assignments in the discipline before another adjunct faculty member in the discipline gets one.

Example: An adjunct on the A list loses the only course assigned to them and wishes to bump

Scenario

Bumping Process

Assignments have been made to A-list and B-list adjuncts.

The faculty member who lost a course may bump the least senior adjunct on the B list.

No assignments have been made to B-list adjuncts and all A-list adjuncts received one assignment 

The faculty member who lost their assignment may bump the least senior adjunct on the A list.

No assignments have been made to B-list adjuncts and more senior A-list adjuncts received multiple assignments

The faculty member who lost an assignment may bump an assignment from the least senior adjunct with multiple assignments.


At times, special circumstances arise involving online courses and special topics or honors courses. The following sections address these types of courses but they are not to be understood as superseding what's outlined above.

Bumping Issues Involving Online Courses

A faculty member who has lost either a face-to-face or an online course may only bump another faculty member teaching an online course under the following circumstances:

The faculty member who wishes to bump into an online course must have been certified in and have already developed the course in the platform previously chosen for that course and agree to teach the online course in the scheduled platform.

A faculty member may not be bumped during the first two semesters the first time he/she is teaching an online course or teaching online a course that has not previously been developed in a DE format.

Bumping Issues Involving Special Topics & Honors Courses

A faculty member whose special topics or honors course is canceled may bump the least senior adjunct in a course/assignment in which he/she is qualified. The rules cited above for bumping based on basic load, overload or adjunct assignments apply.

Since special topics and honors courses are assigned based on a unique proposal created by a specific faculty member and not assigned based on seniority, a faculty member whose regular course is canceled may not bump a less senior faculty member's special topics or honors course. Rather, the faculty member whose course is canceled may bump the least senior adjunct or full- time faculty member, whichever applies, who has a regular course for which he/she is qualified during the times indicated in his/her overload request or NORA form.