Cardboard boxes and empty faculty offices have recently become commonplace in the Salt Lake Community College School of Business. Multiple retirees in the business department mean six new instructors will be hired for the next school year.
Longtime professors Roger Lee and Karen Killinger retired at the end of the fall 2014 semester, and Melodee Lambert and Don Skousen are retiring at the end of this semester.
“This is an unusually high number,” says Barbie Willett, Associate Dean of the Division of Management, Marketing and Paralegal Studies in the business school at SLCC. “For the 2014-15 academic year, I began with nine full-time faculty. Of those nine, eight were tenured faculty. Eight of the nine faculty have been at SLCC for 20 or more years.”
Willett believes that these four retiring professors have had a great impact on the school. In the time they have been teachers they have left a legacy of having taught thousands of different students while influencing SLCC for many years to come.
“These instructors were at the forefront of many positive changes that have taken place at SLCC over the years. These faculty have assisted with many forms of progress we currently enjoy at SLCC,” Willett says.
This large turnover will leave the remaining instructors to the important task of teaching the newbies the ropes.
“First, the five remaining faculty members in the Business Management Department will need to mentor the new faculty. Not only do new faculty have to prepare for (sic) classes, but they also must learn the policies and procedures of the college,” says Willett.
There are positives and negatives that could come from these new instructors. With new instructors come new ideas, perspectives and influences to SLCC, the faculty and the students.
“We expect new faculty to bring in fresh perspectives, current industry experience, and new and diverse ways to look at old problems. I believe we will see a new energy come into the School of Business and the college at large,” says Willett.
There are also feelings of uncertainty that have come with such a large turnover. These new instructors have the daunting task to learn how to teach at SLCC. They will need to learn the goals and expectations of the school.
Willett believes there will be challenges with gaining six new instructors.
“There is quite a steep learning curve for new faculty. Our expectation for these new faculty members is to bring in fresh ideas for our curriculum, programs, and industry partnerships,” says Willett.
Time will tell how much of impact this turnover will have on the business department. Willett mentions how these changes could bring great benefits to the college.
“I expect some very exciting and creative developments to take place in the Business Management Department. I am excited about the potential developments within the department as we meld the experience from our current faculty and new perspectives from our incoming faculty.”