At the last possible hour to comply with state deadlines, the Ventura County Community College District board gave the go-ahead to hire four new instructors to begin teaching in January.
The decision came after officials from all three colleges--Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura--pleaded with the board, telling them that they were so shorthanded they couldn't meet student demand for even the most basic classes. For example, Oxnard College has a waiting list of more than 370 students for math classes this semester.
"This is a critical need. We are not asking for anything exotic. We simply need full-time librarians and counselors to assist students and full-time faculty to teach them," said Deborah Ventura, Academic Senate president of Ventura College.
The three colleges lost a total of 17 teachers last spring to early retirement incentives in a district move to save money.
The colleges were told they could not hire replacement staff until fall, 1996.
In order to meet the state's timeline for academic hiring, district officials said they must start the search for the four faculty members by today.
By this morning, "I will have the job description for the new math instructor for Oxnard ready to go. It's that desperate," said Gary Morgan, Oxnard College's Academic Senate president.