By Tiffany Langlois and Connor St. George
FSCJ is in a state of transition. By July 1, student service departments at all FSCJ campuses will have taken on a big change. Currently, Vice President of Student Success Chris Holland is making changes in staff job descriptions and functions that he says will help ensure student success, but some staff members have privately expressed concerns that these changes could cost them their jobs.
The plan is to create a new structure for staff supervision that will begin with Holland. This framework will now consist of four new positions that will all report directly to Holland—“the Ombudsman, the Assistant Vice President of Student Success, the Executive Dean of Student Success and the Operations Manager. Once these positions are filled, those hires will then help inform the next level—deans and directors—and so forth,” said Holland.
In the process of restructuring these student service departments, approximately 265 employees have had to reapply–and in some cases re-interview–for their jobs.
“In general this is a model that looks at the entire organization at all levels and considers how we best support students to be successful at the College. Campuses and the district office will work closer together on how we best meet student needs through staffing that is equitable and knowledgeable about all aspects of the student services operation. With this we are re-engineering processes that will better serve students,” said Holland.
The college has previously asserted that the restructuring would not result in layoffs, but one source who asked to remain anonymous has stated that she finds aspects of the transition unsettling. “I’ve been at the college for many years, and my personal perspective is that the information has been selective in what has been shared with the college community as a whole,” she said, emphasizing that several long-term employees of FSCJ will not be returning after July 1. “It’s sad to see some fantastic people who have dedicated their lives to education leave the college.”
College administration expects the benefits of this reorganization to include the staff being more knowledgeable in regards to both the policies and processes of admissions and financial aid, as well as academic and career counseling. Holland states that students can expect that staff will be better able to support them through the enrollment process and achieve their goals. “There will be an expectation that staff can assist students on a bevy of questions to support their enrollment and help them ultimately achieve their academic, career and personal goals,” he said.
Photo by Melissa Emmons