CCRI Office Manager Makes $45K With No College Degree - Asst. Professor, $43K with Master’s

Friday, August 03, 2018


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CCRI President Hughes

Recent job postings at the Community College of Rhode Island show an opening for an Assistant Professor in Writing, requiring a Master's degree, starting at $43,305. 

Meanwhile, a job was posted on August 1 for an Office Manager -- which requires "graduation from a senior high school supplemented by completion of courses in the principles of and practices of office management" -- starting at $45,469.

"I will bet that the [office manager] job is already pre-filled by an insider who has X or Y and insider knowledge. The Office Manager also seems to require progressively-responsible experience," said Michael A. Olivas, the William B. Bates distinguished chair in law at the University of Houston Law Center. He served two terms as general counsel of the American Association of University Professors. 

In addition, Olivas was part of a panel discussion on the New York Times entitled, "When Teaching Comes Cheap for Colleges," with a post entitled, "It's the Non-Student College Instructors Who Need More Protection."

The revelation comes on the heels of Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo pushing to expand the RI Promise program, which currently offers two years of free tuition at CCRI, to again attempt to include the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College. 

"A college degree remains the surest ticket to the middle class, and the No. 1 reason cited for not going to college is the cost. Recent graduates of Rhode Island colleges who have borrowed money to pay for school leave with an average student loan debt of $35,169 — the second highest of any state," stated Raimondo's campaign on July 23, when it unveiled its "Universal Education and Job Training Plan.'

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CCRI Warwick

Faculty in Focus

Olivas offered his following thoughts on the two job postings. 

"My guess is that this kind of disparity is more a regional than a national issue," said Olivas. "It could be a function of collective bargaining, contingent faculty policies, the field of specialization in the academic field (e.g., English comp would pay less than Business and less than computer science), the 12 [months] v 8/9 [months] arithmetic of summer duties, the contiguous labor market that might add value to experienced office workers, and other features that can occur."

The rift, however, between faculty -- and the administration -- at CCRI has been growing in recent years. 

In July 2017, GoLocalProv reported, "The Corporatization of CCRI: Administration Cuts Community Programs:"

"While the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) continues to push for free college tuition despite the Rhode Island General Assembly stalemate, a growing group of faculty and students  -- and community members -- are continuing to voice their concerns about the direction of CCRI.

CCRI faculty had warned of both a "hostile" and "political" takeover due to changes in state oversight and leadership in recent years -- and voiced dismay when the CCRI-based day care was shut down at the same time of the arrival of Goldman Sachs' small business program."

A week later, GoLocal reported that "CCRI President Hughes Criticizes Faculty for Negativity:"

"The battle between the Community College of Rhode Island’s President, Meghan Hughes, and the college's faculty continues.

After a series of GoLocal articles, Hughes praised the school and criticized the faculty for their comments. Hughes wrote in an internal email to the campus community, 'I know there are challenges as we engage in this work. Like you, I have seen the rancor expressed in internal emails and the local media regarding our college. This type of divisive rhetoric weakens us as a community and as a college.'

'I recognize that it takes energy to maintain a focus on serving our students and moving our college forward while this activity is happening around us, and for that I offer you my deepest thanks,' added Hughes.

Hughes' press office has repeatedly refused comment regarding the CCRI faculty raising questions about her decision-making and the ongoing faculty criticism."

On Thursday, CCRI addressed the salaries.

"We deeply appreciate all of our faculty and staff and equity is central to our work. Salary ranges for most positions at CCRI are set by a variety of collective bargaining agreements and the two positions you are inquiring about are in different bargaining units," said Kristen Cyr for CCRI. 

The head of the faculty association at CCR did not respond to request for comment. 


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