Delta College Board to vote on paying staff to attend commencement ceremony after botched virtual graduation

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The San Joaquin Delta College’s Board of Trustees voted to approve the $300 stipend for professors and adjunct faculty to attend the additional graduations on June 25 and 26. 

Original story below: 

STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) – San Joaquin Delta College’s Board of Trustees is proposing to pay educators to attend college graduations during Tuesday night’s meeting.

For Delta College staff and students, graduation is a monumental occasion, one they will always remember and look back on fondly. But the virtual commencement for graduating class of 2021 did not measure up.

“I was watching commencement with my family and I was horrified to see what was happening,” said tenured digital media professor Adriana Brogger. “It was really disappointing. It was embarrassing.”

Brogger, who usually emcees the college’s graduation, said it was riddled with technical glitches and was not fit for the occasion. 

Delta College spokesman Alex Breitler said the school decided to hold in-person ceremonies for the class of 2020 and 2021 graduates to make up for the botched virtual event.

“At the end of that virtual commencement, we felt very strongly that we owed it to our students to do something better for them, to give them a ceremony that they deserve that’s reflective of their accomplishments,” Breitler said.

“I actually have a number of students who are really looking forward to this second time around, to this in-person graduation and this commencement, and they’ve shared that it means a lot to them to be able to have this moment with their families. They’ve worked so hard,” Brogger said.

But with that comes new challenges, like getting professors to show up during their summer break. 

“Some people who are adamantly off-contract during this time and during summer, they might take time for research or they might take time to work another job,” Brogger explained. “And so, they just don’t have the day and time available if it weren’t for the ability to take a stipend.”

The school board will vote Tuesday night whether to approve paying full- and part-time professors and adjunct faculty a $300 stipend to attend the additional graduations on June 25 and 26. 

“This is all about students, and our number one goal, our number one priority is to make the ceremony as meaningful as possible for students. And this is one of the ways we can do that,” Breitler said.

The San Joaquin Delta College Teacher’s Association sent a statement to FOX40 that reads:

Dr. Elizabeth Maloney, President of San Joaquin Delta College Teachers Association (SJDCTA) released the following statement on behalf of the faculty regarding compensation for attending two additional San Joaquin Delta College graduations.

Faculty members of the San Joaquin Delta College Teachers Association (SJDCTA) stand united in fighting for fair compensation.

Faculty members previously participated in Delta College’s virtual graduation in May. In addition, many of our adjunct faculty members, who teach a quarter of more of all of the college’s instructional offerings, voluntarily participated as well.

Nearly 25 percent of adjunct faculty members rely on public assistance, and 40 percent struggle to cover basic household expenses” according to a report from the American Federation of Teachers in April 2020.

Dr. Elizabeth Moloney, President of the San Joaquin Delta College Teachers Association said, ‘Although our contractual work year has ended, we recognize that graduation is an important day for our students and as such, we negotiated with the District compensation for the additional time beyond the contracted days.’

The District has scheduled two graduation ceremonies to take place in late June.

Dr. Elizabeth Maloney, SJDCTA President

Class of 2020 and 2021 graduates still have time to register for the in-person ceremony. For more information, click or tap here.

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