October 13, 2020
Dear President Adams:
First, congratulations on your new post. We recognize you couldn’t have arrived at a more challenging time. While you cannot in such a short time be totally familiar with all the programs of the college, please take a moment to become more acquainted with TELC, The English Language Center.
TELC is a self-supporting English Language program that has contributed substantially to the college’s bottom line for nearly fifty years. The program has accommodated more than two-thousand paying students a year. The students are immigrants who hope to attend LaGuardia and/or foreign students who need English proficiency prior to attending college. Regardless of the degree of proficiency upon entrance, TELC takes them from not knowing “My name is...” to college-level writing. We offer preparation for TOEFL and CAT-W exams, and thousands of attendees have continued their studies not only at LaGuardia Community College but at other CUNY colleges as well.
- Since June, approximately 20 TELC adjuncts have completely lost their jobs or had their hours substantially reduced;
- Many are now without a livelihood;
- All are suffering the anxiety of a sudden and dramatic loss of income;
- Most have lost the ability to build for their retirements;
- Most egregiously, 100% have lost their health insurance;
- Particularly pernicious is that all received reappointment letters and therefore did not apply for public health coverage in time to meet the deadline;
- All are over 50 years of age and particularly vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic;
- All TELC adjuncts have dedicated from one to over four decades of their lives to the program;
- All quickly mastered the skills required to teach remotely during the height of the pandemic in New York to provide instruction and support students, and will continue to do so until normalcy returns;
- All have proven track records of ensuring future student excellence;
- And all face uncertainty about the future.
TELC faculty is highly accomplished and provides an auspicious beginning to further students’ educations. According to the LaGCC Institutional Profile 2020, the program accommodated almost 12,000 paying students from fall 2015 to fall 2019. Some of us have presented at TESOL conferences at the state and national levels. Others teach future teachers in graduate programs. TELC writing adjunct faculty have developed original class texts and spent countless hours responding to student writings and portfolios. All have performed with professionalism, dedication, and true expertise. And, due to this expertise, both the reputation and size of TELC have grown substantially over the years.
President Adams, we understand that because of COVID there is reduced enrollment. However, we respectfully ask that you provide us with a signed assurance, before the end of the fall 2020 quarter, that TELC adjunct faculty will be reinstated with the necessary contact hours to ensure health coverage. That may mean running smaller classes and continuing to operate the program at a deficit. However, doing so will maintain the excellent standard of instruction and reputation that have made TELC well known, not only in New York City, but in other countries as well. Furthermore, keeping the adjunct faculty will maintain the bottom-line benefits to LaGuardia that this self-sufficient program has provided over the 49 years of its existence.
And, frankly, it is the right thing to do.
Of course, we and our representatives would be very happy to meet with you regarding this request.
Respectfully submitted in solidarity,