Treasure Valley Community Colleges fires six instructors, another resigns

Treasure Valley Community College has announced seven instructors will not return next year. (Enterprise file photo)

ONTARIO – Six instructors are being terminated by Treasure Valley Community College and one other is resigning as the college continues to struggle with declining enrollment and budget shortfalls.

College President Dana Young announced the changes in an email sent to the “campus community” Wednesday afternoon. The instructors were notified in private meetings this week that wrapped up on Wednesday.

She identified those terminated effective June 30 as:

Melissa Vargas, English

Dustin Mason, computer science

Claire Holderman, foreign language

Rebecca Replogle, fine and performing arts

Dominique Banner, math

Sammy Castonguay, science instructor.

Banner and Castonguay are “provisional” instructors, meaning they haven’t been at the college to establish tenure.

She said that Kevin Campbell, the college’s welding instructor, resigned effective March 31. He had been one of the instructors the college had earlier said were likley to be hit by “retrenchment” – a process to fire tenured faculty.

She also said that Greg Borman, an instructor at the college’s Caldwell campus, would move to the Ontario campus to take over Banner’s position.

“These were very difficult budget decisions and not taken lightly, but necessary for the long-term sustainability of the college,” Young said in a statement to the Malheur Enterprise.

The losses cut the full-time faculty of 40 by about 18 percent. College officials last month said that part-time instructors would be used to sustain classes taught by those being let go.

The firings came just hours before the TVCC Board was to meet in executive session regarding contract talks with the faculty. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday in the college’s science building. Executive sessions are held behind closed doors and not open to the public.

Administrators and the faculty have been negotiating off and on since February 2016, and continued after the contract expired last July. The two sides have been meeting in recent days without attorneys or other agents and appear to be close to a deal based on statements from administrators and faculty.

Young is expected to take the outlines of a deal to the board Wednesday evening and the Treasure Valley Education Association, the faculty union, is tentatively planning a vote this Friday.

Les Zaitz: [email protected], 541-473-3377.