Friday, June 15, 2012

Professor Keith Hoeller, of the Washington Part Time Faculty Association, Receives Distinguished Faculty Award at Green River Community College

Professor Keith Hoeller, of the Washington Part Time Faculty Association, Receives Distinguished Faculty Award at Green River Community College. Jack Longmate notes the historical importance of this award for Keith and all the faculty whom the colleges classify as "adjunct."

Here's Jack's letter:

"I've just learned that Keith Hoeller has been recognized for the Distinguished
Faculty Awards at Green River Community College in Auburn, WA. This is the
first time in 27 years that a Green River adjunct has been so recognized.

On this list, we know Keith Hoeller as a dedicated activist and gifted
writer, who publishes often, not just in the higher ed literature, but to
the layman and the legislator as editorials in daily newspapers.

But this award recognizes his teaching too. Keith's students have nominated
him for this award on four occasions. Some of the comments in his
nomination packet are from students and some from fellow faculty. It is
gratifying to read how Keith's teaching has changed people's lives. One
student writes, "Keith is dedicated to his students and has a brilliant
mind. He is engaging when he speaks and he is able to take philosophy out
of the clouds and bring it back to earth." Another student comment talks
about how he "has challenged long-held beliefs of many of his students and
forced them, through his lectures, to step outside themselves and see the
world in a way in which he/she may have never seen otherwise." Another
writes, "I will give Professor Hoeller a 4.0 for keeping the students
interested in the subject, which I think is the biggest challenge for all
educators out there."

Astronomy professor Dana Rush wrote a strong two-page letter, calling Keith
"the single most effective voice on behalf of adjunct faculty in Washington
State..." Dana mentions that Keith has "written and published more than 50
articles and op-eds on adjunct faculty issues in newspapers across the state
as well as in numerous national publications" as part of his advocacy. He
further discusses how Keith led the charge in gaining advancing adjunct
faculty salaries across the state "from an average of 40% of tenured salary
rates in 1996 to the current level of 60%" (which I believe has meant
roughly $60 million budget increase for adjunct salaries); passed a budget
amendment to expand incremental step raises to all adjuncts statewide;
drafted and passed a bill to give all adjuncts pro-rated sick leave; and
drafted bills for equal pay, annual contracts, and equal increments. Dana
also mention Keith's role in initiating the two Mader class action lawsuits
that were settled out of court for $12 million each, and led to thousands of
adjuncts qualifying for health care and retirement benefits.

A decade ago, in 2002, Keith was the recipient of the AAUP's Georgina Smith
award in recognition for his contribution on both a state and national scale
to enhancing the status of women and advancing collective bargaining.

In 2005, State Senator Ken Jacobsen, in an open senate hearing, commended
Keith by saying he is living proof of Mark 6:4, that "only in his hometown"
is a "profit without honor," referring to how Keith is hardly treated as the
saint that he is. It is gratifying that he is now receiving some credit in
his hometown as well!

Best wishes,

Jack Longmate