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Chaparral 2013-2014: 22.1 CSEA Connection

CSEA Connection (October 2013)

CSEA Connection: Shift in Classified Work

by Hoover Zariani

CSEA President


Another year of instruction begins at GCC…and I can’t help but think back on the last 22 years that I’ve had the fortune of working on this campus.

In that time, a lot has changed and the pace of change has only sped up over the last few years.

As I have said before in various venues, I think the classified positions on this and many campuses are in a state of transition. As we become more and more technologically mature, our work takes a new turn and we must have much more knowledge in that respect than our predecessors. But it’s not only technology that drives the changes in our jobs.

As the college has evolved and with the advent of new initiatives such as the Student Success goals, student learning outcomes, and program review, as well as deeper involvement in Accreditation, we as classified have had to not only learn more information, but learn to do more complex and technical tasks. Work that was often done by higher level employees is now often done by classified. Our positions have also changed from task oriented to much more student and outcome oriented/centered, which is a good thing but it requires different sets of skills and knowledge.

If you are old enough to remember, classified positions were very task specific in the past. For example, the position of “typist clerk” was for individuals who mainly “typed”. Of course, they performed other duties, but basically, they were typists.

Currently, not only must staff possess computer/keyboarding skills, but we are mini experts on updating webpages, assisting with or being completely responsible for student learning outcomes (almost all research), and writing program reviews or contributing to the development of department/division or area goals and objectives, as well as focusing the specific needs of our students who come to us with many challenges.

This shift in classified work is apparent in the large number of reclassification requests received this past year. I believe the number of requests will remain high as our jobs continue to change. Ideally, the college and our CSEA Chapter would be wise to create an overarching plan for looking at all positions and determining the needs and how the positions may need to be aligned with Student Success Initiative, Accreditation, and our Master Plan. This would be a monumental undertaking but it would avoid a patchwork of reclassifications, reorganizations, reallocations, etc. It would also professionalize the staff further and create opportunities for growth.

There are three ways to lead: 1. By example, 2. By example, and 3. By example.

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