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New faces, new duties

MARIA FENYES, Acting Vice President, Academic Affairs

After serving Mission College for 17 years as an instructor and faculty union representative, Maria Fenyes now joins the administrative ranks. Fenyes, longtime chemistry instructor and American Federation of Teachers chapter president, was appointed active vice president for academic affairs in August.

Though administration is new to her, Fenyes believes her many years' service as a department and cluster chair and vice chair provided significant experience as what she describes as a “quasi-administrator.”

“My experience has given me a view of two worlds and how to bring them together,” she said. “Essentially, you serve as a liaison between faculty and administrators.”

Her participation in contract negotiations between the district and AFT provided solid grounding for her new role, she said. After all, a contract is the structure upon which the district operates and reflects the needs of both administration and faculty.

Fenyes hopes to put her experience to use in several areas but primarily in finding ways to increase enrollment. She believes that the sequence of classes a student is likely to take can be identified, based on requirements, and that those classes can be scheduled so they don’t conflict with one another. She also believes the college has been too quick to cut low enrollment classes. Fenyes already has made these and other proposals to the new college Enrollment Management Task Force.

– BY EDUARDO PARDO / Photo: Lydia Chung