Two instructors at Malcolm X College who thought they had been granted contracts to teach for another year were axed from the City Colleges of Chicago payroll today, the result of a vote to fix a “clerical error.”
Kennette Crockett, who teaches English, and Nalita Mateo, who teaches surgical technology, were among dozens of faculty members from all seven campuses whose contracts were extended at the Feb. 5 Board of Trustees meeting.
However, due to a “clerical error,” Chancellor Wayne Watson today said neither should have had their contracts extended. Instead, they will work through the end of the current academic year.
During a 10-minute special meeting today, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to rescind the contracts for the two instructors; it was the only item voted on at the meeting.
The Daily News was unable to reach Crockett and Mateo, and the assistant to Malcolm X Interim President Ghingo Brooks said the college’s president would not comment on the matter.
Prior to the vote this morning, Perry Buckley, the president of the Cook County Colleges Teachers Union, chastised the board for the mistake.
“It’s not nice, it’s not fair,” Buckley says. “You had three people last Thursday who thought they had tenure, thought they were being rehired.”
The third person was an instructor who had already resigned her post, Buckley said after the meeting.
“There should be enough people reading those reports that before you vote, you know what you’re voting on is correct,” Buckley told the board.
This isn’t the first time the district has hit snags in renewing teacher contracts.
Last year, 10 professors gained an extra year of work when the college failed to meet a deadline to send them letters severing their contracts. That was serendipitous for the teachers, Buckley said, who gained the year of employment and had more time to find new work, but isn’t how the system is supposed to operate.
Watson said after today’s meeting that the district had changed how it handles contract renewals so that such mistakes wouldn’t happen again.
“We have totally redone the process,” he said.
Daily News Staff Writer Peter Sachs covers higher education.