Johnson attempts to replace faculty after multiple departures


Sam Hartley

Nori Efremovski

This year at Johnson State College began with multiple departures from the faculty and partially successful attempts to fill the gaps they left left behind.

Assistant professor Timothy Saeed, who had taught at Johnson State College since the fall semester of 2014, left the school before the start of the fall semester.

While at this time the reason for him leaving is not known, there has been some speculation. “My guess would be that it is a big position,” said Bethany Plissey, assistant professor and chair of the performing arts department. “There’s a lot of load teaching here and I think he probably wanted something that was more manageable.”

During his time at Johnson, Saeed taught the entire Theory One core for the music majors, people with music minors, or simply those who enjoyed making music.

“[It] includes the written Theory One course, keyboard harmony courses and the ear training courses both semesters,” said Plissey. “And then in the second year sequence, he would teach Theory Three and Four, and the classical track. He had a lot of those, and then he was to coordinate the piano hearings and the second year theory program with the other instructors involved in that.”

Until all of those classes get a dedicated teacher, they are being taught by part-time staff. Some of the courses had to be cancelled due to a lack of enrollment.

As far as searching for a replacement goes, a committee has not yet been formed. “I’d be running it if there was,” said Plissey.

There is also no sense of when such a search committee will be formed, as JSC administration is back and forth on the matter.

“We don’t know if we’ll be approved,” said Plissey. “We have a possible no, and a possible yes. We don’t know. There’s not a definite one way or the other.”

Saeed leaving has certainly had quite an impact on the department. One facet of his job was to accompany the choirs, and as of yet there has been no part-time replacement.

“It’s really impacting the quality of instruction in choir, because I’ve had to be behind the piano instead of in front of rehearsal leading the ensemble,” said Plissey. “So that’s difficult. We’re lucky we have some part-time people who are willing to step up to the plate and fill his shoes in the theory program. And, you know, we’re just going to wait and see what happens.”

In the meantime, music students at JSC will have to be content with a multitude of teachers, rather than just the one.

Efforts to reach Saeed for comment have so far been unsuccessful.

In the Behavioral Sciences department, Stacey Born has been temporarily replaced by Nori Efremovski, who will join the faculty full-time for one year while a search committee is formed to find a long-term replacement. According to David Fink, director of the counseling program, that new faculty member would begin teaching at JSC in the fall of 2017.

“Nori is a truly talented and wonderful person,” said Fink. “I feel very glad that she is with us.”
Efremovski is a graduate of the counseling program from years past and will be teaching Born’s classes for the duration of the year. She has also frequently taught adjunct classes for the college in the recent past.