Tabitha Nikolai (far left) and Joan Handwerg (second from left) with dozens of fellow protesters marching this week.

Tabitha Nikolai (far left) and Joan Handwerg (second from left) with dozens of fellow protesters marching this week.

April Baer/OPB

Protestors with the Pacific Northwest College of Art say administrators have met some of their outstanding concerns about staffing, and they’ve agreed to cease a week of demonstrations as the changes are made.

Some staff and students have taken issue with a published fall schedule that reflected uncertainty in teaching assignments, particularly for part-time staff who lead the majority of classes. They’ve marched daily since Monday.

A letter from PNCA Interim President Casey Mills lays out a process by which faculty can register concerns about teaching assignments as well as a process by which those issues will be vetted.

Joan Handwerg, an associate professor at the college, calls this week’s negotiations one step in addressing a range of concerns.

“While the protests are one aspect of what’s taking place, it’s really important to know that there are a multitude of other conversations that are taking place exactly at the same time,” Handwerg said.

“The full-time faculty had been negotiating with the administration for something like three years, six years, for what their contracts will be,” she said. “Because the last president discontinued or abolished tenure at the school, and that’s a very important element of this.”

Mill’s letter indicates other topics will be addressed by a Part-Time Faculty Task Force.