Professor finds new challenge

Becky Rowley: Still teachers an English class.

By Ryan Lengerich: CNJ staff writer

Becky Rowley has been on both sides of the fence — a nine-month faculty member and now a top administrator.

The Clovis Community College executive vice president is second in the administrative hierarchy behind President Beverlee McClure. She’s also No. 2 on Curry County’s public official salary list, behind only McClure, according to records from the 2003 calendar year.

McClure earned $149,342 last year. Rowley made $107,337.

Rowley oversees all instruction at the college, including full-and part-time faculty, division chairpersons, workforce training staff, financial aid staff, admissions staff, library staff and those involved with student services. She assumed the position in 1999, following a six-year stint as a full-time English professor at the school.

A bump in pay, she said, was not her main reason for changing jobs.

“After teaching for five or six years, I said I might like to get into administration because I would like to do something different,” Rowley said “The bigger consideration for me is I really did want to try it. Yes, it was more money but a lot less security.”

As a faculty member, Rowley said she had a nine-month, flexible contract and job security. She said she made $40,755 her final year as a faculty member.

As an administrator, she has a 12-month contract but can be terminated for cause any time.

On average, Rowley said she works 50 hours a week.
“I know when it is time to leave,” she said.

Having seen both sides of the spectrum, Rowley said while teachers earn less money they have more flexibility and summer months off.

“We pay competitively,” she said of the college. “Overall, most faculty members here seem to be OK with what they make.”

A graduate of Clovis High School, Rowley earned her bachelor’s degree in English at Creighton University, master’s degree in English from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D in English from the University of New Mexico.

Becky Carruthers, assistant vice president for educational services, has worked under Rowley for six years.

Carruthers said Rowley is worth her salary.

“There is a tremendous amount of responsibility that she takes. So, yeah, I think whatever it is she makes she is worth it,” Carruthers said. “You are not going to get anybody of her caliber and expertise if you offer $40,000 a year.”

Rowley continues to teach one English class each semester, but said she enjoys her job as an administrator and would consider a job as president at a college, though she is not actively searching.

“I feel comfortable with what I do,” she said. “One thing I like about my job now is sort of by inclination I am a big-picture thinker, and it is a good fit for me professionally.”