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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Instructors make long commute for job security


A career typically entails a nine to five job. Many people expect their career to be simple and don’t want to think about work at the end of the day. For some lecturers at Chico State however, work is worth driving sometimes over three hours a day to three or even four different colleges.

These professors have been called the freeway flyers. They are Professors who work as part time or full time temporary staff at Chico State and other colleges in the region who out of circumstance make long commutes.

Michael Griffin a Chico State Journalism and Business lecturer has been teaching over seven classes a semester between Butte College and Chico State.

“I find it really mentally stimulating. The day goes pretty fast because it’s engaging,” Griffin said. Some days start at eight in the morning for Griffin and don’t end until six or seven at night. However, according to Griffin just because his instructional hours end it doesn’t mean that the job is done and other duties such as grading take up time at home.

Whether or not you receive classes is based upon many factors including enrollment class popularity and your seniority within the department. Griffin teaches five classes at Chico State and two at Butte. Griffin expressed the passion he has for teaching but reflected on the fears of possibly losing classes.

“I would say that before the semester begins that it is stressful. Sometimes you don’t know until a week or two before whether you have a class or not,” Griffin said. Many professors who work at more than one college also have more than one boss on top of working across the California State University and community college systems.

According to another Chico State lecturer Scott Laczko the commute can sometimes average two to three hours a day. Laczko currently is teaching at four different colleges. Lecturers can only qualify for health benefits once they are holding two classes or more. Laczko currently teaches one class at Butte College, Chico State, Yuba College and Folsom Lake College. Laczko does not receive any health benefits however because in order to qualify you have to work two or more classes at Chico State.

“I really enjoy teaching and class availability is something you need to be concerned about,” said Laczko.The realities of possibly losing a class are something that goes through Laczko’s head but not something he feels he has any control over.

Laczko expressed a similar passion as Griffin for teaching. Griffin explained that he considers himself to be getting by fine but further spoke about the issues people he knows have faced.

“I know people are struggling. I almost lost both my classes this semester because of enrollment and I was very fortunate to keep both of them. I know people who are depending on that class or two to get by and they lost that and that is pretty scary,” said Griffin.

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