I have been thinking about the questions my colleagues may have about our board’s recent decision to put a vote of no confidence in our current president to the membership. What does the WCCEA Board expect to accomplish with this action?
I believe that by holding the vote, that it will give the Board of Trustees, the administration, the students, and the community a clear understanding of whether the faculty have confidence in our current president to continue to lead our institution in ways that will best serve our students. The purpose of the vote is to clarify to the public and the Board where the faculty stand and to inform the community of that position.
We know that there is a group of faculty that believe we are at a crisis point and that under our current president’s leadership the college will continue to decline in its ability to best serve our students. What we don’t know (and can’t know without the vote) is the percentage of faculty who share this position. In its best light, the vote gives us a democratic way for faculty to weigh in anonymously and help the institution to move on to what is in the best interest of our students.
It is my sincere hope that all full time faculty and adjuncts take the time to inform themselves on the college climate and cast their vote, wherever their positions may fall. Take the time to talk to your colleagues, your department chair and those in the independent group, the OPTs, and the custodial and maintenance union to understand where we are as a college. Then, vote in the best interest of our students and the future of our institution. If we all do that, I have every confidence that collectively we will move the college to where it needs to go next.
One year ago I was very much against holding a vote of no confidence in our president and to some extent, pushed the faculty back from that vote. It was my sense then that the Board of Trustees of our College would hear and act on our concerns without going to a vote of no confidence and take steps to insure the institution was moving forward in a positive way. I no longer hold that position. I perceive our current climate as a crisis that needs action and we as faculty, have a responsibility to speak up. This isn’t an issue of faculty being resistant to change – it is a call from the faculty for change – we need a president in which we can put our faith and trust. We need a climate of mutual respect.