BOT Letter #5

From: Garcia,Anne [awgarcia@wccnet.edu]
Sent: Friday, May 02, 2014 10:31 AM
To: trustees@wccnet.edu
Cc: WCC Full Time Faculty; adjunct@wccnet. edu Adjunct Faculty
Subject: RE: No Confidence Vote
Dear Board of Trustees

As a psychology teacher for almost 25 years, I frequently find myself teaching a skill called “active listening. Active listening entails the following:

* undivided attention
* non-judgmental comments
* careful reflections
* empathic replies
* no formulaic responses

As you might guess, I have never tried to teach anyone “inactive listening”; clearly it is to be avoided. But for the past 18 months we have not been able to avoid it

Perhaps we can use the following dialogue between ourselves (the WCC faculty) and the WCC Board of Trustees, as a demonstration of communication that should be avoided.

WCC faculty—We are trying to communicate with the administration but they avoid meetings and/or we engage in only superficial dialogue.

WCC Board of Trustees—We have complete faith in the administration.

WCC faculty—But decisions are being made about academic courses and programs that directly affect the students and yet faculty input is not being sought.

WCC Board of Trustees—Faculty are afraid of change.

WCC faculty—We were told by the HLC accreditation committee a few years ago that the ONLY criticism of WCC was that we seemed to have too many administrators. How then can we justify hiring so many new administrators and then being told we do not have money for curricular projects? What if we jeopardize our accreditation because of the inflated number of administrative positions?

WCC Board of Trustees—We have complete faith in the administration

WCC faculty—But the “administration” is no longer composed of long-time employees who have institutional memory and a solid understanding of the valuable role WCC has served in the community. Those employees have been run out, explicitly or implicitly. We are running the risk that WCC will no longer be held in esteem by the public.

WCC Board of Trustees—Faculty are afraid of change.

I hope with all my heart that you will truly “hear” us finally and engage in meaningful dialogue. The larger community has entrusted you with that task.

Respectfully,
Anne Garcia
(reprinted with permission)

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