From: Gibson, Maxine [email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, May 02, 2014 3:32 PM
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com Faculty (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Vote of No Confidence
Dear Board of Trustees,
I’ve been an English Instructor at WCC for twenty-four years. I began in 1980 as a part-time instructor and was blessed to land a full-time position in 1990. As Jason Davis eloquently expressed in his letter to you, WCC has been a refuge and home to so many in our community, including my family. I too am from a working-class background and am the first in my family to graduate from college. After raising seven children, my mother attended WCC’s nursing school when it was in Saline and became an L.P.N. All of my siblings and my two daughters have taken classes at the college. One of my sisters was employed as a secretary at WCC for years. Our roots run deep here.
Because I’ve been at the college for almost 25 years, I’ve had the pleasure of teaching the children of former students and I’ve seen how the college has changed, saved, and given meaning to their lives. I voted no confidence in our president because she has failed to demonstrate a willingness and openness to dialogue with our faculty and elected representatives—those who care most deeply about the education and welfare of the students here at WCC.
One of the aspects I love most about teaching is that it is a profession of constant change. Each semester I have before me 100 new faces—individuals with new and different skills and challenges. I’ve had the pleasure of working under four different Department Chairs, three different Deans, and alongside an ever-changing teaching staff. I have learned the most about how to be an effective teacher through constant dialogue with my colleagues. My office is surrounded by the offices of Math, Physics, and English teachers—all of whom have generously shared their knowledge and teaching strategies with me. When Stuart Blacklaw was V.P. I was thrilled that this openness and trust extended to the administration; but his departure, sadly, ended the dialogue.
I often share with my students the expression, “If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting.” Sadly, this is why we felt compelled to vote yesterday. All previous attempts at dialogue failed. I think the onus for change is actually now on the Board of Trustees. How might you facilitate the change that is desperately needed at this moment—a return to openness, trust, dialogue, and respect? That is change we can all embrace. Let the healing begin.
Max Gibson, English Instructor
(reprinted with permission)