Comments to the Board of Trustees, 12/6/2016


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Comments to the Board of Trustees, 11/15/16

Please see the link for David Fitzpatrick’s comments.


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For the Record: Issue 22

Only one week before election day. Enjoy the latest edition of For the Record.


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Comments to the Board of Trustees, 10/25/16


The recording of the meeting will be available at the following link (usually within a week after the meeting)


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For the Record: Issue 21


Here is the latest edition of For the Record. It includes information about the Board of Trustee candidate endorsements. Thanks to AFSCME and WCCESP for partnering on this process.
Please feel free to share this with members of the other unions on campus.
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Comments to the Board of Trustees, 9/27/2016

Dear Colleagues,

  • Below the line and embedded in this message, you will find notes from the Tuesday night Board of Trustees’ meeting. Please let any of your representatives know if you have any questions.
  • The October edition of For the Record will highlight the endorsement process for the Board of Trustee candidates — coming soon to your inbox.


David Fitzpatrick’s notes for September 27, 2016

Good Evening.

David cannot be here tonight or for any Tuesday night Board meeting this semester because he is teaching a Tuesday evening class.  In his absence, Julie and I [Jason Withrow] will be delivering the WCCEA’s message to the Board of Trustees.

There are number of issues we’d like to bring to your attention.

**First, we’d like to recognize Arnett Chisolm’s efforts in supporting the United States Olympic team in Rio de Janeiro.  This is not the first time that Arnett has served our nation’s Olympic team, and we are immensely proud of his efforts and that he is again a member of our faculty.

**We are at the start of a new academic year, and we are very glad that a process is underway to replace some long-serving faculty who have recently retired.  Still, over the last 7 years the number of full-time faculty have declined 13% (214 in 2009; 186 today, ten of whom have been hired in the last few months).  Enrollments have declined, but faculty responsibilities have not, and this becomes especially acute as, this year, we move full bore into preparing for our 2019 accreditation visit.  We urge the Board and the administration to continue to hire more full-time faculty.

**In preparation for that visit, this is the “Year of Assessment.”  Four faculty—Michelle Garey, Dave Wooten, Amanda Scheffler, and Gloria Velarde—along with Dean Good and Joy Garrett—attended an HLC academy on assessment and are leading our efforts in that area.  We thank them for the tremendous amount of work they have and will put into it.

**We are, yet again, working with the administration to develop an evaluation system for the full-time, adjunct, and part-time faculty.  There are serious problems with the system that we agreed to just this past February, and we are working to fix them.

**The summer the College and the WCCEA came to an agreement on a reimbursement process for adjunct faculty found to not meet HLC faculty credentialing standards.  We are now working to come to an agreement on an appeals process for those faculty who wish to contest this decision.  Nothing in the College’s evaluation process of faculty credentials, to this point in time, remotely provides due process.  It is our goal that any appeals process that might be developed clear that bar.

And Julie will address our observations about the College’s enrollment numbers. See the link below.


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David’s notes regarding June 28, 2016, BOT Meeting

Below you will find Dr. Fitzpatrick’s messages to the BOT. The original message to the Board of Trustees is last.
June 28, 2016

Colleagues,This evening the Board of Trustees, by a 5-2 vote, agreed to extend President Bellanca’s contract.  She now has a new three-year agreement.

I chose not to make a public statement before tonight’s meeting.  Instead I communicated yesterday (6/27) with the Board of Trustees via email.  That email is below. In a reply from  Trustee Landau (not included here), it is worth noting that nothing in the language Trustee Landau cites requires that the contract be renewed in June, only that the contract be reviewed.  It is also worth noting that Trustee Landau chose not to engage the substance of my email.

Please feel free to use the information in these emails as you think appropriate.

I hope you are having a restful summer.



From: “Fitzpatrick, David” <>
Date: June 27, 2016 at 1:00:57 PM EDT” <>
Subject:June 26 Agenda for the Board of Trustees Meeting
Members of the Board of Trustees,
This past week there have been numerous momentous events. As a historian, those in the United States House of Representatives captivated me.  There, members of Congress, led by Representative John Lewis, conducted a sit-in in an effort to force the House to vote on a gun control measure.
As a young man Representative Lewis was one of the founders of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.  He participated in the lunch counter sit-ins in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1960; he led the Freedom Rides in 1961 and was severely beaten in Birmingham, Alabama, for doing so; and he organized and led the 1965 Voting Rights March from Selma to Montgomery, where he was again beaten in the infamous “Bloody Sunday” on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.  When SNCC rejected non-violence, Lewis resigned from the organization.  Throughout his career, John Lewis has spoken truth to power.  It is what he was doing on the Freedom Rides, what he did in Selma, and what he and his colleagues were doing last week on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Speaking Truth to Power.
For the last three months I have not been speaking truth to power in my addresses to you.  I’ve not done this for numerous reasons:
                I had an adjunct contract to negotiate.
                I had to negotiate a program by which the college would help full-time faculty get back to school so they might meet HLC faculty qualification requirements.
                And I still have to negotiate a similar deal for the adjunct faculty.
Continuing to lay bare in a public forum the issues at this College made little sense if I wanted any constructive movement in any of these areas.
Also, the pending millage election loomed large in my mind.  I did not want to endanger its passage in any way.
And, finally, this Board has proven remarkably obtuse to a faculty that, for the past 3.5 years, HAS spoken truth to power.  At best we have been ignored; at worst we have been belittled, humiliated, and lied about.
I therefore had no reason to expect anything different had I continued down that path, and so I chose not to.
But because I have not been speaking truth to power it seems likely that you understand my comments over the past few months to be a sign that the situation at WCC is improving.  If so, that is a wild misreading of my comments, for it is not.  The dysfunction at WCC gets worse on a daily basis.
And yet my board has endorsed the millage.  How could it not?  But many members of the faculty and staff have no intention of voting for the millage, and they know many in the community who will not support it, as well.
The millage is just six weeks away.  I have remained publicly silent regarding the continuing situation at the College so that I do not jeopardize the service we offer to the community.  Yet President Bellanca has asked that you, six weeks in advance of the millage election, renew her contract.  Whether or not you choose to do so, this action cannot but generate publicity the College does not need.  Anyone who believes they are acting in the best interest of the College would realize this.
I anticipate that this communication with you will make it much more difficult for me to get the things done that support my membership.
If so, that’s simply a risk I have to take.
The College needs someone to speak Truth to Power.
As always has been true, I am happy to speak with you privately if you wish.
Dr. David Fitzpatrick
President, WCCEA
History Instructor
Washtenaw Community College
FAX  734-477-8716
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