WCCEA’s resolution for vote of no confidence

Whereas, in the three years of President Bellanca’s tenure, the College has gone from having two full vice presidents and four associate vice presidents to having seven full vice presidents and is now in the process of hiring a new associate vice president, even as budgets for areas across the college are being cut, most disconcertingly positions that support students and instruction are being eliminated or are left unfilled, as evidenced by the reduction in counselors and in college lab support staff (among other examples),

and

Whereas, even as President Bellanca saw fit to increase the number of Vice Presidents and their compensation, the Nursing Program and the Allied Health Program were moved to Dean Showalter’s division with the promise that that move would be temporary and that a Dean of Health Sciences would be hired.  Yet, three years later, no Dean of Health Sciences has been hired and, after a brief aborted search, there has been no effort to hire one,

and

Whereas tactics of intimidation and isolation, up to and including threats of dismissal have become commonplace during President Bellanca’s tenure, creating a hostile and toxic workplace environment throughout the College. The most recent occurred during a meeting conducted by President Bellanca on April 18 regarding the creation of a Center for Advanced Manufacturing where she made threats to faculty and told them to “get on board or get out of the way,”

and

Whereas, when concerns were raised about the tone and message of a recent meeting between occupational education department chairs and President Bellanca, her response was to call urgent and impromptu meetings with faculty members and their deans where President Bellanca addressed them in a hostile and unprofessional manner,

and

Whereas, the College no longer conducts business in a transparent manner and, in so doing, has created a pervasive environment of distrust, as evidenced by promotions at the vice presidential level that did not appear in board packets or announcements and which were never disclosed to the College community or to the community at large.  Moreover, it appears that the hiring of consultants and contracted services has been hidden from the Board of Trustees by issuing multiple contracts under $50,000 to the same vendor or vendors, thereby avoiding the need for WCC Board of Trustees’ approval,

and

Whereas, during President Bellanca’s tenure, there has been unprecedented turnover in middle- and upper-level administration and in critical support staff (in Web Services; in IT; in Distance Learning; in Marketing, where we are on our 3rd director in three years; in the academic divisions, where three highly regarded deans have resigned or retired in the last week). If “running a college is like running a business,” as President Bellanca told the Board of Trustees at its April 22, 2014, meeting, then this is an unmistakable sign of leadership failure,

and

Whereas the Faculty have been trying, without success, for more than two years to convince President Bellanca to collaborate with the Faculty as required by WCC Board of Trustees Policy 5085 (“Staff Collaboration and Governance”), the initiative to create and teach high school level Spanish and sign language in Ypsilanti Community Schools being a recent example of her administration’s failure to undertake such collaborative efforts (discussions about it were underway between WCC and Ypsilanti for nearly one year and agreements were signed before the appropriate academic department and Faculty committees were notified),

and

Whereas WCC’s “Strategic Plan” was presented to the board one year ago yet, despite numerous requests, its details have not been briefed to the faculty nor, despite numerous requests, have the faculty been presented with the plan’s measurable outcomes,

and

Whereas, under President Bellanca’s tenure, the relationship between the College and the WCCEA has gone from one that emphasized problem-solving to one that emphasizes confrontation, as exemplified by the fact that currently there are three grievances pending arbitration where, in the previous eight years, the WCCEA had filed for arbitration in but two grievances, both of which were settled before the arbitration took place, and as exemplified by the “take it or leave it” approach taken in negotiations for the adjunct contract in summer 2013,

and

Whereas one vice president has been hired in a manner that violated both College policy as well as the contract between the College and the WCCEA, while another vice president was fired in a thoroughly unprofessional and disrespectful manner,

and

Whereas rather than undertake true efforts at communication with the faculty, the College chooses to “communicate” through On the Record, The Water Cooler, and expensive postcards,

and

Whereas, two years before President Bellanca’s arrival, the College was awarded a ten-year accreditation, but today the institutional health of the College is in serious doubt,

and

Whereas, over the past eighteen months, the leadership of the WCCEA, individual faculty, and concerned retirees have reached out to the Washtenaw Community College Board of Trustees on multiple occasions, both publicly and privately, seeking its help and guidance in resolving these issues, yet the Board has shown little to no interest in investigating the issues repeatedly brought to its attention, and its only official response to the expressed concerns has been an undated open letter on the Board of Trustees website that expresses unalloyed and unfaltering support for President Bellanca.

Be it therefore resolved that the Board of the Washtenaw Community College Education Association approve the motion that a Vote of No Confidence in President Bellanca’s leadership be conducted during the Membership Meeting on May 1, 2014.

Be it further resolved that the Board of the Washtenaw Community College Education Association urges its members, in the strongest possible terms, to provide a vote of no confidence in President Bellanca’s leadership.

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