Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Whereas, the faculty of Medgar Evers College has attempted unsuccessfully to engage the administration (Office of the President and Provost) into collegial dialogue regarding the affairs of the College, and Whereas, the faculty of Medgar Evers College has observed and obtained evidence of the egregious acts by the Office of the President and Provost listed below, to wit
1. Administration, as represented by the Offices of the President and Provost demonstrate poor or questionable leadership decisions with regard to effective governance as ratified by the faculty and PSC, ex.:
· President’s failure to Chair Personnel and Budget Committee as required by College’s governance plan (this committee is chaired by President as defined by Governance Plan and oversees reappointments, appointments, promotions and tenure)
· Irregularities in protocols for College Wide Personnel & Budget Committee
· Provost’s confrontational and dictatorial style with faculty, students and staff
· Dissemination of notices of non reappointment to faculty, staff and CLTs via security guard, email, and visits to classrooms and offices.
· Questionable non reappointments of faculty and College Lab Technicians. (CLTs perform highly skilled tasks such as lab work, computer work and provide support for administrative and academic units. CLTs follow a tenure track).
· Irregularities in the process by which faculty and staff reviews were voted on in personnel committees.
· No announced Master plan or direction for MEC, after an entire year. The college-wide assessment report and recommendations were never shared.
· Removal of Chair of Education for spurious and unsubstantiated reasons. (Per PSC Contract, Chairs in CUNY are elected by faculty not appointed by President and Provost). Chair of Education had been elected by faculty in department for 3 year term.
· Citing of “budget” as rationale for reduction of services but hiring of additional administrators and consultants.
· Lack of transparency and lack of communication with respect to the search for the Provost.
· Provost’s statement that a reduction in adjunct costs will provide OTPS for faculty.
· President and Provost more concerned with initiatives such as getting an athletic field than with providing support for resources to support student instruction, tutoring, and scholarships and faculty hires and professional development.
2. Administration, as represented by the Offices of the President and Provost demonstrate a discrepancy between their declared student-centered philosophy and activities that undermine and mitigate against student success by removing support mechanisms and faculty resources integral to student success. Data reveal that MEC student satisfaction with academic support services is substantially lower than CUNY average. Removal of support mechanisms and faculty resources include:
· Elimination of Writing Center.
· Elimination of Center for Teaching and Learning.
· Reduction of tutors in Learning Center budget.
· Reduction of staff in College’s library.
· Reduction of staff in Student Computer Lab.
· Reduction of resources and research opportunities for Psych Lab.
· Blocking of funding supporting faculty/student research and the mission of the College.
· Refusal to fill faculty positions in academic departments (yet hired high level administrators).
· Ending the position of NCATE Coordinator while Department is involved in Accreditation activities.
· Elimination of the position of Pre-Med Advisor in January 2010. Numerous MEC students have been accepted to Medical schools over the years, some to MD/PhD program, because of the work of the pre-professional advisor. When students confronted Provost re: this, he stated that “to his knowledge there was never anyone who had the title of pre-med advisor at MEC, and that students could not have a letter from a pre-med committee nor a pre- med advisor since the school never had neither one.” This is a direct misrepresentation of the facts; the College has had a pre-professional advisor since 1975.
· Withdrawing of reassigned time for Coordination of Writing. The composition classes in the English Department are service courses that serve close to 2,000 students (70+ sections) per semester. The Coordinator is responsible for developing common midterm and final exams; norming sessions; cross-grading sessions; faculty development workshops; orientation for new faculty; securing grants and serving as liaison to other CUNY colleges. Coordinators in all CUNY campuses have reassigned time.
3. Poor Leadership and Management Skills of the President, contributing to poor morale, questionable legal activities, and institutional demoralization, as evidenced by
· Rigid viewpoint and inability to entertain or appreciate alternative perspectives
· Poor relationships with elected officials ( demonstrates a dismissive attitude, and has portrayed elected officials as “interfering,” and having “too much influence in the College”)
· Questionable appointments of additional administrators in midst of a severe fiscal crisis:
· Lack of Diversity in President’s Administrative Senior Leadership Team (all Vice Presidents are males.)
· Failure to meet with senior faculty and student leaders – only responded after CUNY Central and elected officials’ intervention
· Inability & failure to hold College Council meetings (cancelled two meetings in Fall and failed to get quorum in Spring at three meetings in 2009-2010 AY. Has only held one meeting in current year and subsequent meeting cancelled because of failure to document membership of council and thus did not have a quorum.)
· Holding of Town Hall meeting for faculty during last week in May -few faculty present.
· Holding governance plan meeting in summer when faculty and students are on leave.
· Holding of Retreat in summer without key administrators, e.g, Deans.
· Lack of Understanding of Funding and Grant Initiatives
· Leadership team’s lack of understanding of the nature and process for obtaining multiple streams of funding from public and private sources;
· Leadership’s team blocking of funding opportunities and funding obtained- Nu Leadership, NIH grant and STEP grant, SPCD Programs
4. Poor Leadership and Insensitivity of the Provost:
· Irrational and explosive behavior that is unbecoming of an academic leader.
· Questionable non reappointments of faculty and College Lab Technicians (CLTs) (reasons for non-reappointment were not provided to Chairs)
· Blocking of funding supporting faculty/student research and the mission of the College
· Lack of respect for the academic knowledge and expertise of faculty (disparaging and reductive attitude towards faculty scholarship, leadership and counsel in matters of academic affairs)
· Removal of support mechanisms and faculty resources integral to student success, e.g., the Writing Center and Center for Teaching and Learning.
· Accusations that faculty are responsible for low retention rates and performance of students when most recent data indicate that student satisfaction with faculty is higher than CUNY average with respect to quality of course performance, ability of faculty to communicate clearly and frequency of faculty feedback on course performance.
5. Administration, as represented by the Offices of the President and Provost, demonstrates a lack of commitment to the “community-oriented” mission of Medgar Evers College and to Central Brooklyn and its residents, as evidenced by:
· Lack of institutional memory.
· Continual statements referencing the need to change the mission without demonstrating an understanding of the special niche of Medgar Evers and the integral nature of Medgar Evers College to all community entities.
· Disregard for relationship and value of the Centers to the mission of MEC
· Eviction of Center for NuLeadership
· Disregard for role of Center for NuLeadership in serving as advocate and resource for formerly incarcerated individuals in college and community.
· Refusal to recognize Center for NuLeadership as Center in College although the Center is highly regarded in CUNY and nationally, has been functioning as a critical Center for the last six years and was formerly approved by the College’s governing body.
· Ignoring of Harry Belafonte’s offer to work with President in resolving Nu Leadership issues.
· Removal of Carver ATM machines & substitution of Citibank ATMs. Issue of Carver Bank’s removal from campus still not resolved.
· Lack of an understanding of the value of a comprehensive college for students.
· Pays “lip service” to support of Medgar Evers College’s Preparatory School. Despite awards and accolades from College Board, Department of Education and President Obama, the Administration has withdrawn support for the Medgar College Preparatory School’s Dual Enrollment Program.
· Use of questionable and erroneous data as a justification for changing the mission
· Attempt to change the venue of commencement and cancel Jazzy Jazz series without consultation and understanding of the importance of these programs to students and the community. (Reinstitution of these programs only after student and community protest).
· Lack of awareness of the importance of Medgar Evers’s role in helping to sustain Black institutions that support and serve the students and residents of Central Brooklyn.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Faculty of Medgar Evers College do affirm a VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE in the current Administration, and specifically, in the Office of the President, Dr. William A. Pollard, and in the Office of the Provost, Dr. Howard Johnson.
A vote of no confidence by the faculty signals to the college leadership and CUNY Board that there is a major lack of confidence in the leadership of the college and that actions must be taken.