Commentary by Dale Green, Mathematics Division Faculty
It is difficult for me to write this, given my inclination to “work things out” in amicable ways and to compromise. To that end, I have tried over the years to give President Spilde the benefit of my doubt whenever I could. Recently, I have been having great difficulty doing so.
I was at the Tuesday, May 5 Budget and Finance Sub-Committee open forum, hoping for a well-reasoned response from President Spilde’s Administration to the LCCEA Faculty Union budget analysis. It [the analysis] supports keeping the Electronic Technician Program and the Auto Collision and Repair Program and not putting the Medical Office Assistant Program on hold.
I was very disappointed. The reasoning of her budget team was: “We-do-this-every-day. It’s-what-we-do. We’re-good-at-it. We’ve-always-done-it-this-way. Believe-us.”
When President Spilde rose to speak, her response to the LCCEA budget analysis was not only disrespectful and negligent — it was incompetent. She quickly dismissed the LCCEA figures as worthless and shortly after that left the room.
She did not return. President Spilde demonstrated quite clearly that she does not have the ability nor the competence to look at a viewpoint other than her own and to examine it carefully. She acted as if she has the right and power to act however she chooses without regard to reasonable alternatives.
When Mary Spilde became president, many of us hoped that the college would move in the direction of increased shared governance. Instead, rigid top down management behind a façade of shared governance has become the norm.
In the words of one colleague: “While I am proud of the work of the support staff and faculty who serve the needs of students, I am increasingly ashamed of the administration of the college.”
What brought me to the point of publicly sharing my opinions is the process by which the administration decided to eliminate the Electronic Technician program. The faculty in that program have been working hard to determine what steps can be taken proactively to save their program.
Instead of working with these faculty to figure out what might be done to save the program, the President Spilde administration has met them with resistance and has ignored them. In addition, her administration conducted interviews with three businesses — supposedly to evaluate the effectiveness of the program.
One of these businesses does not even hire electronic technicians and the other two businesses were misrepresented. Given how the process for eliminating the Electronic Technician program was conducted, how can we be asked to believe that the Auto Body and Collision Repair program and Medical Office Assistant Program were treated any differently?
The budget analysis presented by the LCCEA faculty union representatives presents convincing evidence that there are good reasons for maintaining and keeping the Auto Body and Collision Repair and Electronic Technician programs and for redesigning the Medical Office Assistant program with the involvement of the current faculty for that program without putting that program on hold. There are economic benefits not accounted for in President Spilde’s analysis.
I can no longer remain silent. There is little to indicate that President Spilde and her administration have any desire to work together with the rest of our campus community and to utilize the resources that would be available by doing so.
It is as if the administration building has become a bunker — marginalizing the rest of our campus, almost to the point of complete exclusion.
I am now willing to publicly declare my vote of “No Confidence” in President Spilde and her administration of this college.
It is imperative we do all we can to save the Electronic Technician Program and the Auto Body and Collision Repair Program and to keep the Medical Office Assistant Program functioning with its current faculty in place.