WCCEA President Maryam Barrie addresses board of trustees at monthly meeting
The December board meeting began as any other with a speech by Maryam Barrie, Washtenaw Community College’s Education Association president. She included that she has obtained the information regarding the full-time faculty who were contacted by the Higher Learning Commission about compliance with qualifications to go into effect September 2017. However, she did say she has “yet to hear anything about the ‘qualified’ status of the 107 adjunct faculty currently teaching for WCC, or about what measures the college will be willing to provide these important long-term faculty in terms of financial resources or release time should they need to go back to school to continue teaching what they have been teaching.”
She shared her concerns regarding November’s security survey and the “inherent bias and slant of the survey.” She said she’s not the only one who thought the intention of the survey was to justify a move to an armed presence on campus. Barrie expressed that at last month’s board of trustee meeting, people raised concerns over there not being enough faculty input on this issue and that “one brief survey is not the same as having honest and thoughtful campus-wide discourse.”
Lastly, Barrie discussed her concern of the steady decline of shared governance between the WCC faculty and this administration throughout the last four years. “One of the few remnants of that still in place was the courtesy of asking the WCCEA leadership to appoint faculty to committees,” Barrie said during her speech. She reminded the board that the college is to submit a report from the college to the HLC to show how the administration has improved communication with its faculty.
“I think it would serve this college as whole for this administration to include more faculty in committees and in campus-wide conversations,” Barrie said. “If it affects students, it affects faculty. If we are part of the conversation from the beginning, there will be more buy-in campus wide and we will be able to work together in better ways.” Barrie concluded her speech with wishing everyone an enjoyable holiday season.
Presentation of WCC’s involvement throughout Ypsilanti
Linda Blakey, WCC’s vice president of student and academic services, along with her team, presented WCC’s impact on the Ypsilanti community. They focused on college awareness, college preparedness and college attendance and “making every effort to help learners in our community achieve success.” WCC’s Community Development Manager Anthony Williamson also spoke to the board about the partnerships with WCC at Parkridge Community Center and Harriet Street Extension Center. Through these partnerships, children, adults and seniors benefit from the various opportunities – ranging from after school programs, to helping adults obtain a GED to providing exercise classes to seniors. The YouthBuild Grant, which is a three-year Department of Labor Grant awarded earlier this year, is a program for non-high school graduates aged 16-24 who meet one of the following criteria: low income, foster youth, incarcerated youth/child of incarcerated parent, or academic deficiencies. The expected outcome, according to the presentation, is that students can earn a GED or placed in college enrollment, apprenticeship, job, or military. WCC offers multiple options for community outreach including program orientation sessions at local high schools, COMPASS preparation sessions, college application workshops, College Decision Day, and regular visits.
Board of trustees approve Policy 8080 Sexual Misconduct
Throughout the last few board meetings, a continued topic of discussion has been the replacement of Board of Trustee Policy 5080 – Sexual Harassment with an expanded version, Policy 8080 – Sexual Misconduct. According to the board’s agenda the policy includes that, “Previously, the focus for institutions was on the prohibition of sexual harassment; however, it is now expected that institutions expand their prohibition to all forms of sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct is an umbrella term that covers sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, sexual harassment, same-sex sexual misconduct, and gender-expression-based sexual misconduct.”
Trustee Dilip Das asked how the college’s policy compares with those at peer colleges. The response included reaching out to not only other colleges, but also the Association of Title IX Administrators, Violence Against Women’s Act, and among others.
2015 Emeritus staff status recipients
Each year, retired faculty and staff are selected for emeritus status, which entitles them to certain privileges offered by the college. This year, the board granted 10 faculty/staff emeritus status to the following: Raymond Everett with 18 years of service, Leslie Gibson with 17 years of service, Richard Westcott with 30 years of service, Gayle Waldrup with 26 years of service, Linda King with 17 years of service, Ronald Miller with 27 years of service, Joseph Stacy with 34 years of service, Janet Hawkins with 41 years of service, Mark Batell with 31 years of service and Randy LaHote with 23 years of service. These 10 people have dedicated a collective 264 years of service to the educating of individuals who have walked through the doors of Washtenaw Community College.