March 14, 2016
On behalf of the Biology Department, I would like to thank the Chairs, NCCFT Executive Committee and the Academic Senate Executive Committee for issuing their joint statement at the end of last month in which when they stated that they have no confidence in the present or future leadership of Dr. Saunders.
As biologists, we believe the evidence speaks for itself. It is no surprise to anyone sitting in this room that shared governance is broken on this campus. The assault on shared governance procedures and practices and even policies began during the Astrab/Saunders administration and tragically for everyone in this room-students, faculty and administrators- has continued during the last four years in the Saunders administration.
What does Dr. Saunders’ record of management look like?
Let’s examine the facts:
· As reported in County Comptroller’s Maragos report, graduation and transfer rates dropped by more than a third from 2009 to 2012.
· Enrollment has declined to its lowest level in in over 20 years while the budget situation has become perilous.
· Dr. Saunders has taken actions that threaten academic quality and were opposed by this body-increasing class sizes, lowering remediation standards, and cutting Math and Science requirements in an environment when STEM is increasingly important.
· Full time faculty lines, a key to both student retention and success, have not been replaced.
· Effective recruitment of minority faculty has not occurred.
· There are factual errors and unsubstantiated claims in the Middle States self study report regarding the Senate.
· Nothing is more telling than the travesty of the educationally flawed, embarrassing retrograde vision espoused in NCC’s SUNY PiP report.
Is this all irreparable? We do not think so, but our best shot at reclaiming our college is to start fresh with new leadership. We have the infrastructure and the will to take NCC to the next level of excellence. We have the history. We have many hard working administrators and staff committed to academic excellence and we have the experts in our faculty.
We, the faculty, remain committed to working within the framework of established shared governance processes and upholding the principles of collegial governance. We just need a leader who will work with us, extend a hand and embrace open communication, consultation, free exchange of ideas and transparent sharing of information.
By Dr. Kimberley Reiser