Loading...
 

Governance

Back to History Directory

Governance


(Rome Daily Sentinel, Oct 11, 1978) – “Urges board end recognition of MVCC faculty organization – In an attempt to resolve a governance conflict and eliminate the overlapping of authority at Mohawk Valley Community College, president George Robertson has recommended that he board of trustees withdraw its recognition of the college’s non-union Faculty Organization.
His report and recommendations were made at the request of the trustees last spring following a student and faculty “vote of no confidence” in Robertson and Robert Barde, dean of academic affairs.
Dr. Robertson recommended withdrawal of board endorsement of the faculty group and other action as interim measures pending a final report, which, he said, ‘would not be appropriate at this time.’ …
Board Chairman Stuart MacMackin turned the report over to a study committee consisting of Russel C. Fielding, Elizabeth W. Hubbard, Eugene Madden and student trustee Guy Martin in preference to a special board meeting to consider the report.
Dr. Robertson recommended that in conjunction with its action on the Faculty Organization, the trustees adopt the position that, on those items which the board is required by law to negotiate, that the trustees and administrative staff deal only with the Professional Association….
He said the faculty group could continue to exist, if its members wish, and could continue to act in the ‘traditional’ advisory capacity to the administration.
He said he wants to ‘preserve as much as possible the collegiate spirit that in most colleges has been an early casualty of collective bargaining.’ The Faculty Organization was organized long before the professional staff became unionized. Since then, he said, there has been a conflict between the administration and staff in dealing separately with these two groups, inasmuch as some union members serve on confidential committees within the Faculty Organization.
Dr. Robertson also recommended that ‘all decisions related to promotion, continuing appointment, and other terms of employment will be handled through administrative procedures only, consistent with departmental and divisional structures, and consistent with the board’s contractual obligations to the Professional Association’ which represents about 100 faculty members.
He also recommended formation of a commission of faculty, students and others to develop a college council or senate to replace the Faculty Organization and its committees, making full use of the outside advisers who will visit the campus. He suggested that a final report be made to the board by Jan. 15.
In the interim, he suggested that the Faculty Organization and its committees continue to operate under its present constitution.
He said the group’s personnel policies and promotion committees, rather than providing advice on particular decisions at this time, could be charged to provide the president with their views on the criteria and procedures for appointments, promotions and terminations.
He emphasized, however, that ‘these criteria and procedures should be administered by the college administrative staff.’
The Faculty Organization at the present time has committees that make recommendations to the administration on promotions, sabbatical leaves, continuing appointments and tenure.
In discussing his recommendations after the trustees’ meeting in the Student Center, Dr. Robertson said that conflicts arose between the administration and its staff members during the collective bargaining procedure because union members were also in a position to make recommendations on administrative items….
Commenting today on Robertson’s recommendations, Lawrence Trivieri, chairman of the Faculty Organization, said ‘in my opinion, the conflicts cited by the president are more alleged than real.’
He described the present structure as providing ‘a good faculty governance system if procedures are properly followed,’ and stated that his organization already serves in ‘an advisory capacity only, and is not involved with decision making.’
He insisted that the organization, which consists of all 225 professional staff members at the college, ‘has always recognized what our role is. However, we feel that if our recommendations are not taken on appointments and tenure, that we should have feedback from the administration on where we went astray.’
Trivieri said he feels there is no conflict with union members serving on Faculty Organization standing committees, and that the union is not ‘jeopardizing’ this professional group. The chairman said, however, that if the administration ‘even attempts’ to follow the president’s recommendations ‘it will be making a mistake.’ He said such action ‘would spell the demise of the Faculty Organization.’

(Rome Daily Sentinel, Aug 23, 1979) – “MVCC OKs College Senate – Formation of an organization representative of all groups at Mohawk Valley Community College was approved Tuesday by the Board of Trustees.
At the request of college president Dr. George H. Robertson, the board accepted only that part of an interim report of a task force on governance dealing with the formation of the College Senate.
He recommended that the new organization differ in structure from that recommended by the task force in that it be established as a separate and new entity, and that it report to the college president. His recommendations were approved.
The task force, which was headed by Paul Davidson, professor of biology, recommended that the new organization be an adaptation of the existing Faculty Council whose role would be enlarged to include some of the functions previously performed by the Faculty Organization.
It also suggested that the new Senate make its recommendations to the college trustees through the president.
Robertson said he could not accept these two recommendations and felt the Senate should serve as an advisory group to the president.
He said agreement that the recommendations go to the board through the president would only muddy the role of the president in dealing with the group, and he felt the relationship should be clarified.
He also advocated that the new Senate be convened by him, and not by the Faculty Organization, to establish it as a new organization operating without ties to the faculty group.
Dr. Robertson outlined the role of the Senate as one related to governance and general welfare of the college, to enhance communication of information both upward and downward in the governance and administrative structures of the college, and to make recommendations to the president.”

(Utica Daily Press, Sept. 3, 1979) – “New governing structure at MVCC – Students and faculty members returning to Mohawk Valley Community College this week will find that the entire governing structure has been changed during the summer.
President George Robertson is expected to explain the changes at a convocation at 3 p.m. tomorrow in Payne Hall.
Among the changes are that deans have become vice presidents and the associate deans have become deans.
The Faculty Council, an arm of the Faculty Organization which made recommendations to the college administration on academic programs has been replaced with a new body known as the college senate.
Established last month by the college Board of Trustees, its role according to Robertson will be to ‘consider matters related to the governance and general welfare of the college, to enhance communication of information both upward and downward in the governance and administrative structure of the college, and to make recommendations to the president’
The change was recommended by the college’s Task Force on Governance, a group formed last year to look into the problems between faculty and administrators. Two years ago the faculty voted that it had no confidence in Robertson and members of the trustees have said it is impossible to treat the faculty members both as union members and part of the governing structure.
The faculty members used the MVCC Faculty Organization to have a say in such matters as tenure and appointments, but the trustees have removed all references to it in its bylaws. It should not be confused with the MVCC Professional Association, which is the bargaining unit.
The Faculty Organization still exists, but Robert Jubenville, its chairman, said its status was somewhat uncertain.
‘It’s too early to say what’s going to happen,’ he said. ‘We’ve had no official word on how this (the Senate) is going to work. I think it can be a very positive thing.’
According to the Task Force report, the Faculty Organization will serve as a body of ‘information and discussion,’ lacking its former power to make recommendations on tenure and programs.
The senate, according to the report, will consist of 30 members. These will be four faculty members from each division, one from the library, one from Community Services, the three vice presidents, three representatives from Vice President Lewis White’s sector (counselors and registrar’s, etc.), three from Vice President J. Paul Graham’s sector (controller and physical plant director, etc.), a representative appointed by Robertson and two students.
Since the majority of the body will still be faculty members, said Jubenville, it will still be mainly a faculty group.
The report also suggests that a faculty member be elected to serve on the board of trustees, much as the non-voting student trustee serves the students.
This faculty trustee member would, according to the report, serve as an ombudsman providing a direct link between the faculty and the top administration.
The faculty trustee has not yet been approved by the board….”