MCC Daily Tribune

Rumors and Reality

In a typical year, the stress of the end of the academic year can be difficult. This year, these stressors are layered on top of concerns about declining enrollment and the impact of the challenges MCC has faced this year, as well as a 24-hour news cycle that seems to careen from bad to worse. It's hard. Throw rumors and misinformation into the mix, and the stress builds. So, each day from today through the end of academic year, I'll be tackling one rumor. I have a whole list, but if you have one you would like addressed, please send it along through the portal.

Rumor: The report from the Faculty Council of Community Colleges visitation team is being kept secret by the administration.

Reality: No.

The Faculty Council of Community Colleges visitation team report, which will come from FCCC President Nina Tamrowski (Onondaga Community College), hasn't been shared with us yet. When the report is complete, it will be sent to Faculty Senate President Colosimo and myself.

All of the individuals interviewed by the FCCC visitation team were asked to complete the FCCC Shared Governance Self-Assessment Rubric and send it directly to visitation team lead Professor Diane Bliss (SUNY Orange); they were also invited to the opening and concluding meetings of the visit. At the concluding meeting, the FCCC team members shared some overall observations. Some of you may have been in subsequent briefings in which these observations have been shared, but likely most of you have not been. So, I will share them here.

To improve shared governance, all stakeholders--Board of Trustees, administration, Faculty Senate, Support Staff Professional Council, and student governments (SGA and SEGA)--should focus on the following:

  • Articulating the scope and roles of each stakeholder body in their own work and in College decision-making. The team advised that there should be a formal orientation for new leaders in each shared governance body. The FCCC noted that the Board of Trustees was the one shared governance body that received a majority of "meets expectations" across the self-assessment rubric and is the only governance body that requires an orientation for new members. It seemed to the visiting team that there was a correlation between the two.
  • Establishing formal and formalized channels of communication that include published expectations for official sources, formats, and timelines for communication among and across all shared governance bodies. The team suggested the College should develop a visible tracking system to allow a shared governance body to track its communication (e.g., resolution or request) through the process. Visitation committee members suggested a model similar to a curriculum proposal tracking system.
  • Restoring civility, respect, and trust in communication and interactions among and within shared governance bodies. The team noted that this is the essential foundation for a climate that promotes effective shared governance. Recognizing that the current climate is strained, the team advised us to look forward, not backward; ground our respect and civility in our shared commitment to our students; and understand that the visit is not an evaluation or a solution but the first step in a longer process that rests with us--mutually and individually.

Again, if you have a rumor that you would like me to address in the coming weeks, send it along through the portal.

Kress, Anne
Office of the President