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MCC President faces "no confidence vote"

by Bridgette Babb - Copy Editor
Tue, Dec 4th 2018 11:00 am

Monroe Community College (MCC) President Anne Kress faced a no confidence vote from faculty members.

According to an emailed press release from the president’s assistant Cynthia Mapes, on November 19 and 20, over 500 members of MCC full-time, part-time, professional and teaching staff, including adjunct employees, voted in a resounding majority. The votes showed that they do not support and have less than minimal confidence in the leadership of President Anne Kress. 88 percent of the voters were in favor of the no confidence vote on Kress and her leadership team in regards to what was best for the college. The vote does not necessarily convey Kress’ character or that she did not work to meet her position’s standard. Faculty members were only judging what they thought would be the next step to help the Monroe community grow. 

Prior to this vote, Kress released a statement, appealing to the public and speaking about the college from her point of view.

“No, MCC is not a mess. We are a model,” Kress said in the statement. “Every day, we re-dedicate ourselves to assuring that our college does our community proud. Our students—and you—deserve nothing less.”

Kress listed all the achievements of MCC, such as the overall employee retention rate being 95 percent and the record low tuition rates which allow students to leave with little to no debt. Faculty and staff agreed with her statements, but felt the institution continues to be a model in spite of and not as a result of, the president’s leadership.

The press statement elaborated on the college’s role in the community and the endless amount of people who have benefited from attending. The statement credited the accomplishments to the stellar staff and the attendees eagerness to learn. 

This decision did not just come out of the blue. Attempts to create a dialogue with President Kress through shared governance and through direct presentation of concerns to the board were unsuccessful, making this step necessary. The faculties goal is to improve the overall working conditions of employees and learning conditions of the students. 

“A good leader is more than just a good public speaker,” the press release states. “A good leader confronts the difficult truths and works to improve conditions for all.”

Employees of MCC officially presented the results of the vote to the MCC Board of Trustees during the Open Forum of the Board meeting on Monday, Dec. 3.

According to Chairperson for Visual and Performing Arts, Lori Moses, a vote may not be all it takes to remove President Kress.

“While the faculty senate and our union, the Faculty Association, are conducting a joint vote of confidence regarding President Kress, we are not expecting her removal,” Moses wrote in an email.  

Although it seemed that most people were against Kress’s stay in office, she had a few supporters. In a separate document, Faculty Association President Bethany Gizzi emailed a letter from MCC faculty alumni, PhD. Chair, Barbara Lovenheim and MCC Board of Trustees and MCC professor Emerita. 

“President Kress and her leadership team have the full support of the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees recognizes that differences of opinion exist and understands that regulations are in place to work through these differences in a fair manner,” Gizzi wrote in an email. “We support President Kress and her leadership as she and her team maintain a strong institution for our students and their success.”

Despite the support, President Kress is still facing major disapproval. If she is to stay in office, Kress will need to develop ways to fix the problems the MCC faculty is concerned with.