Board of Trustees Chair’s Response to Faculty Senate Council Vote of No Confidence

Shoreline Community College (SHORELINE) Board of Trustees:

Dr. Catherine Post D’Ambrosio, Board of Trustees Chair’s Response to:

the Shoreline Faculty’s Vote of No Confidence in Shoreline President, Dr. Cheryl Roberts

25 FEB 2021

Dear Shoreline Community College Campus Community,

I wish to begin my first letter to you – in my seven year tenure as a member of your Board of Trustees and as Board Chair by clearly stating my – and your entire Board of Trustees’ firm commitment and unwavering dedication to our College, to the entire Campus Community, and most especially to the Students – who entrust their education, their time, their (too often scarce) financial resources, their careers and their futures to each and every one of us at Shoreline Community College. Our Shoreline Students are the reason we are here. 

The 24 FEB 2021 Shoreline Board of Trustees meeting:

Many of you are already aware that the Board of Trustees received, carefully listened to, recognized, and heard a Constituent Report from the Shoreline Community College Federation of Teachers (SCCFT) President. The SCCFT President reported the results by the Faculty Senate Council of a vote of no confidence in Shoreline Community College’s President, Dr. Cheryl Roberts.

Our Faculty are the means by which we deliver the education that is entrusted by our students to Shoreline. The value of Shoreline’s Faculty cannot be overstated. Without the Faculty, we do not have an educational experience to provide to our Students, and without the support of Classified & Administrative Staff, the Faculty cannot effectively deliver that educational product.

Like our Students, the Faculty, the Classified Staff, the Administrative Staff and the Executive Team are ALL completely essential to the operation of the College. Your Board of Trustees has been appointed by our State’s democratically elected Governor to ensure the Washington State laws, rules, and regulations are adhered to and that we meet the educational needs of the Students who choose Shoreline for their education.

The Board of Trustees cannot effectively execute the responsibilities entrusted to us without full participation and collaboration between each and every one in the Campus Community. We must all partner and work together to keep the College moving forward and support our Students’ success. Our Students are the reason we are here.

Constituent Report to the Board of Trustees from Shoreline’s SCCFT President:

The Shoreline Faculty (as of FEB 2021) consists of 388 individual faculty members. The SCCFT President reported the results of the Faculty Senate vote of no confidence in President, Dr. Cheryl Roberts as follows:

  • 116 (of 388) faculty supported this vote of no confidence, comprising ~30% of Shoreline’s Faculty Senate.

The Faculty Senate Council provided a report to the Board of Trustees (see attached) and requested that their presentation of their vote of no confidence results be placed on the Board of Trustees’ 24 FEB 2021 agenda. I, as Chair of your Board of Trustees respectfully, but firmly declined this request as there is a constituent report for Shoreline Faculty. Your Board of Trustees has deep concerns with accepting the Faculty Senate’s vote of no confidence in President Dr. Cheryl Roberts for the following reason:

The Faculty Senate Council’s report consisted of and was based on entirely too many inaccuracies.

The Board of Trustees’ response to and position regarding the inaccurate statements articulated in the Shoreline Faculty Senate Council’s report. Herein are the facts the Board is relying on in evaluating the vote of no confidence:

  • Sound hiring practices are in place.
  • The College’s financial statements are current.
  • The College’s audits are current.
  • The Washington State Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) did not find the College had committed any Unfair Labor Practices (ULP). 
  • PERC agreed with the Shoreline Community College Administration.
  • It is the Shoreline Faculty, not the Shoreline Administration, who is appealing PERC’s decision.

Accurate facts are paramount. The Board’s patience with and ability to continue listening to the relentless issuing of constituent statements that are not based on facts actually prevents the College from moving forward during a time when it is critical that we do so. None of us can change the past, but together we can build a better future.

We are all living through a global pandemic and its requisite year-long quarantine. These are certainly some of the most difficult times the College has ever faced. All Washington State colleges are suffering, as are all US Colleges, as well as colleges around the globe. Despite this, our finances and enrollment at Shoreline are better than most. Your Board of Trustees has confidence in all of our employees – Classified Staff, Faculty, Administrators, and our President, Dr. Cheryl Roberts. 

Your Board of Trustees has immense empathy for each and every one of our College’s employees who are all working through, despite, and during these difficult and unprecedented times.

Please know that your Board of Trustees remains committed to working collegially and constructively with the President and the entire Shoreline Campus Community to serve our diverse students and community.

Very sincerely yours,

Catherine Post D’Ambrosio, PhD, RN, BSN, MSN

Chair, Shoreline Community College Board of Trustees

Comments

  1. Hsi-Kai Yang says:

    The so-called Faculty Senate actually was dominated by those union persons. I suspect their representability. I would suggest to separate Faculty Senate from Union. Those two should serve two quite different purposes.

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