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Comment Archives: stories: News: Feature

Re: “Mutiny looms at the ineptly run Metropolitan Community College

Allegations of racial discrimination, sexist remarks and behavior, prejudice against gays and lesbians, intimidating work environments and preferential treatment plus retaliation against staff who complain....THAT is what has happened under Kathy and Mark's "leadership" and then they hired a lawyer who used to work WITH Kathy to "investigate" numerous claims. I'm not surprised that so many employees are getting lawyers of their own.

53 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by justicePLEASE on 04/29/2015 at 5:29 PM

Re: “Mutiny looms at the ineptly run Metropolitan Community College

Questions to some of the various posters.

Why would a publicly elected board need to listen to employee groups? Aren't they supposed to listen to the public?

How is the hiring process less than legal? If someone wants to hire someone for a job, wouldn't you rather not go through the hassle of applying? I get that it hurts that someone doesn't want to hire you, but isn't that a boss's prerogative?

If money wasn't spent on consultants and building projects? How would it get spent? What, specifically, is not getting done that must not get done? Keep in mind, pet projects don't count. You can't criticize the administration's pet project simply because your pet project didn't receive funding.

Someone mentioned the college would spend "thousands of dollars trying to search you out". What the hell does that mean? Does that mean they'll sick the faculty thug squad on you?

7 likes, 47 dislikes
Posted by John Curtis Holmes on 04/29/2015 at 4:31 PM

Re: “Mutiny looms at the ineptly run Metropolitan Community College

MCC employees are facing a brick wall with the chancellor and his chief of staff. This is not rooted in personal issues, rather it is rooted in a lack of experience, expertise, background, and knowledge. Higher education is a complicated enterprise. James attempted to transition from an appointed state position with Homeland Security to two top leadership positions in a multi-campus community college. He doubled his salary, but his background and experience did not warrant it. He is a fine man in many ways. He is not, however, a capable higher education leader.

All employee groups have done their best to manage in these dire times. For those of us committed to the success of our students, our institution, and MCC's 100 year legacy, it has been very crushing. We can quantify the administration's failings in multiple ways (most of us would recognize that we have stated specific issues in many internal and external settings).

If the board will listen to its employee groups, it's not too late for MCC to reclaim what has been a powerful Kansas City legacy--quality higher education offered to populations too often denied affordable access to college and the opportunities beyond.

64 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by more than two decades on 04/29/2015 at 3:58 PM

Re: “Mutiny looms at the ineptly run Metropolitan Community College

Hello. This is a voice from within MCC. Can't help but start with some negative, but there is definitely a little positive (at the end).

Let me begin by saying that I agree with this article and many of the accusations made. As a spanking new employee of MCC (but a long-timer in education), I have been witness to the terrible support from our "administrators" including my own campus administration. District administrators and some of the new people who are entering leadership roles at the individual campuses....just the worst I have ever seen. They look at many individuals "beneath them" as blatantly inferior (including those with incredible and impressive backgrounds in education. People that I would love to see step into leadership roles; a leader that I would want to follow).

There is such a lack of communication, no...COLLABORATION, between administrators and individual departments or faculty, it would make you sick. A common sorrow for many here sings of a lack of support and willingness to accept the ideas of the 'little people' who are ignored or stifled. Some of our administrators won't even allow the ability to have such conversations and collaboration. We don't hear from administrators. EVER.

I was recent witness to a fellow coworker who was ignored, disgustingly, by our administration, for an idea so perfect...so simple...so easy... it would immediately fix many of our collaboration problems. Let's simply implement "all department or faculty" meetings that includes EVERYONE so communication and collaboration can be streamlined. Wouldn't that be novel? Isn't that a typical norm of any successful institution or business? Nope, not at MCC; an organization that has about as much strategy as it takes for you to breathe.

The reaction of our administrators to our people is disgusting to say the least. I am APPALLED at the terrible people that find their way into huge leadership roles by an HR process that is, let's face it, LESS THAN LEGAL. I am witness to people being told to "not apply for jobs" because they will not be selected...someone has already been chosen to enter "the club" because an administrator wants them in the role. Just wow. Forget about the "objective" hiring committee that you think you are sitting in front of; that's just to cover some ass.

Sad to say that as a new employee...I'm already exploring other options.

Now the one positive thing to leave you with is to know that (for the most part), the faculty at MCC, the staff who support with advising, financial aid, recruiting, student affairs, etc. are some amazing and wonderful people. They volume of work they assume (I'm sure in part because administrators are not doing theirs) is insane and the amount of compensation they receive (I'm sure also affected by the ridiculous salaries of administrators)...it's just sad for them. My friends. My colleagues. But do keep in mind there are these people here...the amazing people hanging on for dear life for change and supporting our students in a beautiful way. Our students are wonderful. Our faculty and staff are wonderful. If we could have an objective vote as to who moves into leadership roles....oh what a different place this would be.

60 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by MCCEmployee on 04/29/2015 at 3:48 PM

Re: “Mutiny looms at the ineptly run Metropolitan Community College

Don't forget that Walter Mack came to MCC under the IWI umbrella thought up between James/Boyd/Tunis/Friedmann/Johnston.

IWI is the place that houses more Level 7 or higher coordinators per capita then any other college department and yet noone can say exactly what they actually do other then charge thousands of dollars to the urban core for GED prep classes.

I feel compelled to remind those of my colleagues not using anonymity that there is a social media policy and I've heard that it will be enforced to those making coments. Yet, another example of Walter James intimidation.

44 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by MCCpride on 04/29/2015 at 3:47 PM

Re: “Mutiny looms at the ineptly run Metropolitan Community College

Follow the Money. Programs that benefit students are being cut. Money is being spent on more administrators and consultants with a business background. Also, there have been many expensive remodeling projects. There is an emphasis on looking good and building a resume than actually doing what is best for the students.

MCCstaff

37 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by I care on 04/29/2015 at 3:28 PM

Re: “Mutiny looms at the ineptly run Metropolitan Community College

Note a Lone Dissenter--are you a different person or did you just change your name from Not a Lone Dissenter? Just curious.

11 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by I'm done on 04/29/2015 at 2:51 PM

Re: “Mutiny looms at the ineptly run Metropolitan Community College

To MCC Staff:

It's not my job to add a dissenting voice to this thread. Nobody is paying me to do it. I feel it needs to be said because if it didn't, the people reading all of this would assume all of us that work here are nuts.

I think the number of complainers might be 100 in an organization of more than 1,000 employees. The AAUP surveys quoted in the article had lower participation in 2014. That tells me fewer employees even care enough to gripe in the anonymous surveys.

The faculty don't support me. They boss me. If they cared about me, or other staffers, they wouldn't create a caste system where they get away with things staff could never try. Look it up in our policies. It's easy to fire a staffer. Faculty keep their jobs for as long as they want.

What do I have to fear from faculty? Plenty! Mark and Kathy are going to leave MCC sometime. But many of us staffers will retire from here and have to work with the complainers who have a history of holding grudges. If I spoke out that I think things aren't as bad as these folk says or maybe we don't need to involve faculty in EVERY STINKING DECISION, I'd be cast as a narc for the administration. I'd be ostracized and excluded from committees. I certainly wouldn't be allowed to participate in shared governance.

The faculty can't even quantify their problems with leadership. To them, it's all about feelings. They don't feel valued. They don't feel they have a voice. They don't feel loved. Blech! This is a job where nobody is preventing you from making it a vocation. You want to play Dead Poets' Society in your classroom - what's stopping you? There are teachers in K-12 who have to work a lot harder than our faculty for less money. There are university tenure track professors who make a lot less and have to work harder.

You asked why I am a dissenter. It's simple. I think the people who spend their time complaining about this place are a cancer.

22 likes, 56 dislikes
Posted by Note a Lone Dissenter on 04/29/2015 at 2:22 PM

Re: “Mutiny looms at the ineptly run Metropolitan Community College

Actually, many of us who teach at MCC DO have non-academic experience. Many of us are veterans, myself included. Many of us who are adjunct instructors also have jobs outside of the institution.

Finally, it is always good to have someone who can do yet can't seem to get that knowledge out of their head and pass it on to someone else. Why, people must learn by osmosis rather than through expert instruction.

28 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Adjunct Instructor-Army Veteran on 04/29/2015 at 2:06 PM

Re: “Mutiny looms at the ineptly run Metropolitan Community College

To the extent that there are coddled egg head faculty - they are at research institutions, not public, urban community colleges with huge CTE programs. Basic fact. Another basic fact: the article relied on top administrators, not faculty. And staff, faculty, and administrators are all about 80% unified on these matters; faculty can simply say more for reasons of job security. The chancellor and chief of staff have proven themselves willing to fire people who disagree.

33 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by cassandra on 04/29/2015 at 2:06 PM

Re: “Mutiny looms at the ineptly run Metropolitan Community College

In keeping with the same line of thought - That those who can't do - TEACH. They obviously make inane statements - anonymously!

So much for being transparent. Coddled, Academia, eggheads - who wouldn't last a week in the real world and I'm quite sure have no idea how to balance a Check Book!

8 likes, 74 dislikes
Posted by charlieboy on 04/29/2015 at 1:26 PM

Re: “Mutiny looms at the ineptly run Metropolitan Community College

Here's all you need to know about Professors!

Those that do - Do!! Those that can't do - TEACH!!!!!!!!

That's all you need to know!

7 likes, 76 dislikes
Posted by Charlieboy on 04/29/2015 at 1:02 PM

Re: “Mutiny looms at the ineptly run Metropolitan Community College

I've worked at MCC as staff for ten years at both the AC and PV campus. I have watched this situation deteriorate on both sides of Penn Drive. Staff at the AC have no voice and no way to affect change when they see something in dire need of changing - the staff association is a pale shadow of what we have on campus. I once brought a pressing issue (that would help MCC comply with Federal guidelines) to my supervisor's supervisor, and was told, with a sad chuckle, "This isn't something we can get changed. They're not interested even in /my/ opinion." He reported to a Vice Chancellor. If someone two seats away from the Chancellor can't affect change... well, I think you see my point.

On the campus side of things, it's still top-heavy when it comes to "leadership". I can't even begin to number the many times I've been volun-told to do something, the number of times leadership thinks up new ways for my department to function, and the level of scrutiny my department receives (which makes me believe that nearly everything I do is me trying to defend my job - who wants to work under that kind of pressure?).

For the past two years that I've been on campus, I've received e-mail after e-mail about how our enrollment is dropping and that's terrible and the undercurrent and tone of these e-mails shifts the blame and responsibility to STAFF. As if it's our fault we don't have nearly enough coverage to aid with enrollment, that our set-up is not intuitive or convenient, that we're using software products that hinder rather than help students.

All the while, MCC leadership runs a parade of consultants through, who get paid 5 times what I make for 1/5th the effort to tell them what they want to hear, rather than listening to those of us actually in the trenches, serving students and the community.

Oh, and Christina's statement about "cost savings"? That's a common refrain around here. About how expensive it is to run the schools. It'd be cheaper if we weren't paying consultants every 3 months AND didn't have to shell out 6 and 7 figure digit salaries to leadership that doesn't listen to us.

77 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Exhausted on 04/29/2015 at 1:02 PM

Re: “Mutiny looms at the ineptly run Metropolitan Community College

What about staff? What about the students? No one cares about what the Staff and students at MCC thinks, it is always about Faculty. What about including the survey results for the staff AND the students? Once again, MCC does NOT stand united and ALL voices do not get heard. The majority of Favulty memebers seem to only care about what affects them, not the students, and others employed with MCC. Practice what you preach aka complain about. The bottom line here is serving students.

19 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Stand United on 04/29/2015 at 12:52 PM

Re: “Mutiny looms at the ineptly run Metropolitan Community College

Not a Lone Dissenter--

You are doing your job well. The problem is, why? I understand your job is to add a dissenting voice to this thread. But why do you talk about a small group of complainers. It numbers in the hundreds. And what would you have to fear from faculty who actually are supporting you, the staff, as well as the faculty. "Faculty thug squad?" Really?

40 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by mccstaff on 04/29/2015 at 12:42 PM

Re: “Mutiny looms at the ineptly run Metropolitan Community College

I work at MCC and can say that there is a small, but vocal, group of employees who need to focus on serving students and stop complaining. Students need a safe place to learn, so doesn't it make sense that there's a police department on campus to protect them and employees?

There's a rumor that people have lost their jobs for speaking against leadership. But I've seen people be rude, disrespectful and accusatory to their colleagues in public settings and they still have their jobs. Truth is, I'm more afraid of reprisals from the faculty thug squad for voicing a dissenting opinion than telling the chancellor he needs to do a better job.

18 likes, 68 dislikes
Posted by Not A Lone Dissenter on 04/29/2015 at 12:30 PM

Re: “Mutiny looms at the ineptly run Metropolitan Community College

The Mark James Administration has been disastrous for MCC. The unthinking removal of "Best Practices" and "Exemplary Programs" is a mile long. The latest, The ABLE program at Longview. A highly effective, student centered program with double the retention rate of MCC, President Nooks and Mark James cut it without consulting anyone - students or employees- of the program. Neither even know what the program is or how critical it is to student achievement. A GIANT step backward in addressing Diversity issues and student success - clearly sending the message to students, "We want your money, but we don't care whether you are successful or not." Past administration was genuinely concerned about student success. This change has so disoriented faculty and staff, they feel like traitors to their students and either give up or get out (sometimes because the stress of operating in this upside-down world makes them literally sick). What happened to the ABLE students is unforgivable - what is happening to all students is inconceivable.

64 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Professional Educator on 04/29/2015 at 12:28 PM

Re: “Mutiny looms at the ineptly run Metropolitan Community College

This goes back to the question: What about the students? An institution where the employee morale is lower than Blue Bell stock equals an institution where employees are just doing there jobs and nothing more. However, most of MCC employees are doing outstanding work. The reward? Half price tickets to MCC's 100 year Gala. The students and our community should be concerned about what is taking place at MCC.

60 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by beconcerned on 04/29/2015 at 12:11 PM

Re: “Mutiny looms at the ineptly run Metropolitan Community College

Look the fact of the matter is that Mark James is not competent to lead or run an academic institution. In addition, is primary legal adviser serves as his head of HR, which isn't even accessible to tall MCC employees due to new rules and regulations instituted during James' tenure. If the chief adviser and gatekeeper to the head of the institution is also the head of the Human Resources department, how could that not be a MASSIVE conflict of interest? In addition, how is it possible to have confidence that HR is even able to do its job in that circumstance. The police department has clearly become the priority, but itself has been so poorly run that the initial traunch of officers hired have either been forced out or are leaving in droves. The number of officers reported in the article isn't even accurate, as many have quit just in recent weeks. There is no area of MCC that is actually being run well under James' supposed leadership, even though the police angle has clearly been given a priority. The only way to fix that circumstance is for the leadership (i.e. James, Walter-Mack, and PD leadership) to resign en masse. Even a vacuous hole in the area of leadership would be better than being led incompetently and in the wrong direction. Why pretend that we are an educational institution any longer when education and students are sitting on the back bumper and not even afforded a seat in the back of the bus?

62 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Multi-Decade MCC Employee on 04/29/2015 at 12:01 PM

Re: “Mutiny looms at the ineptly run Metropolitan Community College

Explain why this doesn't boil down to people just not liking their boss? Explain how MCC is making choices to sustain itself during a rough period in order to thrive during a good one?

13 likes, 55 dislikes
Posted by MCC Staff Member on 04/29/2015 at 12:00 PM

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