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

Cassandra - I completely agree with you. Once Mark James leaves, Kathy absolutely must go too and we need a nation-wide search for a new Chancellor. But, what about other administrators within MCC? Deans and Presidents, etc.? I'm not saying that all are unworthy of their roles, but I'd be willing to bet that an objective vote would reveal that most are not.

We have senior leadership teams that are quite disastrous at each campus. We need Presidents and Deans that are strategic, actionable, performance-based (who frequently show these qualities to all of us) and also those who actually show care for education and for what each of us specialize in at MCC. We are NOT interchangeable! We are experts in our individual fields.

What I see now are careless, unplanned, haphazard people who purposefully disconnect with all the "insignificant" people behind closed doors in an environment of secrecy and uncertainty. I see administrative teams that either do not understand (or don't care) about the volume of work that the indispensable people do and those that do not advocate (in any way) for the indispensable people. And if you are an administrator reading this, then we wish you would step up to speak and advocate for us and each of the specialized services we provide. ...or I wish you would leave.

My God, we are so understaffed to even be able to provide "fair" customer service to our students (my true "boss"). We have a "supervisor" who does nothing to supervise because she is never in our department; always in large-level administrative or district meetings whereas our previous supervisor, who was so great, did little of that and advocated and jumped right in to help us with our daily work.

Oh to be a fly on the wall inside some of those rooms right now. Any ideas anyone how to fix our administrative teams? I should not use the word team.

57 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Just ...sigh on 05/05/2015 at 6:15 PM

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

The "Faculty Thug Squad" has nothing on the criminal enterprise better known as the Institution for Workforce Innovation, or whatever they call themselves to hide the truth. It is only a matter of time before someone is lead out of IWI in handcuffs. I look forward to reading about it in the PITCH.

16 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by iloveiwi on 05/05/2015 at 4:31 PM

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

I have been a part of MCC Longview for nearly 10 years. I can tell you morale is lower than at any point in my experience. In addition to issues with the Chancellor on a system level, President Nooks has had a significant negative impact on the culture at Longview.

The board had better get a handle on this whole situation before it gets out of further out-of-hand. Parents of incoming students, high school graduates themselves, and older students returning to school will quickly show a "vote of no confidence" by looking elsewhere.

61 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Behind the Scenes on 05/04/2015 at 7:35 PM

Re: “In God We Dress

I , too, remember Vince while he was at CABC. Sounds like he's sold out to pleasing the world over his faith in Christ. My daughter-in-law is a fashion major at FIT in NYC, is involved in Models For Christ, and is not ashamed to talk about her faith, whereas Vincent appears to be uncomfortable about it. Not the Vince I used to hear, proud to identity with Jesus Christ. A true believer? I wonder..."For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of Hod unto salvation for all those who believe" Romans 1:16

Posted by Laura L. on 05/04/2015 at 4:45 PM

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

Here's what Hudnall missed, and what's really going on behind the scenes at MCC:

7 likes, 54 dislikes
Posted by MC&C Music Factory on 05/04/2015 at 12:19 PM

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

We do not have the legal right to strike, nor is that likely to be truly necessary. There are ongoing efforts to make change. I think we need to focus on two immediate issues if/when Chancellor James leaves. One is that Mack must also leave; that must be nonnegotiable. Second, we need to be prepared to insist that the Chancellor search is national and that any interim Chancellor must declare his or her lack of interest in the permanent position. There is not a single officer left who would make a viable Chancellor candidate (or various reasons) and we need to make sure no one is position to become the next Chancellor from within MCC. Anyone currently here in a position of "leadership" has been poisoned by the current the administration and that taint should disqualify them regardless of their own strengths and weaknesses.

24 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by cassandra on 05/04/2015 at 6:55 AM

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

Can we begin a collective to strike? I am completely committed to a strike or other motions that will actually result in communication to us the faculty and staff.

15 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Call to action on 05/03/2015 at 8:33 PM

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

So how do we respond? Faculty are having a historical vote as the article stated. Staff? Staff can respond by having a staff wide sick day. That would be a statement.

25 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by NotACowardYetNotStupid on 05/03/2015 at 3:48 PM

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

So with all that has been do we act? What is the call to action? Unfortunately, we are confined to this comment space to see what each other is saying and thinking.

The comment posted by Scout is the bigger issue. The Board of Trustees is an elected body. The community galvanized before when Snyder was 'appointed'. Its time for 'us' to galvanize them again to see/make the changes that are necessary for MCC to go forward. We all know this institution is too important to the greater KC community. In this climate of social justice, we need to be examples to our students and model the behavior and actions of social justice for the greater good - and in this case - MCC. Aside from the individual lawsuits that may be pending (or coming) - we need a cohesive effort to remedy this problem.

Interesting observation that the 'leadership' has not responded to the article - not one word from the AC (Christina Medina - what is your job??) or some of the college presidents...and they are the 'leaders' of MCC??? They have no response to this crisis? MCC is in crisis mode. Instead we have the 'Chancellor' trying to jump ship and the PVCC President pursuing other career options too....they don't care.

Why is mainstream media ignoring this story?

What is the plan of action? Where do we go from here because we have already seen that our 'leaders' do not care. This has got to be more than talk - it is time for action.

55 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by itsjustsad on 05/03/2015 at 2:53 PM

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

One has to wonder about the Board of Trustees of MCCKC. They are elected officials, and, yet they have refused to listen to employees and even "outsiders" about the trouble. After Chancellor Snyder was appointed, the Board promised the next Chancellor would come from a national search. It did not. The Board has historically been an open access board until about 20 years ago when employees where told letters sent to board members went unread and were immediately forwarded to the Chancellor. So much for balance of power. Additionally, the financial trouble lies to large extent in the board's move to purchase large amounts of real estate when that market was failing but paying for it with bonds at a higher interest than what the market eventually would bear. To pay off, they attacked the instructional budget. In addition the Jackson County tax payer has refused a tax increase for the district for at least 30 years that I know about. All this at a time when state and federal funds dried up and demands to keep student tuition within reach of the masses continued. Financial fears? Yes. The Board chose the right man for the job--he took his orders from them, never questioned them, and, in fact enjoyed the destruction without reflection and without qualms. He is own product, but the Board knew his darkest side and still gave him all the power they had to give.

59 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Scout on 05/03/2015 at 9:32 AM

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

There have been a lot of things defended in the comments, including "hard decisions", IWI, financial necessities, etc...

One thing I have not seen even an attempt of is a defense of Walter-Mack.

61 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Another Attorney on 05/02/2015 at 5:25 PM

Re: “1016 Paseo holds onto ghosts
but not owners

Catherine Henderson was my great aunt. Our family has photos and some of the original furniture from the home, which I cherish. I'm so glad it is being preserved for future generations to enjoy! It is an intriguing house with many storie and a colorful past, despite the raunchy neighborhood. Thank you for this article!!

Posted by Historynut on 05/02/2015 at 12:44 PM

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

It is a shame that MCC employees both present and past have to use the laundry facilities of Pitch Weekly to air our dirty laundry. This is what happens when leaders ignore the morale of their employees and dangle their jobs like vending machine prizes. Since 2010 almost every staff meeting or MCC community meeting started with, "We are fighting to keep jobs" we were always reminded how lucky we were to have a job under such financial difficulties.

Since 2010 the morale at MCC has been so low that it has been toxic. After reading the comment about Mark's feeling about employee morale (doesn't care) and reading that a campus president actually told his employees there is the door when asked about how can his campus fix the low morale of employees. I get it. This is so messy and Jerry Springer like.

When will leaders understand the impact of employee morale on your product?

66 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by thisismessy on 05/02/2015 at 12:05 PM

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

MCC had its problems way before James and Walter-Mack came on the scene. When Mark became chancellor, he brought with him a new sense of hope for the college, and a few of us dreamed that MCC would be taken to the next level - - that the untapped potential for greatness within the organization would be truly unleashed.

Unfortunately, these dreams (and promises Mark made upon assuming his role) were merely illusions. What have the outcomes of the last four years been?

- A culture where bullying is the norm and in fact is expected from administrators. The behavior is well modeled by Mark and Kathy. Those that don't follow this path are deemed unsuitable for leadership.

- A plutocratic, malfeasant, good-old-boy power structure where the rules are merely optional for those in power and "appointment" is the operative word of the day. As an example, a person we'll just refer to as "Never Rude" was appointed to an important administrative role by Mark while having less than a year's experience at MCC, and not having any of the requisite business background for the position. A connection to the "club" was enough. And let's not forget the innumerable "consultants," connected with either Mark, Kathy, or some other member of the "family" who have been around for years collecting payments from MCC with dubious return on investment.

- Lies, deceptions, and whatever else happens to be convenient. As an example, James wanted to unify commencement into a single ceremony for the entire district under the guise of "one MCC" and saving money. In fact, the cost of running this event is staggering (the total cost is more than $10,000 than that of individual campus ceremonies). Installing Kathy Walter-Mack as head of HR was pretty much like putting the fox in charge of the hen house. Having the chief-of-staff control HR is a major conflict of interest. HR as a result is now powerless - - and filing any sort of complaint just puts a target on the complainant.

- Incompetence and broken promises. When Mark became chancellor, he promised to begin working on his doctorate. That was four years ago - and I'm not holding my breath. MCC has real money troubles. State allocations are dwindling. The governor of Missouri uses education as a political football and holds higher education virtually hostage. MCC is suffering just like every other college. Mark had a good idea - - use a methodical (although antiquated) process called "zero based budgeting" (ZBB) to analyze expenses and help the college focus on what it needed to do to be successful. But the ZBB process was zealously rushed (less than a year, I think to complete it - - where most institutions take 24 months or more to go through the process). In the end, most of the ZBB results were discarded and Mark concluded that "MCC has a revenue problem." Well duh!

- Dysfunctional, resource-hogging police and public safety operations. While the creation of a POST-A certified police department is certainly a big accomplishment, the operation of this police department has been very problematic. Most of the MCC police officers are dedicated, hard-working folks like the rest of us and only want the best for MCC, but even in this relatively new part of the organization, mismanagement is a huge issue. The original MCC chief of police, hired in 2010, understood little of what was going on in his own department. As a new chief he didn't even know when officers were being disciplined - - he hadn't established guidelines. Officers were hired without adequate background checks. The current police chief is now all but invisible, and the blue line around the department is now plenty wide. Rumor has it that MCC has been considering building "holding cells" for at least one location in the district. Yes, you heard that right - - MCC essentially wants to build its own version of a jail. When was the operation of a jail ever supposed to be high priority for a college? Let's not forget the expensive equipment (vehicles, guns, armor / weapons, radios, etc) that MCC has purchased to run this department - and of course, the expensive third-party "security survey" from the Kit Bond Security Company undertaken last year by MCC.

- Broken institutional structures. Shared governance was a founding principle of MCC but Mark and Kathy have done everything in their power to dismantle it. It's a testament to the strength of the staff and faculty groups that any vestige of these structures remains. (Notice I did not mention the administration - - while there are some very good and dedicated administrators left at MCC, their numbers are dwindling, and many live in fear for their jobs.) Kathy has done her part well in blocking important decision making processes, such as policy review. Kathy's policy review sessions have the appearance of input from shared governance groups, but in reality she runs the show - - but it's from the perspective of a very narrow and limited mind. When anyone in the group attempts to exercise reason in the review of a policy, Kathy tells them that their view is wrong and won't work from a "legal standpoint." Needless to say, policy revisions take years to complete and never solve the real problems.

MCC is an important Kansas City institution and it owes the community much, much more than it's currently delivering. Perhaps a good first step would be for Mark to take that shiny new job at Park and take Kathy with him.

In conclusion, it cannot be concluded that Mark and Kathy have been "Mostly Harmless."

80 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox on 05/02/2015 at 10:12 AM

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

I have never jumped into these types of conversations due to my humble knowledge of not understanding all angles. With that said, however, I felt it was important to step in for the "front liners" of the institution. No, I'm not a tenured faculty member; I'm not an administrator. I am an important face of MCC - that is finding it increasingly difficult to advocate for the institution, despite my best efforts.

The leaders of this institution have zero emotional intelligence between the lot of them. I know and genuinely like many of my superiors - as peers; as leaders though - I'm sorry, but there is A LOT to be desired here. If your employees are leaving at such an alarmingly rapid rate, shouldn't the light bulbs be flickering by now? Do we have to plan an "employee skip day" for you all to get that there is something wrong here? You cannot keep sucking the life out of people and expect them to have the energy to continue to fight for you.

I deeply value the staff and faculty's desire to set students up for success. Nearly everyday, I catch myself telling a prospective student, "I'm not going to set you up for failure; let's consider this option instead..." And yet - I walk into work, each and every one of those days, feeling as if I were being set up to fail. Dejected. No support, no tools; wildly reactive directives. It's all too much for my MCC-educated brain to process - it's literally making me sick.

I will proudly take responsibility for being one of the "many" complainers. Typically, I am an "it is what it is" kinda person - accept and move forward. I have accepted that things are not going to change - at least not in time to save me from a full-fledged heart attack. Moving forward, I'm not willing to continue wasting my time and my breath providing solutions to my "lone" complaints, only to be ignored over and over again. I have FAR better things to do with my life than to chase an F5 tornado around KCMO.

60 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by exhaustedMCCemployee on 05/01/2015 at 11:23 PM

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

Well said, MCC LOVER.

I have been fortunate enough to have been around since the days that you write about, and got to participate in the "golden age".

The current state of affairs is sad for those of us who know what this institution was. Many of us are nauseated by this "FoxNews" version of education that is slowly being put in place.

I fear that there are not enough backbones left to stop it. The talent has gone. With only a few exceptions, the administrative corps consists of lickspittles and spineless ladder climbers. The board is clueless and unwilling to see past their high backed leather chairs on 3200.

Any doubts I had about leaving MCC were put to rest by this article, these comments, and the Walter-Mark administrations silence and lack of direction to the effect of those.

56 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Ignacious on 05/01/2015 at 11:02 PM

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


IWI has not been with MCC for decades try 2010 (ie the James Era/Stimulas grants). Which is the same year that James branded IWI the colleges saviors, ironic, in his MCC All Staff speech.
Business Learning Solutions, the department merged into IWI, wasnt even with MCC for a decade. So please enlighten us what was it called a decade ago?

Also, if IWI was ran like a business then those high priced consultants would have to bring in 10 times their salaries in HARD money not the soft dollars through third party contracts like FEC and others.

17 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by MCCpride on 05/01/2015 at 2:34 PM

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

Under the expert, sober and fiscally sound leadership of former chancellor Wayne Giles, MCC flourished into one of the leading and most respected community college districts in the country. It established a well-deserved reputation for both quality and innovation, and developing national models in online education, workforce development, writing across the curriculum, assessment of student learning, hiring of diverse faculty, and tons of other innovations in teaching and learning and student services that consistently won unblemished, grade A+ evaluation reports for their regional accreditation association, the Higher Learning Commission--the accreditation which is now under difficult scrutiny. It pains many of us who helped build MCC into the fine institution it once was--and still remains under the surface below the current inept and destructive leadership team--that it takes so little time and so few people to destroy what it took decades to build. Leadership matters, and the Board and its Chair have been completely taken in by the current Chancellor, after being introduced and recommended to them by MCC's former CFO who in retirement now works for the KCMSD. The seeds of the current crisis are all there. MCC can recover its former glory if sober, expert and sound leadership and judgment returns, as long as the core of the faculty and staff that made MCC the fine institution it became are not all driven away by the current ruckus.

64 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by MCC lover on 05/01/2015 at 2:13 PM

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

All employees should keep their eyes open for what is most likely going to happen.

If MCC is placed on accreditation probation, they will have one year to fix their issues. Due to this emergency state, the Chancellor may eliminate the policies in place, which means no program or person is safe.

Rumor has it, this has been his plan from day one. Imagine the political reputation of a "reformer" who can redline a large educational institution and bring it back to being fiscally sound.

MJ thinks 20 years down the road. Unless he is stopped right now, MCC will become the McDonald's of education, fiscally sound, but no substance.

Why do you think he does not care if you leave or complain!? Because you do not matter. Before long the place will be taught almost solely by adjuncts with bare minimum qualifications and operated by minimally qualified staff eager to use MCC as a stepping stone to a real educational institution.

One article is not going to stop this man. The faculty, staff,and administrative councils are going to have to actually speak to one another, grow some balls, and present a full vote of no confidence. The time for complaining is over, the time for action is right now.

70 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Open your eyes and see the big picture on 05/01/2015 at 10:19 AM

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

If MCC is really paying someone around $200,000 to guide them through accreditation, this is ridiculous. ALL administrators should KNOW accreditation standards because the school should be upholding those standards on a daily basis. And surely someone in administration should be able to write a document such as this. Program directors(faculty) write accreditation documents that are hundreds of pages in length for their individual programs that takes months to write and get paid next to nothing for the effort. Those accreditation documents are more detailed and require much more evidence than the school's report. Where is the fiscal accountability?

64 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by mccfac on 05/01/2015 at 6:45 AM

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