Tempers flared, our school president was laughed at, and important questions still remain unanswered as President Mark Rocha met with faculty members from the School of Humanities last week in the C-building.

Faculty members touched on a variety of topics ranging from money for instructional equipment to class sizes. However, the biggest elephant in the room was what faculty described as the administration’s misconduct, which includes school realignment.

Headed by Amy Ulmer, Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the mood between the faculty members was calm and sociable.

“I think the greatest concern of most faculty members right now is the administration’s refusal to follow shared governance procedures,” Language professor Mary-Erin Crook said.

The mood was upbeat and calm, until President Rocha snuck in, seconds before the 12:15 p.m. start time. Things devolved from there.

At one point, when Rocha explained that the reorganization of schools is designed to reduce the amount of administration on campus, faculty members made their skepticism clear.

“You always want to have the smallest amount of administration possible,” Rocha said, before several faculty members broke into laughter.

“It’s not pleasant to be laughed at,” Rocha interjected.

The mood of the meeting remained contentious throughout, and faculty were unhappy with Rocha’s responses.

“It was really the first time I’ve been able to observe the interaction between faculty members and the President,” Language professor Steve Pell said. “My observation is that the President never really comes in knowing what he’s going to talk about and the inability to answer a question completely. There’s not really much substance [from President Rocha]. He’s not communicating very well or clearly.”

President Rocha said he proposed a return to the department chair model three years ago, but the faculty members aren’t in agreement with that proposal either.

“I proposed three years ago that we needed to return to the department chair model,” Rocha said. “The faculty department chair’s would make the academic management decisions of their disciplines.”

But contrary to Rocha’s stated position, faculty believes realignment will add more administrative red tape.

“The faculty objected the realignment because it puts more layers of management in between faculty and upper management,” Language professor Mary-Erin Crook said. “It also does the same for the students, If the student have a problem there are more and more steps the student has to take. Department Chairs’ have awful lot of work and the compensation isn’t really adequate. Department Chairs don’t have the powers that a Dean has and I think that’s part of the idea, they want to disempower the divisions and the faculty.”

Ultimately, faculty members insist that Rocha’s handling of realignment is one of many examples of him undermining the shared governance process.

“Of great concern are a number of issues that could be classified as mismanagement.” Crook said.

19 Replies to “Schools structure questioned at meeting”

  1. He is unable to answer any question.
    He is unable to respect the college staff, studemts, faculty.
    He is unable to follow Shared Governance.
    He is unable to lead the college.

    He says “My office door is always open”
    Right above his door it says: EXIT !

    1. He is unable to answer any question.
      He is unable to respect the college staff, students, faculty.
      He is unable to follow Shared Governance.
      He is unable to lead the college.

      He says “My office door is always open”
      Right above his door it says: EXIT !

  2. In the video at 22:32, Mark Rocha argues with a faculty member saying something like “I would not presume to tell you how to run your classes, don’t tell me how to run the school..”

    –Major Mistake–

    Faculty are required to “run the school” by state mandated Shared Governance. It is The Law. (AB 1725)
    All Admin. schemes MUST be studied by the Academic Senate.
    If there’s no agreement, there can be NO go ahead, no matter how brilliant Admin. thinks it is.
    It is of the crucial foundations of college governance.

    It is not clear if Mark truly does not know this,
    or is pretending to be unaware.

    1. I don’t think it’s either of those options: it’s just that he doesn’t care.

      But hey, we’re all “Happy,” right?

      Nero fiddles while Rome burns.

  3. When my husband was the VP of Admin Services…he recommended all the good stuff be done. I just know he did! He really promoted the department chair model too and lead by example; (using his own departmnent office chair as frequently as possible).

    True, my husband lacks hair, good vision, without his contact lenses and still walks with a limp…but he attended all those Board Meetings and made really educated remarks. He told me so…and I believe him.

    Susan H.

    1. Thanks for posting the link to the video (that goes for the two users after you, too–great minds think alike!). How can our BOT watch this and still think that we have effective leadership from our president?

  4. Just so you know, department and school meetings are not public meetings like the Board of Trustees. They are working meetings where faculty share information, ideas, and concerns. In order to provide an environment in which faculty are comfortable expressing themselves, students do not attend those meetings unless invited specifically by the person chairing the meeting. It is inappropriate for others to invite students to these meetings.

    Thank you for your understanding.

    Dean Ulmer

    I hope I didn’t make any faculty members uncomfortable. LOL. I was just doing my job. I’m guessing administration had the video taken down! Sorry guys! I wonder if I will be invited to any future meetings?! LOL

    1. Dean Ulmer, I remember some of the things you and your husband would say about Rocha prior to him coming to PCC. Seems like your doing his bidding now. I wonder if your dancing another tune now that you’ve received a promotion. You lack honor, but wait, that’s assuming you ever had any. Shame on you!

  5. In justifying the variety of changes to the college, Rocha explained that such changes were to bring PCC into alignment with other community colleges. But if PCC has long had a good reputation, then how is that promoted by bringing us down to the level of schools we’ve traditionally out-performed? Shouldn’t we aspire to be #1 rather than #68? Why sink to the mean? “Everyone else is doing it” isn’t a solid enough reason, especially if we’ve been doing it better all along.

  6. I had listened to the meeting earlier and I will hand it to Amy Ulmer. I have butted heads with her in the past, but she laid out very clearly that she could not handle the job alone. The appointment of Dr. Price as her second was a shrewd move that will make sure the Social Science division is dealing with someone they know, trust, and respect.

    Rocha didn’t pop out looking good in this meeting.At least Amy realizes that this title essentially kills her ability to learn about the community and over stretches her human capacity for responsibility. Due to over work she will clearly fail to fulfill the responsibility of communicating everything to the administration. Which is the ALLEGED goal of this alteration. However, the overtness and tact of how she portrayed these problems in the video is to be commended.

    If I could give Amy any advice it be to learn more about power dynamics. Of course Amy has no time for that now.

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