Press "Enter" to skip to content

EGCC Trustees Throw In The Towel

The Trustees of Eastern Gateway Community College voted to adopt a resolution to dissolve the Steubenville, OH institution if EGCC cannot secure “sufficient funding” by May 31, 2024. Under the resolution, EGCC would permanently cease operations on June 30.

In a Wednesday board meeting that lasted several hours, the trustees also voted to voluntarily resign the school’s accreditation, effective November 1, 2024. That resolution would also take effect only if the college ceases operations. The Trustees cited EGCC’s apparent insolvency and lack of other resources as primary drivers for surrendering the school’s accreditation. According to the trustees, EGCC does not have the necessary funds or personnel to continue the process of resolving accreditation concerns raised by the Higher Learning Commission.

The delayed resignation will enable students who complete academic programs this semester to graduate from an accredited institution. It will also allow current students an opportunity to transfer their credits to other institutions. EGCC students who do not or cannot transfer their credits elsewhere before November 1 will likely need to start over.

In a clear case of locking the barn door after the horse is gone, the Ohio Department of Higher Education placed the school on a “fiscal watch” on March 8, and gave EGCC 90 days to come up with a remediation plan. This occurred because the school lacks sufficient funds to cover its operations until the end of the fiscal year. The EGCC trustees also voted to sell the school’s main building on campus.

The faculty union at EGCC appears to be resigned to the school’s closure. And why wouldn’t they? The Trustees appear to have thrown in the towel. It’s not clear what steps the Trustees or the EGCC administration have taken or are taking to secure additional funding.

EGCC Didn’t Have To Fail

As James Corrin, the president of the EGCCEA pointed out in an article in the Daily Business Journal, the demise of EGCC could have been prevented.

Had the trustees acted when EGCC’s second-level executives communicated their concerns directly to the Board of Trustees, EGCC could likely have been saved. In their No Confidence declaration, the executives laid out in clear, direct, and unmistakable language, exactly what was going to happen to EGCC if the Trustees did not immediately act. The Trustees did not act (immediately or otherwise), and everything the executives predicted in their No Confidence declaration happened exactly as they said it would.

The Trustees had a second opportunity to act when the school’s faculty issued a vote of no confidence in both the school’s administration and the Board of Trustees. Again – like a stubborn child – the Board of Trustees failed to act. The faculty’s vote of no confidence was likely the last opportunity the Trustees had to change the outcome for EGCC.

Faculty members don’t issue votes of no confidence to be dramatic. They do so because there are serious problems at an institution. Unfortunately, there are very few examples of Boards that take a no confidence vote seriously or take corrective action. In most cases, Trustees unflinchingly support the incompetent executive(s) they’ve installed at the top of the organization. The Trustees ignore the executive’s shortcomings-or worse, institutionalize them.

If you believe that it doesn’t really matter who serves as Trustees at your local community college, look no farther than EGCC to find out what feckless people can do to a public institution.

Photo Credit: Christina Ramey , via Flickr