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WCC Board of Trustees Candidates

I hope you have had the chance to read the MLive interviews with the 2022 WCC Board of Trustees candidates.

2022 WCC Trustee Candidate Goals

First – the question: the goals part is ok, but “limited resources?” The WCC Board of Trustees signs off on literally everything, cost notwithstanding. A member of the Administration characterized the tax base as a “rich community” and a Trustee indicated that the millages produce a “boatload of money.”

WCC’s President has a total reportable compensation of about $400,000 per year. And the Trustees gave her a combined increase of 15.5% in her compensation package over the past three years.

The Trustees signed off on transferring $4M in COVID-19 relief to cover the Health and Fitness Center losses.

I’m not seeing limits. This is “anchors up!”

Milliken, Jr: He doesn’t answer the question. Apparently, he has no goals. He did point out that WCC aggressively markets its online programs to students from all over. He did not point out that Washtenaw County taxpayers subsidize these out-of-district and out-of-state students while simultaneously upcharging in-district students by 12%. Or that he approved all that.

Davis: Angela Davis’s first priority is maintaining low tuition. So, naturally she approved a $5 per credit hour fee increase in April. Her second priority – increasing female enrollment in STEM and trades programs is interesting. Sixty percent of WCC’s current enrollment is female. And the WCC Administration deflated instructional spending (while Davis watched) by 9%-12% over the previous six years via inflation. The only instructional area that managed not to lose ground was Nursing.

Malcolm: David Malcolm listed actual goals, and thoughtfully recharacterized WCC’s “limited resources” as the generous taxpayer funding it actually is.

Faculty/President Relations at WCC

Again, it’s the question. The faculty’s vote-of-no-confidence happened in 2014. Eight years ago. My only question to the Trustees on this matter would be: “Why have you not addressed this?”

I love the way that neither of the incumbent Trustees take any issue whatsoever with the question. It’s just accepted as fact – which is pretty much on-brand for the WCC Board of Trustees. Is that confirmation of a long-standing (and apparently long-ignored) problem between the faculty and administration?

I also love the non-answers they give.

Milliken: “We’re a Policy Board!” Oh, please.
Davis: “I would suggest…” As though she has not been on the Board for the past 6 years! More to the point, did she happen to suggest this at any time during her term?

Malcolm is the only one who suggests listening to the faculty and staff and taking charge of the problem at the Board level. (Maybe because it’s a Board-level problem that’s gone unaddressed for the better part of the last decade.)

Meeting the needs of Washtenaw County

The question is a slow, fat pitch over home plate.

Milliken: “The millage passed, so everything’s good!” Define “good.”

Davis: “WCC is the finest community college in the area! Our students are in high demand!” Really? I have an idea for a new marketing slogan for WCC.

Malcolm:“Closing programs. Closing the childcare center. Wasting resources…” That’s what I’m talking about.

Photo Credit: guido menato , via Flickr