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WCC financial projections provide more questions than answers

At the Spring WCC Trustee Retreat, WCC EVP Bill Johnson gave three presentations regarding the relative financial health of the college, including WCC financial projections. Based on the Trustees’ reaction, they either don’t have enough information about the College’s finances to provide actual oversight, or they don’t pay attention to what the administration tells them. If they were paying attention, they should have asked a lot more questions than they did.

Personally, it is irritating to me when highly compensated college executives present random data as fact, when in fact, their facts are not really facts at all. It becomes very hard to see these WCC financial projections as anything other than a snow job.

In the coming days, I will delve into the WCC Financial Projections presentation(s). They’re more community theater and wild speculation than a meaningful discussion of WCC’s financial status. Why the Trustees accept this crap is beyond me.

Keep in mind that the Trustees provide financial oversight to the College. They need full, accurate financial information from the WCC Administration. Instead, they get misapplied, misinterpreted, and highly speculative statements presented as common knowledge.

For their part, the Trustees question nothing they hear– even when they get conflicting, erroneous or nonsensical information in the space of a single meeting or presentation. They simply rubber stamp whatever lightweight information they receive, and then keep rolling.

Trustees should have raised questions about WCC financial projections

People in Washtenaw County have paid an enormous amount of money to build WCC. Instead of getting actual oversight for the literal billions of dollars we’ve provided to this institution, we have a group of elected officials who seem more interested in the performance of their swivel chairs than in the performance of the College Administration.

Instead of making decisions that best serve the students on campus or the community as a whole, the Trustees fill their monthly agenda with performative “special reports.” These reports substitute for the actual, authentic oversight that taxpayers who fund other community colleges receive. They clog up the “retreat” – which is supposed to be a working session – with more of the same silliness.

The taxpayers don’t elect community college trustees because they need someone to watch executive circus performances.

We elect trustees to keep an eye on our money. It’s all about our money. In fact, it’s only about our money. The taxpayers of Washtenaw County should never lose sight of that. Unfortunately, the current Board of Trustees seems to have done just that.

Photo Credit: Kevin Dooley, via Flickr