92 Percent of Pasadena Faculty Plead: Stop Ignoring Us, Fire President Rocha.

Ari L. NoonanNews

Second in a series

Re “Pasadena Students, Faculty Seek Dr. Rocha’s Ouster. No, Say Trustees”

[img]1769|left|Dr. Mark Rocha||no_popup[/img]After months of effectively underground/backstage feuding with Pasadena City College President Dr. Mark Rocha, and following two no-confidence votes against him by students and professors, a bold public step was taken Wednesday night by faculty members who say they now feel empowered. They represented about 200 fulltime faculty members and 1,000 part-timers.

At the Board of Trustees meeting, the following nearly 1,000-word statement of non-support was read to the trustees, who have rewarded Dr. Rocha with a contract renewal carrying him through June 2016.

“We are members of an Ad Hoc Faculty Committee.

“We have come here tonight to report to you the results of a vote of no-confidence in President Mark Rocha by fulltime faculty members. The results of this ballot were conscientiously tallied last Tuesday by an independent vote counter. It is important that Board members and the community know that faculty had only one week to post their ballots, ballots which had been distributed to them by this ad hoc faculty committee, which was anonymous at the time. 

“Nonetheless, 213 fulltime PCC faculty, (despite possible intimidation) voted overwhelmingly to support a vote of no-confidence in President Mark W. Rocha. Of 204 valid ballots, only 16 faculty were opposed while 188 fulltime faculty, or 92 percent, voted in support of the no confidence proposition.  These numbers mean that more than half of the total active, fulltime faculty members at PCC believe that President Rocha has failed to perform his job as superintendent-president.

“What does this result mean? Does the vote have any real significance? What right does the faculty have to evaluate President Rocha’s leadership and performance? And why have we come tonight to present the Faculty Vote of No- Confidence to you?

“First of all, this vote of no-confidence exposes the serious crisis of leadership at PCC. Three and a half pages of supporting documentation accompanied the ballots, which detailed 10 major areas of complaints and more than 20 specific examples of violations of trust, collegiality, procedure, and sound reason practiced by this administration. We invite the Board and the community to read this material.

“This vote – based on that documentation – underscores the fact that 92 percent of fulltime voting faculty agree, amongst other things, that President Rocha has impeded student success, violated student and faculty trust, and, in general, brought about destructive rather than constructive change at the college while consistently ignoring the concerns of students, staff and faculty members at Pasadena City College. 

“What is the significance?

“The vote of no-confidence highlights – in neon lights – the fact that trust has completely broken down between PCC faculty and the administration. At Pasadena City College, hardworking faculty members, staff, and students are fighting for a healthy institution centered around mutual respect, shared decision-making, and a genuine concern for student achievement, student progress, and academic programs.

“Today, at PCC we have a Superintendent-President and an administration whose style of leadership ignores the very principles of reasoned judgment, respectful collaboration, and shared values that further a healthy, productive community college. The vote of no-confidence exposes the deep fissures in the foundation of PCC, which have been caused by President Rocha and his administration.

“What right does the faculty have to evaluate President Rocha's leadership and performance?

“Option 1: Our right to conduct an administrator’s review is a crucial component in the overall health of our college. In an unprecedented fashion, two weeks before you, the PCC Board of Trustees, unilaterally cancelled winter intersession, you removed faculty, staff and students from the presidential review process, as per Board policy No. 1680.

“Option 2: Our right to conduct an administrator’s review is a crucial component in the overall health of our college. In an unprecedented fashion, two weeks before cancelling winter intersession, the PCC Board of Trustees, removed faculty, staff and students from the presidential review process, as per Board policy No. 1680.

“Therefore, neither faculty, nor staff, nor students have been included to date in President Mark Rocha’s evaluation. However, as the American Assn. of University Professors policy states, faculty members are duly constituted “officers” of the college who have a right—which has been denied us under President Rocha’s tenure—to evaluate the performance of our President. The Board’s (Your) new policy states that only after the fourth year of employment will the campus be included in the president’s evaluation. Even then, an outside evaluator will be chosen by the president himself along with the Board, and any evaluations made by faculty, staff and students won’t be considered if anonymous.

“The accumulated wreckage of bad decision-making at this college has to be recognized – and stopped – now. If we follow the path of only one bad decision made by President Rocha, his administration and this Board, it is easy to illustrate this path of destruction.

“In canceling Winter intersession, President Rocha, his administration and the Board irresponsibly dismissed almost one year of informed discussion and debate by the calendar committee. Moreover, entire academic programs were dismissed, faculty were stripped of up to 10 percent of their annual pay and up to 30 percent for part-timers, student attendance has fallen below state requirements, endangering our Prop. 30 monies, and most importantly, students lost essential classes necessary for transfer – all of this and repercussions yet to occur in the wake of one terrible decision.
“As the overwhelming results of the vote of no- confidence indicate, a serious, debilitating crisis of leadership is crippling our college. We faculty feel that we have a pressing obligation to communicate the dire nature of this leadership crisis to the Pasadena City College Board of Trustees and to the community at large.

“We implore the Board of Trustees to stop ignoring the voices of the faculty members, staff, and students, and to recognize that an emergency exists here at PCC. It could take years to recover from the damage done to PCC. Do you, the Board of Trustees, really want this kind of destructive legacy on your hands? Can you really afford to ignore the voices of both the students and 92 percent of the faculty voting a position of no-confidence in President Rocha? We expect that you will listen to and act upon this crisis of leadership so that PCC can start moving forward.”

(To be continued)