College works on trust

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Employee groups will formally be able to share their perspectives and input with the Glendale Community College Board of Trustees on decisions and governance, according to a set of guidelines unanimously adopted by trustees Monday.

Adopting the technical assistance report marks an end to a more than yearlong process that helped transform low employee morale into senior leadership approval ratings in the 1990s, according to the 2009 campus views survey, a separate report released in January.

Since consultants from Mt. San Antonio College have been interviewing campus groups and writing the report, approval rates have shot up for the Board of Trustees as well as Interim Supt./President Dawn Lindsay.

“For now, I believe it does close the chapter on the outside consultants,” faculty guild President Ramona Barrio-Sotillo said. “There is still work to be done at the college. The report validates areas that we needed to keep working on and gave us a start in working in that direction.”

The technical assistance report prescribes methods and suggestions for campus employees, from trustees all the way down to faculty and student support employees, so they can rebuild trust in the wake of a stormy tenure of Audre Levy, the college’s superintendent/president who formally resigned in June.

The report suggests making public the trustee self-analysis and campus views surveys.

It also recommends trustees attend an effective trustee workshop that centers on governance, fiscal responsibility and open communication.

“It signals that we’ve really put behind us the old era of distrust and friction between the administration, faculty and staff and the board,” board President Vahe Peroomian said. “We’re really trying very hard to try and mend all the bridges and make sure we work collaboratively to move forward. This is one of the steps in that direction.”

Perceptions of the superintendent/president increased by at least 29 points after Lindsay took over.

Ninety-four percent of all employees said they believed Lindsay was accessible, and 83% of all employees said she showed fairness in making decisions, according to the survey.

The report adopted Monday represents the gains the college has made in the last six months, Lindsay said.

“It speaks to the mutual trust, the mutual respect, which is really important, and both sides felt were lacking,” she said. “I think this document pretty clearly outlines . . . areas where there are issues or areas of concern much more quickly and honesty so we can reach solutions and not be at impasse with each other.”

Many students were unaware of the administrative strife, but teachers considered it a distraction, and one that is now evaporating, said John Queen, president of the Academic Senate.

“Getting rid of the distraction allows all of us return to our primary duty, which is student success,” he said. “Throughout this whole upheaval, there was great work being done with student programs and services.”


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