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Why a vote of no confidence

VIEWS: 12 PAGES: 2

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From: Reform CCP Now Vol. 1, No. 3                        May 2 , 2007


Frequently Asked Questions about the Vote of No Confidence at
CCP
Why a vote of no confidence?
At the March 26, 2007 contract ratification meeting, the Full Time Bargaining Unit at CCP voted to send to
referendum a vote of no confidence in President Stephen Curtis. At that meeting, at the subsequent FTBU
meeting held on April 19, 2007, and through numerous internal communications, faculty have expressed
deep dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs at CCP and have called for substantive change.
What does a vote of no confidence mean?
A vote of no confidence is a strong expression of dissatisfaction; it is not a personal attack on an individual.
Votes of no confidence have meant different things in different places. Robert Ross’ piece in the previous
issue of REFORM CCP NOW provided information about and links to articles about such votes at other
American colleges and universities.
At CCP, the dominant view expressed by members who have spoken in favor of a vote of no confidence is
that President Curtis, as head of the current administration, is taking the college in the wrong direction and
that, for the sake of the entire college community and our educational mission, this situation must change.
Without other efforts, a no-confidence vote at CCP could be interpreted as largely symbolic. However,
many concerned faculty, including those participating in Reform CCP, believe that the vote is the beginning
of a broader effort toward positive change. The reforms articulated elsewhere in this document represent
some of what might follow this vote at CCP.

Why now? Why not wait?
At the FTBU meeting on April 19, 2007, some members suggested that the vote of no confidence
referendum be held at a later date, possibly early in the fall semester. While there was no disagreement that
there are serious concerns about this administration, some argued that it might be better to take time to
build a case for the vote of no confidence, to give the administration an opportunity to address problems, to
conduct a referendum in tandem with the CE and PT/VL units, and/or to educate and inform others about
the reasons for the vote of no confidence.
FT members in attendance at the April 19th meeting voted by a four-to-one (i.e., 50 to 12) margin to hold
the referendum before the end of the spring semester. Reasons given included:
 President Curtis’ administration has shown no inclination to respond to our concerns, so little more
  evidence is needed to justify a vote.
 We are unlikely to learn anything in the next few months that will alter our grave dissatisfaction with
  the Curtis administration.
 Things must change now, so President Curtis and the Board need to hear the message of a no-
  confidence vote now.
 Following the vote of no confidence, we can urge President Curtis to adopt specific reforms.
How can we be sure about the accuracy of the vote?
The referendum process is regulated by Federation by-laws and includes secret ballots, one-person, one-
vote, transparency, and the opportunity for observers to monitor the handling and counting of ballots.
Is the Vote of No Confidence simply “sour grapes” – a reaction to the strike and the contract settlement?
NO. There is a long history of the concerns and problems that have been enumerated elsewhere. Many
senior faculty have stated publicly
 that this administration is the worst they have known. The strike should not have been necessary; the fact
that it happened is itself indicative of underlying problems and distrust between the administration and the
faculty and staff. What transpired during and after the strike highlighted these fundamental problems.
What do we want to happen as a result of this action?
Do we have a plan?
We want President Curtis to move away from “business as usual”, to hear our concerns and begin to
respond to them immediately. Reform CCP has begun to formulate proposals for reform. Faculty and staff
are invited to join the effort to develop proposals call for reform and to work toward their implementation.
Reform CCP will also work on several fronts to educate and inform the College community, public officials
and the media about necessary reforms at the College.
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From: Reform CCP Now Vol. 1, No. 3                       May 2 , 2007

What am I expected to do?
We ask you to:
  Familiarize yourself with the stated reasons for the vote of no confidence.
  VOTE by returning your ballot on time.
  Stay “on message” when discussing reasons for the vote with those outside the FTBU.
  Direct any media inquiries you might receive to the Federation co-chairs.
What can I expect?
We hope that President Curtis and his team will work with us as if we shared a common purpose – serving
students well. We hope we do not see from President Curtis and top administrators more evidence of a
bunker mentality: misleading or false communications, accusations directed at the Federation and faculty
and staff seeking reform, and heightened acrimony.

How can I find out more?
Look and read announcements from the Federation, the FTBU leaders, participate in discussions, and
attend membership meetings. Keep up with Reform Now by attending meetings (as announced) and by
visiting the website www.reformccp.org
I've heard some talk about taking actions I do not agree with. What shall I do? Of course, individuals are
free to express their opinions about what should or should not be done. However, there have been no
decisions made by the FTBU about specific actions that might follow the vote of no confidence. There will
be opportunities for FTBU members to participate in discussions and decisions about formal actions.
Students must be our top priority. Many faculty have stated that they will continue to do everything
possible to help students, not hinder them, and many faculty have said they will not engage in activities that
imply disrespect for students. Whatever we decide to do, it is important that we stay as unified as possible.

								
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