December 13, 2021
Dear Board of Trustees,
About five years ago, Middle States found NCC out of compliance with 7 of their 14 standards. A single vote prevented us from receiving a Show Cause which would have closed our College.
The faculty working in collaboration with Acting President W. Hubert Keen, VPAA Valerie Collins, and other administrators were able to bring the College back into compliance. It is our very strong belief that the College, once again, is currently out of compliance with Middle Statesfor the following reasons:
1. Shared Governance as defined and described in the Academic Senates Bylaws has been ignored. Advice from this body has not been sought from the administration as they unilaterally enact policies resulting in:
- An inability to correct health and safety issues such as mold infestation, air quality, room heating and cooling, and unsafe passageways. This should have been done and could have been done while classrooms, offices, and other College venues were mostly unoccupied during the pandemic for over three semesters.
- The questionable spending of millions of COVID/HERRF dollars.
- Note: The College just formed a committee to assess the health and safety issues that plague the College, one week shy of this semester’s end. This should have been done years ago.
- The reassignment of Technologists to the ITS Department.
- The requirement that all classroom faculty teach all remote classes on campus. We know of no other SUNY campus that has required this. An MOA is currently in the hands of the AFA that, if signed, will rectify this situation for adjuncts. Consultation with AFA Leadership prior to announcing this plan would have alleviated the concern for AFA members.
- The Evening Nursing Program is in jeopardy because of the discontinuance of a staffing practice that has been in place for more than three decades that is essential to the Program. A full 30 percent of Nursing students are evening students.
- Failure to adequately solve the problems highlighted in the Dolan Report as well as implementing the suggested fixes in that report.
- Failure to adequately address critical issues like dual enrollment and concurrent enrollment.
- A flawed textbook policy that left students without textbooks for weeks during the Fall 2020 semester.
- Failure to replace full-time teaching lines.
- Failure to renew temporary teaching and non-classroom contracts in Spring 2020 but waiting to renew in late summer.
- The jeopardizing of the start of the Spring 2021 semester when the processing of adjunct assignments was interrupted. Hundreds of adjunct contracts were not processed until the last four days prior to the start of the semester. On the first day, and into the first week of the semester, some adjuncts were unable to connect with their remote classes because of this delay.
- College faculty who are marketing/advertising experts have been rebuffed by the College in their efforts to work with the College’s marketing company to maximize the effectiveness of their marketing efforts resulting in:
- A haphazard, poorly financed and implemented marketing effort that fails to send the right messages to the right target markets.
- Untimely marketing campaigns that begin too late in the spring to attract students for the fall semesters. By May, most high school seniors have already decided on the college they will attend in the fall.
- The Marketing Plan for the College, if it exists, has not been shared with the faculty or faculty leadership.
- Faculty who are disheartened when they see and hear messages that are poorly targeted and do not tell the right story.
- Loss of Trust and Faith in Administration
Our constituents report that morale across campus is at the lowest point in decades. Student leaders, faculty, and staff have lost faith and trust in the College President, the Vice President of Finance and Administration, and the Vice President of Institutional Advancement because they continually bypass the stated protocol in the Academic Senate Bylaws that has resulted in many flawed and counterproductive unilateral decisions as listed above. These decisions have severely impeded student learning and are now threatening NCC’s very existence.
We, the undersigned, are calling for an immediate forensic audit and review of the College’s contracts and disbursements of all CARES, HEERF, Town of Hempstead, and any and all other federal and state grants received by the College.
Upon information and belief, we have been apprised that Jermaine Williams has applied for and is a finalist for a position at a different college, we call for his immediate removal as Nassau Community College President. We also call for the immediate removal of the Vice President of Finance and Administration and the Vice President of Institutional Advancement. If the College is to survive and move forward in positive ways, administrators must be placed in these positions who will:
- take all needed steps to make the College a healthy and safe place to learn and work,
- make decisions via the Shared Governance Process as stated in the Academic Senates Bylaws,
- support programs and policies that work to maintain and enhance student success,
- build enrollment,
- improve retention,
- rebuild the College’s relationship with the Nassau County School District Superintendents,
- solve the fiscal problems that plague the college, and
- commit to serving the students and the dedicated staff and faculty who are the lifeblood of this College.
Faren Siminoff, NCCFT President
Stefan Krompier, AFA President
Noreen Lowey, Chair of Chairs
Liz Hynes-Musnisky, Chair, Academic Senate
Wow! Thank you leaders for taking this action
David Stern Write-in Candidate for Classroom VP
Excellent letter! Long overdue. To those of us teaching on campus, the demise is everywhere and plain to see for all.
Thank you, Faren, Stef, Noreen and Liz for this Call to Action. I think that you clearly articulated all the reasons why we find ourselves in such a tenuous position as the faculty. Through your united, focused and strong leadership, I finally have hope that we will find our way out of this mess and reclaim the mission of NCC.
Thank you for writing this letter. Its long list of detrimental administrative decisions should make it clear to Nassau County and SUNY that change is needed—yesterday.
Continually to make unilateral poor decisions is inexcusable when you have an incredibly talented faculty that try to offer guidance. Guidance that continues to be dismissed. Watching this college freefall is heartbreaking.
Thank you so very much, our Leaders, for writing this excellent, informative letter calling to action. It is long overdue, indeed. Now I have hope that the college will restore it’s excellent reputation it had rightfully had for so many decades.
Thanks to our elected faculty leaders for writing this letter. Now we need to insist on a public response by the Board of Trustees.