Jessica Hearns: What’s wrong with the CNCC administration?
“What’s wrong with you?” A question I often wanted to ask the administration in the time I spent working for Colorado Northwestern Community College. Ultimately, I never hit “send,” not because I feared retaliation or being insubordinate, but because, while the administration was behaving unprofessionally, I felt two wrongs didn’t make a right. But now, as I sit in the sidelines, I can’t help but think it’s time to finally ask.
I was disappointed when I read the Craig Press article stating that a vote of no-confidence involving CNCC President Ron Granger by a Moffat County Board failed. And, no, my disappointment wasn’t because the vote failed — it was because, even after two years, this president and his cabinet have yet to find their stride. In his first year, the faculty discussed, at length, a no-confidence vote of their own. However, when the lines of communication opened slightly, the faculty gave benefit of the doubt and became hopeful that change would come. It looks as though they’re still waiting.
If it appears I’m a disgruntled former employee, it’s because I am. While I may have left the college, my dedication to young adults’ ability to obtain a well-rounded, quality higher education remains. The promise of community that’s used to lure students to CNCC is broken when a vision and presence by administration is repeatedly missing. While I maintain that these notions were hidden from students in my classroom, I also maintain that faculty successfully led students in developing strong critical thinking skills; as such, students know when they see something is missing and the college is rife with disconnection.
While finger pointing and establishing blame are easy, so is losing your footing when you constantly feel you’re treading water. What’s harder is swallowing pride when you know something’s not right, and so is stepping up and asking for discourse when you know you’ve made mistakes. I look forward to the board’s continuance at applying pressure in constructing policies and visions that are mutually beneficial to CNCC and the counties in which it resides, as well as Granger’s assertion to take these meetings constructively going forward.
But that’s not enough. Students are called out when they don’t show up and they don’t put in the work — and Granger and his administration should be held accountable when they don’t show up or put in the work. Furthermore, presence and work can’t just be done in board meetings or closed offices. That sense of community the college name implies must be seen in the front lines. Students, faculty and staff must see a supportive administration walking campus, in the halls, in the crowds at a game and at their special events.
While integrity may very well be what one does when no one is looking, believe me that our students are always watching, and it’s only a matter of time before one asks, “What’s wrong with you?”
Death Valley, California