The good, bad and ugly raised about MJC chief

Richard Rose
Richard Rose Unknown

Modesto Junior College's governing board heard 45 minutes of comments -- negative and positive -- Wednesday night regarding campus President Richard Rose and the faculty's vote of no confidence against his leadership.

Four MJC instructors used phrases such as "two-faced" and "bottom of the barrel" to describe Rose while former student body President Maria Quijalvo spoke in his defense, calling faculty actions underhanded, cowardly and spiteful. Each speaker received applause from an overflowing room.

Yosemite Community College District trustees thanked the speakers and said they have referred the vote of no confidence to Chancellor Roe Darnell for resolution.

Darnell said he hopes to bring in a facilitator to sit down with Rose and faculty leadership to iron out their disagreements, something both sides publicly say they are interested in.

But Wednesday night, math instructor James Johnson said bringing in a facilitator is like hiring a baby sitter to watch over a dictator.

After more than 18 months with Rose as president, faculty have reached a breaking point with what they describe as disregard for their input in college decisions, including faculty hiring, workload, construction spending and the addition of a winter intersession between fall and spring semesters.

Rose said instructors are confused about their authority in campus governance.

Adding to the turmoil Wednesday was news that new vice president of administrative services Arthur Gillis resigned after less than a week on the job. It wasn't clear Wednesday night why he resigned.

Rose to have chance to speak

Trustees informally have discussed tension between faculty and Rose and will give Rose an opportunity to talk about the issues during a closed session in the next few months, Rose said. The board has a variety of options -- everything from ignoring the vote of no confidence to buying out his contract, which goes through the 2009-10 school year.

Student body President Taylor White noted that most students have no clue about the infighting but agreed that it affects them by slowing down campus progress. White said that through his limited interaction with Rose, he feels that the president takes his input seriously, but that a vote of no confidence should be given credence.

"Obviously, something is wrong there," White said.

Votes of no confidence are rare and viewed as cries for help in educational circles. From 1994 to 2003, the Commu-nity College League of California recorded 35 votes of no con- fidence against chancellors and presidents at more than 100 colleges and college districts.

Bee staff writer Michelle Hatfield can be reached at mhatfield@modbee.com or 578-2339.

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