Breaking news: Third ‘no confidence’ for RVC’s Chapdelaine

n Faculty authorizes strike in 99-11 vote

Monday, Sept. 15, 2003, 11:15 p.m.—For the third time in less than three weeks, Rock Valley College (RVC) President Roland Chapdelaine was handed another overwhelming “no confidence” vote by RVC employees. RVC’s Professional Staff Association (PSA) voted 48-8 Monday afternoon that they had no confidence in Chapdelaine’s ability to continue to lead the financially troubled college.

PSA’s action brings Chapdelaine’s total no confidence votes to 204-28 by all RVC employees, which includes faculty, educational support staff and PSA employees.

In a related matter, RVC faculty union members voted 99-11 Monday afternoon for a strike authorization if current negotiations with Chapdelaine’s administration are unsuccessful.

Details of the strike authorization were not available. However, faculty members are not expected to strike until early October, if at all. Official representatives for the faculty, PSA and administration were not available for comment.

Sources said an unknown number of PSA members were ordered by top administrators to not attend the no confidence vote meeting. There are 137 PSA members.

The Educational Support Personnel (ESP) also voted no confidence in Chapdelaine and the RVC Board of Trustees Sept. 9, following the faculty’s Aug. 29 vote of no confidence in Chapdelaine.

ESP, which is composed of about 140 non-faculty staff, voted 61-9 against Chapdelaine and 64-6 against the board. The faculty also voted “no confidence” in Chapdelaine by a 95-11 tally Aug. 29.

ESP President Barry Sanders said the confidence/no confidence ballot cited the faculty’s three primary charges and asked ESP employees whether they did or did not have confidence in Chapdelaine and the board.

The faculty’s three primary charges are: “… failure to maintain continuity of administrative and financial management of the college; failure to communicate accurate, complete, and timely information to the public and college employees; failure to protect the integrity and fiscal solvency of the college.”

The primary and detailed charges were listed in the Sept. 3 issue of The Rock River Times.

Sanders said results of the survey were given to Board of Trustees Chairman Chris Johnson and Chapdelaine between sessions of the trustees’ Sept. 9 meeting.

“I respect the ESP and their opinion, and these are difficult times at RVC,” Johnson said. “We take the ESP’s vote seriously and factor it in with the faculty’s [vote].”

ESP and PSA employees are targets for voluntary and forced layoffs this month. The board has also asked eligible employees to retire early to help offset four years of deficit spending that totals nearly $7 million since fiscal year 2000. Chapdelaine’s administration is determining the layoffs and will give informal notice of who will be affected Sept. 23. The last day of work for targeted employees will be Sept. 26

The ESP and PSA’s vote also comes on the heels of a planned meeting between some non-faculty staff and a few board members, which was supposed to have occurred Sept. 5. The meeting was cancelled, however.

Chapdelaine was asked to comment about the ESP vote but did not respond.

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