***CORRECTION: Corrected name of controversial program to Designed Teaching and Learning.
Nearly two months after the president of A-B Tech announced her plan to resign, Dr. Betty Young remains on the job. The college’s vice presidents presented transition plans to the Board of Trustees on Monday, but one report riled a number of faculty members.
Nearly two months ago, Young announced she would resign, citing “discontent” and “division” on campus. Faculty, staff, trustees and Young have said little publicly about the situation, but at least part of the controversy surrounds institutional changes Young was pushing. Young remains on the job, and has not said when she plans to leave. Her contract with the college ends on June 30. She’s paid an annual salary of $190,104.
The transition plan presented by Dr. Sam Dosumu, vice president of instructional services, summed up the mood of the college. In his executive summary, Dosumu distilled the input he said he’d received through what he described as a “comprehensive effort” to hear from academic deans, associate deans, faculty and staff.
“The recent eighteen months brought in a leadership style that is termed ‘corporate’ and has made some staff and faculty uncomfortable with changes. The perception at the college is the ‘idea-implement-buy in’ model rather than ‘idea-buy in-implement; college personnel express a feeling of isolation and disconnect with new college initiatives. Pervasive across the college is the perception that every idea has to be implemented — a ‘hurry up and do it’ mindset.”
Dosumu, who joined the college in August 2008, went on to recommend a “continuous quality improvement” plan to prepare the college for “a cultural change.” His report also recommends a strategy to improve communication with faculty and students.
In addition, Dosumu’s report addressed a controversial new program on campus called Designed Teaching and Learning. The program, known simply as “DT&L,” is aimed making sure the college offers some uniformity and consistency in its courses. The program also focuses on beefing up the college’s online course offerings. A November 2008 report of the N.C. Office of State Budget and Management said the college “has been slow to offer competitive, high quality distance learning courses.” For fiscal 2007, the college had the lowest level of full-time equivalent staff positions for distance learning when compared to community colleges having more than 5,000 full-time equivalent positions, according to the report.
Dosumu told trustees on Monday that “our best opportunity to grow” to meet increased demand is to have a solid distance-learning program.
But the program implementation has been rocky on campus, in part because Jeffrey M. Ferezan, vice president of initiatives, was given the job. Young created the the position of vice president of initiatives, then hired Ferezan away from Northwest State Community College. Young worked with Ferezan at Northwest, where she worked as president and Ferezan worked as associate vice president for community and legislative relations.
Some faculty and staff complained about Dosumu’s report, so much so that trustees Chairwoman Carol Peterson asked Dosumu and Young to meet faculty and staff on Thursday afternoon. About 50 people met with Dosumu and Young in Ferguson Auditorium.
Also on Monday, trustees created a presidential-search committee. One of the committee’s first tasks will be to address the issue of finding an interim president to serve when Young leaves.
Click here to go to the Xpress Files and read Dr. Sam Dosumu’s transition plan.
— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor