INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The full-time faculty at Community College of Philadelphia yesterday issued a statement of no confidence in college president Stephen M. Curtis, complaining that he is autocratic, had cut student services, and failed to win essential financial support from city government.
The vote was 206-33, according to officials of the Faculty Federation of the Community College of Philadelphia, a 412-member bargaining unit of American Federation of Labor Local 2026. The vote has no formal impact.
Full-time faculty authorized the referendum March 26, the day they voted to return to work after a frustrating two-week strike over pay. Mail balloting began April 24 and concluded Tuesday night.
Curtis was out of town yesterday and unavailable for comment, but the college's board of trustees called the vote "a reaction to the difficult labor-negotiation process."
Faculty leaders interviewed yesterday insisted the referendum was an expression of long-term frustration with Curtis, who became president in 1999.
"Conditions have been deteriorating ever since he took over," said Chuck Herbert, an assistant professor of computer science and a leader of the faculty's ad hoc "Reform CCP" movement.
Karen K. Schermerhorn and John Braxton, copresidents of the faculty federation, said Curtis did not consult, as previous presidents had, with faculty and students. They also complained that he had ordered the faculty to advise students on course selection and career planning even though many are not qualified to so.
"It appears he's running the college on a corporate, top-down model, not a consultative model," said Margaret Stephens, an associate professor of environmental conservation and a leader of Reform CCP.
The board of trustees' statement did not address the faculty complaints but said it "hopes that we can put aside our differences and work together to pursue what is in the best interest of our students."