April 14, 2016 For immediate Release
Contact: Sylvia Watson, AFT Washington, 206-261-3603 (c) or 206-432-8084 (w)
Green River College Employees Evaluate the President's Performance
The faculty at Green River College today released a report detailing results of their own campus-wide performance review of President Eileen Ely. In the absence of what they would consider any meaningful evaluation of the President by the Board of Trustees, the faculty union provided all employees at the college the chance to assess her performance. Their goal was to show the President and the Board of Trustees a more comprehensive picture of her management style from the perspective of those she leads.
The survey, which was completed before the results of the Program Prioritization Process were released in April, reveals massive gaps between employees’ evaluations of the President and those of the Board of Trustees. President Ely earned low marks from college employees in a number of categories, especially management activities, educational planning, and strategic planning-philosophy of the college.
As part of their employment at the College, most faculty and staff are involved in different evaluation processes involving students, colleagues, and administrators. Yet President Ely has only ever been evaluated by the five-member Board of Trustees. During her six years at the College, she has never sought this type of feedback from anyone on campus. Many employees believe the Board has failed to take seriously, much less address, the concerns listed in two votes of no confidence in Ely over the last three years. The Board’s failure in its duty to oversee the President led to tenured faculty signing a vote of no confidence in the Board of Trustees in November 2015. Thus, this evaluation gathers relevant feedback from staff, faculty, and administrators at the College.
At their September 2015 meeting, the faculty union informed the Board of Trustees that this evaluation would be conducted.
Although initially sponsored by the faculty union, some classified staff union members joined the effort. No campus resources or funds were used and the survey was hosted off campus.
The survey featured the same evaluation instrument that the Board uses to evaluate the President, with only an “Unknown” option added. The survey web address was listed on an invitation card along with a unique identification code. Cards were distributed to faculty and staff during their breaks. Unique codes not tied to employee names allowed each employee to complete the survey only once while remaining anonymous.
Faculty and staff union representatives distributed invitation cards to 616 employees listed in the official campus employee directory. Each drew a card at random to pick their own unique code. Twenty-seven (27) employees refused to accept a card, some citing concerns of retaliation from upper administration.
Of the employees who received cards, 177 employees completed the online survey. Of these, 48% were full-time faculty, 28% were adjunct faculty, 18% were classified staff, and 4% were administrators. A small percentage (1.3%) did not identify their job classification in the survey. The ratio of staff to faculty who completed the survey is approximately equal to the ratio on campus, administrators appear underrepresented.
The report presents results in summary by category and employee group including the Board of Trustees, then detailed results in raw form for all employees together as bar graphs by question. The Board’s ratings for each question are presented alongside the employee’s ratings for comparison. As with the Board evaluation, the survey of employees included an area for written comments at the end of each evaluation category. Many employees left comments, which are presented unedited in random order at the end of each section.
The results can be accessed at the following web address: http://grufc.wa.aft.org/files/greenriverpresidentialperformancereview-0.pdf. The results have been released to President Ely and the Board of Trustees.
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