WENATCHEE - A shake up of staff at Wenatchee Valley College has apparently left the school’s faculty shaken. On Tuesday, members of the faculty union of Wenatchee Valley College overwhelmingly voted "No Confidence" in WVC President Jim Richardson and are calling on the college Board of Trustees to replace him immediately. The vote comes after a recent round of layoffs and cutbacks.
Members of the union cited the following examples of Richardson’s “failed” leadership:
- President Richardson’s fiscal mismanagement resulting in two financial crises in the last three years.
- Multiple layoffs and furlough days for classified and exempt employees with the possibility of more in the future affecting all college employees.
- Numerous capital projects leading to mounting debt.
- President Richardson’s divisive manner in handling the crisis since it was made public.
- The president’s lack of leadership by his complete evasion of any responsibility for the crisis and misrepresentation to college employees and the media about the cause of the current financial crisis.
- The president’s high salary and the college’s low student FTEs in comparison to other presidents and community colleges.
- The negative effect this crisis is having on students.
“We, the faculty, do not accept President Richardson’s explanation for the current budget crisis. The fall 2019 downturn in student enrollment only pushed the college over the edge after years of poor fiscal management. The employees and students deserve better leadership than what we have seen under Jim Richardson,” said Patrick Tracy, president of WVCAHE.
College faculty members plan to attend the Jan. 15 Board of Trustees meeting to explain why they no longer have confidence in Richardson’s leadership – and how his alleged “flawed” decisions are affecting Wenatchee Valley College students.
Late last year, Wenatchee Valley College reported a $1 million deficit in the school’s operating budget citing a 30% enrollment decline in career and technical programs since 2010.
Richardson responded to the union’s "No Confidence" vote with the following statement:
“I take the concerns of the faculty very seriously and am disheartened by their vote. I understand that the budget deficit has raised many questions and concerns from the college community and the public and I will continue addressing those to the best of my ability. However, student success was and remains my top priority when making any decisions from WVC.”
Richardson has been president of WVC since July 2005.