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Faculty at CCRI college vote no confidence in leadership

December 4, 2018

WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — The faculty union at the Community College of Rhode Island cast a no confidence vote Monday in school President Meghan Hughes.

Associate professor Barbara Leasher tells The Providence Journal via email that 219 of 271 eligible voters submitted ballots in the vote. The motion passed 160-34, with 25 abstentions.

The motion said Hughes and other administrators have “repeatedly failed in their leadership roles at the college to the detriment of our students,” and “lack the competence and demeanor required to fulfill their leadership roles” and should be removed.

The union is upset with the administration’s decision to introduce a winter term, which faculty say was poorly planned and lacked their input.

The college says it wants to offer the winter session to help students graduate on time. Hughes said in a statement that she’s disappointed the union chose to advance the vote and she’s committed to improving the community college.

“Change, coupled with open contract negotiations, can be hard, and I believe that this vote reflects our ongoing effort to define who we are as a college, and who we want to become,” she said.

Last year, Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo unveiled a plan to offer free tuition at the state’s three public colleges. Lawmakers scaled that back and a pilot program was launched at the school.

Raimondo wholeheartedly supports the work that Hughes and her leadership team are doing to strengthen the community college’s academic program, Josh Block, Raimondo’s press secretary, said Tuesday.

Hughes has no plans to step down and the winter session is proceeding as planned, college spokeswoman Kristen Cyr said Tuesday. Hughes became the fifth president of the school in February 2016.

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Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com

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