MCC Committee Finds Mabry Met His Goals
LOWELL -- Though the Middlesex Community College Board of Trustees Leadership Evaluation Committee feels President James Mabry met the goals laid out for him as president last year, a vote by faculty and staff expressing doubt in his ability to lead remains a point of contention.
With that in mind, the Leadership Evaluation Committee decided they will include mention of the vote of no confidence when they bring forward their recommendations regarding the president to the full Board of Trustees next month.
Each year, the Board of Trustees sets goals and objectives for Mabry and at the end of the year he reports back to the Leadership Evaluation Committee on how he met them. On Monday, the committee met with Mabry to hear his annual report.
Mabry reviewed a list of objectives he said were addressed during 2018 to 2019, including working to maintain information technology infrastructure, working to help students with career exploration, the advancement of campus safety programs, and help provided to homeless and hungry students.
The committee will bring forward its recommendations to the full board which then votes and submits a final report to the state, Board of Trustees Chairman James Campbell said during a past interview with The Sun. He added that each year he has been on the board, there has been a recommendation that Mabry receive the maximum pay raise based on his own review.
Mabry was hired as president in December 2014.
“I think we are all saying, ‘Yes, he has met those goals, but the fact that there is a no confidence vote has to be factored in,’” said committee member Cheryl Howard after Monday’s meeting was adjourned.
A majority of faculty and staff at the school voted earlier this year that they do not have confidence in Mabry’s ability to effectively lead MCC.
Morale among faculty and staff is at an all-time low, some respondents said. They stated the college has become a top-down institution where decisions are made by executive leaders regardless of concerns from faculty and staff.
It was decided during Monday’s meeting that Howard would write a statement to the board that shows the goals and objectives set for Mabry were met for 2018-2019. However, that would not be enough.
Howard pointed out a no confidence vote is unusual, and this was the first time it has ever happened at MCC.
“Somehow that has to be reflected on what happened this year,” Howard said.
During the meeting, it was suggested that, in the future, Mabry work more collaboratively with faculty and staff and the MCC union to address issues. It was also suggested these groups will have more input on goals and objectives.
Union President Joanna DelMonaco, who was in attendance during Monday’s meeting, has said she believes upper management should be subject to a 360-degree review, a common human-resources practice that allows input from all levels of an organization.
DelMonaco stressed after Monday’s meeting a need for a more firm stance by the trustees in the development of future goals and objectives set for Mabry.
She added the goals listed by the president on Monday involved operational goals and a “laundry list” of objectives that were accomplished by the institution as a whole. DelMonaco expressed a need for Mabry to create “visionary goals” with a layout of what actions he would take to reach those goals.
As for the impact the no confidence vote, DelMonaco pointed out she’s unsure of its outcome.
“It’s so unprecedented,” she said. “Especially here. In 50 years it has never happened. We are not sure what the steps are. We don’t know what could happen. We are just seeing it through.”
Follow Aaron Curtis on Twitter @aselahcurtis