CORNING, N.Y. (WETM) – SUNY Corning Community College’s Regional Board of Trustees passed a unanimous resolution on Thursday night in support of President Dr. William Mullaney after an overwhelming “no confidence vote” by the faculty’s union.
The resolution states: “The Regional Board of Trustees of SUNY Corning Community College asserts its full support of President William P. Mullaney and its full support of the process that was utilized in determining and implementing the recent termination of several faculty positions.”
“All educational institutions have been faced with significant issues during the past year, and
SUNY CCC is no exception,” said Nancy M. Wightman, Chair of the Regional Board. “Dr. Mullaney has successfully guided our many College constituencies through a myriad of challenges including the onset of and operations during the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only has Dr. Mullaney ensured compliance with State executive orders, SUNY mandates, and federal guidelines, but also he has supported a culture of flexibility, caring, and innovation in support of the entire SUNY CCC community,” Wightman emphasizes.
Beyond successfully addressing planning and operations during a time of pandemic, Dr. Mullaney’s larger vision for creating innovative programs, addressing regional workforce needs, and increasing student success are important for the support of our community and our region. Throughout the year, difficult decisions were proposed by Dr. Mullaney and approved by the Trustees to respond to the trend of declining enrollment faced by most community colleges in New York State due to population decline and other factors beyond the control of community colleges. We are confident that the processes used by the College to make these difficult decisions to reduce current and future operating expenses were both thorough and well thought out,” states Chair Wightman on behalf of the Trustees.
Mullaney said that other than an issue about labor, he is unaware of any other problems that the full-time faculty in the union has.
“I haven’t heard anything other than that, so, based on that information and by all indications, this issue about labor is what these folk in the union are unhappy about,” Mullaney said. “Now, if there are others, I am open to hearing those, but as of yet, I haven’t heard of anything else.”
The Union released a list of issues that lead them to vote, no confidence in the president.
Over the course of his time as President of SUNY Corning Community College, Dr. William Mullaney has:
● Overseen the disintegration of morale, confidence, and collegiality among college
employees, to the detriment of our mission;
● Encouraged through his actions and comments a climate of discord among college
employees, seeking in vain to weaken our bonds of friendship and sense of shared
commitment to the future of the College;
● Demonstrated through his actions a special disrespect for the dedication, commitment,
and excellence of the College’s full-time faculty;
● Used faculty terminations and the threat of faculty terminations in failed attempts to
intimidate and bully the faculty;
● Refused to engage with the faculty in good faith discussions around alternatives,
reflecting an underlying disinterest in finding workable alternatives;
● Misrepresented his administration’s engagement with faculty and staff, including
Associate Deans of Instruction, on these issues;
● Failed to investigate the likely ramifications of his plans, choosing not to consult with the
academic departments most directly affected;
● Sabotaged the ability of the College to recruit the best candidates for future openings by
eroding confidence in the College’s commitment to its employees;
● Undermined the Regional Board of Trustees by attacking the meaning and value of its
commitments to College faculty;
● Failed to communicate a positive, compelling, inclusive vision for the future of the
College as a whole, one reflecting our shared values, diversity, and mutual reliance; and
● Failed to represent the College effectively in the communities served by the College,
compromising the relationships at the core of our institution’s mission.
Mullaney said that he has met with faculty and union members in the past, and has not heard or read the complaints that are listed.
“I’ve met with Professor Hersha [PECCC Union President] on a regular basis, I attend faculty assembly meetings every month, I attend academic meetings, last month I visited all of the division meetings, I meet with faculty one-on-one, so I stand behind my record in terms of my outreach and availability to work with faculty members.”
The union said that Mullaney, “Used faculty terminations and the threat of faculty terminations in failed attempts to intimidate and bully the faculty,” in the list of reasons why they called this vote. Mullaney said that this does not depict his true character.
“I’ve never been called a bully in my life,” Mullaney said.
The college’s president is not worried that this vote will compromise his position, and he said that the trustees are supporting him.
“I have kept the trustees in the loop from the very beginning,” Mullaney said. “They have been with me every step of the way.”
He said that this has been a challenging year because of COVID and the budget, but he believes that he has been available to hear everyone on campus.
“I stand by my collaborative nature, I stand by my open-door policy, that I meet with anyone at the college, student, staff, faculty member to hear concerns,” Mullaney said.