An artist’s rendering of the proposed learning resource center at Everett Community College, with the building on the east side of Broadway and the street spanned by a pedestrian bridge. (Everett Community College)

An artist’s rendering of the proposed learning resource center at Everett Community College, with the building on the east side of Broadway and the street spanned by a pedestrian bridge. (Everett Community College)

EvCC faculty gives ‘no confidence’ vote in Board of Trustees

Faculty members called the board’s decision on the Learning Resource Center a “breaking point.”

EVERETT — Faculty at Everett Community College are continuing to oppose the site of the new Learning Resource Center — the future home of the school library and academic support programs.

In a survey sent out to faculty, 79 percent of 174 respondents voted to declare no confidence in the four members of the Board of Trustees who supported the location.

The faculty union, along with several students, spoke against the location during a board meeting on Oct. 16, arguing that it will be out of reach for people who need to use it between classes. The site is on the outer edge of campus, down a hill and across a five-lane thoroughfare.

Despite the concerns, the board approved the location 4-1. Board member Vickie Norris, the lone dissenter, was left out of the no-confidence vote.

Faculty union president Mike VanQuickenborne announced the no-confidence decision to the Board of Trustees at a meeting on Tuesday.

“It’s a vote that’s unprecedented in my 20 years at the college,” he said.

In a phone interview after the meeting, VanQuickenborne said the union’s goal was to get the library built in a more central location, where students can easily access it between classes. He said the union will follow up by sharing the faculty decision with the governor’s office, which appoints the Board of Trustees, and the Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges.

VanQuickenborne said he would like to see the board members resign.

“We have no confidence in their ability to lead the college,” he said.

Board chairman Mike Deller deflected the no-confidence vote. He said the board has already moved to address concerns, such as student safety and the current lack of a pedestrian overpass.

“This vote, we hear you. Disappointed, but we’ll move on,” he said.

He questioned what the results meant. He noted only 174 out of 409 total faculty voted on the resolution.

“It’s not an overwhelming vote of no confidence in my mind,” he said.

VanQuickenborne said there are a number of reasons that instructors didn’t participate. Some felt the vote wouldn’t amount to anything. And many only work part-time and are not as connected to the school’s politics. Still, he said, that doesn’t make the vote illegitimate.

Karen Linton, a faculty Senate representative, said instructors were disillusioned and exhausted. Input from faculty is largely ignored by leadership, she said.

The Learning Resource Center was the latest example, but she said they have been ignored in the past as well.

“You have to understand this was a breaking point for them,” she said. “If people aren’t going to utilize our feedback, stop asking.”

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; zbryan@heraldnet.com.

Twitter: @zachariahtb.

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