The complaints will center around disregard for diversity and equity, overreach of authority and a lack of transparency
GODFREY – The Lewis and Clark Community College Faculty Association (LCCCFA) filed complaints against the Lewis and Clark Community College Board of Trustees (BOT) with the Higher Learning Commission, Illinois Community College Trustee Association and Illinois Board of Higher Education. The complaints are the result of an LCCCFA investigation into the BOT that uncovered overreach of authority, lack of transparency in decision making and a disregard for diversity and equity in decision making.
“These are very serious issues, and we are deeply troubled by the findings of our investigation into the board’s actions. Our immediate concern is the negative effects that these actions have, and will continue to have, on our students and the academic mission of the institution including student access, student learning, and community outreach and engagement,” said LCCCFA Executive Member Joe Genslinger.
Through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests LCCCFA has documented specific instances:
- where BOT leadership has discouraged diversity initiatives,
- skirted the Illinois Open Meetings Act,
- continued overreach in day-to-day college operations,
- obstructed faculty from speaking at board meetings,
- and generally disregarded any and all attempts by faculty and administration to work together under the principles of shared governance.
“We are concerned that these actions constitute a failure to meet accreditation criteria set forth by the Higher Learning Commission, standards of the Illinois Community College Trustee Association, and guidelines provided by Illinois Board of Higher Education. We feel that this situation is a clear threat to institutional accreditation and therefore to educational opportunities that the college can provide to students and relationships with community members,” LCCCFA President Debbie Witsken said.
Documentation from the LCCCFA’s FOIAs is available upon request.
At 135,000 members strong, the Illinois Education Association (IEA) is the largest union in Illinois. The IEA represents PreK-12 teachers outside the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty and support staff, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.