My name is Tony Venezia. I am a professor in the Motion Picture/Television department.
I would prefer to be standing here boasting about the accomplishments of the students in our program. But some very disturbing events have occurred recently, and I feel that I must express my anguish regarding these activities of the upper administration.
A long healing process had begun after the dark years that the COD workforce experienced between 2009 and 2015. The air of trust amongst employees was slowly returning. Even after a contentious contract negotiation, things were still feeling on track. This past week two highly competent and skilled faculty members, Lucille Mok and Jackie Weaver, were refused tenure approval by the provost’s office after they had gone through all of the appropriate evaluations and earned exceptional reviews by Chuck Boone, our dean. In addition, Chuck, who is highly respected, competent and extremely successful in his position, was relieved of his duties as dean by the provost.
Lucille and Jackie were given no prior notice that their tenure was in jeopardy. For the first time in our school’s history, tenure has been denied by the upper administration after a faculty member has satisfactorily met all of the requirements and has received tenure recommendation by their dean. I find this action reprehensible. These activities raise many questions.
Why would this administration even consider the removal of Chuck Boone when he has proven his value to the college as a dean time and time again and is more than qualified to handle the position?
Arts, Communication, and Hospitality, the division he oversees until tomorrow, has had significant and continued growth during a time when most colleges are losing enrollment. That success can be attributed to his leadership.
Why does this administration, after knowing the history of an abusive administration, continue in the abhorrent direction that was experienced here between 2009 and 2015?
These actions have taken their toll on the morale of our entire division as well as many other areas across campus. Perhaps they are motivated by factors other than the best interest of our students.
The fact that the provost and the president have rewarded success and excellence with the demotion of Chuck Boone and the tenure rejection of Jackie Weaver and Lucille Mok boggles my mind. If it is the upper administration’s intent that we don’t rock the boat with innovative ways of teaching and administering, then you are setting our standards to attain mediocrity, and by that you reject excellence. Based upon these actions it would seem that the upper administration’s vision for our institution is truly a non-vision.
Ultimately, how does this air of mediocrity that you are instilling upon us serve our students and our community?
It wouldn’t surprise me if I were to be the recipient of some form of retaliation from the upper administration because of the comments I have just made. I am merely speaking from my heart about things that I feel need to be said.