Layoffs at Tidewater Community College

March 5, 2018

Amid a decline in enrollment and an upcoming round of layoffs, Tidewater Community College faculty members made an informal declaration of no confidence in President Edna Baehre-Kolovani in a document released to The Virginian-Pilot. The declaration of no confidence also includes an executive vice president at the college.

The declaration followed Baehre-Kolovani’s announcement of another round of layoffs at the college as enrollment continues to drop. In 2016, the college had 34,397 students enrolled -- 14,000 fewer than in 2011, and a decrease of 1,200 from 2004. Last year, the state cut the higher education budget by 4.2 percent, which led to a loss of $8.5 million and layoffs of 27 people, including 17 full-time employees in administrative positions, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

The document details a list of concerns about the president, including a “lack of transparent and professional communication” and the “absence of authentic shared governance.” More specifically, the faculty members wrote that Baehre-Kolovani mismanaged a phishing scam in 2016, didn’t listen to faculty on changes to the academic calendar and altered requirements for online teaching a number of times.

Baehre-Kolovani responded to the document in an email to faculty Monday: “After advice to ‘not be silent’ and the plea from a number of faculty to ‘correct the misinformation,’ I have decided to do just that,” the president wrote.

The president also denied some of the accusations made against her, saying that many faculty members participated on task forces that examined the academic restructuring.

On Thursday, Baehre-Kolovani sent an email to faculty announcing layoffs would concern the English and emergency medical services departments in particular, and would go into effect at the conclusion of the fiscal year June 30.

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