HACC president addresses students in wake of faculty “no confidence” vote

2 min read1,213 views and 22 shares Posted January 12, 2020

Harrisburg Area Community College President John Sygielski addressed HACC students with an email Saturday in reference to a “no confidence” vote by the college’s faculty organization

“While this situation is unfortunate, we are committed to ensuring that this vote does NOT negatively impact you in any way,” said Sygielski in the email, a copy of which was forwarded to LebTown. “You are our top priority.”

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Find the full email below.

The communication followed news which broke this week that, in December, the HACC faculty organization had issued a non-binding “no confidence” vote on the school’s leader.

According to the college, the “no confidence” vote occurred on Dec. 13. The vote closely followed a unanimous decision on Dec. 2 by the HACC Board of Trustees to extend Sygielski’s contract through June 2023.

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The faculty organization published results of the online vote, which was open to 980 eligible HACC faculty members. 421 faculty members participated, with 254 (60%) indicating “no confidence,” 58 (14%) abstaining, and 109 (26%) saying they did have confidence in HACC leadership.

A list of grievances shared by the faculty organization included:

  • “Injudicious institutional reorganizations”
  • “Abrupt elimination of Wellness Counseling”
  • “Declining efficacy of shared governance and violation of Shared Governance policies”
  • “Inattention paid to data trends over the past eight years”
  • “Long-term inattention to procedural justice”
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In a news release Saturday, the college said that it was establishing a collegewide committee to coordinate next steps.

“This action by faculty is regrettable, because the One-College reorganization and other measures are being taken to ensure HACC avoids becoming another statistic in the nationwide trend of college closings,” Sygielski said in the statement.

For further background on the HACC situation, check out Charles Thompson’s coverage at PennLive.com.

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Subject: YOUR Bright Future at HACC
Dear HACC student,

I am writing to inform you of a vote that was recently taken. Detailed information is online.

The enhancements we are making at HACC have one goal – to create a better experience for you.

We know that some aspects of your HACC experience are great, and some are not. We also know that no college is perfect – including HACC. However, we are courageous enough to make tough decisions to ensure you are receiving the quality education that you expect and deserve.

While this situation is unfortunate, we are committed to ensuring that this vote does NOT negatively impact you in any way. You are our top priority.

We welcome your comments, questions and suggestions. Thank you.

John J. “Ski” Sygielski, MBA, Ed.D.
President & CEO
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College

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