Steven Rosenstone, chancellor of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, today affirmed his strong support for Doug Allen, president of Ridgewater College, and Tim Wynes, president of both Inver Hills Community College and Dakota County Technical College. Wynes was the subject of a vote of no confidence by the Minnesota State College Faculty (MSCF) union at Inver Hills Community College earlier this week, and Allen was the subject of a similar vote a full year ago.
“I have complete confidence in Tim Wynes,” said Rosenstone. “President Wynes has worked closely with students, faculty, and staff to create a remarkable community that collaboratively delivers on the missions of both colleges. The vote was generated by a faction of the Inver Hills faculty. The Dakota County Technical College faculty are not scheduling a vote. None of the other bargaining units on either campus are participating, nor are the students. In fact, the Student Senate at Inver Hills has issued a statement of support for President Wynes. I hope that those who have differences with President Wynes will resume open dialog to resolve their differences and return their focus to serving students.”
Rosenstone added, “I also have complete confidence in the leadership of Doug Allen. During his tenure as president, Ridgewater College has received national acclaim as one of the top community colleges in the country by such widely respected authorities as the Aspen Institute, Washington Monthly magazine, and ACT. Ridgewater’s job placement rate in career and technical programs of over 96 percent during the last five years is a model for all colleges and demonstrates their success in meeting the talent requirements of employers in the region. In short, Ridgewater College has an outstanding track-record under the leadership of Doug Allen – one that should make Doug, the faculty, the staff, and the students all very proud. The no-confidence vote from nearly a year ago was driven by a single campus bargaining unit – the faculty union. No other bargaining units participated. We have received dozens and dozens of messages from students, staff, and members of the community expressing their full support for President Allen. I continue to believe that the best way to resolve differences is through open dialog and I encourage all involved to resume their conversation as soon as possible.”
He continued, “If faculty union leaders at either Inver Hills Community College or Ridgewater College – or at any of our colleges or universities – feel they need help facilitating their conversation with their college’s leadership, human resources professionals at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities stand ready to assist.”
Rosenstone added that “enrollment challenges and budget pressures are being felt by colleges and universities across the nation, so these should not be used to question the leadership of a college. Instead, these challenges should inspire faculty, staff, students, the community, and leadership to work together to address them.”
Rosenstone continued, “The faculty union’s strategy of ‘being loud in public’ as a means of addressing challenges or bringing about change is short sighted, counterproductive, and ultimately does a disservice to our students. Open dialog in a spirit of mutual respect and collaboration is the most effective way to bring about change, and I call upon the MSCF members at both campuses to resume their discussions with their campus presidents as soon as possible.”