Vol. 6 No.1 October 10, 1995
The Messenger of Sound Advice
We have been assessing your performance since your nomination to head the KCC Chapter in the last Spring election. Sadly, and as many faculty had predicted, your performances as a nominee and as a Chapter Chair have been immensely disappointing and almost disastrous!
In an effort to enlighten you and the members of the union on the campus, coupled with our sincere desire to help improve your performance in the remaining term of your office, we thought that we would grade you on the actions you have taken, or not taken since your nomination. As a background, we must remind you that you ran uncontested, won the election and was crowned only because of the monumental efforts and election strategies employed by The Patriot, which discouraged candidates who had proven unworthy of a leadership role at the College.
TEST #1: Upon your nomination to head the slate, you should have informed the faculty about the candidates on your slate and your platform. You put out some of this information just a few days before the election...only after prodding from The Patriot ("Professor O'Malley, Where is Your Manifesto?, "Vol.5, no. 1, March 22, 1995). This was an error in judgment.
GRADE FOR TEST #1 - F
TEST #2: Your article, "Faculty Catechism" in the KCC Union Newsletter (Vol.1, no.2, March 1995, unpaginated), in which you defined a faculty member as "one with a specialized advanced degree (usually a Ph.D.)..." inflicted deep wounds on a majority of the faculty who have other than Ph.D. qualifications, especially in the Student Development department and the Library (See The Patriot, Vol.5, no.2, March 27, 1995, "Dear Professor O'Malley, A Better First Impression Would Have Helped!") This was uncalled for, especially from a person who was running for a Chapter Chair position requiring commitment to represent all faculty: those with Ph.D.s and those without. You were grossly neglect in not being sensitive to all the faculty and for demonstrating an elitist attitude in that uncontested election.
GRADE FOR TEST #2 - F
TEST #3: In the above-mentioned article, you recommend a separate Faculty Council or a forum so that KCC faculty can participate in a "discussion of a possible censure of Trustee Herman Badillo." It boggles our mind to think that a person such as yourself, elected by the faculty to Chapter Chairship, to the College Council and to the Faculty Senate, would want a separate Faculty Council so that members of the trustees who disagree with your position can be censured. The question we would like to ask is, "Given this separate faculty council, are you likely to proceed to censure the Chancellor, other trustees or, for that matter, faculty members who have views different than yours?"
GRADE FOR TEST #3 - F
TEST #4: We will be generous in grading two undated newsletters; one announcing the May 23rd meeting, and the other reporting on a meeting with the College Administration. Although both newsletters appear to be the work of someone in a hurry who does not have time and undivided interest in union matters, and although a large measure of the newsletter covers topics already included in the communications sent by the Central PSC to every member, and even though these newsletters appear to be rehashing the news covered in the Clarion and the PSC Hotline, your typing skills deserve something for the effort.
GRADE FOR TEST #4 - C
TEST #5: Your poor judgment was evident on yet another issue. Prof. Inez Martinez' position on overloads was criticized by The Patriot (Vol.5., no.5, May 17,1995, Senator Martinez, Have a Heart; Why are You Hurting Both the Students and the Faculty?") We all know that both of you come from the English department, that you are good friends, and that both of you serve as elected senators to the Faculty Senate. Your non-repudiation of the position taken by your colleague implies that you support her position, i. e. eliminating overloads. The Faculty Senate is not the union, and if you disagree with the position of your colleague you have an obligation to denounce that position.
GRADE FOR TEST #5 - F
TEST #6: You chose to run for College Council election...and barely made it (see The Patriot, Vol.5, no.7, May 24,1995, "Yet Another Election, the Message is the Same. Who Does the Faculty Really Want to Represent Them?"). In the Chapter's uncontested election just a few weeks before, you received the lowest number of votes on the slate except for one candidate running for Delegate Assembly (see The Patriot, Vol.5, no.6, May 19,1995, "Chapter Elections: the Numbers Tell a Strange Story."). Since you knew from the Chapter election results that you were not the most popular candidate on campus, why did you risk running in another election so soon? Was this wise? A loss would have been a sever blow to your union position! Besides, It is not wise for chapter leader to be grabbing every conceivable position, elected or otherwise. Let others, particularly junior members, get an opportunity to participate, gain experience and educate themselves in the governance of our College and University.
GRADE FOR TEST #6 - F
TEST #7: Finally, but perhaps most importantly, there was your distasteful and downright undisciplined performance at the May 23rd Chapter meeting. First, it showed a lack of grace that you did not acknowledge the contributions of Prof. Michael SherKer, the previous Chapter Chair who gave so much of his time after Prof. David Keller's untimely death.
Second, you showed total ignorance of the union contract, Board Bylaws, Retrenchment Guidelines and all the relevant documents in responding to questions raised at the meeting.
Third, you allowed the members of the Secretarial Science Department, particularly Prof. Naomi Platt, to dominate the meeting regarding problems confronting her department in light of the impending retrenchment and/or discontinuance or merger of that department. You allowed the members of that department to attack anyone and everyone who may have been even remotely connected to the decision on the possible closing of that department. These attacks were often ad hominem and vicious. You presided over an unruly meeting and failed to recognize the rights of other members of the faculty to speak. When they did speak, you allowed members of the Secretarial Science Department, particularly Prof. Naomi Platt, to shout them down. You stood by, allowing the tirades to continue until a senior faculty member of the English Department reminded the audience of the First Amendment freedoms. You exhibited lack of leadership, unfair play, and an inability to balance the issues of all of the faculty. Your incompetence in managing the meeting and in maintaining the decorum, decency and civility of the meeting deserved was obvious. If anything, your incompetency in running this small chapter meeting demonstrates how unfortunate the members of the KCC faculty were when they elected you as their Chapter Chair, as a College Council member, and as Faculty Senate member.
The Kingsborough faculty deserves better!
GRADE FOR TEST #7-F
(See overleaf for reading list)
How to Almost Lose an uncontested
Election but Act as If You Were Crowned Queen!, by Suzana P. O'Meany,
New Orleans, La.: Elections Unlimited Press, 223 pp. $38.93