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11 January 2020

Media Statement on Resolution of No Confidence: Kathleen Adams Pratt, President, Faculty Organization

The following statement was issued by Kathleen Pratt, president of the Faculty Organization. It is unedited and posted exactly as submitted.
Additional information regarding this issue is available at and in the College’s online newsroom:

For further information, please contact

HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College
Media Statement on Resolution of No Confidence
Kathleen Adams Pratt, President, Faculty Organization
Revised 1/12/2020 to reflect the number of eligible voting faculty in the “Fast Facts – Special Ballot” section. 
In December 2019, the HACC Faculty Organization held a special ballot on a Resolution of No Confidence in Dr. John “Ski” Sygielski and the functional vice presidents of his cabinet. The majority of voting faculty voiced no confidence in HACC’s senior leadership and supported President Ski submitting the Resolution of No Confidence to the HACC Board of Trustees. The resolution outlines specific concerns faculty have with college administration and requests the President and Board of Trustees support a list of immediate and collaborative actions that faculty believe will move HACC toward an optimistic future and solidify HACC as a leader in higher education.
Kathleen Pratt, President of the Faculty Organization, and Professor of Management and Marketing explains, “The faculty do not see this as a ‘divorce’ as some in administration have expressed.  Faculty care deeply for our beloved institution and our students. Our every effort is focused on the success of students and we recognize that HACC must thrive for students to succeed. In this time when many colleges are facing declining enrollments and financial strains, our hope is that administration and the Board of Trustees agree with us that the results of this special ballot are an opportunity for a fresh start in which faculty are partners in thoughtful planning and collaborative decision making.”
Fast Facts – Special Ballot
  • The ballot began on Monday, December 9, 2019, at 9am and concluded on Friday, December 13, 2019 at 5pm. 
  • Full-time faculty and vested adjunct faculty participated in the ballot.
  • 812 eligible voting faculty were invited to participate. The Office of Human Resources provided lists of eligible voting faculty.
  • 53% of eligible voting faculty participated.
  • 80% of full-time faculty voted while 37% of vested adjuncts participated.
  • Among faculty who expressed their views for or against: seventy percent (70%) voted No Confidence, and 68% voted in favor or sending the Resolution of No Confidence to the Board of Trustees. Abstentions were not counted.
Fast Facts – Faculty Concerns stated in the Resolution of No Confidence
  • Injudicious institutional reorganizations (e.g. Library Services, Counseling and Advising, Virtual Learning, and Campus Leadership) with inadequate time to collaboratively plan for the transition and ensure minimal disruption in student services. 
  • Abrupt elimination of Wellness Counseling without a plan in place to provide services for students. 
  • Declining efficacy of shared governance and violation of Shared Governance policies including but not limited to furlough, retraining, reassignment, and tenure (e.g. eliminating 20 Tenured Faculty positions under the pretext of eliminating the services they perform, but not eliminating the service they perform). 
  • Inattention paid to data trends over the past eight years in the areas of secondary school enrollments and virtual enrollments, which has in part led to financial deficits requiring changes that affect enrollments. 
  • Long-term inattention to procedural justice creating an unnecessary environment of chaos, anxiety, low morale, and dysfunction. 
Fast Facts – Faculty Requests for immediate and collaborative actions to be supported by the President and Board of Trustees
  • Suspend further reorganization until a specific, complete, and measurable plan for the college reorganization is created in direct consultation with all constituency groups.
  • Engage all stakeholders in continued development and refinement of a plan to restore Wellness Counseling services for students as a campus-based college service.
  • Comply with existing Shared Governance Policies including but not limited to furlough, retraining, reassignment, and tenure.
  • Create a multifunctional representative group to focus on data monitoring and enrollment trends and to serve as a regular conduit of information to the Board of Trustees and all constituency groups.
  • Include a brief report, to encourage open dialogue, from the constituency group presidents at each Board of Trustees meeting.
  • Charge all four constituency group leaders to organize a Shared Governance Summit in the Spring of 2020 to help devise a consensus-based shared decision-making governance model based on current research and best practices in organizational justice.
  • Do not extend or renew the College President’s contract of employment.

Official HACC policy (Shared Governance Policy 106, Handbook, Section C) states:
"The president and his designee, the vice president of college advancement, are the primary spokespeople for the College and HACC Foundation on policy issues,… The integrated marketing communications coordinators are also authorized to serve as secondary spokespersons. No one else is authorized to communicate with the media about HACC and HACC Foundation business without written authorization from one of these individuals. This process ensures that the flow of information from the College is coordinated and controlled, and it protects the College both in good times and in times of crisis. When a crisis occurs, the media will look for anyone to serve as a source of information. It is important at all times, but especially in a crisis, that they refer the media to the Office of College Advancement if contacted directly.
Employees contacted by the media about official College and/or the HACC Foundation matters should take the reporter’s contact information and tell them a member of the Office of College Advancement team will follow up with them.  Employees then will email with the information and copy the vice president of college advancement.”

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