Northeast State faculty holds vote of ‘no confidence’ against college’s President

BLOUNTVILLE, TN (WJHL) – Faculty members at Northeast State Community College are voting on whether or not they have confidence in their President, Dr. Janice Gilliam.

The vote requires a two-thirds majority to pass. If that’s the case, then it will be in the hands of the Tennessee Board of Regents to decide if any action will be taken.

Some faculty members at Northeast State Community College, such as Cate Strain, are ready for a change in leadership.

“I’m ready to see a different President,” Strain said.

Thursday, faculty members held a vote of no confidence for President Gilliam.

Nona Shepherd, the Vice President of the Faculty Senate, shared concerns with News Channel 11.

“We’ve had concerns. Running concerns about revenue projections, and it leading to the budget issue this year. And with some of the losses that we’ve had in terms of personnel,” Shepherd said.

Last week, Northeast State confirmed 13 currently vacant positions will remain vacant, while 5 other full-time positions were eliminated from the college’s budget.

Gilliam told News Channel 11 earlier this week that budget adjustments had to be made because of a decline in adult student enrollment and flat Tennessee Promise enrollment. But documents show enrollment actually increased by 90 students from the 2014-2015 school year to the 2015-2016 school year.

“We feel that we’re being lied to,” Strain said. “We can understand hardship. Oh, we have to tighten our belts. But we’re being actively lied to.”

News Channel 11 spoke with Dr. Gilliam earlier this week after she found out about the vote of no confidence against her.

“I ask every day am I doing everything possible to help our students be successful and I would challenge our faculty and staff to ask themselves that question,” Dr. Gilliam said.

Faculty senate members said the decision to hold a vote of no confidence was long deliberated.

“We feel that this was pretty much the end of a long road of discussions and not somewhere we came to in the spur of the moment,” Shepherd said.

Voting is closed at the Elizabethton and Johnson City locations. It remains open in Blountville until 8 p.m. Thursday.

Check with WJHL for updates on this developing story.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.


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