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Stuckey Named NSCC President; Contract Near?




The Northwest State Community College board of trustees named Thomas Stuckey president of the institution, and learned a contract with the NSCC Education Association may be near.

The association represents the college teaching faculty in labor negotiations with the board. NSCCEA members have been working without a contract since August 2006, when their contract expired.

Negotiations have been underway since then. In June, mediation failed, after State Employment Relations Board mediators worked with both sides for 22 hours.

The talks were headed for the fact-finding process.

Gretchen Boose, a member of the NSCCEA negotiating team, said negotiators for both sides wrapped up the tentative agreement Wednesday, Oct. 3.

The document had to be typed; the two sides met Thursday, Oct. 4, and signed the agreement, and that agreement was presented to the NSCC Board at their meeting on Friday, Oct. 5.

Joan (Mrs. Lynn) Aschliman, NSCC board of trustees chairman, said the board agreed to the contract, but board members weren’t sure if they could actually accept the contract before the education association’s membership voted on the agreement.

If necessary, Aschliman said the board will hold a short special meeting to vote on the agreement.

Rank And File

Boose said educational meetings will be held for association members today and tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 10-11.

After aspects of the contract are discussed, association members will vote.

“We could have the contract ratified by late Thursday,” Boose said.

Reaching an agreement through negotiations, “is much better than going through the protracted fact-finding process,” Boose said.

Stuckey

When asked why Stuckey was named president without a presidential search committee, Aschliman said, “We felt with the experience he had, and with the unsigned contract, it would be difficult to conduct a long search.

“He’s a good replacement. We felt he was the best candidate for the job, inside or out,” she said.

Stuckey was given an 18- month contract, at an annual salary of $124,000. He will be evaluated after one year, Aschliman said.

“We are very confident this is the direction we need to go. He (Stuckey) has the ability to take the college forward,” she said.

While Stuckey carries the title of president, M. Marshall Brown, NSCC director of public relations and marketing, said Stuckey’s contract, and the board’s resolution moving him to the post refer to him as a transitional president, for the 18-month term of the contract.

Stuckey replaces Betty Young, who announced her resignation, effective Aug. 31, on Aug. 7.

She held the post for four years. She is now the president of the Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, in Asheville, N. C.

Aschliman described Young as a visionary, a “president of change, who made good choices,” about the future of Northwest State.

Those changes are particularly important in light of changes in higher education that are coming down from the administrator of Ted Strickland, Ohio governor.

“There’s a new set of rules from the state,” Aschliman said, and as a result of Young’s work, Northwest State is ahead of other institutions.

Others, particularly the education association, had criticized Young’s management style.

“It is strange you had the same people involved in the negotiations over two years, and they could not resolve the contract until shortly after her departure,” Ken Esterline, co-president of the Northwest State Community College Education Association said.

Boose said, “With every new administration, there are new options, so there were more options available. Those options permitted the sides to resolve their differences.”

Esterline said he characterized the new agreement as, “a good compromise contract.”


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