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Records Request Shows Response To ‘No Confidence’ Vote

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In an email included in a public records request, one of the administrators given a vote of “no confidence” responded to the news of the vote from the Hocking College Education Association, faculty and staff.

Emails and documents related to the no confidence vote were part of a public records request filed by WOUB on Feb. 10 and received on Tuesday.

A number of emails came after The Athens Messenger had asked for Hocking President Dr. Betty Young’s and Dr. Myriah Davis’ reaction to the vote. The media inquiry was prior to the Feb. 9 Hocking College Board of Trustees meeting in which Chairman Tom Johnson publicly announced the decision of the faculty and staff.

Davis sent the request on to other college employees.

“I received the below message this evening and wanted to make everyone aware of the dialogue on campus as it will likely be a news article tomorrow,” Davis wrote.

Penny Payne, listed as the Public Safety Services Commander for the college, wrote back, asking what the vote meant for Davis and Young.

“Nothing really, business as usual,” Davis wrote in reply.

Young did not make any comment on the request, instead asking for a copy of the document and the source for the document.

In a previous interview with WOUB, the president of the association, Dr. Jerry Hart,  said that Young was made aware of calls for a “no confidence” vote well before the Messenger inquired about it. In an email to Chairman Johnson a day before the trustees meeting, Hart said Young told him to “go ahead, the board will probably give me a raise.”

Young has not responded to multiple requests from WOUB  for comment on the vote and statements made by the association.

The college president received 92 votes of “no confidence” out of 99 voting members from the full-time faculty and professional staff. One vote was cast having “full confidence” in Young’s leadership, one voter said they had “some confidence” and five voters said they have “little confidence” in the leadership role of the president, according to the document, obtained by WOUB.

Davis received 76 votes of “no confidence,” 14 of “little confidence,” eight saying they had “some confidence” and one with “full confidence.”

When the vote was announced publicly, Johnson said the board “has full confidence in the job that Dr. Young and Dr. Davis are doing.”

In comments included with the vote, signed by Hart, the education association cited over-capacity classes, fewer class sections and the college’s “inability to find qualified adjuncts to replace faculty who were dismissed by Dr. Young or who chose to resign due to the toxic environment.”

Statements from the faculty and staff also claimed that Young “fails to maintain the transparency of the leadership’s intentions, creating policies that eliminate trust within the organization, resulting in an extremely hostile work environment.”

Regarding Davis, who served as interim president after former college president Ron Erickson resigned in 2014, members claimed she had a lack of experience outside of Hocking College and “is forced to invent processes and methods without any knowledge of how colleges and universities typically work,” according to the document.

The decline in enrollment at the college was a focus of the comments made against Davis and they claim Davis does not properly vet the policies with faculty.

“Most times she has merely mentioned such policies in passing or has casually discussed them with a small group of faculty, telling the faculty members that the idea is being considered,” the document stated.

This is the fourth vote of no confidence voted against Young in her career. She also received votes of no confidence at Northwest Community College in Archbold, Ohio; Houston Community College’s Coleman College for Health Sciences in Texas; and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College in Asheville, North Carolina.

Read the public records documents here: Hocking Vote Documents