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Posted on Wed, Mar 20, 2013 : 10:15 a.m.

Personnel review sheds light on firing of Washtenaw Community College VP

By Kellie Woodhouse

Documents obtained by the Washtenaw Voice reveal that the school's President, Rose Bellanca, and its former head of instruction, Stuart Blacklaw, had repeatedly clashed prior to Blacklaw's firing last week.

Blacklaw was fired March 14, prior to his contract expiring in June.

According to an article in the Voice, WCC's student-run newspaper, Bellanca wrote in a June 28 review that communication between herself and her chief academic officer was poor.

“The faculty and deans know that he does not support the president and believe that there is a conflict between us. With the exception of scheduled appointments and meetings, Stuart rarely speaks to me," the review stated, according to the article.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 12:22 a.m.

Time to recall the current WCC trustees; they do not exhibit good stewardship. St. Clair CC warned you but you wouldn't listen. You were listening, weren't you? Washtenaw county taxpayers are watching. Millage vote coming up.


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 5:41 p.m.

Why is Ann taking her side?


Thu, Mar 21, 2013 : 1:06 p.m.

I will remember this whole sad affair when it's time to re-elect WCC trustees.

Princess Kitten

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 5:58 p.m.

As will I.


Wed, Mar 20, 2013 : 6:49 p.m.

Pathetically weak Board of Trustees..... Just check out their backgrounds and it will tell you all you need to know.


Thu, Mar 21, 2013 : 1:19 p.m.

A resume is not always a prescription for a good leader either.


Wed, Mar 20, 2013 : 7:27 p.m.

Perhaps at the community college level it is more difficult to attract trustees with big business expertise.


Wed, Mar 20, 2013 : 4:12 p.m.

What I'd like to know is this: why is this woman being allowed to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars (maybe more?) on consultants to help her figure out what to do with the college? Shouldn't she have enough experience at this level to know what she should be doing? No vision. No direction. No successful track record at other institutions. No communication with the community. No leadership. She's been removed from other institutions she's worked at for running the same plays. WCC means too much to this community to allow this to happen. The board of trustees should wake up and give this woman the gate before things get much worse.


Wed, Mar 20, 2013 : 3:30 p.m.

Wow, that article makes the WCC President out to be a micro manager who is managing by fear rather than leading by leadership. I'd like to see additional inquiry into this event to ensure there is not another side.


Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 2:53 a.m.

What's the positive side of leading through fear?


Wed, Mar 20, 2013 : 3:29 p.m.

Plain and simple she just didn't like him and I would venture to guess that it's because he could see right through her. Leaders like Bellanca lack the actual skills to do a good job and they deal daily with the fear of this lack being realized by those around them. They work best with those who agree with everything they say and do. I've met Bellanca and, initially, liked her. Her background is very similar to mine, so I thought this made us similar people, but, in fact, she is like many who end up in a leadership role - their true effort is put into the climb to the top.... not in doing the job well.


Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 3:02 a.m.

This is a disturbing analysis and judging from the votes, it looks like your insights are striking a chord.


Wed, Mar 20, 2013 : 3:29 p.m.

wow. read the article on Washtenaw Voice; my only question is this, how are earth do these mid-level people rank in such ridiculously high salaries? Bellanca gets paid $195,000!!! For what? This woman would be a low-level manager and get $85,000 in the private sector otherwise known as the real world.


Wed, Mar 20, 2013 : 3:31 p.m.

She's the president of the College. How much does the president of your company make?


Wed, Mar 20, 2013 : 3:19 p.m.

These two adults had advanced degrees in "communication." Duhh . . . Do ya think maybe the word "communication" is a code word used by academics for something else? Some other meaning that us peons lack the intellectual capacity to understand? BTW, "peons" includes all members of the BOT.