You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 11:16 a.m.

Washtenaw Community College extends president's contract and fills vacant positions

By Chelsea Hoedl

Editor's note: The names of Larry Barkoff and Stuart Blacklaw have been corrected. Also, changes have been made after receiving a corrected press release from WCC. The year Rose Bellanca's contract is set to expire and the number of years Larry Barkoff has worked as an attorney has been corrected.

The Washtenaw Community College Board of Trustees voted to extend President Rose B. Bellanca’s contract by one year and appointed a new vice president and chief financial officer and a new general counsel in a recent meeting.

Thumbnail image for rose_bellanca_board_WCC.JPG

Washtenaw Community College President Rose B. Bellanca's contract has been extended by one year.

The one-year extension on Bellanca’s three-year contract, which will now expire in 2016, was unanimously approved by the board on June 25.

According to a news release, board members extended Bellanca’s contract because of her student-centered vision and her efforts to increase successful partnerships with area k-12 districts and local employees.

Bellanca, named president of WCC in 2011, has successfully secured new funding including a $2.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Initiative.

Despite her achievements since being appointed WCC president, there have been concerns among staff regarding a breakdown in communication between WCC’s faculty union and the college president.

Her decision to fire WCC Vice President of Instruction Stuart Blacklaw on March 14, several months before his contract was set to expire, also left faculty members upset and dissatisfied with her performance.

William Johnson will become the new vice president and chief financial officer after the WCC Board of Trustees unanimously approved his nomination. His appointment will be effective July 22.

Johnson will bring more than 30 years of senior management experience to the job. Previously, Johnson was a vice president for finance and administration at Marygrove College and a vice president for business and finance at the University of Detroit Mercy.

A new general counsel was also appointed on June 25. The board unanimously approved the nomination of Larry Barkoff. His appointment will be in effect starting July 22.

Barkoff has been an attorney for 12 years. Most recently, Barkoff served 10 years as a member of the Eastern Michigan University General Counsel Office. He also served as an associate attorney the Plunkett and Cooney Law Firm in Bloomfield Hills.

Chelsea Hoedl is an intern reporter for She can be reached at


Nikki River

Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 1:08 p.m.

The past is prologue:


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 4:42 a.m.

Three (3) Foolish appointments. Why say more? The Board is stone deaf. Stay tuned . . .


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 5:33 p.m.

What about the football program? Are they still turning the corner, or can they now see light at the end of the tunnel?


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 4:16 p.m.

The former vice president's name was Blacklaw, not Blackwell. The new general counsel's name is Barkoff, not Blackoff. The $2.9 million grant being credited to Bellanca was a wheel in motion before she even arrived on campus, and there's nothing in the story to explain why the Board gave this woman a raise in addition to a $15K housing allowance. (Does she not make enough money to pay for her own housing?) "That the Board of Trustees extend the appointment of Dr. Rose B. Bellanca as President and Chief Executive Officer to June 30, 2016, that her 2013-2014 salary be set at $202,878, and that the Chair of the Board of Trustees be authorized to sign a contract with Dr. Bellanca on behalf of the Board. The Board also authorizes the payment of 4% to Dr. Bellanca's current compensation as deferred compensation, a $15,000 housing allowance, and $9,500 to be paid to Dr. Bellanca for expenses related to her office." From the June 25,

Chelsea Hoedl

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 4:41 p.m.

I apologize for the mistake. The names have been corrected in the story.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 4:17 p.m.

From the June 25, 2013 Board meeting notes....