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Posted on Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 10:30 a.m.

Washtenaw Community College faculty members protest firing of VP to board

By Kellie Woodhouse

Editor's note: The last name of Stuart Blacklaw has been corrected.

A contingent of Washtenaw Community College faculty members told the Board of Trustees during a Tuesday meeting that they're concerned over the recent firing of the school's vice president of instruction, according to a report by radio station WEMU.


Rose Bellanca

"They loved that vice president and it's my job to move forward, I respect them," WCC President Rose Bellanca told WEMU. "I had to make a decision that wasn't very popular."

Stuart Blacklaw was fired on March 14, months before his contract expired in June.

Bellanca emailed faculty last week promising more communication and defending Blacklaw's firing.



Sun, Jun 2, 2013 : 3:09 p.m.

Question, did you hear the one about the VP who supported faculty; yet, he was fired? Did you hear the one about the former provost and interim president of SC4 who was censured; nevertheless, he was hired as the executive assistant to the president of Washtenaw Community College? You probably did not hear about the latter. Site:


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 4:34 p.m.

I attended WCC and it was a great place and a great education. Not sure why people want to trash the president but it trashes the school too when they do that.


Tue, Apr 2, 2013 : 12:30 a.m.

WCC is a great place... however that is because of the previous presidents great work. Hers however contains a lot of wasteful spending and separation of the groups on campus. While I was there many of the staff wanted to work together to do the best. Now because of Rose that is breaking down because she has reorganized and put up barriers that prevent that from happening. (reason why I no longer work there anymore)

Nikki River

Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 9:08 p.m.

There is a college and there is a president. They are not the same thing. You can love and advocate for one and be opposed to the other. It is a long-held American practice to love the country and criticize its president. To remain silent when you believe the leader is wrong is to jeopardize the country - or in this case the college.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 4:47 p.m.

. . . which ought tell you the level of concern they have for what's happening on that campus.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 3:17 p.m.

I do not understand the drama surrounding this event. All leaders create their own teams. Larry Whitworth who preceded Dr. Bellanca as WCC did the same in his first years. I Have met Stuart Blackwell and agree he is a nice guy. But it is the presidents role to determine if he is the right employee to assist her in meeting the future objectives of the college.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 11:48 p.m.

* there


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 11:47 p.m.

When Dr. Whitworth left the college, the faculty participated in a joyful send-off celebration and many speakers praised Dr. Whitworth's contributions. When Dr. Bellanca left St. Clair County Community College, their was a celebration, but Dr. Bellanca was not invited.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 4:22 p.m.

Wow. A respectful and thoughtful reply to Ms. Jernigan gets deleted. You guys must be in the bag for the prez.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 4:07 p.m.

I know Larry Whitworth. Larry Whitworth is a friend of mine. Mrs. Jernigan, Rose is no Larry Whitworth.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 3:32 a.m.

Let's be honest, she fired the vice president for no reason at all, and pulled some random guy to replace his job so quickly it was fishy. That leads me to one logical explanation. She probably knew the person that will be replacing the amazing former vice president. She probably has had a history with the replacement and knew him well and told him hey I can get you into WCC and we can work together and that helps people agree on deciosns that she wants to make. Someone altered to her views. Blacklaw probably saw her turning the college around and he was against all her decisons and ideas from the get go, so she fired him, hired someone she probably knew and now she had a person to agree with her. Btw I don't know anyone in this college who has actually said anythig positive about this President. The former presidents would always have there doors open and walk around the college, say hi to students, staff and be more engaged in the WCC community. This president has her door closed and if you ever do see her im sure its just a look a like of her that they hired. Haha, did i mention she got 2 secretaries and a president assistant? I mean cmon you are the president of WCC it doesnt require that many people to Aid you.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 11:52 p.m.

What are you talking about, Belia? The articles have almost exclusively offered the president's side of these issues.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 4:42 p.m.

I know lots of people who have said good things about the president. But people who are against her don't want to hear about the positives, and people who support her don't want to hear about the negatives. She is probably just a normal person with positives and negatives like anyone else.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 12:27 p.m.

Are you familiar with the office of a president for an academic institution and what the office does?


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 1:41 a.m.

"THESE people loved THAT vp" - Very telling language. "It's my job to move on." Wait what? Her job is to be an effective leader. Most people would see the massive groundswell of discontent as a clue.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 2 a.m.

She is no where close to an effective leader. She starts her job at WCC stating how great WCC is and how WCC is top notch then within 18months completely reorganizes and adds more top dead weight, fires well liked VP's and alienates almost every employee at the college.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 1:37 a.m.

The Washtenaw Voice has had the best reporting on this:


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 10:58 p.m.

"these people loved THAT vice president." Is Stuart now He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?

Alfred E. Newman's Ghost

Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 2:03 a.m.

Heck, he's got a couple different names in this one story ... so is it Blackwell as in paragraph 3 or Blacklaw as in paragraph 4?

Michigan Man

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 10:46 p.m.

Really long for the days of Gunder Myran type leadership - thoughtful, community oriented, down to earth, had the best interests of others, humanitarian, wanted the entire WCC community to do well, especially the students.

Alfred E. Newman's Ghost

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 10:33 p.m.

There is nothing more dangerous to an unpopular president than a popular vice president.


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 10:19 p.m.

"They loved that vice president" seems like it would be a good thing, not grounds for termination.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 3:24 p.m.

You'd think.....Insert shrug....

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 12:43 p.m.

Not with the current administration at WCC. GN&GL


Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 4:23 p.m.

1) I see that what would seem to be appropriate comments (not mine) have now been censored. Is the WCC prez now part of a protected class ? Maybe if you were expending resources actually investigating and reporting rather than monitoring and censoring on your web page? Just imagine what good things you migh do. 2) It is worth noting that nowhere in her self-congratulatory 10 minute "reply" to the faculty ("those people" as she called them in the WEMU interview--a telling choice of language) did she address the faculty's central concern: her utter failure to communicate with the faculty in any meaningful way. There could be no more glaring example of the problem. 3) Why wasn't the Snooze's education reporter there? Is not an educational institution with a $100 million budget, 1000 employees, and 12,000 students important for your "publication" to cover?


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 2 a.m.

You have called this exactly right.