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Green River College Board of Trustees statement of support for President Ely

For Immediate Release

May 26, 2015

Media Contact:

Allison Friedly, Executive Director of College Relations


(253) 288-3360

(Auburn, WA - May 22, 2015) The Green River College Board of Trustees has received a letter signed by a number of faculty members indicating they have no confidence in President Ely. This letter comes in the wake of notification by College Administration to the Instructional Council of a potential reduction-in-force that could impact three programs at the College.

The Board fully supports Dr. Ely and the Administration in making what will no doubt be difficult financial decisions, in an effort to balance the budget at Green River College. Reductions in college enrollments, possible reductions in legislative funding, proposed changes in the allocation model from the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, and numerous unknowns that exist surrounding funding, have resulted in a projected deficit of nearly $5 million for the College. It is imperative that Green River assess all factors that are contributing to declining enrollment as well as our College's expenses. Administration is proposing difficult but necessary alternatives for the College, and we unequivocally support their choices. The Board has passed a resolution directing Dr. Ely to study the impact of any college policies, practices and procedures that have a negative effect on enrollment, retention, completion and, as a result, the College's financial stability and well-being. The results of this effort will inform and align the institution's continued work on the 2013-2020 Strategic Planning initiatives and outcomes.

Green River College has been a part of our community for fifty years. Like our cities, many businesses, and even local nonprofit organizations, the College has seen extremely challenging financial realities, and like the cities and businesses in our district, we must be good fiscal stewards to ensure the success of the students we serve; under the leadership of President Ely, we are doing just that. We implore college constituencies to work with our administration in their difficult work to increase revenue and reduce expenses. Through participatory governance, we continue to encourage and support a collaborative, problem-solving process. Most importantly, we wish to make it clear that we as a Board support the efforts of President Ely and her Administrative team.

We remain optimistic that with President Ely's leadership and the earnest collaboration of faculty, classified staff, students, board and community, the quality of the education and programs at Green River College will be maintained during this process.