Some faculty at Spartanburg Community College (SCC) are criticizing what they allege is heavy-handed governance and changes without faculty input by the school administration since new leadership in 2020, The Post and Courier reported.
There have even been calls for outside oversight agencies to investigate SCC. Meanwhile, SCC claims that it has had to intervene to quell distracting discontent.
SCC’s current president Dr. Michael Mikota took office in summer 2020.
Earlier this year, SCC began requiring technology professors to spend all of their work hours on campus, instead of the normal practice of allowing some hours at home to grade papers, develop lesson plans, and answer student emails.
And before faculty could vote on protesting the changes via the faculty senate, SCC blocked a mass email organizing the vote and replaced the senate body.
Senate President Dr. Bruce Dillenbeck has also alleged intimidation after he said he was copied in an email between campus police and the vice president of academic affairs that discussed “looking into Mr. Dillenbeck.” SCC has argued the email was sent by mistake and was instead about a student with a similar name.
“We will continue to focus our attention on our students and serving our communities while minimizing distractions and divisive attempts to derail our momentum for the benefit of future (SCC students) and the prosperity of our region and our state,” Mikota said in a statement.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the South Carolina Office of Inspector General have both acknowledged they are reviewing Dillenbeck’s complaints about SCC. The AAUP is investigating the school.
“The rest of the higher education sector knows that the AAUP stands for important principles and that they investigate carefully, that they make every effort to resolve issues short of (a) sanction,” said Dr. Carol Harrison, president of the AAUP’s South Carolina branch. “When the AAUP sanctions an institution, it is because there are things seriously amiss in the governance of that institution.”