Community members call for a new faculty contract

Man talking to table of people.
Rick Kull speaks to the Board of Trustees in support of a new faculty contract. (Photo by Will Johnson)

Eight community members attended the Board of Trustees meeting Monday to show support for the faculty’s ongoing negotiations for a contract.

Out of the attending community members, four addressed the trustees during the meeting’s public comment time.

Rick Kull, a Ford employee and MCCC alumnus, talked to the crowd.

“We all know the value of a dollar,” he said. “But what’s the value of the faculty and staff that adds to our community and school?”

Kull said he supports the faculty, as they have supported him.

“My value went up because of the education these people gave me,” he said. “I fully support the faculty and I hope you can get this settled in a fair and just way.”

Kull’s son Rob Kull, a candidate for state representative and MCCC alumnus, also voiced his support.

“These are the people who make this college great,” he said. “They’re the ones who come to work every day and make the classes fun. They teach the students here.”

Rob Kull also serves as a high school soccer coach. Kull said when his players ask him what school they should go to, he can’t recommend MCCC because of their treatment of faculty.

“I tell them ‘Well, Monroe County Community College is a good school, but there are some issues with the teachers, so maybe check some other stuff out,” he said. “And that breaks my heart.”

Kull said the faculty have gone too long without a contract.

“This is a great institution. We should go for the best,” he said. “And these people want to make it the best. It’s not the board. It’s the faculty, it’s the janitors, it’s the people who come to work every day and make that student experience the best it can be.”

Mark Bergmooser, president of the MCCC Faculty Association, said he did not know the community members would show up to the meeting.

“We are a community college,” he said, during an interview a day after the meeting. “This is a college of the community, for the community, supported by the community.”

Bergmooser said one of the reasons he works at MCCC is because he has been in Monroe County all his life.

“So to hear from those people who support it financially through their tax dollars, through those people who have attended here or send relatives or friends this way, it’s important to hear from those people,” he said. “That’s what matters, hearing their perspective.”

MCCC President Kojo Quartey said despite the community members at the meeting only speaking in support of the faculty, he has received community support for the administration side as well.

“The community is concerned, as they should be,” he said, during an interview a few days after the meeting. “Without a community, we would not be here. But you are seeing one part of the community. I’m in my community. I live here, I work here, I vote here and I interact with people all the time in the community.”

“I am hearing massive support from the community in terms of what the administration is doing here,” he said. “I have heard from many community leaders who have expressed their support for the administration.”

This article includes content regarding recent negotiations. To read more about those, click here.