Guilford Community Insists that Highly Paid Employees Forgo Salaries to Compensate for Furloughing

Guilford College, President, VP's, Board of Trustees

Unnamed
http://yourlifebydesigncoaching.com/core-values/

Students, alumni and the extended Guilford Community are asking that Jane Fernandez and her Cabinet reject salary payments for the months of April and May, and ideally until further notice. Jane Fernandes, Len Sippel, Ara Serjoie, Barbara Lawrence and Roger Degerrnan and other high paid employees, as well as any well-compensated consultants, with enhanced financial security, we ask you to reject salary payments for the time being and redirect that money back into the employees who have been furloughed. You all are supposed to be leaders of our community and should always lead by example, letting the community know that you lead with INTEGRITY. There should be an emphasis on EQUALITY, recognizing that a ‘top-down’ approach is needed in this situation.  Most importantly, 12 month staff need to return to work immediately and seasonal employees need to be ensured of jobs no later than June 1st.

A number of community members from multiple departments received the news on April 2nd, 2020 that the school would be furloughing 130+ employees indefinitely, with a reassessment of employment beginning at the start of the new fiscal year, June 1st, 2020. Furthermore, Guilford College hopes to bring most employees back to work once the new fiscal year begins. Furloughed employees will still receive health, life and disability insurance, and will be able to file for unemployment. Over recent days, students have been able to see just how deep these effects will run, as essential members of our community have announced their departure.




Petition by
Morgan  Dolak
Greensboro, North Carolina

To: Guilford College, President, VP's, Board of Trustees
From: [Your Name]

SITUATION
A number of community members from multiple departments received the news on April 2nd, 2020 that the school would be furloughing 130+ employees indefinitely, with a reassessment of employment beginning at the start of the new fiscal year, June 1st, 2020. Furthermore, Guilford College hopes to bring most employees back to work once the new fiscal year begins. Furloughed employees will still receive health, life and disability insurance, and will be able to file for unemployment. Over recent days, students have been able to see just how deep these effects will run, as essential members of our community have announced their departure.

Students and community members recognize that the college had to make decisions during times of financial instability. The recent COVID-19 outbreak created a bigger challenge for the college, and the college needed to respond immediately. We understand that the college needed to make a decision. However, students do not understand why the highest paid positions were protected while staff positions were seen as temporarily disposable. Students need these employees more than you need months of comfortable living. We know you are understanding of this. And we understand this will not be enough to bring back all who have lost their employment.

IMPACTED DEPARTMENTS (based on discussions between students and affected parties because the college has not released an official list)
Bonner Program (all)
Friends Center (majority)
Intercultural Engagement Office (all)
Health and Wellness Center (1 therapist remains)
A large number of the Hege Library staff
Student Affairs (most)
All but 2 in Diversity Equity and Inclusion
Global and Off-Campus Initiatives (formally known as study abroad) (⅔ of department)
All Athletic Coaches, assistants, and support of the athletic department
4 in Facilities and grounds keeping
Public Safety (some)

WHAT WE ARE ASKING
Students and the extended Guilford Community are asking that Jane Fernandez and her Cabinet reject salary payments for the months of April and May, and ideally, until further notice. Jane Fernandes, Len Sippel, Ara Serjoie, Barbara Lawrence and Roger Degerrnan and other high paid employees, as well as any other well-compensated consultants, with enhanced financial security, we ask you to reject salary payments for the time being and redirect that money back into the employees who have been furloughed. You all are supposed to be leaders of our community and should always lead by example, letting the community know that you lead with INTEGRITY. There should be an emphasis on EQUALITY, recognizing that a ‘top-down’ approach is needed in this situation. Most importantly, 12 month staff need to return to work immediately and seasonal employees need to be ensured of jobs no later than June 1st.

WHY
Guilford College advertises a number of core values that the institution claims to adhere to. In previous years, students, alumni, faculty and staff have expressed their concern that President Jane Fernandes, the Board of Trustees, and the President’s Cabinet are not abiding by these values when making decisions about the Guilford Community. Transparency from the administration to students has been absent and students have been forced to deal with decisions that have produced ripple effects impacting the community and their day-to-day operations. There has been great insecurity as students, alumni, faculty and staff worry about where Guilford’s priorities lie. The decision to put 130+ staff members on furlough speaks directly to who the Guilford administration values and who they don't. The actions taken from here on out will show the true values of the administration. We hope that the Guilford College administration and Board of Trustees will hear us, and take action accordingly.

DEMANDS FOR GUILFORD COLLEGE TO HOLD THEIR VALUES:
INTEGRITY: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. Some data indicates that integrity is more impactful than other leadership qualities like fairness or decisiveness. Leaders need to model and actively reinforce integrity for everyone to create a culture that values integrity
COMMUNITY: a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. Honesty and openness can help you learn what you can do better. “"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members." – Coretta Scott King
EQUALITY: the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities. a top-down approach is needed to foster bottom-up change. Guilford College has a responsibility to contribute to a greater good. An organization can be profitable, but can not place greater value on profit than on the individuals of the community.

*** A petition has been made by a member of the Bonner Community calling for Guilford to reverse their decisions that directly impact the Bonner scholars. Service Learning is an essential initiative to a large number of Guilford students’ educational experiences and community service engagements. There are 15+ Bonner projects or project sites that low income, first-generation and other marginalized members of the Greensboro community benefit from that will experience loss of connection between them and Guilford as well as will be negatively impacted by the uncertain future of the relationships. PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION, https://www.change.org/p/guilford-college-bonner-center-and-program-staff-at-guilford-college?recruiter=741816097&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=psf_combo_share_initial&utm_term=psf_combo_share_abi&recruited_by_id=1c78f220-5e5c-11e7-8048-79a68e77bb39&share_bandit_exp=skip-21313602-en-US&share_bandit_var=v2&utm_content=fht-21313602-en-us%3Av16