The Oct. 5 Signal “Our View” editorial endorsement of Bruce Fortine and Michele Jenkins for the College of the Canyons Board of Trustees chides Jenkins for sending an “entitled” email to the College of the Canyons faculty.
The College of the Canyons Faculty Association would like to clarify that this email was not only “entitled” but also threatening.
Many of the faculty members expressed concern and fear about the tone of the email and wanted action taken. In response to this email, the Faculty Association filed a formal complaint with the Public Employees Relation Board alleging that Ms. Jenkins violated Government Code section 3543.5(a) and (b) by threatening reprisals against, interfering with, restraining, and coercing members of the faculty’s Political Action Committee and Association leaders because of the exercise of their rights.
After reading the editorial, even more faculty were concerned with The Signal’s endorsement and mischaracterization of the email. The COCFA Executive Board wrote this letter to the editor so that your readers can decide for themselves by reading the email sent by Ms. Jenkins.
In August, Ms. Jenkins sought the endorsement of COCFA in the upcoming COC Board of Trustees election, and it is well within our rights to endorse the candidate who best represents the faculty interests and concerns.
After completing our endorsement process, we phoned Ms. Jenkins to inform her that COCFA chose not support her candidacy. In response to our statement that COCFA did vote to endorse Jerry Danielsen, she stated, “I am finished with you people,” and hung up the phone.
The day after the COCFA president, Wendy Brill-Wynkoop, spoke with Ms. Jenkins on the phone she received the following email from Ms. Jenkins’ College of the Canyons email account:
“This message is to be totally clear about your phone call to me yesterday evening and to insure that my conversation with you is not misrepresented to faculty.
“I am finished with those few faculty members who sit on your PAC and will recall going forward those individuals.
“As an alum of COC and a contributor of thousands and thousands of scholarship dollars to students and to faculty who support student organizations, I am totally dismayed, but not surprised, that your PAC would endorse someone who has no history of community college or any sort of educational involvement.
“I will continue to support all of the hundreds of faculty who have already publically provided me with their written endorsement. I will also keep in my mind those few of you who sit on the COCFA and chose to endorse my opponent.”
The Signal received a copy of Ms. Jenkins’ email yet chose to endorse her candidacy.
In our opinion, the email is an example of her poor character and provides an example of one reason the faculty does not feel she is the best candidate for a trustee of an institution of higher education.