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Faculty Senate lack confidence in Fernandez’ leadership

By Junhan B. Todeno SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Jan. 5, 2010) – In the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Northern Marianas College’s (NMC) Staff Senate has expressed support for beleaguered NMC President Carmen Fernandez.

NMC Staff Senate President Joyce R. Taro, in a report to the board of regents, said the staff senators met on Dec. 28 and came up with the position to support "the president by providing opportunities for open communication between the president and staff members in addressing any issues and concerns brought up by the staff."

Taro said their group is ready to take a "positive and proactive stance" in helping "our president and our fellow staff members in resolving any issues brought to our attention."

She said they will strive to fulfill the college’s mission and goals to better the institution.

The NMC Staff Senate, she added, will maintain the integrity of the college’s mission by serving as a liaison for the staff to the administration, faculty and students.

The NMC Staff Senate, moreover, will make recommendations to the administration to improve the welfare and overall success of the college, she said.

According to Taro, the NMC Staff Senate met with Fernandez on Dec. 23 to address issues and discuss plans for 2010.

On Dec. 18, the NMC Faculty Senate held a meeting, and 80 percent of those who attended expressed their lack of confidence in the leadership of Fernandez.

The board of directors of the NMC Foundation headed by Ben Babauta also met on Dec. 23 and expressed support for Fernandez.

The resolution was adopted by Babauta and members Jerry Tan, Ivan Quichocho, Yoichi Matsumura and Jack Kiyoshi, who represents the NMC Alumni Association.

The latest criticisms against Fernandez were triggered by her still unexplained decision to terminate the contract of long-time social science instructor Samuel F. McPhetres.

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