Setting the record straight

Published on Oct 21, 2014 5:17pm

Dr. Rose B. Bellanca, President

As President of Washtenaw Community College, I am charged by our Board of Trustees to be a visionary leader committed to advocate on behalf of the College to a wide variety of constituencies.

It comes with the territory that the decisions and activities of a college president are scrutinized – and they should be. Recently, stories in the local media questioned purchases on my college-issued credit card. These stories failed to provide perspective or details that clearly justify the expenditures and the wisdom of making such investments in WCC’s future. Moreover, the stories neglected to cite that my expenditures are in line with my predecessors.

Let me set the record straight. Every expenditure must answer a question: Does the money spent serve as an investment to benefit our students, faculty/staff, taxpayers and community-at-large? The answer is yes.

The resources and investments have reaped great rewards for the College and community.

WCC ended the 2013-2014 fiscal year with a budget surplus of $4.7M that will provide increased financial stability and sustainability and support our student success initiatives.

For the past two years, WCC received the highest percentage increase of all 28 Michigan community colleges in budget dollars from the state performance-based metrics.

WCC had a 4 percent increase in enrollment this past spring/summer semester. This fall, the College is ahead of its budgeted plan by more than 2.75 percent. Online enrollment is up over 17 percent from last year.

Our partnerships with the United Association of Plumbers, Pipefitters, Sprinkler Fitters, Welders and HVACR Technicians and the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Ironworkers brings in approximately $8 million in annual revenue to the county.

In the past year, our business partnerships grew from 5 to 41.

This year alone, we doubled the number of endowed scholarships.

We launched 5 new programs this fall.

Student satisfaction with instruction and services is over 90 percent.

As an experienced leader of public institutions, I have always been very judicious about my college-related expenses. Every expense has a positive return on investment. Tireless work will continue to bring in resources to support programs and student success. WCC encourages everyone to take a closer look at how we benefit the community we serve.

Take the
Next Step