“EGCC:The Public Shame” [][] A Poet-Teacher’s Viewpoint [][] #TRUTH #TOXICWORKPLACE


“A word after a word after word is power” –Margaret Atwood…a quotation that is especially true for what I’m about to discuss in the serious truth-telling video. Hi, I’m Poet Gloria Wimberley and this is Part 2 of my truth-telling trio of videos about Eastern Gateway Community College –Main Campus in Steubenville, Ohio exposing what I believe through the context of *my* first-hand experience to be a Toxic Workplace and Hostile Work Environment Incidentally this conclusion is founded on a meticulous file of emails-as-evidence copious notes taken during in-person faculty and staff meetings, adjunct orientations, webinars, etc. throughout the years. At this juncture, I believe it is paramount to note that this vindication video serves as a mouthpiece for not only me but for all the OTHER many faculty and staff members in various departments–12 of whom I could list by name– who were also wronged by EGCC Administration. In my experience and others’ experiences, EGCC expects victims of Workplace Bullying to be swept under the rug and forgotten because *they* say so… Well, NOT this time. I, along with countless other EGCC employees, have witnessed first-hand the public shaming of faculty and staff by a variety of methods… –wronged by public-shaming emails that are not sent just to the parties *involved* in a given situation –but to the entire college–as in, hundreds, possibly thousands of EGCC employees at all of the Ohio campuses and distance-learning sites in myriad other states across America. Over my 4 1/2years of teaching at EGCC, I witnessed this uncalled-for atrocity-by -email Lawyer Sherrie Van Tassel’s favorite M.O. to punish employees–and on several occasions when several occasions when multiple competent and dedicated co-workers were needlessly public-shamed in this outrageous hostile, unprofessional, inappropriate, inexcusable, and unequivocally BULLYING manner. Besides public-shaming emails employees have been suddenly terminated by EGCC Administration for no discernible cause or reason provided to them, older employees nudged into retirement, and other male and female employees of all ages made to feel blatantly unwelcome and/or ignored in the workplace, which COULD BE reasonably construed as constructive discharge. …In addition, a couple years ago when incoming EGCC President Jimmie Bruce along with the President’s Council implemented a transition process –aka personnel housecleaning-of-sorts, several employees who had worked tirelessly for EGCC for decades (DECADES) were let go and then promptly escorted by Security from the campus to their vehicles in the parking lot– the upsetting nature of these incidents were questioned and discussed at a large faculty and staff meeting that I attended along with countless other employees. I witnessed a distraught female employee IN TEARS at this very meeting. Other hardworking devoted employees’ career positions were abruptly dissolved and these employees REPLACED in the blink of an eye. The shock of *Here today, Gone tomorrow* **was / is** apprehensively whispered about by EGCC employees in hallways, offices, the parking lot, etc. …Now before I divulge the details of my negative EGCC experience that could have been prevented by the EGCC Administration/ Powers-That-Be who made a monstrous mountain out of a non-existent molehill, I believe it is crucial to note that I taught College English (i.e. Writing and Literature) at a combined total of 9 (nine) colleges and universities–from the state of West Virginia to Ohio to the Washington DC-Northern Virginia area to Central Florida and South Florida, including the vibrant city of Miami, for 19–almost 20 years and I never experienced such unbridled unprofessionalism hostility, mistreatment, and rampant across-the-board negativity as I have at EGCC (formerly Jeff Tech) as it is known colloquially and casually in the Ohio Valley area. Furthermore, it is important to note that Ohio lawyers in 2017 that were made aware of my experience stated that they considered EGCC’s treatment of me to be quote: “UNETHICAL.” Additionally, they stated that the primary reason that they could not take legal action against EGCC was ONLY and I emphasize **ONLY** because I was Contract Faculty …Contractual Educator, also known as an Adjunct Instructor. This supportive explanation on their part was a consolation and an impetus for me to seek justice by another method…hence my truth-telling videos. Ok, having said all that, I will now reveal step-by-step what happened to me after I sincerely, thank you in advance for your kind and MUCH-valued support (~Thank You~)… In November 2017, I was offered several English courses by Humanities Department secretary Nicole Davis- Schuetzner to teach for Spring Semester 2018. A week later, Davis-Schuetzner who it is absolutely NECESSARY to note is…demonstrably bitter, spiteful-by-nature, insecure, and more than a tad UNPROFESSIONAL in her dealings with–not only me–but OTHER faculty and staff members…as evidenced by her *literally* SCREAMING like a banshee on the phone during conversations with me, for example, and disrespectfully sniping at her direct supervisor, a former Humanities Dean, who *understandably* chose to leave the abysmal chaos of EGCC; most definitely High Turnover is a *well-known problem* at EGCC—-to be clear, the aforementioned account was shared with me by a trustworthy EGCC employee who witnessed Secretary Nicole’s unprofessional behavior In fact, my in-person conversations on campus with several EGCC employees indisputably **echo** my first-hand observations of Secretary Nicole’s unbecoming workplace behavior. OK, to recap: Secretary Nicole Davis-Schuetzner, a mere week later, abruptly and out-of-the-blue took all of my spring semester courses away and eliminated me from the EGCC teaching schedule–with ZERO explanation whatsoever. I was dismayed and shocked-to-the-core to say the least. Provost Anne Loochtan (who Davis-Schuetzner had tersely instructed me to speak to directly about my courses being taken away) refused to answer my polite and courteous questions via email, or return any of my calls after I telephoned several times leaving messages with her Assistant Carol Vitlip who assured me that Provost Loochtan would definitely call me back –That never happened however. Provost Loochtan never did call me back or answer any of my questions or provide a much-DESERVED explanation. Loochtan’s nonsense concluded with her having EGCC lawyer Sherrie Van Tassel answer HER– Loochtan’s EGCC office phone,–in what could be rightfully assumed to be an ambush. Like most people in such a situation, I felt uncomfortable and politely declined to speak to the lawyer, since my *OWN* lawyer was not present to protect me as an employee. EGCC lawyer Van Tassel sent me a nasty letter via email and snailmail THREATENING ME to stop discussing the details of the situation with my EGCC co-workers… situation that *I* considered to be indicative of a Toxic Workplace and Hostile Work Environment In light of the way all three of these individuals had collectively mistreated me from day one of this unpleasant and progressively- escalating situation. Despite the lawyer’s attempts to silence me, I received indisputably positive and steadfast support verbally, in-person, and through email from several EGCC co-workers… Some of whom even kindly forwarded my explanation emails (on their own and by- their-choice) of what I was experiencing from EGCC Administration to other upper level, top-tier employees in various departments of the college to make them aware of how I–an unfailingly Dedicated, Competent, Compassionate, and Caring Teacher was being mistreated. Next. Towards the end of Fall Semester 2017 before my afternoon English class was about to start, I was taken aback by a male security guard who came to my classroom and escorted me to the Main Security Office. One student witnessed this event; this individual is the last student to ever see me on the EGCC Campus and will remain nameless since I choose to protect their identity. After I entered the Security Office as escorted by the male security guard, Head of Security Jackie Laverick (who has always been kind, fair, and professional to me during my 4 1/2 years teaching at EGCC, by the way), politely informed me that EGCC lawyer Van Tassel had told her–Jackie– to tell me that she was on her way! This hasty meeting was impromptu/ spur-of-the-moment… I had NOT been properly informed. AT ALL. …In response, I politely stated that I did not wish to speak to the EGCC lawyer –the obvious reason being that MY lawyer was not present because I had *not* been given the opportunity to contact my lawyer in time ____Thus, I considered their irrational Ill-considered actions to be an unfair AMBUSH. Again,I was ***AMBUSHED.*** Laverick further informed me as relayed to her by the EGCC lawyer that… –consequently– I was to have no further in- person contact with the students in all my classes that my EGCC workplace email address would be CUT OFF: effective immediately! which meant I was FORBADE to pass back their graded assignments, FORBADE to administer Final Exams, FORBADE to enter their Final Course Grades in the Self-Service Faculty Portal…as well as crucial Attendance information which is essential for Student Financial Aid purposes… FORBADE to communicate with my students via the EGCC workplace email to explain to them ***WHY*** all of this outrageous and amazingly- unprofessional NONSENSE was happening! In effect, **DISRUPTING their educational process** and creating a huge, chaotic ridiculous ***MESS*** for a bunch of sweet hard-working students trying to better their lives by succeeding in college. …Fortunately for me, most of my students over the years were/are connected to me via the LinkedIn professional network for career reasons; by virtue of all my 14,600+ plus connections in all of their various career fields HELPfully flowing into their LinkedIn queues. Since my workplace email address had been completely cut off for NO fathomable reason by EGCC Administration…As a result, I then had NO alternative but to communicate with my students via LinkedIn. Knowing how Lawyer Van Tassel’s past history of public-shaming EGCC employees through college-wide emails sent to hundreds—-perhaps thousands—-of a ECCC employees at all levels, I asked people connected EGCC if such an unkind, scathing email had been sent from EGCC Administration to everyone about me. They said YES. One kind soul (who will remain nameless because I choose to protect their identity) forwarded the offensive email to me via LinkedIn. The content of the emails comprised of inflammatory, outrageous falsities–in MY estimation as a working professional– clearly **defaming my character and assassinating my overall reputation as an Educator** with close to twenty years of college teaching experience…and the last and most impactful step: Sharing my eye-opening experience to spread much-needed awareness about the EXTREME UNPROFESSIONALISM of EGCC administration and their workplace practices via my truth-telling videos on a variety of social media platforms including YouTube, Twitter, etc. Having revealed how this fiasco unfolded, I will now add that several longtime members of EGCC faculty and staff –individuals who have worked there for 20 years, even 30+ years–had promised to write letters of recommendation that I could use for other for career pursuits, moving forward. But because one can only assume that EGCC Administration made these employees incredibly uncomfortable–even FEARFUL… One ECCC employee nervously stated that they could not write a letter of reference on an official EGCC letterhead; it was strongly implied by this person that the EGCC administration powers-that-be would… “FROWN ON THAT.” **Yes, ladies, and gentlemen. This is exactly the type of stressful hostile workplace environment that EGCC is!** Although I unfortunately did not receive a large bunch of letters of reference that I had been expecting from these kind, reliable co-workers who I *do* understand (practically speaking) did not wish to jeopardize their longtime EGCC jobs and job security… …Yet, I did receive a couple *glowing* letters of reference typed on letterhead; and for that I’m genuinely thankful; they join the MANY ultra-positive helpful letters of recommendation that I received from college and university English Department Chairpersons, Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs, Professors, Students, etc. over the decades, in my overall career file. πŸ™‚ Pleased to share that despite the EGCC debaucle, I am busy and fulfilled with my current career endeavors πŸ™‚ …Speaking of careers and workplace literature, insights gleaned from recent readings beg the question: Why does EGCC Administration continue to fail **SO** MISERABLY at their overall dealings with employees?? …In all likelihood. It is ALL the following: Firstly, EGCC administration “misses organizational clues, norms, decision networks, and politics. These type of leaders are mostly clueless and leading in name only…” “they somehow landed a leadership title– most likely by accident, circumstance, or favoritism.” “they have very little emotional intelligence in terms of self-awareness AND” “organizational awareness” Secondly:” they avoid dealing with and resolving conflicts” “FAILING LEADERS avoid dealing with conflict, fail to provide constructive feedback, and duck key relationship issues.” And finally: “Most leaders can learn, develop, and increase their emotional intelligence” “It takes assessment, self-motivation, awareness, practice and feedback” …and without a doubt LEARNING from the genuine wisdom of *****EMPLOYEES-in the trenches***** …not high on an *out-of-touch* perch of *perceived* power. *****AWESOME VIEWERS***: Please SHARE THE AWARENESS about EGCC and its hotbed of workplace negativity with everyone you know in the Ohio Valley and Beyond–because as I’ve already experienced: The TRUTH DOES PREVAIL. Two fitting quotations to leave you with as food for thought: “A word after word after a word is power”– by Margaret Atwood, and from LORN
(L-O-R-N) aka Marcos Ortega in his song “Acid Rain”: “Nothing like a big bad bridge to go burning through.” ***COLLEGE STUDENTS OF THE OHIO VALLEY AND ELSEWHERE…YOU AND I…*** We ALL deserve BETTER than EGCC! LIKE**SHARE**LEAVE A POSITIVE COMMENT BELOW… πŸ™‚ ***PASS IT ON and PAY IT FORWARD*** because the TORCH OF TRUTH BURNS ON AND OOOOOOOON. **** πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ **** …Subscribe to my YouTube channel, and Follow Me on TWITTER: @Dahlia_PROetess.com