Green River College President Eileen Ely, the target of unfair-labor-practice complaints by the faculty, resigned Thursday.
Eileen Ely, the embattled president of Green River College and target of three no-confidence votes by the faculty, resigned Thursday, effective immediately.
Her resignation was accepted unanimously by the college’s board of trustees after the board met in executive session for about 40 minutes. Neither Ely nor the board discussed her resignation in public.
Faculty union members have long been at odds with Ely’s leadership, saying she dismantled a culture of shared governance at the college and targeted union leaders with program cuts. On May 23, instructors went on a three-day strike to protest plans to eliminate 11 programs and courses at the college.
Ely has been president since 2010. The first no-confidence vote came in 2013, when faculty asked her to step down. The last no-confidence vote was in May. Instructors have also filed complaints of unfair labor practices against her.
Last year, they charged that Ely cut the college’s auto-body program because it was run by the head of the faculty union. They have also asserted that the college has mismanaged its money, funding unnecessary remodeling projects and constructing new buildings at a time when funds were in short supply.
Ely, a graduate of Kent-Meridian High School, came to Green River from Western Nebraska Community College and replaced Rich Rutkowski, who retired after 26 years.
A year ago, the board of trustees affirmed they had confidence in Ely’s leadership and rejected calls for her to step down. In November, the faculty voted that they had no confidence in the trustees.
Earlier this month, Derek Brandes, vice president of instruction at Green River, announced he was leaving the college to accept a job as president of Walla Walla Community College.
On Thursday, trustees voted to appoint Shirley Bean, vice president for business administration, and Marshall Sampson, vice president of human resources and legal affairs, as acting presidents.