Today, during the weekly faculty meeting, Pomona faculty met and voted on a resolution pertaining to the recent document check situation.
The text of the resolution is as follows:
The faculty finds that the recent firings of employees as a result of re-verification of immigration documentation was in contradiction to the principles of inclusion established by this body. The faculty calls on the Administration to offer to fully fund all reasonable legal and documentation related expenses for all employees who were identified as needing to re-verify their employment eligibility, especially for the 16 employees fired on December 1 in order to help them complete the necessary paperwork. When the fired employees have the proper documents, it asks they be rehired with back pay for up to two years.
The resolution was presented with the following rationale (not voted on):
We are deeply disturbed at the direction the College has taken in its dealing with staff. We believe that the firings of 16 people on December 1 were unnecessary and could have been avoided. We also believe that the re-verification process itself was unnecessary and has caused distress to many who experienced the process as questioning their legitimacy as members of the community. We are further concerned that the re-verification process and the firings have intimidated workers attempting to exercise their legitimate rights to organize a union in the dining halls. Finally, we worry that these actions have riven our community and damaged the College’s standing in the wider society.
Despite repeated suggestions of legal and fair alternatives to the re-verification and firings that were suggested by faculty, students, alumni, legal experts, and members of the wider community, the Administration, apparently pressed by the Board of Trustees, took a set of actions that hurt loyal and long standing employees. Moreover, these firings have done damage to our community, raised disturbing questions about the College’s motivations, and violated principles of inclusion unanimously established by the faculty. President Oxtoby could have done more to slow the process or to seek alternative counsel, however, we believe that the Board of Trustees bears ultimate responsibility for these unfortunate developments. Therefore, it is with great regret, but also with the intention of healing the community, that we bring the following resolutions to the faculty.
A second resolution was also presented at the meeting, but because of time constraints, discussion and voting of the resolution was tabled until the next faculty meeting (scheduled for next Friday). The text of the second resolution is as follows:
The faculty resolves that it lacks confidence in the leadership of the Board of Trustees to be a proper steward of the community of Pomona College. It asks that the Board meet with the faculty in a special meeting next week to discuss ways to restore our confidence.”