Problems at Terra State Community College
Winner of 2018 Media Network of Central Ohio, April MVP Award
Winner of 2018 Media Network of Central Ohio, Jan. MVP Award, finalist
Winner of 2017 USA TODAY Network Journalism Awards, 4th quarter, Digital storytelling, finalist
Winner of 2017 Media Network of Central Ohio, Dec. MVP award, finalist
Dec. 16, 2017 – For decades, Terra State Community College has served as a workforce go-to for regional manufacturers. Sandusky County companies such as Crown Battery, Crescent Manufacturing Company and Whirlpool could rely on Terra State to produce a substantial portion of their skilled workers. But after weathering dramatic state budget cuts, steady declines in enrollment and cutting significant numbers of full-time faculty members, Terra State’s reliability has faded, according to some local manufacturing companies.
Jan. 24, 2018 – Former Terra State Community College nursing director Holly Penhos and two recent graduates sharply criticized the college’s handling of its nursing program, the program’s stability and an overall lack of communication between administrators and students at Wednesday’s board meeting.
March 15, 2018 – The Terra Faculty Association has filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the State Employment Relations Board against Terra State Community College over what Terra faculty president Steve Bender described as a pattern of Terra State interfering with concerted activities that were within union members’ employment rights.
April 26, 2018 – Terra State Community College president Jerome Webster said at Wednesday’s board meeting that he “unintentionally miscommunicated” that the cost to build student housing was $14.5 million, rather than $19.6 million, the first time publicly acknowledging the higher cost first reported by The News-Messenger. Webster said he used previously developed PowerPoint slides which caused the error.
May 25, 2018 – Terra State Community College president Jerome Webster resigned on May 16. Interim president Ron Schumacher steps into his new role after constant staff turnover, dwindling enrollment numbers and six years of deficit budget spending marked Webster’s tenure.
June 14, 2018 – Only 18 students have signed leases to live in the the new dorm under construction at Terra State Community College. The college formed the 501(c)3 Terra Village Holdings in January 2015 because Ohio law bars state community colleges from directly owning campus housing. Terra Village Holdings leases the land from Terra State for the student housing facility.
The spokesperson for Terra State is not answering whether or not the college has any obligations financially to cover any loans or financing related to the Landings at Terra Village dorms if Terra Village Holdings cannot meet a payment on the facility.
“Videos, info charts, a photo gallery, an info table – it’s all included within a well-reported story that heavily impacts a community. The video stories provide their own voices to the piece and nicely compliment the narrative.”
-2017 USA TODAY Network Journalism Awards, 4th quarter, digital storytelling, finalist “Terra urged to boost commitment to skilled trades”