Angry at a breakdown in communication, Washtenaw Community College’s faculty union voted “no confidence” in WCC president Rose Bellanca last year. The union also filed a complaint with the commission that accredits the college and endorsed three candidates who won seats on its seven-member board of trustees.

Yet in July the entire board, including the new trustees, voted to raise Bellanca’s salary by 2 percent, to $211,140, and extend her contract by a year, to 2018. “A lot of people were really disappointed,” says union president Maryam Barrie.

New trustee Christina Fleming calls the vote “the pragmatic choice … [the president] has four solid votes with the existing board members.” New trustee Ruth Hatcher adds that Bellanca “fulfilled all the expectations [the old board] had for her.” But, Hatcher adds, the previous board never asked Bellanca to meet with the faculty. “The board has asked her now.”

So has the North Central Association’s Higher Learning Commission. In July, the group asked Bellanca to provide a written update by January 2016 “on the overall climate related to communication” at the college, including “documentation such as committee meeting minutes.”

Bellanca wasn’t available for comment, but she evidently got the message. Barrie says the president and other administrators met in August “with me and my negotiator, David Fitzpatrick … Everyone was very civil and calm and polite. It’s a big change.”