Staff, faculty want Holyoke rep. at HCC

  • Holyoke Community College GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 4/7/2021 8:57:47 PM

HOLYOKE — Unionized staff and faculty at Holyoke Community College are calling on Gov. Charlie Baker to end what they call “the snub of Holyoke” by appointing a city resident to the college’s board.

Currently, the college’s board of trustees has no members who live in Holyoke. But with a vacancy created by the resignation of Jose Delgado, a Springfield resident recently named to run Baker’s western Massachusetts office, HCC’s chapter of the Massachusetts Community College Council says that position should be filled by someone from the Paper City.

“We are concerned about representation from the community we serve and that founded and has nurtured the college for 75 years,” the chapter’s president, Laura Schlegel, wrote in a letter to Baker. “Although the surrounding communities are well represented on the board, and we even have a trustee who lives in Connecticut, Holyoke must not be ignored.”

Schlegel — an adjunct English professor and herself a lifelong resident of Holyoke — said in an interview that the college serves many residents of Holyoke, which is one of the state’s poorest communities.

“This is Holyoke, and having somebody who knows what’s going on in the city, who’s familiar with the challenges we face in the city, it would be the best thing for Holyoke,” she said. 

In a statement, a spokesperson for Baker’s office declined to say whether the governor is considering the request.

“The Governor’s Office is working to appoint a qualified candidate to fill the vacancy left by Jose Delgado,” the statement reads.

Schlegel said the union had yet to hear back from Baker’s office.

“We need a trustee who will work with the union as well as the different constituencies at HCC,” Schlegel said. “We need somebody who is willing to listen to concerns but also be transparent.”

Dusty Christensen can be reached at

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