Among the documents that have been circulating clandestinely is a remarkable letter from Susan Bell, Dean of Instruction, who, with 12 years experience in the Mendocino College system, is the most senior administrator on the campus. Dated Sept. 18, 1996, Dean Bell addresses the Board of Trustees, the highest governing body of the college. The letter contains shocking accusations against the two ranking administrators of our college, Dr. Carl Ehmann, President, and Don Vasconcellos, Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs.
In the letter, Ms. Bell says, "I have never in my professional life been put in a position in which I had to resort to informing a governing board about irregular practices by my supervisor and others in upper management—but then, I have never before felt I had been slandered or felt the immense burden of disillusionment among my coworkers and some of our students."
Ms. Bell also specifically asks for a review of her charges by someone other than the current administration.
In all this, the EAGLE is a forum. If we make a mistake, let it be in the direction of the truth, by revealing, if anything, too much of what has happened. We are well aware of the results of leaving things to "confidential" meetings.
Dean Bell's letter is reprinted below. The flap over the new PR Director–or more precisely–the frustration over how she was chosen, is presented by faculty Dance Instructor Leslie Saxon-West (page 2), the response from Dr. Ehmann (page 3).
We have reprinted most of correspondence and meeting minutes that have passed by us in the last two weeks (page 5). If we have missed something crucial, please let us know.
This EXTRA is a beginning—not an end—of the dialog. What has started as a negative outburst will change to a positive contribution as we take the time to think about what we are doing together. The EAGLE will continue the discussion with the community in the next issue of the EAGLE (due in one week), by phone (468-3096), by fax (462-6873), by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), on the world wide web (www.pacific.net/~dglaser/EAGLE/*eagle.html), and in person.
See you on the quad.
As we said in the previous issue of the EAGLE, "We all need to take some time to think about the purpose of our activity together. If you are a faculty member, an administrator, or on the staff of this newspaper, it is important to do some soul searching about what your goals are, and how your work relates to the college and its goals."
Copyright Mendocino College Eagle 1996
Permission granted to excerpt or use this article if source is cited