Academic Senate Asks Trustees to Postpone PR Appointment

By Lynda B. Myers, acting president of the Academic Senate.

Editors Notes:

Upon hearing Ms. West's ardent plea, the Academic Senate was not willing to take the step of opposing the appointment in such extreme terms.

The Senate heard supporting statements and letters from other informed sources including Kathy Shearn, Holly Brachman and Ruth Lincoln.

After some discussion, the Senate showed its support for the insurgent faculty by asking the Board of Trustees to postpone the appointment of the PR position for one month while the charges of impropriety were investigated.

Here is the text that was presented to the Board of Trustees by Lynda Meyers, acting President of the Academic Senate.

For the Academic Senate

Presented on 10/2/96 (to the Board of Trustees)

At the September 27th meeting of the Academic Senate, a motion was passed which instructed the Senate representative to the Board of Trustees to ask the Board to postpone the confirmation of the Public Relations/Foundation hiring for one month, until the November meeting, to allow the Senate time to discuss and respond to pending resolutions which express concerns about the process used to hire this position.

There were some compelling reasons for the Senate to take this unusual action.

The selection of the Public Relations/Foundation officer has caused faculty members to express deeply held concerns over possible improprieties in the hiring process at Mendocino College.

Even many faculty members who favor confirmation of the hiring committee's choice, are concerned about possible improprieties in the process.

While the letter of law was apparently followed, in an institution which relies upon the public trust for legitimacy and effectiveness, even the appearance of impropriety must be strictly avoided.

The possible improprieties included the following:

1. A hiring committee without members who had expertise in graphics, printing, or marketing, leaving open the question as to qualifications of prospective candidates.

2. Rejection of faculty and staff who possess expertise in these areas, and who offered to serve on the hiring committee.

3. A job description for the Public Relations/Foundation officer which contained no baseline academic qualifications.

4. Change from former job descriptions for a Public Relations position made without consultation or input from faculty.

Many faculty are deeply concerned with the appearance of improprieties in the hiring process. In order to give all faculty time to engage in meaningful discourse, we request the confirmation of the Public Relations/Foundation position be postponed for one month, or until the next board meeting.

Thank you.

On October 2, after hearing the evidence reprinted here, the Board of Trustees voted to reject the Senate proposal to postpone the appointment and to install Lael Morrison as the new Public Relations Officer for Mendocino College.

More detailed questions are contained in another letter from Ms. West. (see page 5).

Copyright Mendocino College Eagle 1996
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