Thank goodness, Phil Hoke and the faculty senate dug down deep and stood up to bullying, illegal actions, abuse of power and taxpayer dollars. The Garden City Community College Board of Trustees have stood by too long and allowed disgraceful activity to continue at the college, not to mention possibly illegal activity. You have put the college in a position to be subject to lawsuits on many fronts.
You owe a well thought out response and plan of action to this community. You have a fiduciary duty as elected officials. I have lost respect for some of you who I thought were leaders in the community. It is not your duty to continue covering up and protecting the president. The president has allegedly abused his power, violated employees’ rights, known and possibly covered up violations of NJCAA’s rules, and a whole laundry list of other accusations (many of which could be proved if you would allow them to be).
As a licensed CPA in the state of Kansas, we learned in our first ethics class that “The Tone Starts at the Top.” And nothing could be further from the truth in this instance. And know that this is not about my husband, Terry Lee’s, name being mentioned on page 15 of the 28-page handout you were given by faculty senate. We were not involved in the preparation of that document, nor did we have any knowledge of it until our phones started ringing Wednesday morning. But we, or I, have been silent far too long.
The college’s reputation has taken a big hit the last several years, and now their accreditation is in jeopardy. You have been a part of that regardless of whether you were not aware of the totality of the situation, stuck your heads in the sand, or were just plain too arrogant to allow yourselves to listen to the past or current faculty and staff, as well as various community members.
It is time to do the right thing. Please refresh yourselves on the definition of a board member and trustee: The Board of Trustees has fiduciary responsibility for the governance of the college, serving to oversee and shape its broad policies. The president is the chief executive officer of the college. The president and his or her senior staff are responsible for the implementation of college policy (and you have allowed him to put himself in the position of a trustee by being the “secretary” of the board and sit in on executive sessions). Is it your policy to foster a hostile work environment? Is it your policy to violate NCJAA rules? Is it your policy to violate people’s right to privacy? Is it your policy to drive away talented, ethical and dedicated instructors and staff?
Listen to the people who elected you, as well as the hardworking people in this community whose tax dollars help support the very institution you have a fiduciary responsibility to govern.