Running in Place

Congratulations to everyone, and especially to ESEA, for righting the wrong that was done to ALL of our contracts. If Steve Marlowe’s contract could be terminated, then so could all of our contracts. But let’s not forget that we are technically no farther ahead than we were in April. We have kept Steve’s position, but we have lost some good people who couldn’t wait for the climate at Edison to change. In other words, we are running as fast as we can just to stay in one place. Change at Edison is going to take more super human effort.

I hope Larry gets his apology, but asking for it may also guarantee that it won’t happen. We have all worked on committees, interviewed candidates, written reports, only to have all of that work swept away by changes in funding and presidential whim. Think about how many times you have worked on a committee (AQIP, CQI, etc.) only to realize after years of work that nothing was going to change except the paperwork. Some of that is par for the course when it comes to public institutions and committees, but lying about results is not typical and our Board must take a forceful stand against it.

The one premise that a Board has the right to assume is that the information being presented to it is truthful. This is kindergarten-simple—You cannot lie to a public board. If you do, you should be asked to resign and suffer the public consequences.

When Jane Salisbury lied to the board about the availability of the 2008/2009 morale survey and manipulated data, someone on the board should have asked if there have been other false reports and asked for her resignation on the spot. At any other public institution it would have happened. Yes, it would.

Dr. Yowell has abused good people, and ignored contracts negotiated in good faith. He has forced talented people to leave and kept others from being rehired. He “punishes” when someone displeases him, and rewards when they fawn over his decisions. He has lied to the Board, misrepresented information, and given biased reports. (Remember last year’s convocation address where the numbers were skewed to misrepresent faculty success?) Someone on the Board needs to rise to the occasion, remember their duty as stewards of the public trust and ask him to resign.

This is not the Roman coliseum where people’s careers live and die based on the Emperor’s thumb. It is a public institution and we need to remember out first responsibility is to the community, not to our colleagues, or even to our Board. I’ll say it again.

This is kindergarten simple: You cannot lie to a public board. Someone on the Board needs to rise to the occasion, remember his public responsibility and ask Dr. Yowell to resign.


From the dark said...

Yes, Edison is still in the grasp of a non-intellectual and self-serving administration. If the Board is afraid that the College would be thrown into chaos, they should know that there are super competent people (Dennis Myers, Phil Lootens and hopeful if asked Mindy McNutt) waiting in the wings to help with a major transition. These three are the super heroes castigated by this administration for their integrity and unwavering will to do what was best for the college and humanity.

Chris Johnson said...

If you want to make this more public--and I don't know that you do--you would want to make the title of the blog something like "The Edison Illuminator- The Story of Ken Yowell, Edison College, etc..." Ken has no google juice behind him and this could be #1 for "Ken Yowell" in a short amount of time.

Chance said...

It is great to see Steve Marlowe reinstated, and to see the ESEA successfully defend the contract on every faculty member's behalf. Both are important milestones.

But, as good as that feels, let's hold off on saying that Steve's reinstatement "rights the wrong" that was done by Yowell. Because it doesn't.

Reinstating Steve's job does not mean that Yowell receives a free pass for this very serious transgression. Yowell must be held accountable for his actions. He must face the consequences, be it legally, morally, ethically or professionally.

(This is much like a bank robber who gets caught and so returns the money. Yes, the bank has its money back, but the robber still has to face the consequences of robbing the bank.)

Same goes for the issue of lying to or misleading a public board. Such actions also call for serious consequences.

It is the Board's responsibility to hold Yowell accountable for his actions. We know there are many well-documented reasons the Board could cite in asking Yowell to resign. But why bother to ask? Ken Yowell is about as likely to resign as he is to apologize to Larry Dragosavac. In kindergarten simple terms -- it isn't gonna happen. So what, then?

The answer is to fire Yowell. No negotiations, no terms, no anything. Just a straight-up firing.

Board members who lack the intestinal fortitude to address these matters directly and forcibly should resign immediately. These positions are not ceremonial. The college desperately needs Board members who can rise to the responsibility and properly serve public's trust. Anything less won't do.

It's time to right the wrongs. Fire Yowell.