Illinois (ECWd) –
In past articles we exposed the hypocricy of former ICCTA President and Harper Community College Trustee William Kelly. We are confident that a review of those articles here, here, and here, prior to reading this one will bring clarification to the fact any claim of the problems at the College of DuPage being an isolated incident is laughable at best.
The Illinois Board of Higher Education’s former director reminds us of the situation with COD and Robert Breuder. Between January and August, 2012, the Office of Executive Inspector General (OEIG) received five complaints alleging misconduct by then-Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE ) Executive Director Dr. George Reid and others.
Effective August 15, 2010, the then-IBHE Executive Director Judy Erwin resigned her position after having been found to have engaged in misconduct. Thereafter, IBHE Board began its search for a new Executive Director and posted announcements in numerous nationally-circulated publications. According to the posting, “applications and nominations” for the Executive Director position were due by October 8, 2010.
October 10, 2010, or two days after the application due date, Dr. Reid submitted his materials. Dr. Reid was one of two candidates who submitted application materials after the published due date.
“Dr. George Reid’s IBHE application materials stated that he had worked in higher education in various capacities for over 20 years. His application materials identified two positions in which he was his employer’s chief executive, including having served as the President of Kentucky State University (“KSU”) from 1998 to 2002.”
“In June 2002, the KSU Board of Regents terminated Dr. Reid, citing performance “deficiencies.” Dr. Reid wanted to stay on at KSU or get paid $3 million to settle. Dr. Reid and KSU agreed upon a severance package that obligated KSU to pay him at least $170,000.”
IBHE hired him anyway and when the OEIG dug deeper into this matter the actions of the board are highly suspicious.
- “Although the closed Executive Session meeting and discussion regarding the selection of Dr. Reid was audio recorded, as set forth below, on September 25, 2012, the IBHE Board met for its regularly scheduled meeting and voted to destroy the verbatim recordings of the December 7, 2010 meeting.
Less than two years after being hired evaluations of this Director outlined these problems:
- drove talented staff away “running;”
- was “combative” and “rude” to IBHE staff;
- did not maintain positive relationships with leadership of other State agencies;
- supervised management employees who did not want to report to him “one day more than is necessary;” and
- did not demonstrate an understanding of important IBHE programs and initiatives.
Several weeks of negotiations with the IBHE Baord and Dr. Reid resulted in a severance package in which he would received one month salary,($16,000.00) and an additional $32,000.00 for making himself available during the three months from his departure for consultation services by telephonic means.
That additional $32,000.00 turned out to be in violation of the law and the attorney for the IBHE new it was problematic so he had the above clause placed into the agreement. In fact, private counsel for the IBHE stated, “I want to make sure there are no press issues that he is being paid for services not performed.”
Not much different than what happen with Robert Breuder at COD!
In Dr. Reid’s statement pertaining to separation it stated: “he has decided to step down for personal reasons”
Reading the OEIG investigative report confirms that statement is false!
The IBHE accepted Dr. Reid’s application materials after the published due date because they were impressed with his credentials and further said, “no one got harmed” by allowing Dr.Reid to submit his application late.
I wonder how the other applicants who turned in their application on time feel about that statement?
Impressed with his credentials?
Now here is where some amazing parallels with COD take place!
Carrie Hightman, Chairwoman stated that, before IBHE hired Dr. Reid, she was “well aware” that he had been accused of misconduct while serving as KSU President and recalled that other Board Members informed her of these accusations and directed her to news articles regarding his alleged misconduct. Specifically, Ms. Hightman said that she knew Dr. Reid had been:
- subject to a KSU Board of Regents vote of no confidence;
- accused of using KSU funds to purchase personal items;
- ultimately terminated.
The OEIG investigation outlines the complaints against Dr. Reid were founded and they also expose the fact the IBHE Board failed the public miserably in their hiring of this person.
This board knew he departed KSU on bad terms based on a vote of no confidence by the Board of Regents and accusations of misuse of public funds for personal items. Compound that with a late application it is clear this person had no business getting hired, much like Robert Breuder at the College of Dupage.
I believe this OEIG report is yet another example of how out of touch the former ICCTA President is when it comes to problems at our higher education institutions. All indications are pointing to the problem being those people sitting on the boards making these decisions!
If those sitting on these boards can’t make better decisions than what we see here, clearly it is time to revamp the system with something other than appointed board members!