November 2, 2006

THE CAMPUS LEDGER: Perilla's Past

This article was originally published in The Campus Ledger Nov. 2
Elaine Perilla charged administrators with harassment

In 1992, Perilla, a professor, asked trustees to intervene on her behalf regarding harassment of a sexual nature

by Miguel M. Morales
Elaine Perilla, trustee, accused college administrators of harassment in 1992 and used the complaint to run for a seat on the Board of Trustees in 1993.
The Campus Ledger uncovered a June 30, 1992 article in College Boulevard News, where Perilla, then a part-time instructor at the college, cited “employee harassment, financial waste and sexual discrimination” as reasons she decided to run for a seat on the Board of Trustees.
“I have experienced firsthand the verbal harassment and sexual discrimination of our very elaborate ‘good old boy’ system at the college,” Perilla said during a board meeting June 22, 1992.

“It is really difficult to believe you ladies condone such actions. So I assume you are being bamboozled by these slick administrators.”
Elaine Perilla speaking to female members of the Board of Trustees in 1992.
According to another article published July 8, 1992 in the
Shawnee Journal Herald, Perilla described enduring “inappropriate” comments about her clothing, gender, marital status and personal finances from college administrators.
Perilla addressed female board members including current trustee, Virginia Krebs, and former trustee, Molly Baumgardner.
“It is really difficult to believe you ladies condone such actions. So I assume you are being bamboozled by these slick administrators,” she said. Perilla showed board members a cartoon that had been given to her.
It depicted a potbellied administrator answering the “The Good Old Boy JCCC Rape Hotline.” The caption read: “Aw, hell girl, you know you was askin’ for it.”
“I can honestly tell you that in my opinion, this is a fair reflection on the ignorance of this board and the focus of the Carlsen administration,” Perilla said at the meeting.
Perilla also told the Journal Herald that her campaign for a seat on the board would focus on the issues she brought to the board at that meeting.
“I will persistently bring the same issues forward,” she said.
Perilla lost her bid for trustee that year but won a seat in 1995.

When asked to comment on her actions in 1992, Perilla said she could not respond without having the article in front of her.
The Ledger then e-mailed the article to Perilla.
“I haven’t been on my e-mail,” she said from her office at the Volunteer Center of Johnson County. “I’m getting ready to go to a meeting. I guess you’ll have to write your story without [me] because work comes first.”
Molly Baumgardner said she did not recall the specific allegations Perilla made during that meeting but remembered Perilla using an overhead projector and that “everyone was appalled.”

“Seems like the 1992 Elaine Perilla was a different person than the 2006 version.”
Stu Shafer, professor of Sociology

Baumgardner said anyone who examined her record as a trustee would know that she was never “bamboozled” by anyone.
“She was very opposed to Chuck Carlsen and his administration,” Baumgardner said.
However, Baumgardner said Perilla’s attitude toward Carlsen changed upon becoming a trustee.
“All the things she was concerned about absolutely disappeared once she was on the board,” Baumgardner said. “But before she even took her seat [in 1995], she made peace and had become good friends with Carlsen and Fred Logan.”
Logan was appointed to the board in 1992. Perilla succeded Logan as board chair in 1997.
Currently, both Carlsen and Logan serve on the JCCC Foundation Board of Directors.
In addition, Logan, who is an attorney, represented Carlsen during the scandal involving allegations of unlawful harassment.
According to the Badger report, Carlsen ceased cooperating with the investigation on the advice of his lawyer.
Stu Shafer, professor of Sociology said he’s seen the Journal Herald article now circulating around campus.
“Seems like the 1992 Elaine Perilla was a different person than the 2006 version,” he said. “How can you trust someone who gets into office by condemning the ‘good-old-boy system,’ then, when she gains admission, participates in the same kind of mismanagement and obfuscation?”
Shafer said that year the Faculty Association supported her campaign.
“She promised to improve communication between faculty and administration,” he said.
Frank M. Syracuse, professor of Economics agrees with Shafer.
“It appears Elaine forgot why she was elected, and she too succumbed to the trappings of power,” he said.
Perilla recently served as board chair and now co-chairs the JCCC New President Screening Committee.
Contact Miguel M. Morales, news editor, at mmorales@jccc.edu

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