October 10, 2006

THE CAMPUS LEDGER: Stop the Search

This staff editorial was originally published in The Campus Ledger Sept. 28
Letter to the Board of Trustees
EDITORIAL BOARD NOTE: The Ledger has prepared this letter for those involved in the campus community to petition the board. We urge readers to tear this page out and deliver it to the president’s office in GEB 112 in person or via interoffice mail (Box 1) or through the US Postal Service.
Board of Trustees:
We call on you, as our elected representatives, to name Larry Tyree president of Johnson County Community College immediately.
We call for an immediate suspension on the search for a permanent president.
We also call on an inquiry into controversy regarding the composition of the Screening Committee as made public by the Faculty Association during the Sept. 21 Board of Trustee meeting.
Later in the meeting, Elaine Perilla, trustee, described how she picked the members of the Screening Committee.
However she omitted that the JCCC Foundation has four individuals involved in the committee making it the largest represented body from any division. Foundation board members include Jill Gerlach who represents the JCCC Foundation; Kansas Senator Nick Jordan; Sam Turner of Shawnee Mission Medical Center; and the college’s attorney, Mark Ferguson of Lathrop & Gage.

Before trustees approved the members of the Screening Committee, committee members already received letters discussing their charge. However, these letters did not come in JCCC envelopes but in envelopes from Perilla’s organization, the Volunteer Center of Johnson County.
Given Perilla’s refusal to offer full disclosure and the unprofessional overlaps between her various community roles, we call for Perilla to step down from the Screening Committee.
We also call for Benjamin Hodge to step down.
Hodge’s political grandstanding and confrontational behavior during public forums and open meetings incites hostility and divides our newly unified campus.
The board previously announced that a permanent vice president of Student Services position would not be filled until we hired a permanent president. The surprise appointment of Dennis Day, who served as interim in that position, demonstrates the board’s ability to offer Tyree the presidency immediately.
The unanimous clamor for Tyree surfaced at the Sept. 25 open forum and it continues with a flood of e-mail messages.
Trustees will betray the democratic process that elected them should they deny these pleas.

Lets face it, Tyree’s resume and actions would have earned him this job had Carlsen retired under normal circumstances.
With the current tension between the board and faculty, staff and students, the board must understand that we already have a president.

A member of the JCCC campus community