November 21, 2006

THE CAMPUS LEDGER: Carlsen's Sugar Daddy

This article was originally published in The Campus Ledger Nov. 16
Walking on the Ledge:

Carlsen’s Enchanted Evening

By Miguel M. Morales
Being accused of unlawful harassment is the best thing to ever happen to Charles Carlsen.
As the former president enjoys retirement, Larry Tyree, interim president, tries to heal the college while enduring the Board of Trustees.
Last Saturday, a bolder Carlsen demonstrated his lack of integrity by attending the JCCC Foundation’s annual scholarship fundraiser, Some Enchanted Evening. Carlsen’s repulsive return to public life came with another revelation.
“Because Dr. Carlsen has been so responsible for building this college, the Foundation and the scholarship, the Norman and Elaine Family Charitable Foundation, which really is our private foundation, has granted a second $25,000 legacy sponsorship tonight. We want to put it to the Charles and Linda Carlsen Johnson County Community Foundation Scholarship Fund Endowment,” Norm Polsky said to a shocked crowd at the black-tie gala.
In April, The Campus Ledger investigated and published the first of multiple allegations of sexual harassment against Carlsen. He stepped down the next day and unexpectedly retired a week later.
Yet, Carlsen remains on the Foundation’s board of directors.
The Polskys have built a legacy of giving that has touched millions. Carlsen has only touched a few.
Carlsen’s appearance taunts the women who made the allegations of unlawful harassment.
He knows they won’t file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission nor will they file a civil lawsuit because they don’t want to hurt the college or put their families through that process.
“Friends of Carlsen have been contacting me asking ‘What can we do to show our appreciation?’ Well, it’s now up to those families here tonight and elsewhere that want to contribute $1,000 or whatever to this tax-deductible endowment,” Polsky said.
Polsky expects Carlsen’s endowment to grow to $100,000 by Dec. 31.
He also said an agreement with the Foundation dictates that it will not award this scholarship for five years.
That’s when the endowment should reach $300,000. Its earned interest will generate a minimum of 60 $1,000 scholarships per year.
“The Charles Carlsen scholarships will go on forever,” Polsky said. However, the Foundation already offers a scholarship in the Calrsens’ name. “I hope they will merge that into this endowment,” said Polsky.
There is no dispute that the Polskys have given millions of dollars to many organizations as well has having donated their time. The Polksys have built a legacy of giving that has touched millions.
Carlsen has only touched a few.
“I hope that all of you will send to the Foundation your contribution marked for the Carlsen scholarship before the end of this year,” Polsky said to funders in the audience. “I realize that there will be other efforts by other people to recognize the Carlsen contribution to the college that may be kept separate or joined to this Polsky plan.”
With this obsessive attempt to salvage his reputation, Carlsen reveals his true nature – that he has no problem using students and funders to get what he wants.
“You know how Chuck Carlsen is one great sales person?” Polsky said of one of his early encounters with Carlsen. “Dr. Carlsen came to our home to make a sales pitch. I said to my wife, ‘This is sure going to cost us.’”
That’s right, Norm. It sure is.
Polsky said the paperwork for the Carlsen endowment awaits signatures of the Carlsens, the Polskys, Tyree and Foundation president, Jill Gerlach.
The college and the Foundation should concentrate on disbursing the thousands of dollars in unawarded scholarships than creating another endowment to save one man’s reputation.
Contact Tyree and Gerlach and tell them not to sign those papers.
Tell them not to fall for Carsen’s latest pitch.
Tell them not to sell our integrity.
Tell them the cost is too high.

November 2, 2006


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

THE CAMPUS LEDGER: Best 'No Confidence' Vote Ever

This article was originally published in The Campus Ledger Nov. 2
'No Confidence' Creates Cohesion
Campus community urges, warns trustees to take note of the vote
by Miguel M. Morales
The woman who ran for a seat on the Board of Trustees with the endorsement of the Faculty Association now faces their wrath.
The Faculty Association successfully launched a campus-wide vote of No Confidence against trustee Elaine Perilla Oct. 26.
The vote of No Confidence accused Perilla of “failing, as board of trustees chair, to act on sexual harassment reports against former president Charles Carlsen” and “using her position to intimidate administrators and other college employees and of contributing to an atmosphere of fear and distrust at the college.”
Four days of voting allowed full-time and part-time faculty, administrators and other full-time and part-time staff to participate.
The vote in favor of the resolution of no confidence broke down as follows:
Full-time faculty members voted 240 to 9.
Non-faculty employees, including administrators, voted 107 to 8.
Part-time faculty and staff voted 107 to 15.
“It falls now to Trustee Perilla to explain herself and her recent decisions, and to initiate a dialogue with college personnel about the steps needed to restore confidence in her stewardship,” said James Leiker, professor of History.
Perilla declined to comment on the vote.
However, Perilla will convene with her fellow trustees and college lawyers in executive session, Nov. 9.
There they will further discuss the multiple allegations of unlawful harassment against former president Charles Carlsen.

Perilla and Benjamin Hodge, trustee, will meet with the JCCC New President Screening Committee Nov. 13.
At the meeting, the two trustee co-chairs of the committee will discuss applicants for college president.

Hodge faces censure from the Board of Trustees for allegedly violating the board’s code of conduct.
“I just wanted to say that the vote speaks for itself.”
Michael Hembree, professor of History
Csilla Dunesky, professor of Science, said Perilla has tainted the search for a permanent president.
“I hope that Ms. Perilla will recognize that her continued position as co-chair of the Presidential Screening Committee is inappropriate,” she said.
Michael Hembree, professor of History, adopted Perilla’s tactic for speaking to the press.
“I just wanted to say that the vote speaks for itself,” he said.

'Guilty by Association'
For many, the No Confidence vote served as a referendum on the entire board.
Tom Bryant, assistant, Carlsen Center Box Office said there may be board members who do not agree with the “overly-vocal screening committee co-chairs” but are hesitant to contradict them.
“Sadly, they are deemed guilty by association,” he said. “There are some who think the current firestorm will cool and just go away. We can't allow that. It will grow and it will fester and unfortunately it may get nasty.”
Bryant said he wonders if any trustee is strong enough to stand up and examine how they collectively fell from grace.
“We must not overlook the other actors and issues involved in the chain of events that have led us into this travesty,” he said.
“As a long-time staff member of JCCC, I totally agree with the no-confidence vote,” said Rita Hartsook, accounting clerk, Financial Services. “If we do not stop this pattern of behavior, what will happen if another incident occurs on campus? More of the same – sweep it under the rug and reward those who participated?”
Duneczky said she hopes to see a change in behavior and a willingness to work with the faculty.
“Where we go from here depends on whether the Board listens or ignores the message,” she said.
“As for the next step, that is largely up to the board members,” said Leiker. “It has been communicated loud and clear that the employees of JCCC are disappointed with present trustee leadership.”

A Call to Action
The discussion of censure and a vote of no confidence appeared on the Faculty Association listserve Sept. 28 and appeared on the blog,, days later.
“I may have been the first to actually suggest a no confidence vote in writing, but the idea had been discussed informally among FA members,” said Leiker. “Same goes for the Ben Hodge censure.”
Leiker addressed comments Hodge has alluded to that the Faculty Association is trying to capitalize on the Carlsen scandal to push its own agenda.
“I think the results of the vote shatter the illusion offered by some that this expression of discontent is merely the work of a few radicals in the Faculty Association,” said Leiker. “Most of the bargaining unit of faculty -- FA members and not, regardless of political affiliation -- turned out to vote, as did many staff, administrators, and part-time employees.”
“The faculty can do what they choose to do,” said Ben Hodge, trustee. “I fully support their large amount of workplace freedoms.
"I hope that they appreciate that they are free to do what, in most workplaces, people are not free to do.”
Both Leiker and Bryant have called on the campus community to take action with their votes.
“Voters in Johnson County need to take notice of this as well and elect trustees who understand the meaning of collegiality and have a proven record of working with educated professionals in a democratic environment,” said Leiker.
“There are more of us than there are of them and we have to keep the issues out there for everyone, both on and off campus, to see,” said Bryant. “An election is coming and we can make a difference.”

An Unexpected Result
While a vote of No Confidence may seem divisive, many on campus say it has actually unified the campus.
“In this case, the vote created community throughout the college, which had been absent to a large degree,” said Betty Bullock, professor of Sociology. “It allowed all college employees the opportunity to voice their concerns and see they were not alone.
“The actual ballot area provided a common gathering place and an opportunity for informal sharing among colleagues we do not often get to see on a regular basis.”
Bullock said in creating solidarity, the vote moved the campus toward healing.
“I wanted to express my feeling through voting,” said Jeanne Walsh, assistant dean of Nursing. “It's important we show as a group the fact that there is a unity among all of us no matter how we vote. I think it's fantastic. I've never seen anything like it in 17 years.”
Contact Miguel M. Morales, news editor at

AWARD: Go for the GOLD!

The Ledger Named Gold Medalist
The Campus Ledger
, the student newspaper of Johnson County Community College, received a Gold Medalist rating from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association in a critique of its 2005-06 issues.

The Campus Ledger earned 966 of a possible 1,000 points.

The judge wrote, "You cover your campus very well … Nice reporting jobs on the President/harassment issues in the April 13 paper! Facts weren't sensationalized, but were documented and attributed correctly."

The judge also wrote, "You've clearly worked very hard to produce a fine, well-planned publication worthy of the 'Gold' desigation!"

The editors of the 2005-06 Ledger were Joshua Seiden, Matthew Walsh, Miguel Morales and Aaron Whitebread. The adviser was Anne Christiansen-Bullers.

November 1, 2006

AWARD: First Amendment Grant

CMA awards The Campus Ledger First Amendment Grant
College Media Advisers awarded The Campus Ledger it's Ingelhart First Amendment Fund grant. The grant of $1,000 will allow The Ledger to hold a First Amendment week to coincide with "Sunshine Week" March 11-17, 2007. Earlier this summer, The Ledger earned a First Amendment award from the Society of Professional Jounrlaists.

From CMA:
In a time of world turmoil, some urge giving up basic rights to preserve security.
Others counter that what good is heightened security if we must give up the rights that are at the core of our freedom. It will not be easy to broaden everyone’s attitudes about the First Amendment, but it needs to be done. And, in the world of student media advising, with what many view as a challenge to the rights of our students and the erosion of their First Amendment protections, the time is now to provide educational outreach.

This is where CMA can help.

The grants will be awarded to CMA members to underwrite programs designed to elevate awareness of First Amendment freedoms on an individual campus. A total of Five (5) grant awards of up to $1,000 each will be awarded this year.

The Ingelhart First Amendment Fund was established by College Media Advisers Inc. and donors to educate students about freedoms protected by the First Amendment.

The fund is named for retired Ball State University journalism professor and First Amendment scholar Louis E. Ingelhart, who has dedicated much of his life to studying, writing about and teaching the First Amendment.

AWARD: Best in Show

The CAMPUS LEDGER Wins Second Place
The Campus Ledger, the student newspaper of Johnson County Community College, won second place in the "Best of Show" contest at the National Media Convention Oct. 25-29 in St. Louis.

Single issues from newspapers across the country were judged on both design and content in the on-site contest.