December 3, 2006

Carlsen's Cronies

In response to my column "Carlsen's Enchanted Evening," (below) former Johnson Countians of the Year wrote a letter to the community, Nov 29.

Steve Rose, of The Johnson County Sun, served as spokesman for the group and as a source for the story. I can't begin to describe the layers of cronyism, the breach of ethics and the lack of integrity this letter and those associated with it symbolize.

Here's the letter, read it and puke ...
Dr. Charles Carlsen served as president of the Johnson County Community College for twenty-five years. He brought vision and leadership to JCCC during his tenure. As a result, the college is now universally acclaimed as one of the finest community colleges in the United States.
We have supported the college for many years. We watched in admiration as Dr. Carlsen led the college to one successful and innovative venture after another.
When Dr. Carlsen came to JCCC, its foundation had less than $100,000 in assets. During his tenure as president, the foundation's assets increased to more than $20 million. Dr. Carlsen's tireless fundraising efforts generated scholarships for literally thousands of students.
In 2003, under Dr. Carlsen's leadership, JCCC received the Kansas Award for Excellence. This award, which is granted only after an exhaustive review of the institution, confirmed that the college was providing outstanding instruction for its students and a vibrant work environment for its employees.
Dr. Carlsen broke new ground by fostering many partnerships between the college and businesses. The training partnership he formed between the college and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad has been described as one of the most innovative in the nation. The National Academy of Railroad Sciences now provides training for more than 14,000 students each year and adds $14 million annually to the area's economy.
It is just as important to us that Dr. Carlsen and Linda gave thousands of hours of volunteer service to many organizations in this area. Chuck and Linda Carlsen are the kind of people who make this a wonderful area in which to work and live.
We are very pleased that members of the board of trustees are focusing on their most important task: the selection of a new college president. We want the Johnson County Community College to remain one of the most important institutions of higher education in the region. We pledge our continued support in achieving that worthy goal.

Dick Bond
Ben Craig
William H. Dunn Sr.
Ed Eilert
SuEllen Fried
Walt Hiersteiner
Drue Jennings
Betty Keim
George and Floriene Lieberman
Dr. Bob Meneilly
Elaine and Norman Polsky
Bob Regnier
Shirley Rose
Steve Rose
James P. Sunderland