Friday, June 12, 2009
The Daily Press announced today that Charles A. Taylor is "retiring" from TNCC. Read the story at: http://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-local_tncctaylor_0613jun13,0,1220017.story
I guess "retiring" means that he gets benefits that he wouldn't get if he "resigned" (or if he was "fired" which is what the faculty did to him last year).
The Daily Press article reminds readers that Taylor was working on a "special project" for the VCCS. Now isn't that just "special." Has anybody seen the finished product? Or did Virginia taxpayers drop two hundred grand to prevent Taylor from suing the state alleging racial discrimination? Well, it was money well spent since it got him out the door.
He had/has friends in high places so you can bet that most of us don't know half of the "dirt" that must have prompted the chancellor to give him a "sabbatical."
Let's hope that if he tries to get another job colleges will use due diligence better than TNCC and VCCS did.
Taylor already had a rap sheet when he was hired at TNCC. Too bad thems what hired him aren't paying a price too.
Friday, June 12, 2009
How to Fire Your President: Voting 'No
Confidence' With Confidence
By PETER SCHMIDT
College faculties often use votes of "no confidence" to try to push out the leader of their institutions. Many do so, however, without giving much thought to what such a vote actually means, whether they are using it appropriately, or how it will affect their institution—and their own future.
Mae Kuykendall, a professor of law at Michigan State University and an expert on corporate law, has spent much of the past two years studying the no-confidence vote's origins, philosophical underpinnings, and uses in higher-education institutions and other organizations. She is scheduled to discuss her findings in Washington on Saturday at an international conference on college governance, academic freedom, and globalization sponsored by the American Association of University Professors. The Chronicle asked her to share her insights in an interview conducted via e-mail:
Q. Where did the no-confidence vote, as a way to change an organization's leadership, originate? Where is it used?
A. The phrase arose in the British Parliament [in 1782, in response to the British surrender to the Americans at Yorktown]. The vote has come to express the loss of support by a group whose cooperation is necessary for a leader's exercise of her duties. Libraries, police departments, public schools, fire departments, universities and their subunits, and various nonprofit groups use the vote of no confidence.
Q. How does the vote fit in, or contrast, with other means of trying to remove a leader?
A. A vote of no confidence undermines a leader's claim to legitimacy, a feature made evident by contrast with common, but illegitimate, means of trying to remove a leader, such as mutiny, rebellion, work stoppage, mob action, and assassination. … The essence of the vote of no confidence is that the group need not give reasons or a set of charges. It is simultaneously unauthorized and legitimate.
Q. You talk about colleges as "fuzzily governed" institutions. How do they differ from other places that you examined, and how does the no-confidence vote fit into a "fuzzy" governance structure?
A. In authoritarian groups, regular members cannot demand a change. At the other end of the spectrum, democratic structures have clear, weighty procedures—impeachment and recall—for ousting their leaders. Universities and other nonprofit institutions sit in the middle of this spectrum. There is consultation to select leaders and to make decisions.
Q. Is there a typical response to these votes from college presidents and boards of trustees?
A. My research does not support a definite statement about a "typical" response. I can, however, describe one recurring pattern that almost could be said to follow a script. By a circular logic, the leader often claims that the outbreak of opposition is proof of his success: He or she is challenging an entrenched organizational culture that requires bold intervention. The president and his or her allies cite the call for ouster as evidence of stellar performance. The claim verges on a generic defense—one made even when the basis of a no-confidence petition arises from idiosyncratically personal flaws of the leader with no discernible connection to larger political concerns for the advancement of an institutional agenda. This response also serves to stigmatize those voting for removal, suggesting that they have betrayed their institutional trust and resist useful change. … When leaders eventually exit after a period of resistance and denial, the leader and/or the board typically issue bland claims that the exit and the no-confidence vote are unrelated. Indeed, in the archives of official statement, there is virtually no such event as "pressured leader exit." There is merely the change of mood by a leader, who, after a claimed success in one domain, decides to move on to private concerns or new challenges.
Q. How effective is the vote? Is it more likely to bring about change in some situations than others?
A. A review of public announcements concerning leaders' exits plainly reveals that no-confidence votes often work. … One hypothesis that I have developed is that votes of no confidence are more likely to be effective in smaller institutional settings than in larger, more-complex universities in which the president is more remote from the faculty and the mission-related concerns of the schools differ. The credibility that accrues to a group that works directly with a leader is not present in larger, more-complex settings. The concern of an institution about its reputation in its relevant audience matters. If a school is willing to forgo the esteem of professional organizations and to risk prospective students' concerns about a leadership under a cloud, the vote of no confidence will fail to drive out a leader backed by a determined board.
Q. Can such votes make matters worse for faculty members?
A. One can readily find articles urging faculty members to avoid votes of no confidence, on the grounds that less disruptive, mediated solutions are better. … The claim that the vote of no confidence always yields an outcome that is worse than some other imagined state of affairs is not persuasive. Faculty members, who are generally averse to risk, see a vote of no confidence as a last resort in a bad situation. … The risks are real. Opposing the leader and losing can bring about what management theorist [Jean] Lipman-Blumen has called exile or "social death." In addition, a successful effort can have unpredictable effects on group dynamics. … These risks help discipline groups to avoid casual resorts to such votes.
Q. Do faculties ever use these votes inappropriately?
A. Votes of no confidence are about the values and goals of mission-driven institutions, such as universities. … For this reason, faculties should strive to distinguish between union actions not related to core academic functions and actions animated by a faculty responsibility for the mission of the university.
Q. What practical advice would you give faculty members who are contemplating using a no-confidence vote to try to rid their institution of its current president?
A. First, talk with anyone you know in a similar institution that has experienced a vote of no confidence. Second, take with a grain of salt much of what you hear. Look for practical information, not fortune telling. … Colleagues at other institutions can tell you how a no-confidence vote developed, what role accrediting agencies may have played, what techniques seemed helpful, and where the greatest hazards, to collegiality and to the task of making ethical choices, lie.
Since there is typically no formally authorized procedure for votes of no confidence, there is no rule book. Every decision is open to critique or high cost. Whether to call a formal meeting and whether to involve the untenured are good targets for second guessing. A vote of no confidence is a statement of fact, not a charge, so don't give a bill of particulars. The constant question for faculty in the midst of making these critical decisions is the one posed by the old Johnny Carson quiz show, with its deficient grammar—Who Do You Trust? One good answer that is hard to beat: Trust yourself.
Copyright© 2009 by The Chronicle of Higher Education
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
If anyone knew where the bodies are buried he did.
You will never know now much you owe to him.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
TNCC needs to know that Schexnider has his own skeletons. He's been bouncing around various jobs. Maybe you should find out why and find out what people think of him there.
When he was chancellor in NC he got caught using state funds for personal use. His administration was audited twice. The second audit found that his administration misplaced about half a million dollars. (What is it with these guys and half a million dollars? Look at Flagstiffed's reports on Taylor.) Flagstiffed has reported in detail on Charles A. Taylor's big spending habits. Here's the first auditors' letter about Schexnider (sent to Flagstiffed bya friend at TNCC):
WINSTON-SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA
OFFICE OF THE
RALPH CAMPBELL, JR.
July 16, 1999
Dr. Alvin J. Schexnider, Chancellor
601 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Dear Chancellor Schexnider:
The Office of the State Auditor received complaints through the State Auditor's Hotline alleging misuse of funds and violations of purchasing procedures at Winston-Salem State University WSSU). We conducted a Special Review of these allegations in accordance with G.S.§147-64.
In conducting this review, we examined WSSU and WSSU Foundation records and conducted interviews with individuals internal and external to WSSU. Our Special Review resulted in the following findings and recommendations to WSSU Management and the University of North Carolina General Administration (UNC-General Administration).
1. Disbursement from Discretionary Funds
In fiscal year 1997-98, WSSU's Internal Auditor conducted a review of expenditures incurred by the Chancellor from January 1996 through May 1998. We reviewed the Internal Auditor's workpapers as well as the expenditures incurred by the Chancellor from July 1998 through April 1999. Our review revealed that the Chancellor used discretionary funds to pay for some items that could be viewed as more personal than university related. Such items included travel expenses for his children, flowers for his wife, and membership in a fitness center. Although there are no general written guidelines for spending discretionary funds, these funds should be spent on items related to the University. To ensure protection for all parties concerned and an understanding on the part of the general public, UNC-General Administration should consider defining the utilization of discretionary funds.
2. Expenditures for Transporting Children to School
The Chancellor used State funds to pay mileage to a house worker from January 1998 through March 1998 to take his children to school. The total reimbursement for mileage was $416.62. On May 20, 1998 the Chancellor reimbursed the University this amount. According to the Chancellor, he reimbursed the University after being told that the expenditures were inappropriate. He did not reimburse the University, however, for the house worker's time spent to transport his children. Based on estimates received from the Chancellor of the time it would take to perform this task, the Chancellor should reimburse WSSU an additional $495. The Chancellor said he thought he had already reimbursed the University for the house worker's time.
3. Outside Contractors Clean the Chancellor's Residence and Maintain His Yard
The Chancellor's residence, located 8.5 miles from campus, is owned by the University. According to the Chancellor, the former Vice-Chancellor for Finance and Administration recommended outsourcing the housekeeping duties which had been done in the past by a university housekeeping employee. Outsourcing the housekeeping duties at the residence cost WSSU $92.50 per week for three hours of work. WSSU incurs a similar cost by using an outside contractor for landscaping tasks. The Associate Vice-Chancellor for Facilities recommended outsourcing the landscaping duties. Currently, the contractor mows the lawn once a week, performs minor landscaping duties and cleans away ice and snow for an agreed upon contract of $7,385 per year. WSSU should conduct a cost benefit analysis to determine the feasibility of continuing these contracts versus using university staff.
4. Some Items Purchased for the Chancellor's Residence Are Not On the University's Inventory System
A large screen television, a pool table, and a fax machine were purchased for the Chancellor's residence but do not show-up on the University's Fixed Asset Inventory. WSSU's inventory policy states that all purchases in excess of $500 must be recorded for inventory control purposes.
5. Invoices Are Not Always Paid on Time
We examined one hundred checks paid in September 1998 and one hundred checks paid in February 1999 to determine if they were paid by the due dates. In September 1998, WSSU wrote twenty-two checks out of the one hundred examined after the due date on the invoice. In February 1999, the number of late payments increased to thirty out of the one hundred examined. According to WSSU's Accounts Payable Supervisor, she and her staff were employed within the last year. The constant turnover of the staff in the finance area has resulted in the need to constantly train new employees. The Accounts Payable Supervisor said she is writing new procedures for her section, effective July 1, 1999, that should eliminate late payments, as well as any duplicate payments. We are presenting these findings and recommendations for your review and written response. The purpose of the response is to allow you the opportunity to outline any corrective actions taken or planned. We request that your written response be delivered to us by July 30, 1999.
While we have addressed the issues at WSSU in this management letter, it seems prudent for General Administration to review the need for developing policies and guidelines for the spending of discretionary funds. Adherence to such guidelines would ensure consistency and benefit all the chancellors within the system.
We wish to thank you and your staff for the cooperation extended to us during this review. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact this office at 919/733-3217.
Ralph Campbell, Jr., CFE
cc: Dr. Molly C. Broad, President
Thursday, February 12, 2009
- The president of the college has failed to provide a clear, coherent vision for the college; instead he offers meaningless platitudes (like “Excellence in All We Do”) or a shifting array of initiatives (like the Southeast Center, the jail initiative).
- While professing “Excellence in All We Do” the president has tolerated a culture of mediocrity and incompetence in some areas but not in others.
- The president’s public representation of the college is embarrassing because of his verbal gaffs, by his inability to articulate in a clear and cogent manner information about the college, and because of his evident lack of knowledge about the college in his public comments, which are frequently filled with errors of fact.
- The president regularly relies on a narrative that is self-aggrandizing but insulting to long-time employees, namely that the college was dysfunctional and invisible until he arrived to save us.
- The president employs a two-fold method of deflecting criticism and responsibility for his oversight: He refuses to put anything in writing that might later come back to haunt him and he uses surrogates to do his controversial or potentially damaging “dirty work.”
- The president disdains replying to invitations to events (presumably because he does not want a paper trail if he were to tender his regrets since he rare attends) and usually does not attend them. This behavior is insulting, discourteous and unprofessional. The fact that he does not attend is indicative of his disdain for the college and its employees and students.
- The president has resorted to threats and intimidation in order to manage his employees. Some of these have been public (“Anyone who I find is responsible for a student leaving the college will also leave the college”; “If you don’t like it here I will help you to leave”) and some of these have been private (instructing mid-level managers never to associate his name with anything negative or they will find themselves out the door).
- The president has refused to retract or apologize for such statements, claiming that a president has to say tough things sometimes. Executives at other colleges with whom I have repeated these statements, however, are shocked that a president would be that impolitic and tactless.
- The president has created a climate of paranoia, suspicion and fear among executives, managers, staff and faculty. Organizational paranoia is a top-down phenomenon, never a bottom-up phenomenon. You cannot blame current or former employees, no matter how disgruntled, for fostering a climate of paranoia.
- The president has refused to take responsibility for any of the missteps, mistakes, misstatements, or morale issues of the college. Instead he blames previous administrations, previous administrators, a faulty morale survey, or others’ misunderstanding him or misunderstanding his statements.
- The president has refused to accept the depth and seriousness of the campus morale issues. In the two years since the morale survey that the College Board instructed him to administer he has taken every opportunity to dismiss publicly the survey and its findings, blaming low morale as a chronic TNCC problem (when he acknowledges the survey as valid) or dismissing the morale survey as inaccurate or invalid (because it asked the wrong questions or because not every employee responded to the survey).
- The president has tolerated a climate of racial tension and resentment that is unprecedented on this campus.
- The president has used the structures and processes of shared governance as it suits him (mainly as public relations tools to give him bragging rights that he communicates with employees) and ignores them when it doesn’t suit him. For example, the College Council has debated such important issues as the placement of outside cigarette stands and parking spaces, but he did not bring to the College Council a proposal for the Southeast Center, which was decided only by the cabinet.
- The president has subverted the most thoroughly established process on campus, namely curriculum review, and subverted one of the most important SACS accreditation criteria, the primary responsibility for curriculum review lying with the faculty and its discipline experts. His attempt to railroad a curriculum change through the College Board over the objection of the department it affected, over the College Curricula Committee and over the Faculty Forum is unprecedented in recent memory.
- While decrying “rumors” and “urban legends” the president appears to base his own decisions on prejudice, undocumented statistics, unnamed sources, irrelevant data. He refused to substantiate claims that he has made about course prerequisites, including assertions about unnamed school superintendents and unidentified corporate partners. This behavior has been frequently repeated.
- Failing to acknowledge that an anonymous blog site http://flagstiffed.blogspot.com and scores of anonymous Daily Press discussion board postings are symptoms of the failure of his administration, the president has instead blamed employees for their failure to use the shared governance processes that he manipulates and lectures employees on the necessity of their doing so, for example at the most recent “town hall meeting”.
- The president has a pathological aversion to public discussion of concerns, complaints and criticism but claims that he is protecting the college’s reputation in doing so.
- The president has played a Ponzi scheme with the budget recklessly insisting on unrealistic income projections in order to float a budget that includes imprudent expenses (salary increases, the Southeast Center, the purchase and consequent maintenance of Hampton III) and has reportedly attempted to indulge in personal extravagances (like expensive print products such as cut or embossed covers on publications, a $30,000 personal shower stall [which was prevented by an able employee’s report to the Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Hotline]).
- The president makes nearly delusional claims about being visible and present on campus, about his close contact with employees and students, and about his having an open door policy. Most faculty have not seen the evidence for these claims.
- The president’s administration has failed in the one most important initiative of institutional advancement: securing funds from the General Assembly to open, run, and maintain the HT campus. The president has failed in securing the good will and support of the Peninsula’s legislative delegation.
- The president has frequently been cited for misrepresenting facts and misrepresenting his previous statements, even of outright lying, in a variety of public and private forums.
- The president has permitted, even promoted, a blurring of the distinctions between private religious sentiments and a public, secular institution, both in his personal statements (telling employees that he must “pray about a decision” they have asked him to make and telling an interviewer that he was sent to the presidency of TNCC by God) and his tolerating a variety of forms of religious expression at official business functions.
- Any one of these items is cause for concern, even of censure. Taken together they demand a vote of no confidence.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Now there's good news for TNCC. Flagstiffed's mailbox got suddently busy today. Flagstiffed has learned from TNCC folks that disgraced and discredited president Charles A. Taylor is now looking for work.
He's a candidate for a job in California at Riverside Community College District. Among the things they say they are looking for? --
- Provide leadership in the utilization of the $250 million in bond funding—including using this local •
funding source to leverage other resources at the state level and in the private sector.
- Maintain an inclusive approach to shared governance that promotes collaboration, communication, and collegiality in achieving the District’s goal of maintaining a learning-centered environment.
Provide leadership and support that will expand Interest Based Bargaining with all employee groups. Encourage open communication throughout the District and in the community that will support and •
preserve the history of RCCD. Demonstrates a passion for educational quality and feels comfortable with the collaborative process utilized in shared governance and interest based bargaining
- Demonstrates abstract thinking skills with practical solutions.
- A leader committed to the highest level of personal and professional integrity. An administrator with a management style that is inclusive, visible, collaborative, open, approachable, and accessible. An individual with exceptional interpersonal, communication, and presentation skills An individual who can facilitate a process of participatory governance and inclusiveness, so that introspective analysis will promote transformation at each of the colleges.
If they think that CATman has these qualities (or why else is he one of the people there interviewing), they deserve him as their Beloved Leader. The line for the special Koolaid forms here. Enjoying your refreshing beverage Riverside faculty staff and students!
You can read all about it at:
Then click on the candidate bios ("supplied by the candidates") to see what Charles Taylor thinkgs of himself.