What follows is nn account of the words and actions of the faculty and faculty senate In Re Capehart, in which it broke the law, for a second time. There have been many falsehoods about Capehart’s effect on the University: one of those is that he bankrupted the school (a complete falsehood and will be dealt with in another post), another is that he caused the decline in enrollment (mostly false because it did not dip until the faculty’s public campaign to oust him—enrollment was down across the state).
This post will require us to go back a bit. In the last post we mostly dealt with the timeline of Capehart’s legal troubles, and then his resignation and reappointment. In this post we will trace the faculty participation and attempted illegal activity to try to rid the college of Capehart and anyone connected to the president. Warning: it’s going to be a lengthy post.
As noted in the last post, we contended that the faculty had been waging a public campaign to tarnish Robin Capehart’s name since at least 2011. Phil Kabler’s gossip page in the Gazette gave them quite a platform with which to spread, well, gossip.
The faculty saw its opportunity to topple Capehart when the story broke that the Ethics Commission charged Capehart with 13 counts of breaking state ethics laws.
Behind the scenes, many faculty senators were incensed and had a cupidity to purge him from their midst. They wanted to convict Capehart publicly before he had an opportunity to defend himself against the charges brought lethargically by the Ethics Commission. The faculty were self-assured he willfully did something wrong. He just had to be guilty.
Certain faculty members circulated a document entitled “senate facts” through email as early as 26 February 2015. The “facts” seem to be authored by the Dean of Arts & Com, Bill Baronek. He circulated the document in an email because,
I have been informed by Jeff Pfister and Jim Haizlett about a possible full faculty meeting in the near future. I have attached a document with information outlining issues relevant to the meeting.
In those “facts” the senate also included a copy of the original complaint against Capehart. The senate chair sent that document to every sitting senator via email by 9pm the same day. By February 27th, at the insistence and motion of then faculty senator Jim Haizlett, senate chair Linda Cowan called a special meeting of the faculty for March 2 to vote on confidence.
The “senate facts” have little to nothing to do with Capehart’s ability to do the job, and it notes the problem at the time that was afflicting every college in the state—low enrollment. After 8+ years of growing enrollment at WLU (which beat the state trends), and the ongoing troubles with the economy, this decline was expected. But, lower enrollment was occurring state wide and was not simply afflicting WLU in isolation.
In addition to blaming the president for what amounted to a downward statewide trend, the “facts” complains about a pay raise for Capehart that was set up in a fund by a “private donor” Gary West (the raise did NOT cost the taxpayers anything). West was an enthusiastic supporter of the college donating millions to its improvement, a financial support now limited solely to WLU football thanks to the actions of the faculty and staff. The author(s) of the “facts” also did not like that the president took a sabbatical from July-October 2014, something his contract allowed. They also listed the budget shortfall of about $1.2 million, (which came as a result of the lower enrollment rates, according to Jack Wright). The author(s) also seemed incensed that there was a fiscal cut across the board. In another charge, the “facts” stated that there were several “consultants” on staff. The grand total cost of these contracts amounted to a whopping $150,000/year! Hardly bankrupting.
Yet, the first charge in the “facts” did not list any of these expenses, or raises they also received in this time period, or even the budget shortfall in 2015—no, it was the fact that Capehart was under investigation that was most problematic. According to Baronek and presumably the faculty senate:
Robin Capehart has been charged with thirteen counts of ethics violations while serving as President of West Liberty University. Some may think the allegations alone are a stain on the campus community as there has already been a negative impact with area alumni; please see the attached letter from the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Alumni Association.
You read that right: the mere fact that he was under investigation meant the senate should hold a vote of confidence against him. And to make matters worse, one member from a fledgling alumni association who had a personal animus against Capehart also thought he should resign. So, as a result of the ethics complaint (which had not been adjudicated) and the opposition to Capehart from one person in Pittsburgh, Capehart should have a no confidence vote placed before the faculty senate. The senate could not agree more and scheduled a vote.
In fairness to some faculty, senators Sheli Bernstein-Goff and Richard West sent public emails on February 26 asking why there was “the need for speed here without all the pertinent facts.” Indeed, it appears they would rather have waited until the Ethics Commission investigation and hearing were concluded before acting. The faculty senate, however, would hear none of this and proceeded in haste. As I was told, the time was now to get Capehart.
The faculty senate did not entertain actual facts in its haste to convict an innocent man. WLU is a school that draws most of its students from the graduating classes of the nearby high schools in the Ohio Valley. The closest one, Wheeling Park High, from 2012-2015 lost 150 students in its graduating class. Assuming WLU got ALL of those students, the budget shortfall to the college would be, $1,050,000. Is Capehart to blame for that too? Remember, the “senate facts” complained there was a budget shortfall of just over $1 million, and the faculty blamed that on Capehart. A simple bit of research—something the faculty at WLU seems to be incapable of conducting—reveals high school graduation rates have been down across the entirety of Ohio County. If you multiply that over the valley, the fiscal impact on WLU (even in an SPSS regression) would correlate to the dip in enrollment and a fiscal shortage. But, what’s academics and research when we have a political grudge to settle?
In another email on March 2—this one from V.P. of Institutional Advancement Jason Koegler—Capehart was singled out for derision for hiring one of the consultants who was also working on the Main Street Project because Koegler “knew” Capehart and the consultant were “life-long friends”— Haizlett responded to this alleged damning revelation: “the truth is coming to light.”
Just what was “coming to light” is unclear, but Koegler and Haizlett apparently allege that the consultant was being paid by Capehart with university funds to work on the Main Street Project. Not that there was any proof of this, but what passed for evidence to those who were opposed to Capehart did not need a reliance on actual evidence. That charge from Koegler was not even among the list of Ethics Commission violations.
It should also be noted that at no time did Provost Brian Crawford attempt to speak to the faculty in any rational manner to try to calm the factional waters. Instead, he allowed the community to writhe in its hatred against the rights of a man and his family. This is exactly what Publius warned us about in Federalist #10. As we shall see, the faculty and staff at WLU represented a faction inspired by passion with the intent of violating the rights of others. Again, Crawford was silent. In that silence, we can only assume approval of faculty behavior. With his silence, the faculty was emboldened with alacrity to conduct a no confidence vote. Because the faculty senate wanted to influence the WLU Board of Governor’s (BOG) to oust Capehart, they had to act in haste. As we shall see, they also wanted to illegally try to deny him a livelihood, thus violating his natural and constitutional rights.
Reports from eye-witness sources have told this author that in the run-up to the no confidence vote, faculty senators met in secret in private homes to craft the legislation and collaborate on the public strategy to oust Capehart. This is illegal if true. It not only violates open meetings laws, it also violates a public trust in which the taxpayers should be gravely concerned. To quote from the act:
When a quorum of a governing body discusses issues of interest upon which the governing body expects to take some official action, then this is a meeting. If this discussion takes place outside the confines of a public meeting—whether in person, by telephone, email or other telecommunication means — it is an illegal meeting.
If it is true, it would be the second of three instances the WLU faculty senate broke the law. When I asked two senators and one faculty member whether they met in private and whether any public resolution or legislation was crafted at these meetings, my question was met with silence.
In an email sent to the faculty on March 4, and after the faculty senate vote of 13-6 (with 2 abstentions), we find that the senate was planning as early as February 24th, to forward a motion of no confidence. Yet, in the formal vote, the faculty senate cast a secret paper ballot. There was no call for a division of the vote. To this day we have no idea who voted for no confidence and who didn’t. This is astonishing since every faculty senator is subject to open meetings laws and is technically a public employee. Imagine if at an impeachment of a sitting U.S. President the people had no idea how their representative voted? To this day, the faculty senate has kept the results of its no confidence vote secret. For anyone who has studied history, and who is an ardent defender of republics, what the senate did smacked of a Star Chamber. In other words, injustice is conducted in secret. When a government body has the intent of being unjust, their trials, and votes, are usually held in the dark, in secret, disguised from the complete public view. When I asked several senators to defend their public vote, they refused. One such member, Jeremy Larance, said he would only offer an explanation for his public vote “in private.” It’s easy to see why for the senate minutes are an embarrassment for WLU and it lends evidence of the recklessness of the senate and staff.
The now former WLU HR Director, Jim Stultz, made these audacious and dubious claims during a March 2 faculty senate meeting:
He stated that he has noticed that the BOG has a perception of reality that is not really what takes place on campus. They only hear the positive aspect from the administration. Although the three members of the BOG with direct contact within the university give their opinions at the meetings, he stated that he now takes their concerns much more seriously than he did when he was actually a member of the BOG. He believes that if the BOG had a more accurate picture of what is truly happening, that they would try to get more information. His second point was that from his viewpoint, the students and faculty are key, and that management does not give them enough credit. He believes that the management should put the needs of the faculty first above the administrators. In his experience in healthcare management, he does not think that one can use the same decision-making process as with that of manufacturing widgets, for example. Administrators should be prudent in practice, but also the value of the student and of education should be put first. He stated that he believes that the second most important administrator on campus should be the Provost as a link to faculty and what they need in order to provide quality education for our students. While the CFO is an important part of the process, there may be too much emphasis on the finances and less on the student.
A question was asked of Jim as to whether he believes that the president is negligent in his duties, knowing the contract and expectations of the position. Jim replied that he thinks the board must make the determination of negligence. Yes, some actions were inappropriate and caused embarrassment and a degree of hardship on the university, and that: “The ethics violations are matters of fact, not possibilities.” He also stated that the WV Ethics Commission investigation was complete and thorough and will be decided in April.
Where to begin? If his statement is to be believed, he thinks he knows the mind of BOG better than the BOG knows its mind. He also insults the BOG by stating that the members have no idea what’s “truly happening.” He then lays several claims at Capehart’s feet without proof—that he has not put the students first, nor the faculty first, he has been “negligent in his duties,” etc. He offers no evidence to support his conclusions. He asserts these accusation as if they are beyond reasonable doubt. He also purports to know how a college should be structured, and the exact duties of certain positions in the administration. So knowledgable he is of the duties of accounting and budgeting, he lays unfounded criticisms on the CFO. I had no idea HR Directors had such omniscience!
Yet the most outrageous falsehood proffered by Stultz was his charge that,
‘The ethics violations are matters of fact, not possibilities.’ He also stated that the WV Ethics Commission investigation was complete and thorough…
He seems to not understand that allegations are not facts and not proven until adjudicated. Stultz condemned and convicted Capehart before there was a trial in a way that only Nancy Grace would be proud. His statements defy logic. Even an undergraduate student knows allegations are not necessarily facts. It is a counter to his “testimony” that none of the “facts” were proven against Capehart.
With this “testimony,” the faculty senate was now in a full-throated commotion that resembled a French National Assembly in the month of Thermidor. The senate chair, Linda Cowan, even recognized students at the faculty senate meeting where at least one spoke to the “evident” “corruption” on campus, and that the actions of the president could “invalidate her degree.” There is no evidence in the faculty minutes correcting this obvious untruth. Accreditation and degree procedures do not work that way. Yet, the faculty senate let that lie dangle in the air unchallenged.
Eventually Jeremy Larance made the motion for Capehart’s no confidence. It was quickly seconded by Jim Haizlett. Motions were also offered to draw up confidence not only on Capehart, but Brian Crawford and BOG as well. The rebellion was poised to eat its own, and Crawford was poised to be its Danton.
It was announced during the BOG meeting on March 11, that Capehart resigned, and that he would be kept on as a consultant until January 2016. A quick perusal of the comments sections of these stories linked above will find two over-riding themes: Capehart should be fired because he is a Republican (he isn’t) and that he resigned because he’s guilty (he wasn’t).
On March 17, the press reported on the contract Capehart received after his resignation, and that the BOG accepted and signed. It wasn’t much of a sweetheart deal:
For performing those duties, Capehart will receive the same $220,000 annual salary he was collecting as president plus $1,000 per month in “vehicle reimbursement.” Any additional expenses would have to be pre-approved by the Board of Governors.
The agreement states Capehart will not be entitled to any benefits – such as health and life insurance, sick leave, annual leave or retirement benefits – while serving as a consultant to WLU. He also must leave the university-owned president’s house by June 1.
The agreement also forbids either Capehart or the Board of Governors from discussing the contract publicly, except through mutually agreed-upon statements. Citing that agreement, Capehart declined to comment Monday.
The faculty was wrathful. It wanted him punished without a trial. On March 18, it was reported that the faculty wanted its own investigation into the contract offered to him by the BOG. The faculty senate had called another meeting (on March 17), and in the story noted above they officially stated that,
Senate members voted 12-2 Tuesday to file a complaint with the bar’s Lawyer Disciplinary Board, alleging a conflict of interest between the Board of Governors’ legal counsel, John Gompers, and Capehart because Gompers represented Capehart in four real estate transactions during October 2013.
So, to get this straight: a contract is automatically considered illegal because the lawyer that represented the BOG was also once a lawyer who represented Capehart in a real estate deal? Seriously? That’s your “proof” or “evidence” faculty senate? But the BOG voted unanimously to offer Capehart that contract, including the faculty’s own representative on the BOG at the time, Frank Noble. Yes, the faculty’s own representative also assented to the new contract Capehart received. The senate was so angry at Noble, that they wanted his resignation. Incoherently, Haizlett offered this to the public as the reason for the official senate action:
“I think there is ample evidence to let someone on the outside look at this,” said Faculty Senate member Jim Haizlett, who made the motion to file the complaint. “That’s all we’re saying. … If he’s clean, so be it.”
So on the one hand, there is evidence Capehart was dirty, but on the other hand he wasn’t…maybe. Huh? Another faculty senator exposed the real reason the senate wanted to perniciously punish Capehart . According to senator Susan Herrick,
“This is the time for our voices to be heard. … The board ought to know that we’re not satisfied with the package he’s receiving,” said member Susan Herrick.
We can see the real reason why the senate acted as it did: it was jealous of the contract Capehart received after he resigned. The motion to open an investigation into his recent contract passed the senate 13-0. In another motion, that passed 15-0, the senate decided to write the Ethics Commission a letter “advising” them to not settle with Capehart out of court.
It behooves us to pause at this point and elucidate on what exactly happened in senate on March 17, 2015: the faculty senate broke the law. It was at this point that I objected as publicly as I could to the actions of the senate. However, I was told by the Dean at the time to “keep my mouth shut” or “you might lose your job.” It was for that reason that I informed editor John McCabe at the Intelligencer that I should not write an op-ed (he wanted me to write one) because I was informed my job was in jeopardy. The paper did not seek to investigate that fact.
What did the senate do that was illegal? Under the pretense of, “we are just seeing if the contract is legal and all…” and “what can be the harm of doing that?” there is a disingenuous lawlessness afoot. Indeed, one member of my department stated to me that he could see no wrong in the senate looking into the matter and reporting to the state bar that Capehart’s contract “might be illegal.” He could also see no wrong or harm in the press covering the actions of the senate where specious allegations were made against the college. The faculty rather reveled in all the publicity it was getting to kill the “tyrant Capehart.” It matters not, however, what the faculty was pretending to do in regard to Capehart’s contract. Under the unconvincing pretense of “we just want to find out what’s going on” was a real intent to break the law and cause harm. They simply wanted him fired, and they wanted to prevent him from making a living.
What the tortfeasing senate did was engage in tortious interference. Tortious interference is a legal term that has a lengthy history in law. It is essentially the,
Wrongful or tortious interference with contracts refers to a situation in which a third-party intentionally causes a contracting party to commit a breach of contract. This may be accomplished through inducement or by disrupting a party’s ability to perform their contractual obligations. The purpose of tortious interference laws is to allow parties the freedom to contract with one another and fulfill their contractual obligations without third-party meddling.
The third-party interferer, called the “tortfeasor,” is usually an individual that was not party to the contract and is interfering for his own financial gain.
The senate was asking for a nullification of Capehart’s contract, and trying to interfere with his ability to make a living. They did this in part because they wanted a raise and complained that they were not getting enough taxpayer money incessantly. Check, check, and check. In documents already linked in this post, one of the complaints of the faculty was that they had not received a raise recently—omitting the fact that in many years of his tenure at WLU, that the college was one of the only ones in some years to receive a raise in the entire state. At any rate, the faculty senate cited Capehart’s contract and wages as a possible reason why they were being so fiscally ignored. None of that is more clear than in this internal senate document of March 17 that I did not know about until March 19.
On March 19, I received an email, with attachment, from Brian Fencl, a faculty member, and in it he stated,
Passing along the information that was shared and discussed with the Senate, students and media on Tuesday. I did not generate the information, was not at the meeting but believe this information is what was used to to support the two approved motions. It looks like they wanted to address Jack Wright’s role but it either failed or was not get brought up.
We should note three things: 1) the faculty was engaged in a public media campaign to discredit the president at all costs; 2) the internal senate document, linked above, is full of innuendo and libelous claims; and 3) the senate wanted anyone connected to the president to be fired, as we can see from the numerous motions therein. The document purports that the only reason they wanted oust Capehart and his “cronies” was because of the “ongoing budget deficit.” However, this was a deficit that lands solely, by this time, on the lawless faculty and its senate who were clamoring for publicity.
While the senate proposed to rid the college of Jack Wright, CFO, they also publicly attacked a member of the community, and legal counsel to the BOG, John Gompers, alleging, without proof, he was dirty and unethical as well. Finally, in their besotted hysteria to punish Capehart for having the temerity of accepting a new contract, and for crimes he did not commit, the faculty senate endeavored to,
…move for a vote of No Confidence in West Liberty University’s Board of Governors and call for the immediate resignation of all appointed board members.
Not all of these motions were taken up, or taken up right away. It took some time for the senate to mark its next victim: Jack Wright.
On April 30, under the headline “faculty senate has new target,” the faculty senate voted 14-6 on a motion of no confidence of the CFO. The reason? The college proposed to close down certain programs, like ceramics and art therapy (both in Arts & Com with few students), and certain buildings. The senate chair Linda Cowan noted that there were “other factors” that led to the ousting of the CFO, but the senate declined to state what those were.
I think we all know, or at least have an informed suspicion: the faculty and staff made great efforts to effect their political pogrom. It was stated to me that the senate, faculty, and staff wanted to fire anyone and everyone connected to Capehart. As a result, Shane Stack, Jack Wright, Howard Monroe, Jim Shaffer, Jeff Knierim, and yours truly, had to be terminated. We now ALL have been (more on these stories later). What is perhaps most damning is that students defending the president were also subject to targeting from faculty and staff at WLU.
The problem for the senate was that it was a BOG decision to close the programs and buildings. There was nothing that violated policy or the power and authority of the BOG to make that decision. Undaunted, the senate blamed Wright, and conspired a motion for the BOG’s resignation. Once again, Haizlett sought to make everything clear for the faculty on April 29, after his election to be the faculty’s BOG representative, in this email:
At our last Faculty Senate Meeting on Tuesday, April 21st, a motion was made requesting a vote of “no confidence” in West Liberty University’s CFO, Jack Wright. That motion was tabled in order for faculty senators to discuss and meet with constituents. Please contact any senator to make you voice heard on this matter. Faculty Senate will vote on this motion on Wednesday April 29th at noon in College Hall. In full transparency, please find an email below from Jim Haizlett that was delivered to faculty senate yesterday.
I am humbled at the outcome of today’s vote and will do my best to live up the trust that has been placed in me as your representative to the BOG.
Now, to prepare for next Wednesday’s meeting. Here are some talking points to discuss with your constituents prior to the vote.
My reasons for bringing a vote of “No Confidence” in Jack Wright as our CFO are as follows:
1. The campus has gone without raises for 3 years, and will receive no raises next year due to an ongoing budget crisis. Yet the cost of living and especially health care contributions have increased significantly, yielding a net reduction in real dollars to the hard working employees of WLU.
2.Under Mr. Wright’s leadership the University is in serious financial distress to the point of closing programs, buildings, and firing staff and purportedly faculty.
3. It has been substantiated that Mr. Wright protected the interests of overpriced contract employees, whose value was widely seen as negligible at best, while slashing academic and other critical budgets. (Refer to Senate Facts and Emails provided by Linda Cowan).
4. For years it was hard to know if Jack Wright was merely acting on Mr. Capehart’s biddings, or if he was a conspirator of the fiscal mismanagement we have witnessed in recent years. The closing of Shotwell, College Hall, and the Ceramics program without consulting anyone on the Academic side reveals that Mr. Wright has seriously overreached and has tried to dictate his will without academic consultation. This is unconscionable, indefensible, and must be called out. Like Fonzi, Mr. Wright has jumped the shark. His time at West Liberty University needs to come to a swift end.
Please come to Wednesday’s meeting with one vote. It is too confusing to provide a series of individual votes from your constituents. If there is a tie in your department, you should act as the tie-breaker and provide your vote to the senate.
Thank you. I hope the meeting is a quick one.
This email reflects a deep misunderstanding of not only budgets (and the effect of the ACA on healthcare), and the effect of a declining population that leads to low enrollments, but it seeks one important thing: money for the faculty. It is unclear how Wright was to blame for over-reach when it is the faculty senate that is supposed to represent the faculty. There is nothing Wright did to preclude “faculty input” in any proposal before the campus community. Haizlett’s email lacks seriousness we should expect from a faculty senate member—he simply wanted to effect his scattershot progrom. It wasn’t that he was against faculty and staff were being fired, it was the wrong faculty and staff were being fired. The senate wanted their perceived Capehart cronies fired, and that is why they first set their sights on Wright.
Knowing a vote of no confidence in BOG was fruitless, the senate foudroyantly decided to send up one of their own to BOG to represent the faculty: Jim Haizlett. The letter represents a deeply unserious, callow representative. The untruths stated in it are vast. The claims of fiscal irresponsibility cannot in any way be laid at the feet of Wright, because there was no irresponsibility. As already noted above, the lack of high school graduates in the Ohio Valley accounts for most, if not all, of the budget shortfall. Furthermore, if it is not obvious by now, the actions of the senate, and the public campaign against Capehart and the college itself, contributed more to the decline of enrollment than anything Capehart could have divined. As many parents in the Ohio Valley told this author, they refused to send their kids to a WLU where they believed the faculty hated their job, and were more concerned about their own pocketbooks than actually providing a quality education. They further looked askance at the faculty because there was a sense that the way they treated people was despicable and unprofessional They pointed to the many statements in the press by the faculty as a reason to not trust them with the intellectual livelihood of their children. Who can blame them?
Haizlett, for his part, ignored basic math, excused his actions, and without proof now condemned the “conspirator” CFO for all the college’s woes. The aim regardless of the facts are single minded: blame, and fire.
In a narcissistic April 21 email letter Haizlett sent to the faculty praising himself for several members of the faculty encouraging him to run for BOG representative, he had this to write:
It’s hard to believe that less than two short months ago I drafted a letter to the Provost and BOG, then solicited signatures within my college to fight for the life of the College of Arts and Communication. I believed, and still do, that a disengaged, yet overbearing president was looking for ways to mask his fiscal mismanagement, and our college was in the crosshairs. We won that battle.
Of all the charges against Capehart, it is odd to see overbearing show up as a descriptor. Just what was overbearing about him? Did he harm the faculty by telling them what to teach? No. Did he not give them raises almost every year he was president as they were clamoring? Did he keep in place all performance incentives to allow faculty to earn more money? Yes. Just what did he do? And just what battle was won? Oh, that’s right, Capehart was now gone from campus. Some victory. Pyrrhus would be proud. But the faculty senate failed to interfere with his contract as intended. To praise oneself for this destruction is a sadness for WLU. There’s more:
Several weeks later that same president was himself under fire in a no confidence vote by the faculty senate. When the senate adjourned the meeting in mid-discussion, the president reportedly breathed a sigh relief and went on vacation. As a senator I promptly went to Chair Linda Cowan to revive the no confidence vote and take it to the full faculty, since the senate had been hamstrung. The action was unanimously approved via email, resulting in an emergency senate meeting where the vote of No Confidence again came to the floor. It passed by a majority less than a week after it had been tabled.
Within days of the no confidence vote I wrote an additional letter to the BOG and Provost requesting a full investigation into overpriced and underperforming consultants and administration. I did so after discovering that one consultant, individually, had drained our coffers of up to a half million dollars for what many considered to be substandard advice. The good news is that many of these contracts will not be renewed in July.
Last week I attended the BOG meeting where I strongly objected to the president’s golden parachute, and likewise, strongly objected to the surprise closure of Shotwell Hall, College Hall, and the ceramics program. These closures pose some potentially catastrophic consequences for our students, and were made by the CFO without consultation with the dean, chairs, faculty, or students. In an academic setting such as ours, this type of action is unconscionable and needs to end. However, the BOG unanimously passed the budget containing these closures after minimal discussion.
I promise you I would never let any program or building be closed down on this campus without a thorough questioning of the CFO and proper consultation with the affected parties. Nor would I approve of faculty cutbacks without first considering all of the other options, including administrative positions. We are now in our third year of working without a raise, soon to be four. Money has been misspent and wasted that could have been used for raises, buildings, and most importantly, for our students. I will leave no stone unturned and will work tirelessly with the BOG to get the university back into healthy financial condition.
We should note that despite the unfounded claims that people siphoned money from a public institution, no investigation or charges have been filed. And further, no evidence has ever been presented. Additionally, it is unclear what is meant by “underperforming” nor what objective measurement of performance was used to make such a presumptuous claim.
In a puff piece by WV Public Radio, Haizlett, the new BOG representative, stated that now, after HIS election, the faculty were being listened to. He also boldly claimed that he was the voice of the faculty. And, he vowed WLU would now be able to turn out capable members of society.
Since he was elected, however, the issues he railed about, and the things he would protect, have now been forgotten or abandoned: buildings are being closed, programs shuttered, and faculty are being fired. It seems his aims were personal: save everything in Arts & Com and damn the rest. He has failed to live up to his stated reasons for running for BOG. He broke his promises. He vowed that not one thing that has happened to WLU since his election would happen. It has. He is silent. I guess, to use his words, he has his own golden parachute. I have never been “consulted” by him and neither have countless people fired from the college he swore to protect. So much for promises.
After his initial intent to get rid of all BOG representatives in March, by April in another letter to the faculty, he now contended that BOG was “reasonable” and that, “decent people” existed on it:
If elected I will be an inquisitive and fearless advocate for the interests of all faculty to the BOG. I believe there are reasonable and decent people on the BOG, and when presented with a clear, strong, and persistent voice from the faculty our interests will be heard. I believe that I am a fairly reasonable person, however, when dealing with inequity or abuse I am completely unafraid to speak truth to power.
Thank you. I welcome your comments, but mostly I would appreciate your vote on Wednesday.
What a sudden change of perspective! I’m sure Haizlett will understand that since he is in the position of “power,” a little truth directed his way would be a good thing. In a what can only be described as his Machiavellian moment, it is revealing that he welcomes votes (power) more than deliberation. But, such has been the actions of this lawless senate since the beginning of 2015, and really dating back to 2012 when they violated Emily Capehart’s FERPA.
In the nomination letter quoted above, the “fairly reasonable” faculty member does do one thing that ought to make state investigators look into the actions and statements of the faculty senate between the months of February-April 2015. He admits to being the author of a letter that attempted the tortious interference of Robin Capehart’s contract. To use the words of many faculty regarding Capehart in March: “hey, there’s evidence of wrongdoing, but if he is clean, then ok, I guess we’ll have to accept that.” It’s just a question/concern after all. I’m sure you understand.
The only difference here? We have an admission of guilt.
To the WVHEPC and the Ethics Commission: Again, do your job. The WLU faculty senate broke the law, twice, three times tops. Hold it accountable. To the WVHEPC, I know you have been reading these posts as they have been passed around the office. As a former ACF Chair, I remain in contact with some in your office. It’s time to do something you have not done since the resignation of Brian Noland–conduct some oversight.
Next Up: The Fiscal house of WLU before Capehart left was not dire. In fact, the budget was well set before Capehart left leaving the college on decent footing. The Arts & Com college was bleeding money and was a drain on WLU’s fiscal resources. The railings against Capehart from that faction, were essentially a protection act to save a failing program and school.