Sunday, April 26, 2009

Nepotism and favoritism: Can it be defeated at Northwest College?

Kick Off Blues
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
NWC’s Director of Student Activities and Orientation, Mike Taylor, was recently awarded as this year’s distinguished adjunct faculty. Congratulations are certainly in order and from what I’ve heard of Mr. Taylor’s instruction, the college got this one right. The same is true with Dennis Davis and in his distinguished full-time faculty award.

As the congratulatory remarks came in over the college’s email system, absent were any kind of comments from his direct supervisor—NWC’s Vice President of Student Affairs Dana Young. Further, given Mike’s accomplishments, it was even more odd/ironic that in the same year of his award, he has been removed from all but one of his golf classes for the upcoming summer and autumn offerings and replaced by the Vince Kobbe, husband of NWC’s human resources director, Heather Kobbe.

It’s likely that the good folks in administrative services and student life will defend his removal because the courses “conflict” with Taylor’s incredibly flexible schedule even though he had been teaching the classes for years. Could it be that Mr. Taylor simply teaches some of the funnest classes offered at NWC and a few bullies out there want some of that action?

While Taylor’s predicament is history, the college is now gunning to fill the Dean of Student Engagement and Success Director—a position that has been vacant for over a year and pays somewhere in the neighborhood of $70K-plus. I’m betting few employees of the college could recite the functions of what appears to be yet another administrative job in our top-heavy institution. One of the finalist is Deb Mills, spouse of the college’s Vice President of Administrative Services, Kim Mills. Speaking of betting, does anyone want to make a wager on who gets the nod for this position as well?

An edict is likely coming from the Governor’s office calling for budget reductions at Northwest College and other community colleges around the state. As a result, there’s a good chance a reduction-in-force (RIF) will be activated. And with commentaries like this, I wouldn’t be surprised to know that my position is on the chopping block. Nevertheless, I hope President Paul Prestwich also considers a little “spring cleaning” in his own administrative offices. While he’s at it, perhaps this would be a good time for him to remind us peons on the anti-nepotism/favoritism policy details at Northwest College—if there are any.