Thursday, June 26, 2008

UW Parkside knew about Felner's problems before he was approved

This ought to get people's blood boiling.

The search committee working to find a new chancellor for UW Parkside was aware of the "no confidence vote" against Dr. Felner. Still they chose him anyway.

When talking to people in Kenosha, the real problem they are having with this is "Was Felner's background checked?" and "If the Felner's background was checked, how is it possible that none of this stuff came up?"

Well, we learn today that a thorough background check was performed and the committee members were aware of the problems taking place with the other faculty members at the College of

Kenosha News (Congrats to K News reporter Matt Olson who stayed on this until he got some straight answers)

But the search committee was aware of a no-confidence vote against Felner at his current university.

Make no doubt about it, I do not believe that anyone knew about the federal investigation taking place. Still there were clearly problems.

Clearly there were so many complaints filed against Dr. Felner that a "no confidence" vote was brought to the floor during a regular meeting.

Look at this list of complaints:

Portes, a professor of education psychology who now works at another university, told the faculty he supported the motion because of "public humiliation of faculty; workplace harassment; retaliation for voicing opinions; little or no governance; decisions that hurt the college; unacceptable and unfair hiring practice(s); rude, offensive, unethical behavior by (college) representatives; denial of support for research to those who differ in opinion; and extreme inequity of pay."

Fellow staff member Namok Choi, associate professor of educational leadership, said she also supported the "no confidence" vote because she was bothered by the college's hiring practices. She said committee works have not been respected and that many times people were hired without being interviewed by the search committee.
The excuses being made by the committee are pathetic:

Evans said the committee became aware of that vote once the four finalists were announced. But Evans said that vote did not discourage support for Felner.

“We knew that there had been conflict, and it was only what you would expect from someone who was a determined change agent,” Evans said. “He never presented himself as uniformly popular. His references said that the faculty that objected to him were vocal, but they were definitely a minority. That didn’t cause us any alarm at all.

At a minimum, a little checking into the "no confidence" vote would have been appropriate by the search committee. They would have easily seen that a number of complaints had been filed. Ms. Evans and the rest of the committee would have also known that it not a small minority complaining but a majority of faculty members were have a problem.

Sorry to Ms. Evans and the rest of the search committee, but I have got to cast my own "no confidence" vote in the abilities of the search committee.

How is the community supposed to put it's faith and trust into a system that has already failed us once before?

We are packing up our children and placing their future's into the hands of a school chancellor and faculty. We must be able to have the utmost faith and trust in the men and women chosen by UW to lead them.

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