In late September, the Central Arizona College Faculty Senate held an electronic vote administered via e-mail to determine if its members had issues with President Jenkins’ leadership and policies.
Of the 88 eligible members of the faculty senate, 61 voted indicating no confidence, according to a Sept. 21 letter to the college’s board of governors.
In two October letters addressed to the college’s governing board — one from the Managerial and the Technical Support Association and the other from the Central Arizona College Support Association — allegations range from leadership style to putting in danger the school’s accreditation.
Jim Kimsey, CAC human resources vice president, has been tapped to conduct the investigation, according to the Oct. 18 resolution.
Of the 83 members who responded to the MTSA survey 69 stated they had issues or concerns with President Jenkins, the Oct. 7 letter indicates.
Of the 122 members of the CAC support association who voted at a Sept. 23 emergency meeting 75 ballots were cast as “no confidence” in the current president’s actions and leadership, the Oct. 11 letter shows.
While the board of governors opted to pursue an investigation into the numerous allegations against Mr. Jenkins, it also reaffirmed its faith in the job being done by its president.
“Regarding those votes of no confidence, we wish to make it clear that at this time, we have confidence in and support for the president,” Rick Gibson, board of governors members, said at the Oct. 18 meeting while reading from a statement. “Regarding the specific allegations of policy violations we are not comfortable that we have all the facts.”
No timeline has been set for when the investigation is anticipated to be finished and the final decision rests with the board of governors, according to the Oct. 18 resolution.
“To prevent any confusion concerning lines of authority, everyone needs to understand that Mr. Kimsey is working for the board and only the board,” Mr. Gibson said. “We want a factual report, which does not make recommendations to the board.”
Hugo Steincamp, MTSA president, declined comment on the matter.
“I really can’t comment on things in the letter at this point,” he said in an Oct. 17 phone interview. “I really can’t comment on the allegations in the letter — that is pretty much it at this point.”
Yolanda Talamantez, CAC support association district president, also declined comment.
“At this point, we are just waiting for the governing board decision,” she said in an Oct. 17 phone interview. “At this point I won’t be making any comment.”
However, Dr. Marjorie Schiller, CAC faculty senate secretary, was willing to speak on the record.
“I think the reason it is coming out is because it has reached a critical mass,” she said in an Oct. 19 phone interview. “It is not like all of this happened yesterday; things have happened through the years.”
Dr. Schiller says the working environment at CAC has been difficult for those opposed to the leadership of President Jenkins.
“We have known he is a bully for years ... firing people willy-nilly,” she claimed. “I think it came to a critical mass when we found out he fired our vice president Don Pearl.”
Mr. Pearl is still listed on his Linkedin profile as being CAC’s vice president of instruction and chief academic officer, but Dr. Schiller contends he was unjustly fired in the last few months.
Dr. Schiller says a strong contingency of CAC employees would like to see President Jenkins resign and a national search be conducted for a new college president.
“He was appointed as an interim, but the board just decided to extend his contract,” she pointed out. “He has no academic background and he does not know what it is like to be an educator.”
Dr. Schiller says she was disappointed by the board of governor’s decision to conduct an internal investigation into alleged claims.
“I’m really not at liberty to let you know that,” she said in response to being asked what next steps are for the various employee organizations. “We don’t want our strategies to be known or what else we are doing. The only thing that we are definitely not doing is giving up.”
President Jenkins did not return a phone call for comment.
Limitations of investigation
The below was taken from the Oct. 18 Central Arizona College Board of Governors resolution authorizing an internal investigation into the alleged wrongdoing on the part of CAC President Dennis Jenkins. The scope of the investigation will be limited to:
- The question of President Jenkins’ qualifications — The board of governors has addressed this issue before and decline to do so again.
- The board of governors are not interested in things that may or may not have happened prior to the time President Jenkins took office.
- The focus of the investigations shall be the alleged policy violations.