This story appeared online today in the AdVantage newspaper.
By JASON WHITE
The Lewis and Clark Community College Board of Trustees on Tuesday unanimously approved a separation agreement for former President Dale Chapman.
The terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed. Board attorney Dennis Weedman said it would be available via a Freedom of Information Act request, which could not be filed before press time.
The board voted to make Vice President of Administration Lori Artis interim president and Associate Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Brett Reinert assistant interim president.
Chapman’s tenure was marked by enrollment growth, a building boom and academic accolades, but he also received criticism for his salary and spending practices. At a contentious meeting Oct. 8, board Chairman David Heyen, Assistant Secretary Charles Hanfelder, Secretary Kevin Rust, and Vice Chairman Julie Johnson voted against renewing Chapman’s employment contract. Trustees Robert Watson, Brenda Walker McCain and Dwight Werts voted to retain Chapman as president at the October meeting.
Like that meeting, speakers lined up to speak out against the board’s actions toward Chapman.
“Why are we doing this all over again?” Student Government Association President Ashtyn Britt asked trustees. “You’ve already gotten what you wanted.”
Allen Lash, a former resident who lives in Texas, said the board’s actions will cause tuition and tax increases.
“This is just such a disservice to the college, the students and the community,” he said.
Addressing Chapman’s wife, Vice President of Academic Affairs Linda Chapman, he said, “What you have accomplished in this community is amazing. This (college) has been named one of the top 150 schools in the nation.”
Former judge Duane Bailey said he also believes the college will suffer negative consequences.
“Quite a few faculty are going to leave now because they know they cannot trust this board,” he said. “You’ve been judge and jury without even really looking at the facts.”
Former student T.A. Ambrose of Rosewood Heights said he supports not renewing Chapman’s contract and wants to see the college’s money go to students, not more construction projects.
“I think the college is going to see some good days with the board members we have now,” he said.
After the board voted to approve the separation agreement, Heyen read a statement to the audience.
“The board does not make this decision lightly without considering the impact that Dr. Chapman’s 30 years of service have had on this college and on many constituents,” he said. “We recognize some employees and community members may not identify a need for this early transition, but we ask for everyone’s understanding that the board believes it is acting in the best long-term interest of the college.”
Chapman did not attend the meeting and could not be reached Wednesday.
The board approved entering an agreement with The Pauly Group of Springfield, Ill., to conduct a search for a new president. The college plans to hire a new president by July 1, according to the board’s information packet.
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headline Lewis and Clark Community College
by Jason White
December 11, 2019