Letter to the Editor | Regarding the Council of Trustees & SRU Presidential Search

Published by adviser, Author: The Rocket Staff, Date: November 2, 2017

On October 2, The Rocket received an anonymous envelope containing the following letter to the editor in addition to three other pieces of correspondence. The letter addresses the controversy around the Council of Trustees decision (or lack thereof) on the presidential search during their meeting on October 6 in addition to the search committee and candidates themselves. Coverage of that meeting and its direct aftermath can be found here. The letter below makes reference to an “October 2017 letter,” which we believe to be in reference to Bob Taylor’s October letter to the editor, which you can find here. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the claims made in the following, or any, letter to the editor. The following letter has not been edited for content nor grammar due to the serious nature of its specific claims.

Attached are letters that should be reviewed in light of the recent presidential search situation at SRU. Also, it has been revealed that during the search, an unidentified administrator was told by a Council of Trustees member that they would never “hire a Persian.” This is deeply disturbing.

Bob Taylor did not raise a concern about a conflict of interest until the morning of the final vote of the Council of Trustees. However, he was on the search committee the entire duration. Wasn’t it him that cost the taxpayers $100,000 because he railroaded and sabotaged the process at its conclusion?

When former President Bob Smith was interviewing for the position of president, he was an internal candidate. At least one direct report of his was a member of the search committee In that instance, there was no letter issued the day of the search vote, a report to the Governor or Ethics Commission in that situation; because those circumstances exist very frequently in higher education and to accuse individuals of this is outrageous.

Was not the October 2017 letter simply clear retaliation on the part of Bob Taylor because fellow search committee members disagreed with him and documented his poor conduct previously? Did he perhaps have an ethic bias towards Dr. Mohammadi?

Will Bob Taylor be permitted to continue as a member of the Search Committee, or Council of Trustees, when he clearly did the following:

  • Acted unprofessionally throughout the search process.
  • Missed many meetings and those that he attended he spent the majority of the time out of the room, on his phone, or otherwise unproductively.
  • Completely skipped a candidate’s interview, Dr. Mohammadi, the same candidate that he accused was involved in the conflict of interest, with no explanation.
  • Threatened the entire search committee to NOT send Dr. Mohammadi’s name forward to the Council of Trustees, only minutes before a vote was to be taken that would impact DR. Mohammadi’s candidacy.
  • Took such an irresponsible action to falsely and recklessly accuse two individuals of ethical violations, when no such violations ever occurred. By using his role as a trustee, he abused his authority
  • Smeared the reputation of qualified individuals who interviewed for the presidency by declaring that they were unqualified for the position, which were entirely false according to the position requirements.

Behaviors such as this undermine the governance of the university and his motives and appropriateness to serve the university in the future are to be questioned.

You can view the additional papers sent in with the anonymous letter to the editor here




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