Prairie State Chair's Stepdad Nabs Full-Time Administrative Position
The college's faculty representative is fuming about the board's decision to appoint Leo Alexander to a human resources position during a time when the board is actively fighting nepotism among the faculty.
Board of Trustees Chair Jacqueline Agee's stepfather has been appointed to yet another $80,000-a-year job at Prairie State College, but this time it isn't temporary, according to a college official.
Leo Alexander, who was appointed to the position of temporary director of labor relations just over a year ago, was made the assistant director of human resources at the board's Dec. 4 meeting, according to Faculty Representative John H. Flannigan.
Furthermore, the position was upgraded from a higher-level clerical job to an administrative one, according to Flannigan.
But while the status of the position went up, the minimum education requirements decreased from a master's degree to a bachelor's degree to fit Alexander's credentials, Flannigan added.
"In the past the board has never been this brazen," Flannigan said. "But the board has always caused the most trouble for themselves when they have attempted to influence the hiring of people and push for the candidacy of a friend or relative and then not have a search for the position."
Flannigan said he predicted the board would make this move during his comments at a Jan. 31, 2012 meeting.
"It all happened as it was predicted," Flannigan said. "To have somebody already in mind for the job, it just smacks of a corrupt process."
While Agee has yet to respond to Patch for comment, she maintains that the initial hiring of Alexander did not violate board policy.
In spite of Alexander's appointment, the board approved for final reading a nepotism policy at its Dec. 4 meeting. The catch is that it only applies to Prairie State employees, not the board.
Trustee Wendell Mosby opposed the policy during a voting session at the Oct. 30 meeting, saying it was the board's way of retaliating against faculty that opposed Alexander's initial hiring. Mosby then walked out of that meeting and removed the quorum, which led to his censure last week.
"In my heart of hearts I felt (the nepotism policy) was specifically retaliation because of that hire," Mosby said. "I know that’s all it was. It was like ‘take that.'"
There is a definite divide between the faculty and the board because of perceived cronyism, nepotism and favoritism, according to Flannigan. Mosby also noted a sour relationship between the two sides.
"It always feels like it's us against them and not us working together," Mosby said.
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