There’s an aspect of the Frederick Community College-Talley affair that hasn’t been mentioned yet, so let me bring it up.
Let’s say that I’m a hotshot college administrator looking for a new job as president of a community college. I see an ad in the Chronicle of Higher Education or I’m contacted by a search firm about a job as president of FCC. What’s the first thing I do? An Internet search for FCC. What pops up? The story that the previous president left after six months because of some mysterious “philosophical differences” with the board, which the board refuses to explain. What do I do now? If I’m concerned about my career and professional reputation, I look for other opportunities and forget about FCC. Why should I put myself at risk? If I’m good, I have choices (and I rule out FCC). If I’m not so good, I might take a chance, but only because I have no other options.
Is this the sort of candidate FCC is looking for? (Flip the scenario: As an employer, would you be keen to hire someone who lasted six months in their last job and left under mysterious circumstances they refuse to explain?) If board of trustees Chairwoman Dixie Miller is “as responsible for this as anybody there,” why doesn’t she resign?
What a fiasco: $46,000 in wasted search fees, an unknown amount of money to buy Talley off, a year or two of wasted time, and a guarantee that no highly qualified candidate will want to apply to be president of FCC. Good work!