Inner turmoil at Shawnee Community College

ULLIN, IL (KFVS) - Instructors at Shawnee Community College have had many doubts and concerns with the school's latest president, Dr. Peggy Bradford, since she took the position last fall.

The Shawnee College Education Association held a rally on June 4 to preserve SCC's future and call for the Board of Trustees to take action.

"Now we're not asking them to do anything they haven't done for any other president of our college, and in fact, a review is part of her contract," said SCEA President Sheryl Ribbing. "And so tonight we are asking them to do it in such a way that they give everyone an opportunity that is an employee of this college that has been impacted by her leadership to participate in that process."

"We need to preserve the integrity and quality of Shawnee Community College, so that we can continue to provide an affordable higher education to all of our students in Southern Illinois," said SCEA President Sheryl Ribbing. "We ask that the Board of Trustees address our concerns before we lose more faculty and staff."

The rally started at 5 p.m. at SCC ahead of the Board of Trustee meeting.

Some faculty said months of complaints have not been heard, resulting in a 100 percent vote of "no confidence" of Dr. Bradford in late March.

Official complaints have been filed against Dr. Bradford over multiple issues.

Ribbing, complained to the school's board that the current president has increased salaries for administrators, spent money on things that don't directly help the students, and. created a "hostile work environment." And, contributed to class cancellations that risked students' enrollment in the school, thus costing revenue.

Craig Bradley is an instructor at SCC who has taken note in some of Dr. Bradford's expenditures he sees as unnecessary.

He said that he requested expenditure data on a number of actions taken by the president over the past nine months through the Freedom of Information Act.

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In his findings, he said the president spent a grand total of $29,858.42 on getting new furniture for her office, a new podium for things like graduation ceremonies, and a presidential inauguration to celebrate Dr. Bradford's taking of the office.

Dr. Bradford said the school has never had a presidential inauguration ceremony before her. However, she defended the action by saying it was meant to draw in community support for the school.

Additionally, Bradley and Ribbing complain about massive amounts of turnovers in the school; saying, employees have taken early retirement, found new jobs, or just left the school for one reason or another.

They attribute many of these to a different work environment since Bradford came to the school.

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