Thursday, March 29, 2001 Volume 66, Issue 121



Committee finds errors in hiring process 

Report: Dean bears responsibility for fostering an atmosphere 
of distrust

By Tim Williams
Daily Cougar Staff

A Faculty Senate subcommittee report found that the dean of the College of Education should have sought input from the faculty when selecting the chairperson for the Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Studies.

The subcommittee released the report during the Faculty Senate meeting Wednesday at the Brown Room of the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library.

The report was compiled by four members of the Faculty Affairs Committee, which was created by Dean Robert Wimpelberg in response to faculty concerns regarding the hiring of the current ELCS chair, Richard Fossey. 

"The Task Force found that the lack of collective faculty input (during the installation of Fossey as chairperson) undoubtedly contributed to the opposition that developed in the department," the report read.

The report cited the American Association of University Professors' statement on government of colleges and universities.

"(A chairperson) should be selected either by department election or by appointment following consultation with members of the department," the report stated.

The subcommittee found that Wimpelberg consulted with individual faculty members and held a single meeting with the entire department about Fossey, but it proved to be "inadequate consultation." They found Wimpelberg failed to present the reasons for Fossey's appointment to faculty in a timely manner.

"Wimpelberg bears responsibility for fostering an atmosphere of distrust that has developed within the department," the report read.

In addition the task force found that Wimpelberg failed to "adequately justify" the removal of former ELCS department chairman, Richard Hooker, to the faculty.

The subcommittee also investigated if UH affirmative action policies were violated when Fossey was hired. Although the subcommittee found no violations of policy, it voiced its concern that no national search had been conducted to fill the position.

The report will not be fully debated and approved until the April Senate meeting. Subcommittee chairman Joseph Eichberg said he hopes for a constructive discussion of the findings at that time.

In other business, UH President Arthur K. Smith announced that UH alumni Jim Nantz would speak at this year's general commencement. Nantz is a national sports broadcaster currently announcing NCAA's "Final Four" basketball.

"Nantz is someone who our graduating students can relate to," Smith said.

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