FORT MYERS, Fla. - New details concerning the recent uproar at Edison State College - We're learning that at next Tuesday's Trustees meeting, Edison State President Kenneth Walker will recommend the board return Dr. James Browder to his original position of Vice President of Operations after recently moving him to an off-campus position.
This follows a whirlwind of controversy surrounding Browder's hiring and promotion, faculty demands he be removed, and an 84% vote of no confidence in both Walker and Browder. The board will only discuss the item - not vote. But the discussion alone is a surprise to professors like Dr. Russell Swanson.
"It had just clearly not worked out for him at Edison," Swanson said. "His style and management and the college had just not meshed. I thought that was well understood. It does seem, on the face of it, to go against the spirit of the idea. I think many of us at Edison had thought Dr. Browder was going to be encouraged to look for employment elsewhere."
According to Walker, "Dr. Browder's external assignment was temporary...I only agreed to remove Dr.Browder from any relationship with the college faculty and academic matters. The Faculty Senate added the off campus request without my agreement."
"It's definitely something I'm surprised by," student Alan Redfield said. "I don't think that it's going to be conducive to a positive atmosphere for faculty of students."
If the board votes Drowder back into his original position, the College says he will go back to the original contract arrangement, overseeing areas such as facilities, public safety, IT, and charter schools, with his original salary of $160,000.
In response to recent faculty concerns, Tuesday's agenda also includes four items, suggesting policies be developed requiring greater transparency in employment contracts, costs of agenda items, and availability of agenda materials and minutes.