February 7, 2019
Posed to: Pam Chally, Interim Provost & VP of Academic Affairs
My questions concern the business school and its Dean. This past summer three female office managers, with 35 years of experience among them, walked off their jobs accusing the Dean of creating a hostile workplace. A lawyer was hired to investigate. However, the inquiry was limited to if the Dean violated laws against discrimination and sexual misconduct. Not surprisingly, the lawyer found “no appearance” the Dean violated such laws. What standard of conduct are administrators at UNF held to? Is it limited to whether they break the law? What about the “highest standards of ethical behavior” and “professional practice” called for in the UNF rules and regulations? The investigator’s report contains disturbing accounts of threats, intimidation, coercion and retaliation; as well as other forms of aggressive and unwanted behavior. What is being done about this conduct? Will it be investigated under UNF’s Code of Ethical Conduct? The investigation also produced a “supplemental” report that evidenced among other issues that the Dean tried to interfere with the Presidential Search Committee to further his own candidacy and when he was unsuccessful he retaliated against a committee member. What steps are being taken in response to this second report and this evidence? In both reports, most (but not all) of the evidence came from administrators and staff who work closely with the Dean. There is also evidence that the administration has long known about many of the allegations. Is this what faculty and students can expect from the new administration? Is this who we are? Aren’t we better than this – aren’t we?
Response from the floor by Interim Provost Chally
Interim Provost Chally stated she had concerns about discussing personnel issues in a public forum. She will answer it in the future.