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Listen in tonight at 6 p.m. on 980 AM radio, as Darla Jaye interviews Catholic lawyer and former Johnson County Community College student Kathy Brown. Click here to listen live at KMBZ’s Web site.
It is amazing, the ongoing unethical and incompetent leadership of JCCC leaders President Terry Calaway, elected Trustee Board Chair Jon Stewart (below, right), and Board Vice-Chair Don Weiss (below, left).
It all ends up hurting students, and it ends up costing taxpayers millions of dollars through wasteful expenses.
Sam Brownback shares responsibility for promoting this anti-educational environment at JCCC, because Brownback inexplicably placed corrupt JCCC Trustee Lynn Mitchelson on his campaign committee. Mitchelson even supports the college’s no-bid contract to dishonest attorney Mark Ferguson, who is a law partner with Kansas Democratic Party chairman Larry Gates.
Kathy Brown was a student during the first semester of 2009. She accuses JCCC of two separate First Amendment violations. Fifteen months later, JCCC leaders still have offered her no meaningful explanation or solution. Yet these same leaders recently responded to illegal immigrant students within three days, when they wanted to attend a conference at taxpayer expense.
A year ago, I had no idea how accurate I was, when I described the law-breaking at JCCC under President Terry Calaway, Board Chair Shirley Brown-VanArsdale, and Vice-Chair Lynn Mitchelson as “the cover-up is worse than the crime.” That was when they wasted thousands of dollars covering up their law-breaking after they broke the Kansas Open Meetings Act (it’s pretty clear that many of them didn’t even know the law, despite being public officials for years and years). My comment was also made after it had been proven that Calaway’s choice for Dean of Arts and Sciences Betty Furtwengler (right) had violated the First Amendment by punishing a professor for merely criticizing the human rights records of Muslim-controlled nations. Furtwengler’s department is the same department under which Kathy Brown was a student.
I was a public representative at JCCC through the end of June 2009, yet Terry Calaway, JCCC’s lawyer Mark Ferguson, and elected leaders Lynn Mitchelson and Brown-VanArsdale violated their ethical duties to inform me of Brown’s complaints. Yet they did take the time to send me a taxpayer-funded “cease and desist” letter that was based off of knowingly-false premises, and that threatened me with a taxpayer-funded lawsuit if I were to continue to accurately accuse them of engaging in unethical, dishonest behavior.
Keep in mind, also, that many of these hostile, anti-educational actions by JCCC leaders occurred after the college added the Orwellian job of “Dean of Learner Engagement” within the administration. The job was given to the pro-union (NEA) faculty member Rick Moehring (right), who was so aloof that he then interviewed with The Kansas City Star to tell us how (in his mind) he got the job, and during one of America’s weakest economies ever.
What was the most important influence in your ability to achieve this particular position?
“Passion and ideas. I have a strong passion to see students succeed and love the process by which ideas become innovation.”
What is your best advice for others interested in moving up?
“Two things. First, my time in leadership within the faculty taught me that, as a leader, people need to be able to trust and respect you, your motives, and your ideas. Develop yourself as a leader now. If you cannot convince people to follow you early in your career, an administrative position will not help.
The second is summed up nicely by Eric Hoffer, an American social writer and philosopher who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1983: ‘In times of drastic change, it is the learner who inherits the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.'”
JCCC’s motto is “Learning comes first.” No, it does not. These people are not serious educators. They are unconcerned about student performance, and they are unconcerned about representing the interests of the voting taxpayers.
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Connect with Benjamin Hodge at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, The Kansas Progress, and LibertyLinked. Hodge is President of the State and Local Reform Group of Kansas. He served as one of seven at-large trustees at Johnson County Community College from 2005-’09, a member of the Kansas House from 2007-’08, a delegate to the Kansas Republican Party from 2009-’10, and was founder of the Overland Park Republican Party in 2011. His public policy record is recognized by Americans for Prosperity, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters, the Kansas Press Association, the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government, the NRA, Kansans for Life, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).