LIMA — A Rhodes State College board of trustees member accused the board’s chairman of abusing his position Tuesday.
Dr. Kenneth Clemens also asked that the board add to its policies Robert’s Rules of Order, a guide outlining how meetings should be conducted.
“You play by your own rules,” Clemens told Dr. Wilfred Ellis at Tuesday’s meeting and board retreat. “A civilized society is based on rules, not what one individual thinks is right.”
Clemens’ issues included a vote last year regarding President Debra McCurdy’s contract. He and board member Dr. Jack Spratt and then member Richard Rapp filed a lawsuit over the vote. The three voted against renewing McCurdy’s contract. Rapp has since resigned.
Board member John Paradore agreed that the board should look at Robert’s Rules of Order. The board will discuss it further in September. The school followed the guide previously. Ellis said it is more designed for larger bodies.
Clemens came to Tuesday’s meeting with a list of issues “we should be concerned about.” He said the board is “sloppy” with its executive sessions and accused some members of meeting in private. He also thinks the board violates public records law, saying he has had trouble getting things he’s requested.
Calling it a personal issue, Ellis told Clemens he would respond to his concerns to him in writing.
“I am not a dictator,” he said. “I try to do the best I can to work for the benefit of the college. ... There are certain issues which went on which were unsavory which as board chair I had to take a position.”
Ellis will remain board chairman, despite no votes from Clemens and Spratt on Tuesday. Spratt’s term is up, so Tuesday was his last meeting. Clemens questioned the decision, saying usually a person serves two terms as chairman and then lets someone else.
“I’ve been through two years and stability is what the board needs now,” Ellis said. “I think I provide that stability.”
Clemens also questioned why some members were not involved in a committee to decide on officers as well as the recent appointment of Everett “Butch” Kirk to Rapp’s seat. Keith Cunningham, who did not attend Tuesday’s meeting, will serve as vice chairman and Micki Vollmer as secretary.
“So you have elected yourselves,” Clemens said.
The board also talked about the school’s strategic plan for 2009 to 2012, which the board will vote on in the fall. McCurdy reported that the plan includes enrollment, retention and outreach efforts, increasing co-ops and internships for students, going green and converting to semesters.