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Mountjoy-Gastenveld OCTCS Mess Gets Messier

August 20th, 2010 · 3 Comments

To continue our trend of negative news today, let’s dig into another nightmare.

Remember Paula Gastenveld, the OCTCS head that Helen Mountjoy apparently axed over some bitterness when she caught on to an alleged financial scheme?

Here’s a quick refresher:

Fast forward to yesterday. The Messenger-Inquirer published information about Gastenveld’s performance at Owensboro Community and Technical College that, well, here are some excerpts:

Of the 140 responders to Dr. Paula Gastenveld’s final faculty and staff evaluation conducted in the spring of 2009, a strong majority gave the former OCTC president high marks for leadership and accomplishments — and only 14 responded negatively when given the chance to comment.

But in May of that year, a short time after the evaluation was completed, Gastenveld was removed from the president’s position and transferred to the Kentucky Community and Technical College system office in Versailles.

The Messenger-Inquirer obtained a copy of Gastenveld’s 2009 faculty evaluation this week, which shows that between 81 and 90 percent of those who evaluated Gastenveld either agreed or strongly agreed positively to a number of statements about her leadership and performance as president.

The story is behind a pay wall, so there’s no sense in linking it.

Interesting that a woman with such high approval from faculty and staff would get canned over performance issues, isn’t it?

The story goes on:

The evaluation tool featured nine statements about Gastenveld’s leadership and two open-ended questions that asked about her strengths and what she should focus on in the coming year. The final two questions generated an avalanche of ideas and opinions.

The first nine sections on Gastenveld’s 2009 evaluation give examples of her leadership and invite responders to answer: strongly agree, agree, no opinion, disagree or strongly disagree.

On all nine statements, at least 81 percent of the responders either strongly agreed or agreed with Gastenveld’s leadership and accomplishments, and in eight of the nine areas, at least 85 percent agreed or strongly agreed.

The document includes about 200 comments from respondents about the former president’s strengths and what her priorities should be for 2009-10.

Of those 200 or so entries, about 14 were negative.

Common themes in the positive remarks were that she improved morale, relocated several departments to make the campus more accessible for students and the community, improved the appearance of the community college and focused on students and faculty.

Numerous mentions were made of the challenges she faced with a stark budget and economic crisis as well as an attempt to derail her leadership by a small group.

Interesting that OCTCS/KCTCS didn’t release this document and sued the Messenger-Inquirer to keep other documents from seeing the light of day. Even more interesting that it took someone leaking this evaluation data for it to get to print.

You may view the Gastenveld evaluation data by clicking here.

Some highlights:

  • 88.6% agree or strongly agree that Gastenveld provided leadership for college operations including a balanced budget in time of decreased funding
  • 85% agree or strongly agree that Gastenveld provided collaborative leadership with Administrative Council, Executive Cabinet, Leadership Team and College Assembly
  • 89.9% agree or strongly agree that Gastenveld provided leadership in Academic Affairs
  • 81.5% agree or strongly agree that Gastenveld provided leadership in the community
  • 88.4% agree or strongly agree that Gastenveld provided leadership in professional development

This Western Kentucky scandal isn’t going away any time soon.

Tags: Corruption · Education · Flashback · Investigation · Mainstream

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 blowin' in the wind // Aug 20, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    It shouldn’t go away anytime soon. I am beginning to think that anyone engaged in any way with oversight of Kentucky colleges and universities needs an ethics course pdq. (Not that it guarantees anything, but at least people can’t claim ignorance)

  • 2 Belknap Banquo // Aug 20, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    From what I hear around Frankfort, it never was much of a joy to mount Helen. From Mountjoy to Stumblin’ Joe. FAIL!

  • 3 Richard // Aug 21, 2010 at 7:40 am

    Is that the same Joe who got kicked off the democratic state committee ? Where do you get these people governor ? And Why ?