Save Our School!

Monroe Community College
April 21, 2008 Dr. John B. Clark, Interim Chancellor SUNY State University Plaza 353 Broadway Albany, NY 12246 Dear Dr. Clark: I am sending this SOS because I believe recent actions by the Monroe Community College Board of Trustees are threatening our current presidential search process and the integrity of our school. It is especially disturbing to me that not all the Board of Trustee members signed the conflict of interest disclosure form on a timely basis as required by Board policy. One has not signed yet. As part of our 2005 Middle States Self Study, it was recommended that the Board develop a written conflict of interest policy. Through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, I obtained a copy of our conflict of interest (COI) policy and the signed disclosure forms for the current Board members. Below are, in chronological order, their names and the dates that they signed. Lori VanDusen Michael Nuccitelli Ilene Flaum Richard Guon Richard Warshof Wayne Zyra Kenneth Goode David Ladwig Richard Mackey 9/8/06 9/12/06 9/12/06 9/13/06 9/13/06 9/13/06 8/9/07 8/13/07 3/30/08

Apparently, prompt work was done to follow-up the Middle States recommendation, as several Board members signed in September 2006. The COI policy calls for new board members to receive the form at the time of their appointment and return the signed form within 30 days. This seems to have partially taken place, as two new members signed in August 2007. Richard Mackey just signed, despite the policy calling for the form to be signed and returned within 30 days of his appointment. As you can see, there are nine signed disclosure forms; there are ten board members. The reply to my FOI request included the following statement: “Please find these documents, in as much as Monroe Community College is in possession of them, attached.” This phrase seems to be legalese for saying that if they had a signed disclosure form for John Parrinello, they would have included it. Parrinello has been on the Board for several years. He has had adequate opportunities to sign this very standard, innocuous document. His willful refusal to do so calls into question his

commitment to the policies and procedures developed by the Board and the College he claims to serve. This is further evidenced by his recent actions in support of adding unqualified candidates and then bringing a motion that the search be discontinued. Does he have any conflicts of interest? As he hasn’t signed the disclosure statement, we can’t know. However, in a recent radio interview, he indicated possible plans to run for political office again. (He unsuccessfully ran for city mayor a few years ago.) He has family members who are employed by the college. Given the political overtones of the presidential search and the recent board approval of the FA contact, the potential for a conflict of interest exists. As stated in the policy on conflicts of interest, “Failure to disclose adequately a potential or actual conflict of interest shall constitute cause for removal from the Board.” Since he hasn’t signed the disclosure statement, he has failed to make adequate disclosures. It has taken nearly 50 years to build MCC into one of the finest community colleges in the state and country. Our reputation for excellence is severely harmed by the continued turmoil created by one trustee, and seemingly allowed by a majority of other board members. Please intervene! Sincerely,

Renee Rigoni Professor of Business Administration and Economics Monroe Community College cc: Mr. Carl T. Hayden, Chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees