Capehart resigns from his place after report | Information, sports activities, jobs
CHARLESTON — For the second time in eight years, Robin Capehart of Moundsville has resigned as president of a four-year West Virginia college after discovering issues at Bluefield State College.
In keeping with an October report primarily based on a September focus go to by representatives of the Greater Studying Fee, a regional school accrediting company, Bluefield State College officers should seem earlier than HLC’s Institutional Motion Board subsequent March in Chicago to additional clarify the actions it has taken. Capehart. and different Bluefield State officers, together with alleged unethical conduct towards school and workers.
The report was obtained by means of a Freedom of Info Act request submitted Nov. 8 to the West Virginia Greater Schooling Coverage Fee.
The BSU Board of Governors accepted Capehart’s resignation on November 2 throughout conferences held the identical day. In keeping with a press launch, Capehart is helping the board in the course of the transition interval within the seek for a everlasting president beginning after the tip of the yr. A request for remark from Capehart was not returned.
The Board of Governors introduced Tuesday that BSU alumnus Darren Martin will turn into interim president of BSU after a particular board assembly on Monday.
“The Board of Governors is worked up to have a three-generation Bluefield State graduate main this establishment to higher issues.” Board Chairman Charlie Cole mentioned in a ready assertion Tuesday.
Martin holds a bachelor’s diploma in arithmetic instructor schooling from BSU, a grasp’s diploma in instructional management and administration from Radford College, and a doctorate diploma in instructional management and coverage research from Virginia Tech. At Virginia, Martin has served Bluefield College in a number of roles, together with affiliate professor of schooling, program dean and director of upper schooling research.
In an e-mail despatched Tuesday night to the Bluefield State group, Martin mentioned he learn the HLC report and posted it publicly that very same day so the campus may learn it and supply suggestions.
“Bluefield State has nice potential, however we will solely attain that potential if we work collectively and share belief with and towards one another.” Martin mentioned. “I’m assured that our greatest days lie forward and I’ll dedicate myself absolutely to serving this establishment, its college students, staff, alumni and our group.”
“On this regard, I’ve reviewed the report I obtained final month from the Greater Schooling Fee.” Martin continued. “As an establishment, we have now numerous work to do. I am rolling up my sleeves for Bluefield State. I hope you may be part of me.”
BSU officers hope that by appointing Martin to run the state’s second traditionally black school and college, these actions will convey to HLC that they’re critical about transferring on from Capehart and creating a greater ambiance for school, workers and college students.
HLC officers visited BSU for a peer review-focused go to Sept. 25-26. The aim of the go to was to evaluate issues concerning the college’s non-compliance with HLC necessities that require greater schooling establishments to ascertain and preserve “…insurance policies and processes to make sure honest and moral conduct on the a part of the Board, administration, school and workers.”
Nevertheless, in line with the report, the peer evaluate staff found extra points throughout their go to to BSU. The evaluate staff encountered people observing them recording conversations throughout visits with school and workers, and interviewers spoke with workers who had been “Usually close to tears” He recounted experiences on the college, and the staff witnessed not less than one battle between people throughout one assembly.
The peer evaluate staff decided that enough proof collected throughout their go to to BSU warranted sanctions from the Greater Studying Fee.
“The proof signifies that (Capehart) and the Bluefield State College Board of Governors don’t function with integrity in lots of educational and human assets capabilities.” The report said that.
In keeping with the report, the BSU Board of Governors authorised a brand new hiring coverage provided by Capehart in 2022 that allowed him to rent anybody for positions with out a formal search course of, giving him… “Limitless management over the recruitment, hiring, and analysis of college.”
“Interviewees supplied quite a few examples of people being appointed with out a formal search course of, together with school appointments by the president with none school enter.” The evaluate staff mentioned. “The president lately deemed a failed seek for a political science school member as a result of he felt the highest two candidates (each minority candidates) didn’t have American credentials in political science, although that was not listed within the place description.”
Employees and directors knowledgeable the evaluate staff that staff had been moved to completely different positions and their titles modified with out warning. Some reported feeling unqualified for his or her jobs and that their jobs didn’t match the job specs.
In 2022, Capehart oversaw the termination of the college senate by the Board of Governors and the institution of a post-service evaluate of professors, resulting in a vote of no confidence in Capehart’s management final November. The BSU Employees Council additionally has not met in additional than two years.
“Capehart indicated… that the Senate wouldn’t cooperate with him.” The report staff mentioned. “He additionally mentioned he didn’t attend School Council conferences… as a result of he didn’t like a few of the questions he was requested.”
The School Council was changed in January 2023 by the School Council with new bylaws written by Brent Benjamin, a former state Supreme Court docket justice, and BSU’s govt vice chairman and basic counsel. Whereas the physique can amend its bylaws, such adjustments should be authorised by Capehart, who additionally decides which gadgets will probably be positioned on agendas. Benjamin declined to touch upon this story.
The top of the School Council membership additionally led to the cancellation of most of the standing committees involved with curricula, program evaluate, promotion, and tenure. In keeping with the evaluate, the Senate was abolished even after the physique authorised adjustments requested by Capehart to make the physique extra inclusive. The School Council was unable to satisfy because of lack of a quorum.
“Because of the lack of a quorum on the majority of council conferences, officers had been unable to kind or mobilize committees.” The evaluate staff said that. “Subsequently, the College has gone for greater than 10 months with out peer-based program and curriculum evaluate and university-wide promotion and tenure evaluate.”
In keeping with the report, members of the peer evaluate staff heard worker issues that Capehart used the brand new post-service evaluate course of for her “Punish or get rid of those that don’t agree with the president.” The post-service evaluate course of, which incorporates the educational dean, provost, and president, doesn’t embrace any school enter.
HLC’s peer evaluate staff accused Capehart of not retroactively renewing the contract of an unnamed worker, who raised issues with the evaluate staff about being transferred to a brand new place for which the particular person felt he was unqualified.
“In a follow-up e-mail, the worker indicated that he obtained a letter dated backdated (two weeks previous to the go to).” The evaluate staff mentioned. “This particular person was then given a termination letter. The worker was given no purpose for termination and was merely advised: ‘All of us serve on the will and pleasure of the President.’
“The Visitation Staff is worried that this particular person has been terminated for elevating these points with the Visitation Staff, and that others might also be terminated for talking out in the course of the web site go to.” The report continued.
The evaluate staff additionally decided that sanctions in opposition to the BSU Board of Governors had been warranted “Failure to make selections which might be within the curiosity of the college.” The board isn’t educated in HLC insurance policies and greatest practices, is unduly influenced by Capehart, and doesn’t present school with the chance to supervise curriculum improvement, the report mentioned. The evaluate staff discovered that there was a necessity for extra oversight of current educational adjustments.
Capehart was chosen by the Board of Administrators to be the sixteenth president of then-named Bluefield State School on September 11, 2019. He served as interim president starting in January 2019 and was formally named president on October 17, 2020.
The varsity was initially based because the Bluefield Coloured Institute in 1895, and makes a speciality of instructing, engineering, and nursing. Bluefield State and West Virginia State College on the Institute are the final traditionally black schools and universities within the state after Storer School in Harpers Ferry closed within the Fifties.
That is the second time Capehart has resigned from management of a public college. Capehart resigned as president of West Liberty College in 2015 after a vote of no confidence by school and a 13-rule order from the state ethics fee. Capehart was accused of utilizing college assets for the good thing about a personal movie firm he based. Capehart later settled the ethics grievance, pleading responsible to at least one depend and agreeing to pay a $5,000 superb and $5,000 in prices related to the investigation.
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