Fallon fired from EMU (Update1)

July 16, 2007 by  
Filed under News

VP Jim Vick and Police Chief Cindy Hall were also removed as a result of their failure to tell the campus that the death of an EMU student in her dorm room was a murder

Watch the Regents Board Meeting and the Press Conference in its entirety.

(July 16, 2007) The Board of Regents at Eastern Michigan University fired President John Fallon effective Sunday, July 15th. Fallon had come under fire for his mishandling of the reporting of the death and subsequent murder investigation of EMU student Laura Dickinson. Fallon was noticeably absent from today’s meetings. His office has been sealed and he will be given time at a later date to retrieve his personal belongings. Under his existing contract, Fallon has 60 days before he has to move out of University House.

Watch the EMU Regents Press Conference — July 16, 2007

University Regent James F. Stapleton read from a prepared statement prior to the vote to fire Fallon. In that statement, Stapleton hinted that he was persuaded to change his support of Fallon and vote to terminate the president because of allegations that Fallon was about to do or say something that would have been harmful to the University. Stapleton would not elaborate further on the specifics of what Fallon was expected to do that might have been detrimental to the University.

Under the terms of his contract, Fallon will receive one year of salary, approximately $225,000, either in lump sum or over a 12 month period of time.

Also gone from the University are Jim Vick, Vice-president for Student Affairs, and Cindy Hall, Director of Public Safety. Hall reported to Vick. Hall apparently had cleaned out her office over a week ago. Hall, who is is in effect the police chief at EMU, oversaw the investigation of the murder of student Laura Dickinson. Dickinson was raped and killed in her dorm room last December on EMU’s campus. The university had originally said no foul play was suspected and didn’t correct that statement until Orange Taylor III was arrested in late February and charged with her murder.

Failure to disclose and notify the community of campus crimes is a violation of the Federal statue known as the Clery Act and can result in significant fines and penalties for the institution. The U.S. Department of Education has not decided what, if any, fines or penalties they will place on EMU.

The regents confirmed during the press conference that both Vick’s and Halls’ termination from the university was by mutual agreement and they do not expect further litigation.

Watch the EMU Regents Board Meeting — July 16, 2007

Citing personnel policy, the regents would not disclose the terms of Vick or Hall’s separation.

The Regents said that Ken McKanders, University Attorney, was also negligent in his handling of the Dickinson investigation by his failure to properly act under the Clery Act. McKanders received a reprimand that will become part of his permanent personnel file.

Don Loppnow, has been promoted to Executive Vice-president and will take over the helm at EMU.

Several top administrators after the meeting expressed relief that Fallon had been fired. One administrator, who would not go on the record, said it was time to clean house. They were hopeful that the actions by the board of regents would help chart a new course of reconciliation and openness at the University.

Student body president Greg Jones said in a prepared statement, “Defective communication has been a plague on Eastern Michigan University for far too long. Now we have the opportunity to reexamine and rehabilitate this process.”

The death of Laura Dickinson was not the first problems with openness to beset the University. Former EMU president President Kilpatrick had come under fire over the extravagance and over $6 million spent on the University House. Kilpatrick quit after receiving a $500,000 exit package.

YpsiNews asked Regent Sidlick during the press conference, if in the spirit of openness, would he release the Pat Doyle memo regarding the University House. Sidlick would not commit to releasing the memo, however Sidlick said the Doyle memo is an issue the Board of Regents should bring back for reconsideration.

The Doyle memo was at the center of University House scandal. The memo was the subject of a protracted legal battle by the Ann Arbor News over a freedom of information request to EMU to make public a copy of the memo which outlines the money spent and progress on the University House. EMU fought to keep the memo secret and the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in favor of EMU. The Ann Arbor News has not indicated if they will appeal ther case to the State Supreme Court.

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