ST. PETER — Rumors circulated the past year about who was behind the GustieLeaks website designed to release documents regarding President Jack Ohle’s administration at Gustavus Adolphus College.
The identity (or identities) still haven’t been made public with the recent closure of the site, but a message on GustieLeaks.com — the only document left up — indicates that numerous people connected to Gustavus submitted materials, edited content, maintained the website, and donated money to purchase the domain name. There’s no indication of whether faculty were involved, but some of the documents originally posted were faculty surveys not made public.
Faculty Senate Vice Chair Eric Dugdale said he never learned, even in rumors, who was behind the site. And when asked if he believed the creators had accomplished what they set out to do, he said he wasn’t in a position to comment.
“I don’t know who the persons behind the site were or what their goals were. They only posted documents without any editorial comment that would allow one to gauge their motivation, so I don’t feel in a position to speculate about their motives,” Dugdale said via email.
The site’s closure memo states in part: “GustieLeaks was a drastic measure for a drastic situation. We created this site as a hub of information, most of which was already publicly available, and some of which needed to be.
“This site provided information in a time when it was hard to know what to believe among the rumors and confusion. We brought together many disparate pieces of information on President Ohle’s leadership, aiming for simple truths and clarity, because we believed that if the Gustavus community saw the whole story, they would be compelled to push for a change of leadership.”
The memo writers seem to link GustieLeaks’ closure to Ohle’s announcement this summer that he will retire at the end of his contract June 30, 2014. Ohle said in June that his decision has to do with “timing” and being ready to move on and did not indicate that the perception of his administration factored in.