The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

January 26, 2013

Disgruntlement with president rises to surface at Gustavus

ST PETER — Numerous Gustavus Adolphus College faculty, students and alumni are calling for President Jack Ohle’s resignation following years of complaints about his leadership.

For several years, members of the faculty, students and alumni have voiced concern regarding what they call Ohle’s business-minded administration, his lack of concern for academic quality, and disregard for faculty involvement and concerns, among other things.

Recently, the turmoil has boiled over into the public forum, growing in intensity due in part to an anonymous and controversial student-run website called GustieLeaks that has publicized documents, some confidential, regarding the Ohle administration.

According to documents on the site, the Faculty Senate, chaired by religion professor John Cha, recently passed a motion to present a letter to Ohle outlining the various faculty concerns about his leadership and a request for him to resign by the end of the academic year.

The letter stated, in part: “We have reached a point where lack of trust and confidence in your leadership over the span of four years precludes the college from moving forward in its educational mission under your leadership.”

Ohle was present at the meeting, according to the Gustavian Weekly student newspaper, and stated he would treat it with serious consideration. At a previous closed faculty meeting in the fall, those present passed a resolution asking the Board of Trustees to terminate Ohle’s contract as soon as possible.

Faculty demand ouster

A Faculty Survey Executive Summary leaked on outlines many faculty complaints. Of the 77 responses, 73 (or 95 percent) rated Ohle’s performance in mostly negative terms, the senate summarized. Cha declined to comment.

Via email to The Free Press, Faculty Senate member Eric Dugdale cited several examples that have angered faculty, including that Ohle tried to “unilaterally change the college bylaws to remove the authority of the Faculty Manual” and operates outside the established channels of faculty committees.

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