Any expected fireworks at last (Tuesday) night’s Blinn College Board of Trustees meeting occurred behind closed doors, if at all.
A standing room only crowd filled the Boardroom of the Blinn Administration Building last (Tuesday) night in Brenham. During the public comment portion of the meeting, only two people had signed up to speak. Both were current Blinn employees….Kay Donahoo, an administrative assistant in the Registrar’s office, and Shawn Fazzino, the Enrollment Services Manager on the Bryan campus. Only people who had signed a piece of paper at one of the entrance doors were allowed to speak. Both Donahoo and Fazzino read statements in support of Blinn Chancellor Dr. Mary Hensley and her plan to change the college’s organizational structure. Over the past year or so, a large number of long-time Blinn executives and faculty members have either resigned, were dismissed or were reassigned to other positions. Several Blinn employees stood in a coordinated effort while Donahoo and Fazzino read their prepared statements.
Blinn's Communications Director Richard Bray released a statement today (Wednesday) regarding the college's faculty readjustment.
"Blinn College recently conducted a small reconfiguration of staff positions designed to improve the College's operations, enrollment management, fiscal responsibility, and institutional effectiveness. As Blinn prepares for the upcoming academic year, the College looks forward to creating an even better experience for current and future students while building upon its tradition of affordable educational excellence."
During the consent portion of the agenda, Blinn Board member Stacy Aschenbeck questioned three of the items that were being rubber-stamped by the Board, all dealing with personnel. Although the three items were moved to the “action” portion of the agenda so the Board could discuss them, only one was talked about in the open meeting. Aschenbeck questioned the removal of the grievance procedure as an option for non-contract employees. After an explanation about Texas being an “at will” employment state by Blinn attorneys, the Board approved the change.
Aschenbeck also questioned an item dealing with a change to Chancellor Dr. Mary Hensley’s employment contract. She said she had not even seen a copy of the change, and wanted to see what she was voting on. Board member Richard Powell echoed those concerns, asking that each Board member be supplied with the details of the contract changes.
Aschenbeck’s other question involved the approval of contracts for new executive level employees. She said “The positions were created because we renamed positions where some people have left their position, or they are no longer on the executive council. And that’s concerning. I don’t know why.” Dr. Hensley immediately suggested that the item be discussed in Executive Session behind closed doors. The Blinn Board then recessed before reconvening in Executive Session. After discussion, both the changes to Dr. Hensley’s contract and the contracts for new executive level employees were approved unanimously by the Board.