For Las Positas College’s president Kevin Walthers, it wasn’t good to be king.
In October, during a meeting of the school’s Academic Senate, Sarah Thompson, the president of the senate, brought to light numerous complaints she had received concerning the performance of LPC’s president Kevin Walthers. The revelations and subsequent news coverage caused a campus wide controversy.
“They’re sensing a pattern of him being very impulsive, rude and unprofessional,” Thompson said during the Sept. 26 meeting. “Also interference of the job. There’s inability to get something done, because it’s being held up by him.”
Among the allegations aimed at Walthers were that his management style was often abrasive, he did not prioritize saving jobs during a period when the school’s budget was being cut and that he micromanaged issues unnecessarily.
Campus Safety Supervisor Sean Prather delivered pointed remarks criticizing the administration of president Walthers.
“He has made my job extremely difficult,” Prather said. “I’m willing to put my reputation on the line to say that I feel he is unsafe, and he lacks sound judgement being our president.”
The senate was on the verge of presenting a censure letter to Walthers, but ultimately tabled that letter after it was announced that Walthers would be quitting.
Walthers initially denied before finally confirming that he was in the process of searching for another job. He has recently officially presented his resignation to the district’s board of trustees. That resignation will be effective in Dec. 2013, pending Walthers finding another job.
Walthers defended his job performance, highlighting various measures he had undertaken to save the school money and better serve students. Those measures included the Foundation 55 program, raising $60,000 towards the school’s budget and suspending two dean positions which saved staff jobs.
In response to the initial article published in the Express, 40 faculty members sent a letter to the Express decrying the coverage of the issue as detrimental to the school.
“The person in this role (of president) carries a lot of responsibility and requires respect in order to be successful,” the letter read. “It is a journalistic duty to report on issues and conflicts. To do this takes courage. To do it in a balanced and respectful way is challenging, but essential if the integrity of the press is to be preserved.”
The letter also stated that “how an article is written can undermine the work of any future president.”
As a result of the Express’ coverage, two news articles appeared on news web pages in the Tri-Valley area.
In the meantime, Walthers is still the school’s president and LPC will soon begin the search for its sixth president in nine years.