Senior Santa Fe official resigns abruptly
Published: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 at 1:31 a.m.
A top vice president at Santa Fe Community College has resigned her post.
Nancee Bailey, SFCC's vice president for Academic Affairs since July, is leaving the college immediately but will remain on the payroll as a consultant until June 30.
SFCC President Jackson Sasser announced the resignation Monday at an impromptu meeting where employees were invited to the college's gymnasium.
It was not clear whether Bailey was asked to resign, but Sasser said her exit was the right decision.
"She and I agreed that her resignation was the best for her and the college," Sasser said.
Bailey could not be reached for comment late Monday night.
Of Sasser's six vice presidents, Bailey was responsible for the largest division - all of the college's academic departments.
When hired in July, it was expected that Bailey would be a top lieutenant of Sasser's for years to come.
But that expectation began unraveling after Bailey presented a proposal in November to reorganize the academic division. That proposal proved to be unpopular with faculty.
The reaction against the changes was so negative that Sasser was forced to call an emergency meeting to quiet angry faculty.
The changes were too sweeping and too "top-down," faculty members said.
Under one unpopular change, the visual and performing arts department was to be combined with the humanities and foreign languages department.
Faculty and staff told Sasser of their feelings of being surprised and being left out of the decision-making process at a Nov. 23 meeting.
At last week's college assembly, Sasser said Bailey was collecting feedback about her proposed personnel and department shifts.
A report on her progress was to be delivered at a meeting of faculty leaders and Sasser today.
But Monday Sasser said, "The organization plan as presented is no more. We have returned to what we had before."
Replacing Bailey on an interim basis will be Anne Kress, previously an associate vice president.
Asked about the circumstances surrounding Bailey's departure, Sasser said he did not want to comment on personnel matters.
But he said Bailey had already left her office at SFCC's main campus in the northwest Gainesville area.
She has returned to an office at Daytona Beach Community College, where she worked since 1997 before coming to SFCC last year, Sasser said.
She was working in Daytona Beach as an associate vice president for curriculum and instruction when Sasser hired her.
She holds a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Florida. Bailey had been selected after a weeks-long interview process led by a 24-member screening committee.
Sasser said the same committee would begin a new search process in August.
Many faculty members declined to comment directly about the circumstances of Bailey's resignation.
"I think Dr. Bailey did what she thought was best for her," said Carole Marquis, president of the College Senate, the body that represents SFCC's 550 teaching and professional staff members.
Douane D. James can be reached at 374-5087 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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