Whether it’s for alleged sexual misconduct, physical assault, corruption, or for mysterious reasons, placing faculty and staff on paid administrative leave has become the norm here at PCC.

Paid administrative leave is basically putting employees on timeout while they still receive full pay and benefits on the taxpayer’s dime.

And usually, these positions are filled with temporary personnel that are left in limbo or the positions are not filled at all. It is unfair to students to be taught by someone who is uncertain of their employment status.

Most recently Campus Police Chief Don Yoder was placed on paid leave in May for reasons that remain unknown. Is the campus safe without a chief?

Back in November, English professor Mark McQueen was also placed on paid leave after he was accused of punching a student. McQueen was on leave for nearly a month before an investigation by the college found him innocent on all charges.

Former Courier adviser Warren Swil was placed on administrative leave in March 2013 after he was accused of sexual harassment. He remained on paid leave for almost a year and was reinstated in January 2014.

Former Vice President of Administrative Services Rick van Pelt, former Facilities Supervisor Alfred Hutchings, former Vice President of Information Technology Dwayne Cable and among others were also placed on paid administrative leave, but why don’t we call this what it really is, a paid vacation on the taxpayers tab.

In criminal investigations, law enforcement has only 72 hours from the time they arrest someone to investigate and decide if charges will be filed.

Why does it take PCC almost a year to do basically the same thing?

It’s easy to prolong these lengthy, time consuming and costly investigations if investigators know that the government is picking up the tab.

We understand that there are contractual obligations. We also understand that investigations must be done efficiently, with due diligence and respect for employees’ privacy.

Placing employees on paid administrative leave has become an out of control cash cow for some, but no one seems to know how to lasso it.

But we have to find a better way to make use of our limited financial resources. Putting employees on endless leisure vacations is not a better way.

3 Replies to “Editorial: The Out of Control Cash Cow”

  1. Is the campus safe without a chief of police? Oh please. The navy blue tree stump with chevrons can keep that grounded boat afloat……AND work the flea market too!

  2. How about this:

    1. No teachers or administrators get put on administrative leave until after fact finding, or they can be transferred to another area where they can still be productive.

    2. Only when the reason for administrative leave becomes a story, i.e. fact finding that leads to a dismissal, then does your paper report the issue.

    The result:

    1. The school does not pay salaries you think are being unfairly given for work and services not being done.

    2. The accused (Mcqueen, Swill, Van Pelt, names the public will remember as guilty even after being found innocent) will not suffer years of embarrassment caused by your sensational reporting.

    See, problem solved.

    1. The Courier (with very little research) could discover more impacting truths. Private investigator firms are hired, who get paid by the hour, and prefer to drag these investigations on as long as possible. Their names are public record.

      Consider this possibility: employee X is on paid leave for over a year. While on leave is arrested for the theft of college property. He files a frivolous law suit, is paid a settlement THEN is allowed to return to work AND walks the campus daily. All public record.

      Knock, knock, knock…….Courier?……..any body home?


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