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.