The Kansas City Kansas Community College now has two presidents: one placed on administrative leave and a new acting president named Wednesday.
KCKCC Board of Trustees, after a nearly two-hour meeting behind closed doors including two time extensions, announced it had hired Jacqueline Vietti, former president of Butler County Community College, to serve as the acting president of the Wyandotte County campus.
Vietti, who was at the board meeting but left before the announcement, is taking over duties of KCKCC President Doris Givens, who was placed on leave Friday, July 14.
On Friday trustees voted to put Givens on administrative leave with pay. Givens, the first female and first African-American president of the community college, has been in that job for six years.
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Board members have declined to give a reason for the administrative leave, and neither Givens nor her attorney was available to comment.
Board Chairman John Rios said six of the seven board members voted to hire Vietti, with member Wendell Maddox absent. Maddox was the only member on Friday that voted against placing Givens on administrative leave.
Maddox told The Star that Rios had initiated an internal investigation into anonymous complaints made against Givens, but that the board had not heard any explanation from Givens about the complaints.
Rios has declined to say whether an investigation regarding the complaints was ever done, calling it a personnel matter. He did confirm after Wednesday’s meeting that the board has not spoken with Givens since it placed her on administrative leave.
“I don’t see how you make a decision like that without first hearing all the facts,” Maddox told The Star on Tuesday. Maddox, has served on the board about eight years. The complaints, he said, “could have all come from the same person. We don’t know.”
At a time when state funding for higher education in Kansas has been reduced, leaving individual campus budgets tight, KCKCC will be paying two presidents.
On administrative leave, Givens is being paid her $195,839 annual salary including benefits.
Trustees on Wednesday authorized Rios and Rosalyn Brown, who is the vice chair, to negotiate with Vietti on a salary that has not yet been determined.
Rios did not say for how long the college would continue to pay the two salaries.
Until Wednesday, the acting president position had been filled by Edward Kremer, dean of math, science and computer technology at the college. After the Vietti announcement, Kremer was named acting vice president of academic affairs at the college.
Currently KCKCC has no permanent president, vice president of academic affairs, or chief financial officer in place.