A look back: chancellor’s controversies

By DAVID MENDEZ

Pima Community College Chancellor Roy Flores has dealt with controversy during his tenure as PCC’s chief executive, most recently with the dismissal of John Crnokrak, an executive coach and leadership trainer who was hired in 2006.

According to an Arizona Daily Star news story, Crnokrak was dismissed after it was discovered that he regularly sent lewd and inappropriate emails to PCC administrators and billed the college for expenses such as flights to and from Tucson, as well as a $43 massage at the Tucson Mall.

Flores dealt with similar issues during his employment at two previous community colleges, at one point facing a vote that would have put his career at risk.

Elgin Community College

The first major controversies came in August 1995, one year into his appointment as president of Elgin (Ill.) Community College.

According to a Chicago Tribune news report from that period, ECC board of trustees members accused Flores of mismanaging college funds by unnecessarily creating the position of Vice President of Instruction for Edna Baehre. The position paid an annual salary of $81,000.

That led the board to offer Flores a buyout worth $63,000 (roughly half of Flores’ yearly salary) and one year of health insurance, applicable to Flores’s family.

After an outpouring of support from the community, the board voted to withdraw the buyout. Ultimately, Flores was offered an extension of his contract and given a pay raise.

During a telephone interview conducted Feb. 15, Flores was still incredulous toward the board’s accusations.

“How can you ‘create’ a position of chief academic officer when the whole point of a college or university is academics?” he asked. He noted that Beahre’s appointment was a “good one,” as she is currently the president of Napa Valley Community College.

 “I should have done more research before I accepted the position at Elgin,” Flores said, who learned after taking the position that board meetings would have so many disputes that they would sometimes run as late as 2 a.m.

“It was a divided community,” he said. “You have to understand, I had no clue about political maneuvers or these kinds of agendas.”

Community College of Allegheny County

 In 1998, Flores left Elgin to become president of the Community College of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania. There, he handpicked Dennis Scott, a former Elgin administrator, to be his executive assistant.

 

Controversy arose after he appointed Scott to temporarily hold the position of vice president of academic affairs.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Scott applied to fill the position permanently, but was found to have false credentials. Scott listed master’s and doctoral degrees that were awarded to him by unaccredited correspondence schools. He resigned shortly after, having been “asked to leave” according to Flores.

Flores said that he was unaware of Scott’s false past. “He didn’t have the ‘bona fides,’” Flores said. “You can’t apply for a job, saying you’ve got a doctorate from an accredited institution and have it be untrue. That’s unacceptable.”

Chancellor Roy Flores, pictured the day before his emergency surgery.

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  1. Carol Gorsuch says:

    Why not investigate the Chicago Tribune article circa l995 and the sexual harassment allegations against Flores. Then, fast forward to a recent February Tucson Citizen blog on allegations of PCC female employees being sexually harassed by the chief exectuive officer of Pima College. Why is no investigation conducted by this Board of Governors?

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